Monday, October 10, 2011

Court of Appeal Upholds Furloughs for Correctional Officers

In Brown v. Superior Court of Alameda (1st DCA, Oct. 3, 2011, A127292) 2011 WL 4537946, the Court of Appeal overturned CCPOA's trial court victory, holding self-directed furloughs under two executive orders did not violate California Labor Codes prohibiting “kickbacks” by employers or minimum wage laws.

CCPOA attempted to nullify self-directed three-day/month furloughs. Under the orders, employees were permitted to take the furloughs whenever they preferred. If the employees did not use the three furlough days by the end of the month, the days were to be used at a future date, prior to the employee using any form of paid leave. The furlough days needed to be used prior to June 2012 or they would be eliminated. CCPOA claimed the State was essentially asking its members to work for free.

The Court found the Governor had a right to impose the furloughs as the agencies which members of CCPOA worked for were included in the 2008 and 2009 Budget Acts, which were approved by the Legislature, and were part of the extended furlough program. The Court also found the manner in which the furloughs were implemented did not violate applicable California Labor Codes as employers were not taking “kickbacks” from employees or secretly paying them less. The court also found the furlough program did not violate minimum wage laws. The Court also overturned the trial court’s order for back pay for union members.