While mandatory fact-finding may further public agency understanding and goals, it’s exactly what local government didn’t need in this era of shrinking budgets.
Many public agencies can avoid bankruptcy by ceasing to provide critical services, but when a local government can no longer hire employees to protect the basic safety of its residents, that’s an emergency in my book.
Even after practicing labor and employment law for 30 years, issues arise that remind me that reality is often stranger than fiction.
With revenues generally flat or down and pension and retiree health benefits, medical insurance, and workers’ compensation costs going through the roof, it has been a brutal year for government.
Even though the public is increasingly interested in the workings of government, the news media simply can’t convey the issues and problems in the depth necessary to enable the public to make informed decisions.
Increasing pension and retiree health costs are eroding government-provided services at an alarming rate.
The concept of the nondelegable duty may not be sexy, but it’s basic to democracies.
At least in the short run, Wisconsin makes a rational discussion of the problems inherent in public-sector labor relations more intractable because of Governor Scott Walker’s extremist views and the heavy-handed way in which he has delivered them.
What all of these emergencies have in common are local and state governments in terrible financial distress.
Questions persist about whether various provisions of the California Labor Code apply to state and local public agencies. This debate is significant because some provisions of state wage and hour laws and the regulations issued under the laws are broader than federal law.