January 5, 2022 CASE Files

Keeping you up-to-date on our work to increase your salary, improve and protect your benefits, and aggressively represent your professional interests in every forum where they are at stake.

A Final Bar Dues Reminder. With the bar dues deadline swiftly approaching, we remind you that, while department processes for reimbursing or directly paying bar dues may vary, many have a requirement to submit your request up to a month in advance of the dues deadline.

The maximum the State will reimburse is $463 of the default $510 indicated on your State Bar dues form. The State does not cover the $2 contribution for the Elimination of Bias option; the $45 contribution for the Legal Services Assistance option, or optional donations for items like the Justice Gap Fund or California Supreme Court Historical Society. If you are directly paying your dues, make sure to opt-out of those items unless you would like to pay for them out-of-pocket. The State also will not cover late payment penalties unless they are responsible for the late payment. 

For employees not required to be State Bar members as a condition of employment, your department may provide reimbursement for dues or 2 additional Professional Development Days (PDDs). 

For more details, check out the CalHR Manual section on dues payment, or contact CASE. 

News of Interest to Unit 2 Legal Professionals:

  • Gavin Newsom swears in 2 historic justices to Supreme Court stacked with Democratic appointees – The Sacramento Bee (tiered subscription)
  • Restaurant group lawsuit halts California’s Jan. 1 fast food bill – USA Today
  • A group won a temporary restraining order to stop California’s plan to implement a law on Jan. 1 that could, among other things, raise the industry’s minimum wage to $22 per hour.

Keeping Up. It’s a new year with new laws – including some that impact CalPERS active members, retirees, and their employers.  This year, for example, Senate Bill 1402 expands eligibility for service credit purchases to include active service in the Merchant Marines of the United States on and after January 1, 1950. 

CalPERS monitors regulations, rules, and legislation at the state and federal levels that impacts the pensions and healthcare benefits it administers. To view summaries and reports about government actions that may affect you, visit the CalPERS Legislation page. 

Specialty and Local Bar Dues Reimbursement Rate Increase. The new MOU includes increased reimbursement rates for specialty and local bar dues up to $200, rather than $100, annually, where State Bar Membership is required as a condition of employment. Fees for more than one specialty or local bar membership can be reimbursed if the total reimbursement does not exceed $200. While the MOU does not apply to excluded employees, Departments have the discretion under CalHR rules to provide the increased reimbursement rates to Supervisors and Managers and we believe they will do so. If you request the increased reimbursement rate and do not receive it, let CASE know. 

Further Increases for the Commute Program in 2023. As you may recall, under the prior MOU, members were limited to reimbursements of up to 75% of transit pass costs capped at $100 each month. In the new 2022-25 MOU, not only did the reimbursement rate increase from 75% to 100%, but the cap was changed to align with the IRS rate. The IRS issued their 2023 rates this week and the actual value of transit pass reimbursement will increase from $280 to $300 per month as of January 1, 2023. 

As ever, it may take time for that information to reach your department from CalHR and your personnel analyst or responsible party at your department may not be able to process transit reimbursement at the higher rate until they receive official direction from CalHR. If you have trouble receiving the increased reimbursement, contact CASE.

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