1530 The Alameda, Suite 115, San Jose, CA 95126

Blog
Email UsEmail Us

FREE CONSULTATION

408-246-5500

Search

FREE CONSULTATION

408-246-5500

Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
Group Photo
Se habla español|Chúng tôi nói tiêng Việt

For Government Workers, Overturn of ‘California Rule’ Could Deal Blow to Pension Benefits

Posted on in Employment

CA employment lawyerAt one time, generous pension plans and retirement packages were a given with some jobs. Unfortunately, as times have changed, benefit packages have become increasingly sparse and need to be carefully negotiated as part of your employment contract. Government workers have traditionally enjoyed better benefits than some private sector workers, but a new policy initiated by the governor could cause some major setbacks. While private employer-sponsored benefits are protected by ERIS laws, the so-called ‘California Rule’ adds additional protections to government workers against having pension benefits eliminated without providing compensation. The court is currently reviewing the rule and the outcome has the potential to wreak havoc with these worker’s futures and may cost them significant amounts of money.

The California Rule and Government Pension Benefits

The California Rule is a policy in regards to pension benefits, which has its origins in the 1950s. The National Public Pension Coalition states that the idea was simple and something that made perfect sense: when a public worker is hired to a job and enters into an employment contract, the pension benefits they are offered cannot be diminished without offering some sort of compensation to take the place. It is a rule that several other states follow as well, but it has recently come under fire in the California Supreme Court.

Five years ago, Governor Jerry Brown enacted sweeping pension reforms designed to scale back some of the more generous perks public workers were alleged to be receiving. Spurred by the Great Recession, the scale back was designed to cut government spending while saving taxpayer money. Opponents of the changes, comprised largely of union leaders and public service employees, claim that the reforms allowed employers to significantly cut pre-agreed on benefits, without offering anything in return. A lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court against the governor, seeking to have the reforms overturned.

Workers Wait for Ruling Form Court

The Mercury News reports that during the first week of December 2018, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in the much-anticipated lawsuit. If the court eventually decides to uphold the governor’s pension reforms, it will in effect be putting an end to the California Rule and some of the benefits government workers have come to expect. While these types of benefits are cover under federal law through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), it deals mostly with how these benefits are administered by private businesses and not how they are offered or maintained through government agencies.

Contact Our Santa Clara Retirement Benefits Attorneys

If you have questions and concerns about an employer-sponsored benefit plan or feel you are being deprived benefits you deserve, reach out to the Jachimowicz Law Group. Call 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose criminal law attorneys online to request a free consultation. We are here to help you get the pension and retirement benefits you are entitled to.

 

Sources:

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/retirement/erisa

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/12/04/browns-pension-plan-goes-before-state-high-court/

https://protectpensions.org/2018/05/21/california-rule-matter/

CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

SPEAK DIRECTLY WITH OUR EXPERIENCED SAN JOSE ATTORNEYS

TOLL FREE

408-246-5500

OR

800-576-4210
Back to Top