Labor and Employment Relations Issues During Challenging Economic Times

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe revenue shortfalls and increased emergency costs for California public agencies.  The closure of nonessential businesses, disrupted supply chains, and governmental shelter in place orders has devastated the economy, resulting in an immediate and precipitous decline in tax revenue.  Evaporating retail sales, tourism dollars and deflated property values, have pushed cities and counties to the economic brink in California.  A recent article by the California League of Cities  reports that 9 out of 10 cities project that tax revenue shortfalls will lead to service cuts or furloughs and layoffs, and nearly 3 in 4 cities report they may take both actions.  California cities are projecting a nearly $7 billion general revenue shortfall over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years.  On top of this revenue shortfall, public agencies are incurring significant unbudgeted costs for critical services to arrest the spread of COVID-19.[i]

[i] “Cities Seek State and Federal Assistance to Address COVID-19 Fiscal Impacts”, California League of Cities, April 23, 2020 Press Release.

Topics Include:

  • Downsizing
    • Permanent Change Versus Temporary Relief
  • Developing the Implementation Plan
    • Checklist for Downsizing Alternatives
    • Checklist of Legal and Bargaining Considerations
  • Implementing the Downsizing Program
  • Early Retirement Incentives
    • ADEA and FEHA Compliant Incentives
    • Preparing Enforceable ADEA Waivers in Connection with an Early Retirement Incentive
    • “Golden Handshake” for CalPERS Agencies
    • “Golden Handshake” for ’37 Act Employers
  • Reducing Retirement Costs
    • Vested Rights
    • Terminating Contract with CalPERS or Under CERL
    • Retiree Medical Benefits Through CalPERS
    • Retiree Medical for ’37 Act Agencies
  • Employment After Retirement
    • Reduced Worktime for Partial Service Retirement – CalPERS Local Agencies
    • Post-Retirement Employment Without Reinstatement
  • Furloughs
    • The Duty to Meet and Confer Over Work Furloughs
    • Furloughs and FLSA Implications
    • Furloughs and Pension Implications
    • Outside Employment
  • Layoffs
    • Practical Problems Associated with Layoffs
    • Legal Concerns Associated with Layoffs
  • Municipality-Wide Actions To Address Budget Issues
    • Increasing Tax Revenue Through Voter Supported Tax Initiatives
    • Pension Reform at the Ballot Box
    • Declaration of Fiscal Emergency
    • Municipal Bankruptcy – Is It Ever the Right Option?
  • Negotiating During Lean Economic Times
    • Develop a Negotiating Strategy
    • Preparation for Negotiations is Essential to Success
    • Conditions Needed for Successful Negotiations During Lean Economic Times
    • Are You at Impasse?
    • Rules for Unilateral Implementation

This document is provided as a benefit to Liebert Library subscribers and cannot be shared outside of their organization. The information contained within is a template only and is not designed to address the specific and unique issues, internal rules, practices, and/or governing documents that might be in place at your organization. You should always consult with legal counsel prior to implementation of any documents.

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