Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Professional Engineers In California Government v. Brown

California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division

September 11, 2014

PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS IN CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., as Governor, etc., et al., Defendants and Appellants.

Alameda County Super. Ct. Nos. RG10494800, RG10530845 Honorable Steven A. Brick

Page 862

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 863

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 864

COUNSEL

Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, David W. Tyra, Kristianne T. Seargeant, Meredith Packer Garey; California Department of Human Resources, Joan A. Markoff and Will M. Yamada for Defendants and Appellants.

Altshuler Berzon, Barbara J. Chisolm, Peder Thoreen; and James Gerald for Plaintiffs and Respondents.

OPINION

SIGGINS, J.

Defendants Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., California's Department of Human Resources (formerly known as the Department of Personnel Administration, or DPA) and a number of state officials challenge an order and judgment granting a petition for writ of mandate that invalidated mandatory furloughs of two categories of state employees: (1) unionized rank-and-file employees represented by Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) and the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) whose furloughs disproportionately reduced their compensation relative to nonunionized employees represented by PECG and CAPS; and (2) PECG and CAPS-represented employees in positions involving hazardous waste remediation and management on military bases.

Defendants contend the trial court erred when it ruled the furloughs of employees working in hazardous waste remediation violated provisions of the Water and Health and Safety Codes and the single subject rule set forth in article IV, section 9 of our state Constitution; that it misconstrued statutory language requiring proportionate reductions in compensation for unionized and nonunionized employees; that it committed evidentiary error; and that mandamus is not available for the monetary relief sought. As we shall explain, the trial court erred when it concluded the furloughs of employees

Page 865

working in hazardous waste remediation violated the single subject rule. In all other respects, however, we affirm the trial court’s rulings.

BACKGROUND

In 2008 and 2009, then-governor Schwarzenegger issued executive orders requiring the unpaid furloughs of most state employees, including close to 16, 000 engineers and scientists represented by PECG and CAPS. Pursuant to those executive orders, employees were subjected to two unpaid furlough days per month from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

On July 28, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order No. S-12-10, directing the furloughing of state employees for three days each month from August 2010 until a “2010-2011 fiscal year budget is in place and the Director of the Department of Finance determines that there is sufficient cash to allow the State to meet its obligations to pay for critical and essential services to protect public health and safety and to meet its payment obligations protected by the California Constitution....” Pursuant to this Executive Order, nonunion employees represented by CAPS and PECG were subject to three-day-per-month furloughs through the end of October 2010. However, union employees represented by CAPS and PECG were subject to the three furlough days per month through March 2011.[1]

On October 8, 2010, the Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 870 (2009-2010 Reg. Sess.) as the budget act for the 2010-2011 fiscal year (the Budget Act) (Stats. 2010, ch. 712, § 3.91). Section 3.91 authorized “reductions in employee compensation achieved through the collective bargaining process or through administrative actions for represented employees and a proportionate reduction for nonrepresented employees (utilizing existing authority of the administration to adjust compensation for nonrepresented employees)....” (Italics added.) It further instructed the Director of Finance to make the “necessary reductions to each item of appropriation....” (Stats. 2010, ch. 712, § 3.91.)

Effective November 1, 2010, the Governor issued Executive Order No. S-15-10, applicable to most nonunion state employees, including supervisory and other exempt employees represented by PECG and CAPS. Executive Order No. S-15-10 reduced the nonunion employees’ net compensation by imposing a one-day per month personal leave program and extracting a 3 percent increase in employees’ monthly contributions to their pension plan. Between Executive Order No. S-15-10 and the three-day-furlough in effect from August through October 2010, nonunionized employees’ net compensation

Page 866

for fiscal year 2010-2011 was reduced by a total of 8.5 percent. That reduction mirrored the 8.5 percent total reduction to the net compensation of employees in nine state bargaining units represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) approved by the Legislature in the 2010-2011 Budget Act. In contrast, union employees represented by CAPS and PECG were furloughed for three days each month throughout 2010 and into 2011. As a result, they incurred an 8.5 percent reduction in net compensation for the fiscal year after their first furlough day in March 2011 but were nonetheless subjected to two more furlough days before furloughs ended on April 1, 2011.

Following proceedings in the trial, appellate and Supreme Courts which we need not detail here, plaintiffs filed the petitions for writ of mandate we consider in this appeal. This timely appeal is from the trial court’s order and judgment in plaintiffs’ favor.

DISCUSSION

I. The Single Subject Rule

Plaintiffs successfully challenged the furloughs of employees who work in positions related to hazardous substance management and remediation at military bases on the ground that provisions of the Water and Health and Safety Codes prohibit the Controller and Department of Finance from imposing “any... personal services limitations” on those positions. (Water Code, § 13177.7, subd. (b); Health & Safety Code, § 25353.5, subd. (b).)[2] Defendants contend the trial court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.