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This post was authored by Jennifer Rosner In a recent decision by a California Court of Appeal, a Court held that it was not unreasonable for the City of Los Angeles to assign temporarily injured recruit officers to light-duty administrative assignments in light of the City’s past policy and practice of doing so. Plaintiffs were recruit police officers and entered the Police Academy shortly after they were hired.  During the Academy training, each of the…
This post was authored by Michael Youril. Leaves of absences are one of the most complex and frustrating areas of personnel management that public agency employers face.  There are several complex, overlapping, and intersecting laws to apply and navigate.  In many situations, it is difficult for the agency to determine its rights and obligations. Employers must determine if a leave is protected under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the California Family Rights…
This post was authored by Heather Coffman We’ve all heard the saying, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.”  In the context of retirement benefits for PERS members, the saying is slightly modified: “If an employee’s salary isn’t set forth on a properly adopted salary schedule, that individual’s retirement benefits may not pay out as expected.”  While a mouthful, the message is an important one: employees’ salaries must be part of a publicly available,…
This blog post was authored by Erin Kunze As the summer season winds down, so do public agency departments that hire seasonal workers to staff summer camps, pools, extended park and recreation hours, and a myriad of season-specific facilities and activities. But, just how do seasonal workers impact the agency’s health and retirement benefit obligations? The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), Seasonal Worker Exception The number of seasonal workers you hire may impact whether your agency…
This post was authored by Erin Kunze In the past few years, the courts have made it more difficult to establish a vested right to retiree medical benefits. We now have a decision that greatly reduces employee / retiree defenses that a change in benefits is unconstitutional.  The First District Court of Appeal last week upheld the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association’s (“MCERA”) decision to prospectively limit the forms of pay and benefits included in…
This blog post was authored by Danny Y. Yoo. CalPERS issued a Circular Letter on July 12, 2016, which provided information on its compliance review process and its most common findings, including employing retired annuitants.  In our practice, we have also observed some confusion surrounding the specifics on how to hire a retired annuitant.  Let’s take a look at the restrictions on hiring retired annuitants, and more importantly, the exceptions to those restrictions. First…
This blog post was authored by Liara A. Silva. On February 16, 2016, Assembly Member Cooper introduced Assembly Bill 2028.  If passed, the bill will allow reinstated CalPERS school and local agency members to receive service credit and compensation earnable as though they were never terminated. The current version of the bill addresses a gap in existing law.  Existing law allows state employees that have been subject to an involuntary termination that has been…
This blog post was authored by Oliver Yee. The use of independent contractors in the public sector is becoming more and more common. With rising pension costs coupled with budget cuts, utilizing an independent contractor in lieu of an employee to provide services may be considered a cost-effective approach.  These independent contractors can take the form of a “temp worker” or a specialized professional.  But, just because the agency and the independent contractor (or…
This blog post was authored by Shardé C. Thomas. 1. Whether you should be paying the PCORI fee on your self-insured arrangement. Sponsors of self-insured health plans must pay a fee to help fund the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The PCORI fee is equal to the average number of “lives covered” during the plan year multiplied by an applicable dollar amount. The annual fee applies to self-insured plans with plan years ending…
This blog post was authored by Michael Youril.  The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) has significantly increased the number of contracting agency audits to ensure that agencies’ practices are consistent with CalPERS’ interpretation of governing law.  At the same time, CalPERS has increased its vigilance in reviewing compensation reported for recent retirees.  Increasingly, CalPERS has contacted agencies regarding compliance with applicable CalPERS statutes and regulations either after an audit or when reviewing individual…