Linda Ross, Of Counsel for the Renne Public Law Group (RPLG), recently spoke on vested rights and the “California Rule.” Ross presented to the League of California Cities’ Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations (GTLR) Policy Committee during its January 18, 2019 meeting in Sacramento. RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman previously served on the GTLR Policy Committee in 2018.
Titled “Vested Rights: Is This The Year the California Supreme Court Revisits the ‘California Rule’?”, Ross outlined the three key vested rights cases pending before the California Supreme Court:
- Marin Assn. of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees Retirement Sys. (2016)
- Cal. Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS (2016)
- Alameda Deputy Sheriffs’ Assn., et al. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Assn, et al. (2018)
Soon after Ross’s presentation, the California Supreme Court decided the Cal Fire case, which clarified the standards that apply to claims of vested pension rights and signaled that the Court may take a hard look at the so called “California Rule” in the future. Renne Public Law Group has issued an analysis of the Cal Fire decision which can be found on its website. The Governor, public employee unions and public employers are taking various stances on the issue of vested pension rights. Ross explained to the Committee the issues presented in these pending cases and provided her insights on what could happen next.