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MINIMUM WAGE LAW: State Employees Sue Controller

July 6, 2010

Sacramento – State employees, through the Department of Personnel Administration, have filed a lawsuit against State controller John Chiang in a bid to force him to pay state workers with federal minimum wage. The move was made after a state appeals court ruled last week that only the Governor has the authority to order the minimum wage.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, also sought a restraining order that would require Chiang to pay them with $7.25 per hour, rather than their full salaries.

The order would affect nearly 200, 000 of the state’s 237,000 workers. However it would not apply to union workers and professionals like doctors and lawyers who are not covered by the minimum wage law.

On the other hand, the controller said the reductions cannot be made without violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the state Constitution, which would expose taxpayers to damages and fines. The controller said they will exhaust all legal avenues to protect Californians.

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