California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Useful information for navigating legal challenges

This post was authored by Megan Lewis. The United States Supreme Court has vacated the decision of Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (which covers all of California) in Rizo v. Yovino, which established that employers cannot rely on an applicant’s prior salary history to justify paying one employee differently than another employee of the opposite sex for similar work. The Ninth Circuit’s Decision The key issue in Rizo was the meaning of…
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 Lisa S. Charbonneau On March 29, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed new rules on the Regular Rate requirements (i.e., the rate at which overtime must be paid) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The proposed rules may be found here.  The comment period for the proposed rules closes on May 28, 2019. The most significant part of the proposed new rules is an update…
This blog was authored by Alysha Stein-Manes. On October 1, 2017, several peace officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department were in attendance at the 91 Harvest Music Festival when a gunman opened fire on the crowd.  Fifty-eight people were killed and over 800 injured.  Several of these peace officers brought other festivalgoers to safety and continued to provide assistance to the local police immediately following the shooting.  Reports further indicate that peace officers…
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 blog was authored by Lisa S. Charbonneau. Should your agency permit employees to use their available paid leave accruals prior to designating leave as Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)-qualifying, even if your agency knows the leave is FMLA qualifying from the start?  A new Department of Labor (DOL) Opinion Letter issued by the Acting DOL Wage & Hour Administrator explains that employers that delay designation of FMLA-qualifying leave more than five days violate…
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…