This post was co-authored by Melanie Chaney
Since the California Supreme Court issued its ruling at the end of last month upholding the 2011 statute (AB 1X 26) that eliminated redevelopment agencies (RDAs) throughout the State as of February 1, 2012, we have received many questions about the impact this law will have on public agencies. One hot topic is how public agencies, who are already facing financial difficulties, should deal with potential layoffs resulting from the elimination of RDAs.
While AB 1X 26 is quite lengthy, there is very little in it that addresses what an agency should do with RDA employees. The law only eliminates RDAs; it does not serve to separate RDA employees automatically. In today's tough economic times, many agencies cannot afford to keep all, or even some, of the RDA employees and must now consider layoffs. Below is a general overview for handling the layoff process.
If layoffs are being considered, agencies need to review and comply with any procedures relating to layoffs contained in memoranda of understanding (MOUs), personnel rules and other policies. This includes compliance with any timelines associated with the layoff process. Agencies should pay specific attention to:
In addition, an agency that does not already have a comprehensive layoff provision in its MOU may have to meet and confer with employee organizations regarding the impacts of any layoffs. Agencies should also think about how news about the layoffs should be communicated to employees.
Absent specificity in an agency's layoff policy, we recommend the following process for initiating layoffs.
There are many more issues raised by the law that are too complicated to address here. For example, in many agencies, RDA employees were considered city or county employees, so there may be obligations on the city or county regardless of whether it chooses to become a successor agency to the RDA. LCW plans to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the effects of AB 1X 26 in a separate article. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact our Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, or San Diego office.
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