On January 20, 2011, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge rejected an attempt by various public employee unions to overturn pension changes for new government employees enacted early last year. The laws challenged required new employees to pay 1.5 percent of their salaries toward current health benefits and 1.5 percent of their pensions after they retire. The laws also limited pensions to full-time employees and capped payments of unused sick time to $15,000.
The decisions, released by the Honorable Linda R. Feinberg, were largely expected. The Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees all challenged the laws as vague and unconstitutional. New Jersey’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, the Teamsters Union, and the Fraternal Order of Police argued the Legislature overstepped its authority and that these new laws amounted to an unlawful “taking” by the government.
Feinberg rejected these and other arguments and dismissed the lawsuits “with prejudice,” meaning that the unions could not bring another lawsuit again on the claim. Please click on the links below to read the decisions in their entirety.