Second Furlough Lawsuit Victory

On Thursday February 25th, Judge Frank Roesch ruled in favor of UAPD in our case requesting back pay for furloughed state workers who are paid from sources other than the State’s general fund. Judge Roesch delivered the same ruling in multiple cases filed by several unions, making the decision a significant blow to Governor Schwarzenegger’s furlough plan.

UAPD Furlough Backpay Press Release.pdf

The Schwarzenegger administration has declared its intention to file an appeal on these most recent rulings before Monday. That appeal will trigger a “stay” that prevents the State Controller’s office from writing the backpay checks that the Judge has ordered. If and when Schwarzenegger files his appeal, UAPD intends to file its own arguments that the “stay” should be lifted and that the Controller be freed to act on the Judge’s order while the appeal is being considered.

This latest ruling comes out of a lawsuit filed last year by UAPD, which challenged furloughs as beyond the Governor’s authority with respect to agencies funded by federal funds and special funds, including licensing fees. In its original motion, UAPD listed the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and Medical Board of California as examples of agencies where a substantial portion of funding comes from federal or special funds. On the final day of 2009 Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch issued rulings in favor of UAPD, ordering the state to end furloughs for doctors in the above-mentioned agencies. Yesterday’s ruling was the first time Judge Roesch indicated that these employees are also entitled to backpay for time lost to furloughs.

This is an important legal victory, not only for those doctors named in the ruling, but for all furloughed workers, as it pokes more holes in Schwarzenegger’s already sinking policy. UAPD leadership and our legal team will continue to pursue every legal avenue to protect our members, and will keep members updated as more information becomes available.