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Court Sides With MD County On Furloughs

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A federal appeals court has reversed a judge's ruling that a Maryland county's furlough of 5,900 workers was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. ruled last August that Prince George's County violated a provision that bars states from passing laws that impair contractual obligations. He wrote that the two-week furloughs improperly reduced wages guaranteed under collective bargaining agreements.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the court said nothing in the union contracts prohibited furloughs that were authorized by the county's personnel law.

The two-week furloughs in 2008 were part of a plan to offset a $57 million revenue shortfall.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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