On May 2nd, 2022

CSLEA Meets with CDI to Revisit In-Office Work Policy

UPDATE:  At the request of California Department of Insurance (CDI) management, on April 29, 2022, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) representatives met with CDI to revisit the decision to require Fraud Division detectives to return to 100% in-office work excluding field activity. 

Representing Unit 7 employees were CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, Senior Legal Counsel Jim Vitko, California Association of Criminal Investigators (CACI) Director James Potts and CSLEA Site Representative Devon Brown.  CDI was represented by managers from the Enforcement Branch and Labor Relations. 

During the meeting, CDI committed to one (1) day of remote work each week for detectives who opt to do so.  For those who are working a 4/10 scheduled, this option will limit the employee's commute time to a maximum of three (3) days per week.  CDI management did express concerns that the option could adversely impact the willingness of some FTO's to continue to serve due to the inability to perform most training remotely.  CSLEA is hopeful that based on the differential that detectives receive for serving as a FTO and that those who serve do so because they realize the importance of the work,  that CDI will continue to have the best trainers serve as FTOs. 

The department will be making further modifications to reflect to the hybrid work schedule in its office resumption policy which is anticipated to be furnished to CSLEA in approximately thirty (30) days.  CSLEA requested that employees be given the option for the hybrid schedule pending the revision but CDI management was unwilling to do so absent policy.  CDI also emphasized that its telework policy which is required by State policy is in the process of being drafted which could provide additional opportunities for remote work where operationally feasible.  

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

ON MARCH 21ST, 2022

CSLEA Meets with California Department of Insurance over Return to Work Policy100% In-Office Requirement Inconsistent with Administration Policy Favoring Remote Work

SACRMENTO- On Thursday, March 17, 2022, CSLEA participated in a video conference with representatives of the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding the impact of its return to the workplace policy. Attending on behalf of CSLEA were CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, CSLEA Sr. Legal Counsel Jim Vitko, California Association of Criminal investigators Director James Potts and CSLEA Site Representative Devon Brown.  Attending on behalf of CDI were Chief George Mueller, Division Chiefs Lewis Deslauriers and Eric Charlick, and Labor Relations Officers Jill Elwood and Ray Asbell.

CSLEA argued that CDI was being shortsighted in its approach given the new post-pandemic status quo and the policy's inconsistency with the Governor's mandate to continue to utilize remote work when possible. In a climate where it is already difficult to hire peace officers, CDI will likely be unable to compete with the Department of Justice due to the disparity in pay, and to other agencies which pay the same but are placing greater emphasis on work/life balance in offering remote work.  CSLEA acknowledged that there are good reasons for requiring some office presence, i.e. training, collaboration, etc. but suggested that CDI first attempt to utilize a hybrid schedule with some percentage of work being performed remotely and some in office.

As it stands, CDI intends to implement the policy effective April 4, 2022.  CDI did indicate that it would be releasing its revised telework policy soon and that it could trigger an additional opportunity for employees to explore remote work.  If it does not, perhaps as a result of exit interviews indicating that detectives are leaving for other agencies offering remote work, CDI will alter its approach in the future.  Clark stated "CDI cannot go back to the way things were pre-COVID.  Over the past two years, employees have made adjustments in their personal lives which are not going to be undone.  There is now a new post-pandemic status quo which all employers must accommodate. Otherwise, you cannot remain competitive in a highly competitive job market."

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