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Calif. Minimum Wage Dispute Headed Back To Court

Audio

Aired 7/8/10

The dispute over minimum wage paychecks for state workers is headed to court again. The Schwarzenegger administration is suing the State Controller, again, over the issue of minimum wage paychecks for state workers

— The dispute over minimum wage paychecks for state workers is headed to court again. The Schwarzenegger administration is suing the State Controller, again, over the issue of minimum wage paychecks for state workers.

The Schwarzenegger Administration is asking a Sacramento Superior Court to force state Controller John Chiang to reduce state workers’ paychecks. The Governor has ordered Chiang to cut the checks of roughly 200,000 workers to the federal minimum wage of 7.25 an hour.

The Governor says without a budget in place, that’s all the state is authorized to pay. However, Chiang has refused. Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear says they’re asking the court to step in.

“The Controller continues to defy existing state law and court decisions on the minimum wage issue. Although he keeps losing in court, he keeps saying that he will not follow the law – and defy those court orders, and so we’ve been forced to file a suit to get the judge to order him to follow the law,” says McLear.

Chiang says the move would violate federal law, and the state’s outdated payroll system can’t handle the change. Schwarzenegger ordered Chiang to do the same thing in 2008 during a budget impasse, and the Controller also refused then.

Both the trial and appeals courts sided with the Governor, but the Controller has said he’ll continue to fight the issue.

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