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Court rules in favor of workers in pension employment dispute

Those who work for the public sector often do so based on the benefits that typically come with the position. Unfortunately, due to cost-saving efforts, many cities and towns have looked for ways to ensure that pensions and other retirement accounts can be funded through measures that reduce benefits. There have been many California workers over the years who have been caught up in an employment dispute related to reductions in these types of benefits.

Recently, a circuit court judge ruled that changes that one city made to its pension laws were unconstitutional. This decision was based on both the state's constitution regarding pensions benefits as well as a previous state Supreme Court decision that denied any changes in state laws that would reduce such benefits. This decision was issued regarding a lawsuit that was filed over a 2014 law that revised certain provisions for retirement benefits for park employees.

The 2014 law that was overturned raised the retirement age, which reduced benefits to both retirees and those who were eligible for disability payments. The judge further ordered that restitution be paid to those affected workers and that contribution levels be returned to the previous 9 percent. The fund was granted 60 days to present its calculations for the amounts that will need to be refunded to the Service Employees International Union Local 73, which sued on behalf of its members.

The Chicago Parks department claims that the pension fund is reportedly only funded at an estimated 39 percent. It is unclear how the city will attempt to resolve the problem without infringing on the rights of current or future workers. California workers who find themselves in an employment dispute over pensions accounts or other serious issues may seek to resolve the matter by enlisting the guidance of an employment law attorney who can help obtain the most suitable resolutions.

Source: ai-cio.com, "Chicago Pension Law Struck Down by Court", April 9, 2018

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