State Supreme Court: Richmond Did Not Violate California Labor Law


San Francisco, CA The state Supreme Court ruled recently that the city of Richmond did not violate civil rights or California labor law when it laid off 18 firefighters when the city was facing the potential of bankruptcy in 2003, the Contra Costa Times reports.

The decision reportedly affirms previous lower court rulings as well as the Public Employee Relations Board's decision to reject a claim arguing that Richmond violated its contract with the International Association of Firefighters, the news source said.

According to state law, public entities are allowed to lay workers off due to economic reasons, but they need to bargain the effects of reducing the workforce, including the potential consequences facing the workers remaining.

Local 188 of the International Association of Firefighters reportedly argued that the layoff of the firefighters adversely affected the safety of the workers, and as a result, should constitute a need for bargaining.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote in the ruling that government employers still need to negotiate over decisions to carry out layoffs.

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