California Government Code

Sec. § 71627


Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

(a)

As provided in Section 71612, the implementation of this chapter shall not be a cause for the modification of the level of federally regulated benefits provided to a trial court employee. The level of federally regulated benefits provided to a trial court employee as of the implementation date of this chapter shall remain in effect unless modified pursuant to subdivision (b). If the same federally regulated benefits are not permitted by law or by the vendor, the same level of federally regulated benefits shall be provided by the trial court subject to the provisions of subdivision (b).

(b)

(1)For employees who are represented by a recognized employee organization, (A) the level of federally regulated benefits accruing to a trial court employee pursuant to the terms of a memorandum of understanding or agreement is subject to modification only pursuant to the terms of that memorandum of understanding or agreement, and upon expiration of that memorandum of understanding or agreement, those federally regulated benefits may not be modified except pursuant to a subsequent memorandum of understanding or agreement; and (B) the level of federally regulated benefits accruing to a trial court employee pursuant only to personnel, policies, procedures, and plans may be modified by the trial court, subject to meet and confer in good faith.

(2)

For employees who are not represented by a recognized employee organization, the level of federally regulated benefits may be revised by the trial court.

(c)

If the county administers federally regulated benefits to trial court employees, or if the trial court contracts with the county to administer federally regulated benefits to trial court employees, a trial court employee shall be eligible to participate in federally regulated benefits subject to federally regulated benefit regulations, policies, terms, and conditions, and subject to both of the following requirements:

(1)

A trial court employee shall have the right to receive the same level of federally regulated benefits as county employees in similar classifications, as designated by the trial court subject to the obligation to meet and confer in good faith, without the opportunity to meet and confer with the county as to those benefits.

(2)

The level of federally regulated benefits accruing to a trial court is subject to modification by the county if the county changes the level of federally regulated benefits of county employees in classifications that have been designated as similar classifications pursuant to paragraph (1).

(d)

For purposes of this section, “federally regulated benefits” means benefits that provide tax-favored treatment for employees pursuant to federal laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, cafeteria plans under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, educational assistance benefits under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code, and fringe benefits under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code, but not including federally-regulated deferred compensation plan benefits provided to trial court employees pursuant to Section 71628.

(e)

As of the implementation date of this chapter:

(1)

If the trial court administers federally regulated benefits for trial court employees separately from the county, the trial court shall administer these benefits as provided under existing personnel policies, procedures, plans, or a memorandum of understanding or agreement applicable to trial court employees.

(2)

If the county administers federally regulated benefits for trial court employees, or if the trial court contracts with the county to administer federally regulated benefits, the following provisions govern the transition of responsibility for administering these benefits to the trial court:

(A)

Until the effective date of the transition of responsibility, the county shall continue to administer represented trial court employees’ federally regulated benefits as provided in the memorandum of understanding or agreement and unrepresented trial court employees’ federally regulated benefits as provided in personnel policies, procedures, and plans.

(B)

During the period of time between the implementation date of this chapter and the effective date of the transition of responsibility, both the trial court and the county shall cosponsor the federally regulated benefit plan. Cosponsorship shall continue as long as trial court employees are governed by a plan not offered by the trial court, but in no event longer than 18 months after the implementation date of this chapter, or the term of the memorandum of understanding or agreement applicable to trial court employees, whichever is longer, unless the trial court and the county agree to continued cosponsorship.

(C)

If during the cosponsorship period the trial court decides to offer particular benefits that are different from what the county is administering, then the trial court shall be responsible for administering those particular benefits unless the trial court and county agree otherwise.

(D)

The effective date of the transition of responsibility shall coincide with the first day of the applicable federally regulated benefits plan year to ensure that there is no financial impact on the employee or on either employer.

(f)

To facilitate trial court employee participation in county federally regulated benefits plans, the trial court and county may mutually agree that the county shall administer the payroll for trial court employees.

(g)

The trial court shall reimburse the county for the cost of any coverage of trial court employees in county federally regulated benefit plans.

(h)

A county shall have authority to cosponsor federally regulated benefits with a trial court to provide those benefits to trial court employees if those benefits are requested by the trial court subject to county agreement to cosponsor those benefits. A county’s agreement to cosponsor those benefits shall not be construed as creating a meet and confer obligation between the county and any recognized trial court employee organization.

(i)

Nothing in this section shall prevent a trial court from offering to trial court employees a future option of participating in other federally regulated benefit plans that may be developed subject to the obligation to meet and confer in good faith.
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Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016