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CAUTION!
              Understaffing May Be Hazardous
                      to Your Health!
Almost all public agencies have been “downsizing” for the last several years. In some places entire
departments have been collapsed into one another. Some financially-strapped cities have reduced their
workforce by 40%. We all know that some of these reductions are NOT caused by economics, but by
politics. Nonetheless, the outcome is the same: severe understaffing in the workplace.

Understaffing not only violates your rights under the law; it may also impact your health. The legal
violations can be fairly obvious: unpaid hours of work, skipped lunches and breaks, working out-of-
class, abuses of part-time labor, etc. But the health problems can be more insidious: increased injuries,
anxiety and depression, “cumulative traumas,” etc. What follows is a brief summary of the kinds of
conditions that can arise in an understaffed workplace – and what you can do to address them.

EROSION OF SAFETY STANDARDS                              machinery alone, when you should be calling for
Local governments do most of the “heavy lifting”         help; to go into a tunnel without a mask, or climb in
for America’s citizenry – literally. Their employees     an aerial bucket without the proper safety strap; to
pave streets, maintain sewers, drive and repair trucks   take the truck out without inspection because all the
and buses, mow lawns, care for children,                 mechanics were overloaded; to deal with an irate
pick up hurt animals, investigate crimes,                customer alone because your boss’s position is
run jails, and come out in the middle of                       vacant – or a violent “arrestee” alone, because
the night to keep the infrastructure                            your partner has been sent to another shift.
running. When money is tight, it’s
easy for the safety standards                                     It is almost inevitable that work injuries
surrounding many of these jobs to                                 increase when people work in
be eroded: to skip the “coning” of                              understaffed circumstances. Safety
the street for a quick job; to lift that piece of        equipment may not be properly inspected, repaired,
                                                                                                               1
or replaced when employers have budget problems.           “catch up” -- they often become angry, sick, or
Further, safety measures often take more TIME.             depressed. To combat this, it’s good to do an
People, literally, fall down stairs when they are          occasional reality check: it serves no healthy
running from one office to another. Workers may be         purpose to care more about your job than your
hesitant to drive back to the yard to pick up street       employer apparently does…
cones, when under pressure to finish three jobs in the     Unfortunately, some employers expect employees to
same day. So, they work in jeopardy of an accident.        maintain high standards, even during impossible
Rules about working in pairs or crews seem to go           circumstances. It can be really psychologically
out the window – and everyone seems to forget that         damaging to be criticized for unfinished work that
these rules evolved because of serious safety              could not possibly be finished – or which wasn’t
problems in the first place…                               your job in the first place! In fact, this situation is
                                                           common: when positions are left vacant, helpful
CUMULATIVE TRAUMA                                                 people find themselves “just doing their best.”
People also hurt themselves when they do                          But all too often, this means doing the job
strenuous or repetitive work for too long, or                     without proper training, without
in too much of a hurry. People who drive                          compensation, and not very well. When you
busses, run jackhammers, operate 911 ‘cad’                        are criticized for this, it can really push you
machines, or just work all day at a                               over the edge.
computer are much, much more likely to
develop shoulder, arm, or hand problems if                        EVERYONE NEEDS A VACATION…
they work more than 40 hours a week.                              It is also the relentlessness of understaffed
These are cumulative trauma injuries. They creep up        work conditions that take a psychological toll. This
slowly, are often ignored at the beginning, and are        is one of the reasons that time away from the job is
difficult to repair by the time you are really in pain.    recognized as central to occupational health. The
                                                           problem, of course, is that a short-staffed work place
Dangerous conditions are exacerbated if employees          also often pressures people about constant
fail to take lunches or breaks; and breaks are one of      attendance. Employees are made to feel guilty for
the first things to go when there is pressure to get too   taking a day off, or may be discouraged from calling
much done in too little time. The injuries are caused      in sick, or staying home with sick children.
by repeated use of the same body parts or repeated         (Similarly, management may “look the other
exposure to toxins; breaks are essential. Even             way” when employees take work home or
sunshine can be “toxic” if people work too long            work overtime “under the table.” This
without shade or water…                                    is completely illegal!)

PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES                                     Some supervisors develop the habit of denying all
Understaffing is almost synonymous with stress.            vacation requests when they don’t have enough
When positions are left vacant, the work falls to the      people to do the work. In fact, this is one of the first
employees who remain. This can lead not only to            indications of an understaffed workplace. You
excessive work hours (although employers often             should know that, while management has the
don’t want to pay for overtime) but to anxiety             authority to approve or disapprove time off, you
caused by the inability to produce quality work            ALSO have the right to use your vacation days! If
without enough time to perform it. Chronic anxiety         you are chronically denied, this is grievable.
makes people sick.
                                                           The outcome of chronic, heightened “stress” in the
The recession has taken a huge toll on employee            workplace is that a certain number of people, will
morale, but most public employees remain devoted           develop real illnesses. Anxiety disorders and
to their jobs: they believe in serving the community,      depression can take on lives of their own and require
and they want to do a good job. Psychologically,           serious psychiatric intervention. Sleeplessness,
however, they might be better off caring less about        migraines, stomach and intestinal problems are all
the job! This is because when conscientious people         potentially traceable to the workplace. They are also
are put in a position where they cannot do a good job      potentially expensive workers compensation claims.
-- where the pressure is continual and they can never

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Aside from such dire consequences, too many            hours, doing the (unpaid) work of a higher job class,
employers tend to ignore the effects that              encouraged to skip lunches or breaks or come to
understaffing may have on staff performance,           work when sick; if you are denied the use of
productivity, and morale. The truth is that few        vacation time, criticized for performance issues that
supervisors are able to recognize these problems       are outside your control, or find yourself working in
until something serious hits them between the eyes.    unsafe conditions, you should feel free to call your
(And even then, they often don’t have the authority    union staff for assistance.
to solve the underlying problem.)
                                                       Today, the conditions which injure people, both
So… this is where your union rep may come in. If       physically and mentally, are more prevalent in
you are in a situation where your rights are being     public agencies than ever before in our lifetime. You
violated, or your health jeopardized, you DO have      have the right to protect yourself no matter what
the right to stop this. If you are working excessive   economic hardships your city may be experiencing.




  What IS Collective Bargaining? Is Your
  “Right to Bargain” Guaranteed by the
              Constitution?
The term "collective bargaining" has been used a lot in the media
lately, as legislators in a dozen states have tried to take rights away from their
public employees. But while “the right to bargain” lies at the heart of what unions do,
most people don’t really know much about how the process works. Here is a very, very
brief summary.

What is "collective bargaining"?
Simply put, "collective bargaining" is the process through which employees band together to form a
union and negotiate a contract with their employer. The contract (usually called a Memorandum of
Understanding in the public sector) lays out the “conditions of employment,” salaries, retirement,
medical benefits, vacation time, work hours, safety conditions, grievance procedures, etc.

Is collective bargaining a "right"?
Sort of. The United States officially recognized employees’ right to unionize and bargain in 1935,
with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act. But the NLRA only applies to private
employees, and some federal workers. Bargaining rights of other public employees remain entirely
dependent on their individual states' laws.

Many states, including Arizona and New Mexico and most of the South, remain “right to work”
states, where no one may be required to join a union, and labor laws are weak. Employees in
California’s cities, counties, and “special districts” gained the right to bargain in 1968, with the
passage of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. The MMBA was – and still is – the weakest labor law in
the state, leaving most of the rules surrounding the bargaining process up to the local city council
or governing boards. In the 1970s, most public agencies in California passed “Employee Relations
Resolutions,” which encompassed those rules for forming unions, negotiating contracts, and
declaring “impasse” if bargaining breaks down.



                                                                                                           3
It has just been ten years, since 2001, that employees “local agencies” in California gained
coverage by the Public Employment Relations Board. PERB hears disputes over bargaining in
public agencies, as well as allegations that the other side “violated the contract.” Before PERB,
city employees had to go to court when they needed to defend their contracts.

Could Public Employees LOSE their Right to Bargain?
                     Yes, the right to negotiate is a product of our state’s legislature. Several states
                     HAVE taken away their public employees’ collective bargaining rights this
                     year. Many observers believed that these actions would be found
                     unconstitutional by the state supreme courts, but this hasn’t happened.

                        It is unlikely that California’s public employees are in serious danger of losing
                       their bargaining rights. We are a predominantly democratic state, with leaders
who generally understand the power relationships in local government – with a very high union
membership. But there are organizations seeking to put the rescission of public sector unions on
the initiative ballot right now. Public employees’ bargaining rights are NOT guaranteed by the
federal government.



       AB 646 WOULD REVOLUTIONIZE BARGAINING IN CITIES,
                COUNTIES & SPECIAL DISTRICTS
AB 646 passed the California Assembly last month 49-27 and is now being reviewed by the
Governor. If signed into law, this law would require compulsory fact-finding, at a Union’s
request before an employer can impose its “last best” bargaining proposal. Specifically, the bill
provides that IF the employer and employee organization at a “local agency” reach impasse, if
they cannot resolve their differences within 30 days, the organization can request that the issues
be submitted to a fact-finding panel. Presumably, the panel would have some authority to make
recommendations to resolve the impasse.

Right now, the state of the law for local government is that either side may declare impasse and
that, after following the agency’s “impasse resolution procedure,” the employer may then impose
its proposed contract. The huge flaw in this system is that many cities and districts either have
no local impasse resolution procedures, or have procedure that are so scant – or so slanted
toward management – that they are meaningless. AB 646 would put some “teeth” into the
bargaining process at the point where it is crucial.

To give you a sense of the significance of this law, the League of California Cities is pressing its
members to actively lobby against it. According to the League’s newsletter, “this bill would
undermine a city's authority to establish local rules for resolving an impasse. It delays the
conclusion of contract negotiations by stalling a local agency’s ability to impose its last, best,
and final offer.”




                                                                                                            4
  DECLINE IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT CITED AS A “DRIVING
     FORCE” IN THE STATE’S RISING POVERTY RATE
California’s poverty rate has risen in the last year, faster than any other state in the country. One of the key
causes, according to economists at the University of the Pacific is budget cuts in the cities and school
districts. Average household income dropped by 5% in 2010, and 16.3% of the state’s population now lives
in poverty. The federal “poverty line,” for a family of four, is $22,314; for a single person, it is $11,139.

In California, the median household income last year was $54,459, down from $57,061 in 2009. California
incomes peaked in 2006 at $59,821. Today they are at the lowest level since 1997. The number of
Californians in poverty rose from 5.6 million to 6.1 million in 2010. This corresponds to the loss of 170,000
jobs, mostly in government jobs and construction.

Based on the University’s projections, California incomes will continue to fall through 2011, but at a rate
which is “not as steep” as 2010. According to the State’s chief economist Howard Roth, “most of the growth
in income has been at the very high end."



                     A Few Facts from the 2010 Census
• About 22% of American children – more than one in five – live in poverty.

• Incomes for African-Americans and Hispanics decreased faster than incomes for
  Whites and Asians in the last decade. The typical African-American household now
  earns 60 cents on the White household’s dollar.

• The number of young adults, aged 25 through 34, living with their parents increased
  by 20%. Today 5.9 million young adults live with parents last year, up from 4.7
  million before the recession.



   Is Sexual Harassment A Thing of the Past?
One of the true success stories in the world of             supervisor to hold an employee’s job or
employee relations has been the near eradication of         promotion, “hostage” to his sexual advances.
sexual harassment in the workplace. This development
didn’t come quickly or easily. Hundreds of lawsuits,        In 2010 fewer sexual harassment charges were
brought by thousands of women, with settlements             filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity
mounting to billions of dollars, lead to legislation        Commission than at any time since 1992, when
which requires employers to take their female               that agency first began tracking those claims.
employees’ harassment complaints seriously. Before          This is a testament to the power of social
then, it was common for managers to proposition their       pressure and effective training. However, sexual
employees, to make lewd jokes, put up demeaning             harassment still persists. Take the example of Dr.
pictures, or even touch them inappropriately. Before        Sagun Tuli, a female neurosurgeon who was awarded
the 1980s it wasn’t particularly unusual for a              $1.6 million by a jury last year, after tolerating years of

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sexual harassment by her department head, and             Dr. Tuli brought her complaint to the hospital's chief
retaliation by her employer, after she reported it.       medical officer. He discouraged her from filing a
                                                          formal grievance. After that, she was brought before
It seems that Dr. Tuli’s department head was an “old      the hospital's credentials committee, based on her
school” doctor, who just didn’t believe a woman could     supervisor’s suggesting that she was mentally
be a surgeon. He took every opportunity to demean         imbalanced. The committee ordered her to go for a
her. At a graduation dinner, he asked her to “get up on   psychiatric evaluation, but instead Tuli went to a
the table to dance so you can show them [the other        lawyer. She filed a sexual harassment suit, including
female residents] how to behave." In front of others he   an injunction which blocked the hospital from
said, "You're just a little girl, you know,” and "Oh,     suspending her position during the litigation.
girls can do spine surgery? Are you strong enough to
use the hand instruments?"                                  After a seven-week trial, a jury ordered the hospital
                                                                to pay Tuli $1 million to compensate for the
When she complained to others that she was                      sexual harassment, and $600,000 for the
being left out of the normal rotation of doctors in             retaliation. She was awarded an additional
her field, he said, "Our relationship is like that of          $20,000 in damages against the department head
lovers and you've cheated on me," with his hand               personally, as well as $1.3 million in attorneys'
on her arm. When she attempted to shake his hand at         fees. That department head will never ask an
the end of the meeting, he gave her a long hug. When      employee to dance on a table again…
she applied for a position in spine oncology research,
her department head told her not to bother, saying that
he had "a guy in mind" for the job.



                             PERS TO INVEST IN
                      PUBLICLY-OWNED INFRASTRUCTURE
Last month CalPERS announced that it has earmarked $800 million for investment in
California’s infrastructure: roads, bridges, power transmission lines, and other public
projects. This money is also intended to create some desperately-needed jobs in the public
sector. The pension fund has stated that it will specifically avoid deals that could transfer
public employees' jobs to the private sector. One of the little-known facts about the
country’s infrastructure is that a lot of it has transferred into private hands. Desperate
state and local governments have raised billions selling or leasing their assets -- their highways,
park facilities, golf courses, parking systems, and others – to corporations. The end result has been
the direct lost of tens of thousands of jobs.

Nor has this “privatization of public assets” necessarily served the public all that well. In Orange
County for example, the state paid $130 million to help a private company build the Route 91 Express
Lanes. The Lanes became controversial because of a "non-compete" clause that prohibited the state
from making improvements on any roads within a mile and a half. This actually mitigated against the
interests of freeway drivers, and against employees who might work on other projects. In the end,
California taxpayers bought the Express Lanes back for $207 million. With this round of investments,
CalPERS’ President, Rob Feckner says there will be strict adherence to projects which give maximum
benefit to the retirees’ investment fund as well as the good of the public: "The last thing anyone wants
is, 'Oh, my retirement fund is doing great, but it just displaced my job.'"



                                                                                                                   6
Courts ‘Lean in the Direction’ of Employee Free Speech
Until very recently, there was a good chance that you could be fired for remarks made about your
job on the Internet. Now, however, several Court decisions are reversing this trend. In one
recent case, a judge ordered a company to re-hire employees who had been fired for comments
made on Facebook. The judge said that the employees' right to gripe about their working
conditions, during non-work hours, was protected by the National Labor Relations Act.

Also this year, a private company, American Medical Response of Connecticut, was ordered to
revise its Internet policy to discontinue patrolling Facebook for employee postings. According
to the NLRB, employees cannot be barred from discussing the terms and conditions of their
employment with co-workers – whether this takes place in the lunchroom or on the Internet.

In another setting, the ACLU of Maryland sued the State’s Public Safety and Correctional Services,
which had required employees to provide their Facebook passwords. The plaintiffs successfully
argued that insisting that employees provide private passwords was tantamount to “listening in on
their personal telephone calls.” The Court agreed: employers have no right to insist that employees
take them in as “friends.”

These and other decisions, all occurring at the same time, point to a definite trend: employers are being
told that what employees say to one another at public media sites is really none of their business.
Unless the employees commit outright slander, they should not expect to be disciplined for “talking”
about their jobs.




                    Who Are Your Staff at the CEA Office?
                 Our Association contracts with CEA for help with our labor relations matters. CEA
                 (City Employees Associates) currently provides staff services to more than 100
                 organizations in six counties. Their clients mostly work at cities and utility districts;
they range in size from three people to nearly 1000. By “staff services,” we mean hands-on help for
union members with work-related problems, as well as formal representation of our entire organization
in bargaining and enforcing a Union Contract.

Although most of CEA’s clients call themselves associations, strictly-speaking, they are the “exclusive
representative” for the members of their bargaining unit. The association is “the union,” with the same
legal rights and obligations as any labor organization. The Association is obligated to represent you,
through the grievance and disciplinary process and, as long as your case has “merit,” to take you all the
way through arbitration or a Personnel Board hearing.
CEA staff also conduct “decertifications” for groups of employees that want to leave their big unions
and form their own independent unions. About half of CEA’s current members used to belong to
international unions.

                                                                                                             7
As public employees in California have come “under siege,” most of the unions have faced crisis-level
problems: “takeaway” bargaining, furloughs, layoffs, contracting out, understaffing, excessive
discipline, and contract violations galore. Responding to the crisis, CEA’s staff has nearly doubled in
three years. Today, there is a nine-person staff to help you: Director, Robin Nahin; attorneys, Jeff Natke
and Michael Koskie, and field reps Brian Niehaus, Mike Gaskins, Jennifer Ortiz, Mary Neeper, and
Henry Soria; and office manager, Pat Marr.
With all this growth, CEA has discovered that many of their clients and staff no longer know one
another! So, last month we profiled the “most senior” (not necessarily the oldest) reps: Robin, Mike,
Michael and Brian. This month, we profile everyone else:

Attorney Jeffrey Natke is originally from Detroit.        about how their quality of life was raised when their
He got his B.A. in History from Alma College and          trades became protected by an MOU.
his law degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Michigan
State University. In law school, Jeff earned              She was born in Los Angeles and still lives there. In
Achievement Awards for both Labor Arbitration and         her “off time,” she enjoys hiking, painting, and
Sports Law, and served as editor of the Michigan          reading fiction. However, she ends up spending
State Law Review. He was an intern with the U.S.          most of her free hours with her nieces and nephews.
Army JAG Corps, and an extern for a Michigan
Supreme Court Justice. Jeff is also our only attorney     Associate Henry Soria has five years’ experience as
who left the “management side of the table,” where        a rep for public employee unions, and ten years as a
he practiced in Las Vegas, to come to the “union          school district employee, where he served as job
side,” which he likes much better.                        steward, President, and Chief Negotiator. Henry has
                                                          conducted “hundreds” of grievances and disciplinary
Jeff says he became a lawyer so he can                    appeals, and he is also a skilled negotiator. Sadly,
make a contribution to peoples’ lives,                    he has become CEA’s expert in “layoff
while pursuing a career that                                   negotiations.”
“constantly presents new
challenges.” He says he gravitated                                  Henry says he graduated from school
toward union representation                                         employee to union rep “as a natural fit for
“because the fight to save the middle                               his passions.” He has always been an
class is more pressing than ever today.”                  activist and “a believer in treating working people
                                                          with dignity and respect.”
Jeff actually ENJOYS contract negotiations. He is         Henry is also fluent in Spanish. He is single and
single and in his off work hours plays his guitar,        lives in La Puente, where he is close to his family
attends concerts, and is an avid fan of Detroit sports    “but owned by two black cocker spaniels: Ricky and
teams. (But he doesn’t have a lot of off hours…)          Lucy.”

Associate Jennifer Ortiz holds a Master's degree          Associate Mary L. Neeper graduated Magna Cum
from Mills College and spent several years working        Laude from the University of LaVerne with a degree
at one of the big public sector unions before she         in Public Administration. She worked for 16 years
came to CEA. She is an expert lobbyist and a              in public agencies in California, including a stint in
coordinator of political action committees. She           Management for San Bernardino County. She also
helps members with grievances and disciplinary            has 15 years’ experience as a Labor Rep on the
appeals, but Jennifer’ special area of expertise is the   “union side of the table.” Mary’s special area of
ADA. She is our resident expert for clients who           expertise is arbitration and Personnel Board
have work problems caused by illness or injury. She       hearings, but she has served as chief negotiator in
is also fully fluent in Spanish.                          dozens of jurisdictions.

Jennifer chose to do union work because her parents       She is engaged to her high school sweetheart and
became union members soon after they fled from El         father of her 27-year old daughter, who is now
Salvador to the U.S. She says they always talked          completing her final year of an internship.
                                                                                                               8
When she isn’t absorbed with work, Mary enjoys            Pat came from a union family. Her first job out of
cooking, sewing, and spending time with                         High School was with the Seafarers
her dog and her family.                                         International Union. She lives in Lakewood
                                                                with her husband of 27 years and has two
Office Manager Pat Marr spent most of                           daughters, both of whom are in college. In her
her professional career as a court reporter                     spare time, Pat likes traveling, sailing, blues
and office manager for non-profit                               concerts, and “time without the phone
businesses. She has been keeping the CEA                        ringing.”
office running smoothly for four years.


       Questions & Answers about Your Job
Each month we receive dozens of questions about your rights on the job.
The following are some GENERAL answers. If you have a work-related
problem, feel free to talk to your Board Rep or Association Staff, at (562) 433-
6983 or cea@cityemployees.net. There is no charge for Association members.

Question: I am appealing a negative                       districts use CalPERS as their employees’ retirement
performance evaluation and just had a meeting             system. By virtue of its very large membership and
with my Department Head. At the meeting, he               their financial resources, CalPERS has been able to
asked me if I had ever stolen anything. This              make a lot of money on its investments. This
question had nothing to do with my performance            enables it to provide a high level of benefits to
evaluation, and I was shocked. I answered                 members at low cost to employers. In the last few
politely that, no, I had never stolen anything. But       years, more and more employers are insisting that
now I want to know what I should do, or should            public employees “pay their own costs” for
have done, about this question.                           retirement benefits.
Answer: You were certainly right to being alarmed         PERS retirement is about 50 years older than PERS
by the question. Although your answer was fine,           Health. The health care program sprung from the
you also had the option of asking your Department         very good reputation, and large client base already
Head why he asked the question -- and whether you         belonging to the retirement plan – but the two
were under suspicion of engaging in theft. You also       programs have no formal connection. The goal of
had the right to tell him, based on that question, that   PERS health was to be such a large “pool” of health
you didn’t want to continue meeting without a             care users that it could negotiate the best care, at the
representative. Remember, anytime you are asked           lowest rates, for public employees in California.
questions that could potentially be used against you
as discipline, you have the right to the representative   Question: I work in a 4-person office. One of my
of your choice.                                           co-workers was laid off a few months ago, and
                                                          another is off on maternity leave. This means
Question: What is the relationship between                that almost every time I ask to use a vacation day,
CalPERS Health & CalPERS Retirement?                      my boss denies it because he doesn’t want my one
                                                          remaining co-worker left in the office alone.
Answer: CalPERS is the third largest purchaser of         However, he lets HER go on vacation, leaving me
health care in the nation, providing benefits to more     alone all the time!
than 1.3 million public employees, retirees, and their
families. The program covers state employees as           I have complained about this and have been told
well as the employees of any other public agency          that I’m the “only person who knows how to run
that wants to contract for this health care plan.         the whole office,” and I’m also the only one who
                                                          speaks Spanish. So this is the City’s excuse for
The CalPERS retirement system also covers all state       not granting my vacation. What can I do about
employees and all the employees of other agencies         this?
that contract with the System. Most cities and utility
                                                                                                                 9
Answer: Your union has negotiated vacation                  Perhaps “the other guy” could be transferred
benefits for you; you have the right to use them! If        elsewhere.
you truly are denied “every time you ask,” you
should call your union rep for assistance. These            Question: In our small office we work hard and
denials are not reasonable.                                 keep the peace amongst ourselves. But what can
                                                            we do about a co-worker who falls asleep and
Question: I have just been told that I am going to          snores so loudly that it is annoying? This
be transferred out of my job because another                happens on a daily basis. We have brought this
employee, who is so overweight that he cannot               to the attention of management but were told that
climb a ladder, can move into it! I have been               they cannot do anything about it. She has been
doing the same job for 23years. I like it and am            with the City for more than 25 years, so if she is
good at it. The job they are transferring me to is          laid off, she would be able to bump one of us.
dirty, boring, and more physically demanding. I             Answer: You haven’t mentioned another obvious
am not as young as I used to be. Don’t I have any           fact: if this happens daily, your co-worker is
rights here?                                                probably sleeping – rather than working – during
Answer: If you are being transferred to a different         work hours. In most agencies, this would be cause
assignment within the same job class, the City              for discipline. The idea that the City “can’t do
probably has the right to do this. However, there           anything” is baffling.
may be rules in your MOU about the amount of                If you have talked to your immediate management
notice they must give you, or an appeals process if         with no positive response, the next step is to talk to
you object. Feel free to call your union rep for help.      someone higher up in the administration or in
It sounds as if this transfer may be the result of an       Human Resources. Tell them the problem is
ADA accommodation for the other employee. If                affecting your work output. You may be helping
YOU have physical limitations, you might talk to            your co-worker out; she may have a medical
your doctor about providing a letter to the City.           problem that needs attention.


    Association Members Eligible for Free Legal Services
As part of our arrangement with our professional staff, members now have access to an
attorney for all types of legal advice. If you are a current Association member, you may call
our Attorney, John Stanton at for assistance in any of the following areas:

        1.      Small Claims Court
        2.      Family Law (divorce, child custody, etc.)
        4.      Estate Planning (Wills and Trusts)
        5.      Taxation problems
        6.      Personal Injury
        7.      Real Property (interests in land)
        8.      Department of Motor Vehicle hearings
        9.      Unemployment Insurance hearings
        10.     Criminal Law

This service does NOT include representation in Court, but does include evaluating your case, and up to two
hours' of assistance in resolving it. There is no limit to the number of cases you may bring forward & all
conversations are confidential. John has advised us that very often, people don't need to retain a lawyer;
they just need simple advice and perhaps, a little help. If you do need formal representation, he will refer you
to a reputable attorney in that field.

              Mr Stanton is available at (714) 974-8941 or stantonlaw@hotmail.com
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