1. 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

  2. April 14, 2014

    Retroactive Pay Adjustments Require Declaration of “Indefinite” Compensation

    BY: Tony De Marco, Cathie Fields

    Article 11, Section 10 of the California Constitution prohibits public agencies from granting extra compensation to officers or employees after service has been rendered.  Employee salaries subject to collective bargaining are often not determined until later into the fiscal year. When an increase in employee salaries is negotiated during the school year, retroactive pay at […] more

  3. April 10, 2014

    Planning for Students’ Post-Secondary Life: The Importance of an Individual Transition Plan for Special Education Students

    BY: Adam Newman, Brianna Hill

    In recent years we’ve been asked what aspects of LEA programming are administrative and court litigation targets.  The four top areas remain (1) preschool-early primary grade autism programs, (2) elementary and middle school reading programs, (3) post-AB 3632 school based mental health programs and (4) ages 16-22 transition programs. Transition programs are addressed in that […] more

  4. August 20, 2012

    The LEA’s Rights and the Student’s Obligations Regarding Service Animals

    BY: Adam Newman

    When the topic of service animals arises we generally think of the rights of the individual with a disability. It’s widely known that Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) establishes the right for persons with disabilities to utilize service animals. Title II requires public entities, including schools, to permit use of a dog […] more

  5. August 6, 2012

    Denying a Request for an IEE Without Filing for Due Process

    BY: Adam Newman

    Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”), Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations (“C.F.R.”) Section 300.502(b)(5), a student is entitled to an independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) at public expense when the public agency has conducted an evaluation with which the parent disagrees. The IDEA identifies two choices for a local education agency […] more

  6. August 1, 2012

    The Brown Act and State Funding: “To Post, or Not to Post? That is the Question…”

    BY: Chesley Quaide

    On June 27, 2012, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1464, the Budget Act of 2012 (“Budget Act”), and the Education Finance Budget Trailer Bill, Senate Bill 1016 (“Trailer Bill”). The Budget Act included a suspension of mandates concerning a body of law that is near and dear to the heart of public agencies, the Brown […] more

  7. July 9, 2012

    Pending Legislation Could Limit Access to Individuals’ Social Media Accounts by Employers, Colleges, and Universities

    BY: Chesley Quaide, Elizabeth Hearey

    As an investigative device, some employers, colleges, and universities have been asking employees, applicants for employment, and students for passwords to their social media accounts. Others have asked employees to sit down with managers to review their social media content or fully print out their social media pages. The practice remains a hot topic in […] more

  8. July 3, 2012

    Certificated Employee is Entitled to Attorney Fees in Dismissal Process if Accusation is Withdrawn Following Initial Decision to Proceed to Hearing

    BY: Paul McGlocklin, Mark Bresee

    In another blow to California school employers, a Court of Appeal has ruled that in a certificated dismissal or suspension proceeding, the employee is entitled to an award of expenses and attorney’s fees if the district withdraws its accusation against the employee after deciding to proceed to hearing, but before the hearing starts. The ruling […] more

  9. June 29, 2012

    US Supreme Court Requires Unions to Receive Consent from Non-Members for Special Fee Assessments and to Provide Extra ‘Hudson Notice’ for Special Fees

    BY: Jabari Willis, Mark Bresee

    In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 the United States Supreme Court held that California unions must receive “opt-in” consent of non-members before charging special fees for political purposes expenses, instead of the regular “opt out” practice. The Supreme Court also held that unions must provide an additional “Hudson notice” (a notice to […] more

  10. June 27, 2012

    The Legal Parameters of College and University Free Speech Policies

    BY: Aaron O'Donnell, Sharon Ormond

    Public colleges and universities across the country are frequently faced with issues involving free speech activities on their campuses. Some campuses permit students and non-students to engage in free speech activities (such as gathering signatures on petitions or speaking with students about religious, political or social issues of interest) anywhere on campus without restriction. More […] more