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This post was authored by Sarah R. Lustig. A recent case is a good reminder to employers that scent and chemical sensitivities can indeed be considered a disability subject to the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  John Barrie (Barrie) suffers from allergic sensitivities and reactions to multiple chemicals.  He informed his supervisor of his disability when he was hired by the California Department…
This Special Bulletin was authored by J. Scott Tiedemann & Lars T. Reed Over the past three months, since California Senate Bill 1421 went into effect on January 1, 2019, numerous public agencies across California have been involved in litigation over whether the new law applies to records created before 2019. After conflicting decisions from various superior courts, some of which we discussed in a previous blog post, the California Court of Appeal has…
This Special Bulletin was authored by David Urban. On March 21, 2019, the White House issued an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to withhold certain types of funds from higher education institutions that fail to comply with the First Amendment or federal laws, regulations, or policies on free inquiry.  The Executive Order does not change existing free speech law on campus.  It requires colleges and universities to comply with existing laws and policies, and…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Tony G. Carvalho. On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if implemented, will affect the minimum wage and overtime-exempt status of many employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed changes concern the “salary basis test” applicable to the “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The changes will also alter the test for “highly…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Frances Rogers & Amit Katzir. The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, a case addressing whether the Legislature’s elimination of “air time” as an optional benefit for members of CalPERS unconstitutionally impaired a vested contractual right.  Holding that the air time benefit was not entitled to constitutional protection, the Court took a pass on reviewing a much bigger question:  Whether…
This post was authored by Geoffrey S. Sheldon & Lars T. Reed. Immediately after California Senate Bill 1421 went into effect on January 1, 2019, public agencies across California began receiving requests for public records relating to certain high-profile categories of peace officer misconduct. As we described in a previous Special Bulletin, SB 1421 does not explicitly state whether it applies to records created before the new law’s effective date. Several police labor…
This post was authored by Carla McCormack. In December 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) removed Final Rules that permitted employers to offer incentives to encourage the disclosure of health information in connection with an employer wellness program.  This change is effective January 1, 2019. An employer wellness program, generally offered through an employer-provided health plan, is intended to help employees improve their health and also to reduce healthcare costs for the employer. …
This post was authored by Jennifer Rosner. In the employment context, the statutory schemes that require reasonable accommodation for disabilities are the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA defines a “service animal” as any dog (or in some cases, miniature horses) that are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric…
This post was authored by J. Scott TiedemannLars T. Reed. On January 1, 2019, California Senate Bill 1421 went into effect. The new law allows members of the public to obtain certain peace officer personnel records that were previously available only through the Pitchess procedure by making a request under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). We described this legislation in detail in a previous Special Bulletin. In short, SB 1421…