SANTA CLARA, Calif. (CN) – Court operations in Santa Clara ground to a halt on Thursday, after court employees called in sick en masse.
A Courthouse News reporter who arrived at the court around 3pm described the scene as “dead.” A sheriff’s deputy said the public records viewing room was closed and that “things were limited today.”
The doors to the viewing room were taped shut, barring public access to case files all day. A posted sign said, “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The lone supervisor behind the window said employees from the probate, records and calendaring offices had not shown up for work. It is still unknown how long the sick-out will last.
The sick-out appears to be an escalation of mounting tension among court workers. When the court announced in September it would be closing off access to the public early, at 3 p.m., an employee told a reporter that it was the first she had heard of it. Other court employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the announced service cuts in the weeks following.
On Oct. 23, employees showed up to court wearing purple, the color of the Service Employees International Union. Roughly a dozen court workers used their lunch hour to picket outside the courthouse, chanting “No More Cuts” and carrying signs emblazoned with that slogan.
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