1. July 14, 2016

    School Districts and Colleges Can Regulate Possession of Weapons on Campus

    BY: Daphne B. Hall, Alan Atlas, Cathie Fields, Goergelle Cuevas

    California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act (Penal Code section 626.9) makes possessing a firearm in a school zone punishable as a crime.  Criminal liability attaches unless the individual (1) has obtained the permission of the school district superintendent or equivalent school authority to carry a firearm or (2) falls within the exemptions under the statute. The […] more

  2. June 14, 2016

    Newly-Unveiled Office for Civil Rights Data Shows Persistent Gaps in Educational Equity

    BY: Peter Denno, Todd Goluba

    On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) provided the public with a “First Look” at the data gathered during its biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2013-2014 school year. In its accompanying press release, OCR highlighted data points that reveal persistent disparities in educational equity and […] more

  3. May 31, 2016

    Workplace Disability Issues: California Employers Must Accommodate Employees’ Association with Disabled Individuals

    BY: Jacquelyn Takeda, Cathie Fields

    On April 6, 2016, a California Court of Appeal determined that under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) an employer has an obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s association with a disabled individual. (Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc. (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 180.)  To date, no other court has decided that […] more

  4. May 27, 2016

    Temporary Restraining Order Issued On State Allocation Board Finding That No State Funds Are Available For New Construction Projects For Level III Developer Fees

    BY: Martin A. Hom, Terry Tao, Andreas Chialtas, Constance Schwindt, Lisa Allred, Lindsay Thorson

    At the May 25, 2016, State Allocation Board meeting, the State Allocation Board authorized, for the first time ever, the imposition of Level III Developer Fees.  Developer Fees or school impact fees are paid by property owners and developers to mitigate the impacts of new construction on the school district’s facilities.  There are three levels […] more

  5. May 23, 2016

    Is the Perceived Political Speech of Employees Constitutionally Protected?

    BY: Michele Landenberger, Cathie Fields

    On April 26, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14–1280, finding that a police officer who was demoted after being seen talking to a mayoral candidate’s campaign team can assert a claim that he was deprived of his constitutionally protected rights under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, […] more

  6. May 19, 2016

    U.S. Department of Labor Is Increasing the Salary Threshold for Overtime Exemptions

    BY: Sharon Ormond, Todd M. Robbins, Chesley Quaide

    California’s public educational entities need to be aware of changes to federal law that will become effective on December 1, 2016.  The U.S. Department of Labor will be publishing its official Final Rule on May 23, 2016, updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions from overtime and […] more

  7. May 9, 2016

    New and Improved! More Complaints Fall under Uniform Complaint Procedures

    BY: Cathie Fields, Davina F. Harden, Bryan Martin, Jacquelyn Takeda

    Under Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 4600-4687, local educational agencies such as school districts must adopt procedures for resolving certain types of complaints, including allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and noncompliance with certain federal and state program requirements. These policies are known as “Uniform Complaint Procedures” (UCP), as their […] more

  8. April 15, 2016

    Teacher Permanency, Termination, and Layoff Statutes Remain Intact After the Court of Appeal Rejects the Trial Judge’s Decision in Vergara v. State of California

    BY: Mark Bresee, Amy Estrada, Alyssa Ruiz de Esparza

    A decision was issued late yesterday by the Court of Appeal in a case that continues to highlight the political debate about the Education Code’s substantial protections for public school teachers.  Our firm reviewed the trial court’s decision in an Alert, saying the decision in favor of the plaintiffs was likely the first battle in […] more

  9. April 12, 2016

    Workplace Disability Issues: Are Alcoholism and Illegal Drug Use Protected Disabilities?

    BY: Jacquelyn Takeda, Cathie Fields

    Drug users and alcoholics are treated differently under employment disability laws. Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), alcoholism is recognized as a disability. Thus, individuals suffering from alcoholism are entitled to the same protections under the ADA as someone with another qualifying physical or mental disability. On the other hand, the ADA specifically excludes […] more

  10. March 29, 2016

    Agency Fees Remain Valid after Supreme Court Splits 4-4 on Friedrichs

    BY: Paul McGlocklin, Tony De Marco

    While some predicted agency fees would be invalidated through this highly publicized lawsuit, the Supreme Court’s 4-4 split decision today in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association means California’s mandatory agency fees laws withstand the most recent challenge. As we commented last October, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge from 10 California teachers alleging […] more