An Orange County, Ca., judge ordered Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies back to work after officials closed five courthouses and sent 7,000 jurors home because hundreds of deputies called in sick, says the Los Angeles Times.
Union officials said they did not organize wildcat walkouts over the last two weeks. They attributed them to a growing frustration among deputies over stalled labor negotiations.
Yesterday, 340 of the 1,275 deputies assigned to provide security at the county’s courthouses called in sick. An Orange County judge was assigned the case after an attorney for the deputies’ union argued that Los Angeles judges should be disqualified because the closure of the courthouse “well might irritate, anger or frustrate” them.
Sheriff’s deputies have been without a contract since January and county officials say they do not have the money to give pay raises. Deputies earn $62,000 to $70,000 annually. The county says that the job slowdown could result in the release of suspects who should be kept in custody, and the detention of others who should be released.