San Francisco's 1st District Court of Appeal on Monday reversed a lower court's ruling on furloughs, dealing another setback to state labor unions' efforts to claw back millions of dollars in pay their members lost.
The appellate court's decision in Brown v. Superior Court of Alameda County was a blow for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which had argued the policy was an illegal pay cut for its 32,000 or so members.
The union said in a memo to members that it's deciding whether to appeal the decision to the California Supreme Court.
CCPOA successfully petitioned an Alameda Superior Court judge in 2009 that "self-directed" furloughs, which cut prison officers' pay but deferred the corresponding time off, unlawfully forced them to work for free. The union didn't offer how much it would cost to make its furloughed members whole, but it would undoubtedly be millions of dollars.
The case bogged down last year while attorneys for the union and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger argued over whether the trial court decision could be appealed.
Other cases grabbed the legal limelight, culminating in a California Supreme Court ruling in October 2010 that state lawmakers had made furloughs legal by assuming the payroll savings in budget legislation.
Monday's opinion by appellate court justices James A. Richman, J. Anthony Kline and James R. Lambden relied on that legal precedent. They also said that it's "premature" to argue that officers worked for free until they leave service with furlough time on the books.
The justices then told the Alameda court to recall its decision in favor of CCPOA and to issue a new order denying the union's petition.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Jon Ortiz
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.