Yesterday, April 16, 2009, the Appellate Division conducted oral argument on the Emergency Temporary Layoff Rule. Specifically, the Appellate Division heard argument on the four appeals from the Civil Service Commission’s emergency rule authorizing temporary layoffs, also known as mandatory furloughs. The argument was conducted in the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown, New Jersey, with dozens of union members packing the courtroom.
Lawyers arguing for the public employee unions said the State did not prove it was in “imminent peril,” a requirement to pass the emergency rule that authorizes the furloughs. Moreover, it was asserted that the furloughs are a clear breach of contract in violating numerous collective bargaining agreements.
The Assistant Attorney General, who represented the State, said the Civil Service Commission followed all the rules when it authorized furloughs. He further contended that public employees were risking layoffs by protesting furloughs.
The Appellate Division did not make a ruling on the case, but said to expect one soon. Therefore, please continue to check this blog periodically for updates as further information becomes available.