Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Guess: California Supreme Court Will Not Invalidate State Furloughs

I watched the California Supreme Court hearing on state furloughs yesterday. My totally non-expert sense from the questioning by the justices of the lawyers is that they would be loathe to invalidate the governor's furlough orders, potentially leading to monumental backpay claims.

As indicated in prior posts, the UC furloughs were NOT part of this case since they were not ordered by the governor. But in the (apparently unlikely) event that the Court did invalidate those furloughs that were ordered by the governor, UC would have a hard time not making some kind of accommodation for its own employees.

It might be noted that the lawyer for state controller John Chiang, who was arguing against the governor, tried to assuage fears of the justices about the budgetary impact of invalidating the furloughs. She hinted that a lower court might not order backpay on grounds that since employees did not work on furlough days, paying them for work not done might be an illegal gift of public monies.

If you want to view the hearing, go to

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