1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. March 25, 2016

    New FEHA Regulations Require Updated Workplace Poster as of April 1

    BY: Cathie Fields, Elizabeth Lind, Aaron O'Donnell, Todd M. Robbins

    The typical workplace bulletin board is densely packed with legally required posters and employee notifications. As laws change, the posters must be updated to reflect the changes. For example, the minimum wage in California increased to $10 an hour on January 1, 2016; the required poster specifying the minimum wage should reflect that most recent […] more

  5. March 7, 2016

    Mass Emailing Can Expose Employers to Defamation Liability

    BY: Alyssa Ruiz de Esparza, Cathie Fields

    On February 11, 2016, a federal district court in New York allowed a former executive to proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the company that terminated him. (McCusker v. Hibu PLC (E.D.N.Y. 2/11/16) 2016 WL 538472.) This lawsuit was spurred by the company’s circulation of a mass email informing all current employees, beyond senior management, […] more

  6. February 18, 2016

    Update on Department of Justice Website Accessibility Regulations

    BY: Cathie Fields

    On August 25, 2015, we discussed the U.S. Department of Justice’s expectation for making websites accessible to disabled individuals, even in advance of the DOJ issuing any accessibility regulations. (See “Department of Justice Accelerates Expectations for Website Accessibility”) Late last year the DOJ released its Fall Statement of Regulatory Priorities. The statement announced the DOJ […] more

  7. February 1, 2016

    Immediate Action May Be Required: Is Your Roster Of Public Agencies Statement Of Facts Up To Date?

    BY: Warren Kinsler, Cathie Fields, Lisa Allred

    California Government Code section 53051 requires the Secretary of State to maintain an indexed “Roster of Public Agencies” including the full legal name and mailing address of every public agency in the state and the name and address of each member of the agency’s governing body. Likewise, section 53051 requires each public agency to file […] more

  8. January 25, 2016

    Technical Difficulties with an Online Meeting Agenda Does Not Always Constitute a Brown Act Violation if the Meeting Proceeds

    BY: Scott Danforth, Jessica Armijo, Mark Bresee

    On January 19, 2016, the California Attorney General issued Opinion No. 14-1203, which concluded the Brown Act’s online agenda-posting requirement for regular meetings is not necessarily violated if the local agency’s website experiences technical difficulties (e.g., power failure, cyber-attack, or other third-party interference) that cause the agenda to become inaccessible to the public for a […] more

  9. January 7, 2016

    Workplace Disability Issues: Allowing an Employee to Work a Shorter Shift May Be a Reasonable Accommodation

    BY: Jacquelyn Takeda, Cathie Fields

    Whether the ability to work a certain number of hours in a shift is an “essential function” of a position is a factual determination that must be made on a case-by-case basis. In a recent decision, a federal district court found an employee with a disability presented sufficient evidence to create a question for a […] more

  10. January 5, 2016

    New Data Breach Notification Requirements Now in Effect

    BY: Sharon Ormond, Tina Kannarr, Lexe Davidson

    Materials distributed during our Education Law Technology Symposium in September 2015 included pending federal and state bills, the passage of which would affect colleges and universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts in California. Governor Brown signed into law two bills mentioned in those materials, Senate Bill 570 and Assembly Bill 964, which relate to […] more