Judge Throws Out California Labor Law Class Action
The lawsuit was launched on behalf of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), which had taken issue with self-directed furloughs - arguing that they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In his California labor code ruling, it appeared that US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker did not agree.
The State of California, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in office, resorted to furloughs in an effort to improve the state's coffers. In the midst of a financial crisis, the Office of the Governor directed that employees of the state in every sector would be required to take a certain number of unpaid days off in any given year, which would translate to savings for the State or California.
Various groups took issue with the directive, citing alleged violations of California labor employment law, federal laws and FLSA. Specifically, CCPOA took the position that cutting employee pay but deferring the actual furlough time violated the law because employees aren't paid in full for hours worked within a given pay cycle.
The plaintiffs also held that time worked on an unpaid furlough day should be calculated in figuring overtime and that the state hadn't kept adequate payroll records.
The judge, in his ruling just one day after hearing arguments, did not agree.
"The furlough program, while perhaps convoluted in execution, ensures that plaintiffs are compensated for all hours worked during the pay period," Walker wrote. "Because plaintiffs are compensated for all hours worked, and because that compensation exceeds federal minimum standards, plaintiffs claim of violation of FSLA fails."
As for violations with regard to record keeping under California sate labor laws, the judge noted that the law allows for only the secretary of labor to sue for alleged violations of record keeping.
The Bee noted that the California employment labor law case applied only to the members of Bargaining Unit Six of the CCPOA.