Four New Jersey unions are asking a court to stop mandatory furloughs of public workers. Yesterday, March 30, 2009, the New Jersey Policemen’s Benevolent Association and the Communication Workers of America, which collectively represent 93,000 police officers, firefighters and rank-and-file state and municipal workers, filed separate actions in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. The Probation Association of New Jersey and the Firemen’s Benevolent Association also filed similar suits. The actions seek to block a new Civil Service Commission rule giving the Governor and local governing bodies emergency power to impose temporary layoffs because of the economic crisis.

As stated in a previous blog entry, Governor Corzine and the State of New Jersey intend on instituting a mandatory furlough program, which requires various State of New Jersey employees to absorb unpaid days of absence from their position of employment. Initially, the mandatory furlough program requires certain State employees to absorb two (2) unpaid days of absence from the workplace, specifically one day each in May and June 2009. Thereafter, the State seeks to extend the mandatory furlough program into Fiscal Year 2010, whereby certain State employees are to absorb twelve (12) unpaid days of absence from the workplace, one day each month for the entire fiscal year.

To accomplish this goal, on March 25, 2009, the Civil Service Commission adopted, on less than 24 hours notice, a new, emergency rule, N.J.A.C. 4A:8-1.1, to permit “temporary layoffs,” or furloughs, for both State and local employees. The Commission did so without any notice to the parties who would be immediately affected by this action and without an opportunity to discuss the proposed rule. It is this rule which is being challenged by the various unions.

It goes without saying these lawsuits are of vital importance to any law enforcement officer, firefighter, and State of New Jersey employee. The outcomes of these actions might very well have a drastic impact not only on any and all State employees, but the public at large. As a result, please consult this blog periodically to ascertain updates regarding the status of these lawsuits.      


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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog ( approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.