State Supreme Court to review furlough case

The state Supreme Court said Thursday that it would hear arguments in a lawsuit brought against the Schwarzenegger administration challenging the forced-furloughs of workers at the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

At issue is whether the governor has the authority to furlough state employees through an executive order, the court said. The court noted that it may review the case while considering issues raised in other legal challenges targeting the administration’s furlough policies.

The suit was brought by a group representing state lawyers, hearing officers and administrative law judges. The group, known as CASE, said the governor did not have the power to order the furloughs of workers at the Fund, which has more than 8,000 state employees.

The Fund is a sort of quasi-governmental insurance company, financed by its fees and premiums. The Fund is an insurer of last resort for provding employers with workers compensation insurance coverage, which is required by California law.

The CASE lawsuit was one of more than two dozen suits against the administration over the forced furloughs. Most of the suits were brought by public employee unions.

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