January 24, 2024 CASE Files


Return-to-Office Plans at CalEPA, CHHA, Other Agencies. The California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary recently emailed all agency staff to herald a plan to call all employees back to the office 2 days per week starting in the spring. The California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary sent a similar message this week. Other departments have conveyed the same since December. Many CASE Members have been asking about the propriety of the directive. State agencies are required to provide notices of policy changes at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the change and to provide CASE with an opportunity to meet and confer over the impact of the proposed changes to Unit 2 legal professionals. 

CASE is prepared to continue advocating for maximum telework flexibility which may mean proceeding to grievance and arbitration should any state agency attempt to impose arbitrary or harmful policies. When we receive the required notice from agencies and departments, we will request to meet and confer with them on the impact of these proposed changes. CASE is already in the midst of challenging several return-to-office policies – many of which are calendared for arbitration in the coming year – and we will do the same for any department or agency where we must. During the pendency of any grievance dispute, employees will be required to comply with existing policies.  If you have concerns about your department’s plan to require additional in-office days, contact CASE today.

Disability Program Rates Increase for Most Californians – But Not for CASE Members. You may hear grumblings from friends about increased State Disability Insurance (SDI) costs in 2024, but fortunately, thanks to the CASE Bargaining Team, this increase won’t hit your paycheck. CASE doesn’t participate in the SDI program, which is funded by employee wage withholdings that moved from 0.9% in 2023 to 1.1% of salary in 2024 with a cap recently removed on taxable wages that will be especially noticeable to higher earners. 

CASE Members participate in the state’s Non-Industrial Disability Leave Program (for those on vacation/sick leave plans) or Enhanced Non-Industrial Disability Leave Program (for those on the Annual Leave plan). Costs for NDI and ENDI are paid solely by the employer. And, for those who may be planning to expand their families in 2024 (through birth, adoption, or foster care placement), don’t forget about NDI-Family Care Leave. This first-of-its-kind benefit for rank-and-file state employees provides up to 6 weeks of partial wage replacement. It also covers time needed to care for ailing family members. Check to make sure you are enrolled in Annual Leave if you want to make use of this 100% employer-paid benefit. Questions? Contact CASE today.


News of interest to Unit 2 legal professionals:


FINAL WEEK! New Year, Stronger CASE. Welcome to 2024! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. As the CASE Board gets ready for another year of action and advocacy on behalf of CASE Members, we need your help. Take 5 minutes to complete our 2024 CASE Member Survey. Your answers will help us better know the membership that we serve and inform our decision making in the coming year. The survey will be open through January 31 and three respondents will be selected at random for a $100 gift card

CASE Board Meeting-February 9. The CASE Board meets next on Friday, February 9. To attend via zoom, please complete the online registration form (pw: membersmatter22) no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. A zoom link will be sent to all registered members on Friday morning by 9am.  

Help Make the #Case4CASE. Your professional story could help us make the #Case4CASE in 2024. Consider being a part of our ongoing media campaign to tell the public about the vital work of Unit 2 legal professionals as we prepare for contract negotiations next year. Our fight isn’t just about improving your salary and benefits so you can better provide for your families and future. Our fight also is about preserving California’s values – protecting natural resources, enhancing opportunity, and more. Share your story today using our online form. CASE staff will contact you for a telephone interview. Participation requires you to provide a photo along with your name, job classification, and your employing department. Questions?  Email CASE Media Consultant Jon Ortiz at Watch for member highlights in upcoming issues of CASE Files, too.

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