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July 12, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Public Employers Need Not Have a Minimum of 20 Employees to Fall Within the ADEA’s Scope

On June 19, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in John Guido; Dennis Rankin v. Mount Lemmon Fire District, 859 F.3d 1168 (9th Cir. 2017), that political subdivisions of a State do not need to meet the twenty-employee minimum in order to fall under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s ("ADEA") scope. The Ninth Circuit decision is particularly significant because it contradicts four other circuit courts that declared that political subdivisions must have at least twenty employees to qualify as an "employer" under the ADEA.

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July 12, 2017

New OCR Field Instructions Regarding Title IX Transgender Student Issues

In the ever-changing federal landscape under the Trump administration, the Office for Civil Rights released "Instructions to the Field re Complaints Involving Transgender Students" ("OCR Instructions") on June 6, 2017.

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July 11, 2017

Appellate Court Affirms Discharge of Peace Officer for Improperly Accessing Confidential Records and Making False Statements to Investigators

There is an old saying when it comes to the impact of a police officer’s dishonesty on continued employment: "You lie, you die." In its unpublished decision in Dove v. City of Los Angeles (June 30, 2017) Case No. B275379, 2017 WL 2829394, the California Court of Appeal was called upon to address that adage when it reviewed the Los Angeles Police Department ("LAPD") Board of Rights’ ("Board") termination of a police officer for improper computer access and false statements. By affirming the trial court’s denial of the police officer’s petition for writ of administrative mandate, the court’s decision underscores the fact that a police officer’s dishonesty will often justify termination of employment.

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July 11, 2017

California Court of Appeal Confirms that Under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, Administrative Appeal Must Be Provided After Decision to Impose Discipline Is Implemented

On June 27, 2017, the California Court of Appeal published Morgado v. City and County of San Francisco, holding that under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA), an officer is entitled to an administrative appeal once a decision to impose punitive action has been implemented.

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July 5, 2017

Set Another Place at Employee Orientations … for the Union

On June 27, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown reassured public employee unions by signing Assembly Bill 119 into law, granting unions a greater right of access to new employees for recruitment purposes. Passage of AB 119 precedes the United States Supreme Court’s anticipated review of Janus v. AFSCME, which, with Republican-appointed Justice Gorsuch as the ninth member of the Court, could make mandatory public sector agency fees illegal and consequently weaken public sector unions.

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June 30, 2017

What Employers Need to Know About the Recently Amended California Fair Pay Act

Recent amendments to the California Equal Pay Act have renamed the Act the California Fair Pay Act, broadened its reach, made it easier for current and former employees to prevail on claims of alleged violations, and added criminal penalties for willful violations. As amended, the Fair Pay Act now generally prohibits both union employers and non-union employers from paying to any exempt or to any non-exempt employee a wage rate less than the wage rate paid to one or more employees of the opposite sex or of another race or ethnicity for "substantially similar work."

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June 26, 2017

California Legislature Requires Public Employers to Provide Unions with Access to New Employee Orientations and Employees’ Contact Information

Last year, in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association decision, the United States Supreme Court split 4-4 over the legality of mandatory agency fees imposed on public employees who decline to join a union. This split allowed the Ninth Circuit’s decision allowing such fees to stand. Several weeks ago, the National Right To Work Foundation appealed a similar case, Janus v. AFSCME, to the Supreme Court. With Republican-appointed Justice Gorsuch now making up the ninth member of the Supreme Court, a decision in this case could make mandatory public sector agency fees illegal and consequently weaken public sector unions.

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June 13, 2017

California Court of Appeal Holds That Longevity Performance Bonus Should Be Excluded from Pension Calculations

On June 5, 2017, the California Court of Appeal published DiCarlo v. County of Monterey, holding that employees’ stipends that depended on both longevity and performance were properly excluded from the calculation of public pension benefits. The Court of Appeal ruled that this combined bonus was not expressly authorized by the California Code of Regulations; therefore, it was excluded from recognized special compensation.

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