California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Useful information for navigating legal challenges

This post was authored by Megan Lewis. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently issued its 2017 Annual Report, which provides a fascinating glimpse into who is filing complaints and why. The DFEH is the largest state civil rights agency in the country.  Its stated mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and from hate violence and human trafficking.  To accomplish…
This Special Bulletin was authored by Gage C. Dungy and Lars T. Reed. Since 2005, Assembly Bill 1825 has required private sector employers with 50 or more employees and all public employers provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory employers within six months of assuming a supervisory position and again at least every two years.  This has commonly been referred to as “AB 1825” supervisor harassment training and is codified under Government…
This post was authored by Jeffrey C. Freedman. What happens when two totally valid legislative goals—that happen to contradict each other—collide? Like the title of the 2003 film with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, “Something’s Gotta Give!” In Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., decided this past November 14, the collision was between a Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) section (§ 998(c)) intended to encourage settlement of lawsuits prior to trial, and a Government Code…
This post was authored by Laura SchulkindJenny Denny and Eileen O’Hare-Anderson  Many of you are facing tremendous challenges with the current fires in both ends of the state.  We wish we could stand next to you and be of practical help.  Since we can’t do that, we offer these legal answers to the immediate questions you are facing, so you have ready answers at your fingertips.  While these are by no means complete…
This post was authored by Lisa S. Charbonneau. Under Article XI, Sections 4 and 5 of the California Constitution, charter cities and counties have exclusive authority to regulate and determine their own municipal affairs, free from intrusion by the state.  These provisions of the Constitution are collectively referred to as the municipal affairs clause and have given rise to what is known as the “home rule” or “municipal affairs” doctrine.  At its essence, the…
This post was authored by Stefanie K. Vaudreuil. In this fifth annual installment of a look at some unbelievable, strange and wacky employment litigation, there remains no shortage of cases that will make you believe your human resources issues aren’t so bad after all. The Thing That Happened on the Way to Jurassic Park Before getting into the specifics of this unbelievable case, a science review is in order. About 100 million years ago,…
This post was authored by David Urban. Many times, parties to a lawsuit receive trial court rulings in the midst of the litigation that are unfavorable, oppressive, and seem to them to be demonstrably wrong.  The parties want to appeal immediately, but their counsel will say that cannot happen, citing the “Final Judgment Rule.”  The rule certainly sounds dark and fateful.  Perhaps courts intend it to be, because the rule serves to deter disgruntled…
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…