March 6, 2024 CASE Files


President O’Connor in the News. CASE’s media-relations program promotes your union’s agenda in print, online, and broadcast outlets to elevate our collective interests in the public square. To that end, staff recently worked with Sacramento-based Capital Public Radio on a telework/return-to-office story that featured CASE data and several comments and observations by CASE President Tim O’Connor:

“The vast majority of our members have said [they] want to continue working at home,” said Tim O’Connor, president of CASE, a labor union representing about 4,500 attorneys and judicial employees who work for the state.

Though some employees still prefer going into the office, O’Connor, who works as a lawyer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, said telework overall has “been great for productivity. The pandemic proved that we could succeed and get the job done.”

The union has tracked retention across 10 state agencies that moved to bring employees back into the office earlier in the pandemic. Numbers provided to CapRadio show 45 vacant attorney positions across those agencies in March 2020 compared to 431 vacancies in the fall of 2023.

Newsom spokesperson Erin Mellon said state agencies and departments “have been directed to regularly evaluate and update their approach to telework in a new hybrid work environment, based on their individual needs. Our office believes there is significant value from in-person work that should be considered along with the benefits of telework.”

Mellon did not respond to questions about the agency memos describing the hybrid work shift as administration-wide.

“I think the governor’s office does have something to do with it,” O’Connor said. “The best we can tell, it’s got to be coming from the top. And if it isn’t, the buck should stop at the governor.”

You can read the full story here. If you listen to public radio, you may have heard some snippets of the story between Saturday and Monday. Reporter Nicole Nixon filed several shorter audio versions with stations statewide. 

State Bar Seeks Feedback on Proposed Dues Increase, Fee Restructuring. The California State Bar recently sent all California attorneys a survey link inviting feedback on proposed licensing fee increases in 2025, as well as fee restructuring options. Though Article 12.8 of the CASE MOU requires the state to cover bar dues for all CASE members for whom bar membership is required as a condition of employment, this is still an important topic for all California attorneys and CASE encourages to weigh in with your views. Click here to complete the survey by today’s deadline.


News of interest to Unit 2 legal professionals:

California’s most reliable source for telework data could soon vanish as program loses funding – The Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News
California state employee retirements dropped in 2023, new CalPERS data showThe Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News
CA joins lawsuit against Kroger-Albertsons merger – KTLA


ALJ Webinar is Tonight. The California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA) in partnership with California Lawyers Association, is holding a free online program tonight, March 6, 2024, at 5:00 p.m., exploring the critical role Administrative Law Judges play in California law and policy, information on the attributes necessary to become an ALJ, and even tips for those making appearances before ALJs. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area; Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County; the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association; CASE; and Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego.

For more information and to register, click here.

2nd Annual CASE Public Service Scholars Award. Applications are now open for the 2nd Annual CASE Public Service Scholars Award. To be eligible to apply for an award of up to $1000, the Member or dependent must be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education and complete an application form. For dependent applicants, the name of the sponsoring CASE Member and their employing department must be included on the application. Applications will be accepted through May 1. The committee reviewing applications will be looking for applicants who are currently in a career, or plan to pursue a career, in government or another form of service supporting the common good, or applicants who can demonstrate meaningful commitment to serving others by participation in service-oriented academic pursuits, volunteer, or community service. Apply here (pw: membersmatter22). Tracking Return-to-Office Mandates. CASE continues to receive notices from Departments regarding revised in-office requirements. Notices are shared with members in affected departments via emails. Your feedback on the impact of return-to-office mandates is invaluable in helping CASE prepare to meet and confer with departments and agencies as well as preparing grievances and for arbitration as necessary. Consider sharing the impact of the proposed policy changes with us via this form.

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