California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Useful information for navigating legal challenges

Registration is now open for the Annual Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Public Sector Employment Law Conference, which takes in Palm Desert on Thursday & Friday, January 24-25, with an optional pre-conference session on Wednesday, January 23.  The conference is geared towards Public Agency Management and includes a variety of informative and engaging presentations that offer practical lessons for success in the workplace. The conference is designed to help participants learn and apply best practices within Retirement, Health…
This post was authored by Geoffrey S. Sheldon & Andrew Pramschufer EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been revised from its original version that was published on October 1, 2018. The original version noted, among other things, that SB1300 amended the Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) to extend personal liability to an employee alleged to have engaged in unlawful retaliation in the workplace. While there was bill language in SB1300 to amend FEHA to extend personal…
This post was authored by Melanie L. Chaney. Under Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the employer has an affirmative obligation to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  In order to comply with this obligation, employers must investigate all complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  If an employer receives a complaint, failing to investigate at all or failing to conduct an appropriate workplace investigation could…
This post was authored by Heather R. Coffman. A concept known as “lost time” in some negotiated Memoranda of Understanding is now State law. Effective January 1, 2019, public employers may be required to grant paid leaves of absence to employees so they can serve in leadership positions in their unions, if requested by the exclusive representative.  The new law is codified as section 3558.8 of the California Government Code. As detailed below, the law…
This post was authored by Paul D. Knothe. On September 30, 2018, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed two significant pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748, that will require major changes in how law enforcement agencies respond to requests for peace officer personnel records. We described this legislation in detail in a previous Special Bulletin. In short, these two statutes will allow members of the public to obtain certain peace…
This post was authored by Erin Kunze. Earlier this year, members of the State Senate and Assembly introduced bills that would expand protections provided by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In its current iteration, proposed Senate Bill 1300 would alter the standard of review for harassment claims, limit the ability to summarily dismiss harassment claims, encourage “bystander” intervention training, and prohibit settlement agreements that require employees to sign “nondisparagement” clauses or (except…
This post was authored by Matthew Nakano. As public agencies near the end of the first quarter of the new fiscal year, now is the ideal time for California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) agencies to verify that hours worked are being tracked for certain types of employees. The consequences for failing to accurately monitor hours worked can be significant if these employees work beyond certain limits during a fiscal year.  Since agencies are…
This post was authored by Stefanie K. Vaudreuil. Keeping track of monikers for the generations since World War II can be puzzling.  You have Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, but the Millennials are also known as Generation Y.  Just who are these Millennials?  They were born in the 80s—enough said.  The Millennials have been creating some interesting challenges for the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in the workplace, namely due to the Millennials’…
This post was authored by Lisa S. Charbonneau. Many employers struggle with properly paying non-exempt employees who attend courses, conferences, seminars, meetings, and other trainings. In the absence of labor agreement provisions or other agency rules or policies governing this issue, public agency employers must follow the rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when evaluating whether an employee is entitled to compensation for training time. Under the FLSA, training time is not…
This post was authored by Megan Lewis. California law has long-surpassed federal law in the area of lactation accommodation in the workplace. Senate Bill 937 (“SB 937”), if it is approved by Governor Brown, would go even further to protect the rights of employees who need to express breastmilk at work.  This new legislation would also create new obligations for California employers, including a requirement that employers implement a lactation accommodation policy that meets certain…