Legal Alerts Feb 6, 2018

Gov. Brown’s Executive Order Suspends Certain Retired Annuitant Employment Requirements

Modifications Needed for Disaster Response Staffing Levels

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To ensure adequate staffing levels while responding to recent natural disasters in California, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has modified the 960-hour limitation related to retired annuitants employed in certain counties. Last week, CalPERS issued Circular Letter 200-004-18, which impacts employment of retired annuitants in areas where Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the fires, floods and mudslides that have devastated large swaths of the State.
 
CalPERS' decision follows two executive orders issued by Brown to ensure that staffing levels were sufficient to expedite disaster response and recovery efforts. Pursuant to Executive Order B-43-17, issued Oct. 18,  and Executive Order B-46-18, issued Jan. 12, retired annuitants employed in the certain counties to perform functions related to disaster response and recovery efforts will not be subject to the 960 hours per fiscal year restriction only with respect to those functions.  The identified counties are Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Santa Barbara Solano, Sonoma, Ventura and Yuba. The 960-hour limitation will continue to apply to hours worked on assignments not associated with disaster response and recovery efforts. The suspension of the limitation will be in effect from the date the state of emergency was declared in the county in which the retired annuitant is assigned to the date the state of emergency for such county is lifted.    
 
In addition to the suspension of the 960-hour limitation, CalPERS has also confirmed that retired annuitants hired to expedite disaster response and recovery efforts while the state of emergency is in effect will be exempt from the bona fide separation and 180-day waiting period requirements.
 
The start dates for each county where a  state of emergency was declared are: 

  • Oct. 9 – Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada, Orange
  • Oct. 10 – Solano
  • Dec. 5 – Ventura
  • Dec. 7 – Santa Barbara            


The CalHR Director must be notified of individuals employed pursuant to the executive orders via e-mail at wildfirerecovery2017@calhr.ca.gov. As always, agencies should continue to enroll and report retired annuitants to CalPERS. All other requirements remain in effect, including the rules related to retired annuitant appointments to vacant positions, the hourly pay limitations and prohibition against pay or benefits in excess of the hourly pay rate. CalPERS will continue to monitor the work hours for retired annuitants covered by the executive orders and will send communications if violations are found, and if exceptions apply.

If you have any questions about these modifications or how they may impact your agency, please contact the author of this Legal Alert listed to the right in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group, or your BB&K attorney.
 
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Disclaimer: BB&K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqué.

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