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August 26, 2015

Employer Cannot Require Reimbursement by Employee For Specialized Training

In what amounts to a cautionary tale for public employers, a Fourth District Court of Appeal panel issued an unpublished opinion on August 12, 2015 that former police officers who left the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) could not be compelled to reimburse the City for the cost of their law enforcement training. more

August 25, 2015

Ninth Circuit Emphasizes School Districts Must Exercise Vigilance in Serving Students with Disabilities with Respect to their Section 504 and ADA Claims

On July 31, 2015, the Ninth Circuit reversed in part a judgment in the school district’s favor with respect to alleged violations of a student’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). (See T.B. v. San Diego Unified Sch. Dist. (2015) No. 12-56060 D.C. No. 3:08-cv-00028- MMA-WMC; 115 LRP 34716) In addition, the court vacated an award limiting attorneys’ fees to $50,000, determining that parents were substantially justified in rejecting the school district’s settlement offer. more

August 21, 2015

Appellate Court Limits Standing to Pursue Claims Under Conflict of Interest Statute With Implications for Challenges to Lease-Leaseback Agreements

California’s conflict of interest statute, Government Code § 1090, prohibits any member of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers and employees from having a financial interest in contracts made by them in their official capacity. Enacted in 1943, Section 1090 codifies the long-standing common law rule prohibiting public officials from self-dealing in any transaction to which their employing public agency is a party. The consequences of violating Section 1090 are severe; any contract awarded in violation of Section 1090 is voidable, any funds paid under the contract must be returned, and the offending public official may be prosecuted. more

August 18, 2015

AB 566 Imposes Additional Requirements on All Lease-Leaseback Projects Awarded After January 1, 2016

On August 17, 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 566 into law, which makes two significant changes to the lease-leaseback statutes, Education Code sections 17406 and 17407, effective as of January 1, 2016. These changes impose additional requirements related to the prequalification of contractors as well as requirements, including reporting requirements, on the use of a “skilled and trained workforce” for each “apprenticeable occupation.” more

August 10, 2015

California Supreme Court Enforces Class Action Waiver in Consumer Arbitration Agreement

On August 3, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision to enforce class action waivers in arbitration agreements in vehicle sales contracts. [Gil Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, case no. S199119] The decision represents an important victory for car dealers and other interstate retailers and should stem the tide of frivolous class action lawsuits brought pursuant to various consumer protection statutes, including the Auto Sales Finance Act. The decision will also likely encourage the enforcement of class action waivers in the context of employment arbitration agreements. more

July 17, 2015

AALRR Defeats Class Certification Of Wage and Hour Claims Asserted Against Orange County Transportation Authority (“OCTA”)

Over the past several years, transit agencies throughout California have increasingly been hit with wage and hour class action lawsuits filed on behalf of transit operators. These class actions often allege that a transit agency’s route scheduling software does not fully account for all of the time that the operators are required to work in order to complete their routes. Even though the amount of alleged unpaid time can be fairly nominal for an individual operator, in the aggregate these claims present financial exposure in the millions of dollars if the case is certified as a class action. Several of these actions against transit agencies in California have recently been certified as class actions. more

July 15, 2015

Governor Signs Sick Leave Law Clean Up Legislation

On July 13, 2015, nearly two weeks after major provisions of California’s sick leave law took effect, the Governor approved “clean-up” urgency legislation that clarifies several issues with the new law. Among the highlights of Assembly Bill 304 are provisions expanding acceptable methods of sick leave accrual and easing calculation of sick leave pay for employees with different rates of pay. Although AB 304 contains many clean-up provisions, none of them resolve the more significant implementation issues facing school and community college districts and county offices of education. more

July 14, 2015

Governor Signs Sick Leave Law Clean Up Legislation

On July 13, 2015, nearly two weeks after major provisions of California’s sick leave law took effect, the Governor approved “clean up” urgency legislation that clarifies several issues with the new law. Among the highlights of Assembly Bill 304 are provisions expanding acceptable methods of sick leave accrual, and easing calculation of sick leave pay for employees with different rates of pay. AB 304 (Gonzalez), which makes numerous other changes to the law, takes effect immediately. more

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