A Small Win Out of Our Post on CalPERS’ Covid Regulation-Breaking and (Yet Again) Fibbing

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We got a gratifying comment on our post CalPERS Staff in Fury Over Covid Negligence, Regulation-Breaking Risking Staff, Seniors, and Day-Care Children; CalPERS Lies About Cases and Lack of Compliance. Even though it may not have changed conduct at CalPERS, it apparently rattled other California state agencies and got them to shape up on Covid case warnings and other employee protections. Even if these better procedures result in only five fewer Covid case, that’s one fewer expected Long Covid case, so the benefits of reducing the number of Covid infections are real.

Thanks to all of you for making sure these warnings were indeed circulated in California!

From reader Taco_Tuesday:

Thank you for reporting on this! Apparently, this piece scared the heck out of other state agencies. My friend, who works at a different state agency, suddenly got all these notices today about tracing. They said this is the first time the department has reacted this way. I told them about this piece, and they responded, “no wonder.”

I’m not surprised that CalPERS is treating its employees this way. Black mold was discovered in the north building a few years ago. OSHA even investigated because so many employees filed anonymous complaints. CalPERS never took the employee complaints seriously. Employees became ill, some seriously ill, but the agency treated them as whiners.

Funny thing is the black mold was discovered in the compliance office! True story. I’m sure you could still find the reports, if CalPERS retained them. There was a lot of commotion about this situation, but the department quickly swept it under the rug.

CalPERS used to be an employer of choice, but overtime its vanity and extreme focus on looking good, versus excellent performance, backfired. We’ve seen very capable internals get passed over for promotions, even after serving many months, sometimes more than a year, in interim roles. Others are placed in interim roles and promoted for the wrong reasons. We all know who they are because they talk a lot, love networking too, but have no track record to back them up. Unfortunately, due to the high compensation associated with these roles, these highly paid non-performers will hold on for dear life, to the detriment of the organization.

I hope you continue to report on this because making employees go back to the office “for culture” is just stupid. CalPERS needs to put its energy in the things that really matter, such as our members, and not worry that an employee is working from home in their gym clothes or eating a sandwich when they are not on break.

Imagine if they rented out that gorgeous building space and invested that money into our members instead of spending time fighting with employees and unions about something as petty as needing an employee to be at their desk.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    This is the sort of thing that you associate with CalPERS – black mold. I had better clarify that. Not the black mold itslef but what they decided to do about it – as in cover it up. So at one point in the past, somebody would have gone to Marcie and said

    ‘Look, we have serious problem developing with black mold.’
    ‘Where then?’
    ‘Down in the compliance office!’
    ‘Soooo, not on this floor then.’
    ‘Look, we gotta do something before it gets out of control.’
    ‘What are out options?’
    ‘Call in professionals, close that office until it has been thoroughly treated and follow up on the health of all those working there.’
    ‘But that will cost money and we might get embarrassed about having this problem.’
    ‘If we don’t, people will fall sick and CaLPERS can find itself on the middle of costly lawsuits from those employees.’
    ‘OK then. Leave it with me. I know exactly what to do.

    So that story got covered up. Until now. Having been revealed it will spread both near and far. Coming to a quick Google search near you.

    1. The Vole

      ‘Look, we have serious problem developing with black mold.’
      ‘You mean we’re falling short of Private Equities Black Mold Performance?’

  2. Jeff

    It’s amazing to me that teachers cops and others who rely on this pension aren’t apoplectic about all of their garbage.

    Are they completely ignorant? It’s clear their unions either don’t care, are in on it or are incompetent.

  3. flora

    Keep swinging, Yves. (This is a baseball reference.)

    Thanks for your continued reporting on CalPERS and pensions.

  4. lambert strether

    > black mold

    Sounds like CalPERS HQ is a sick building. I wonder what else is wrong?

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