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September 23, 2016

AB2316 Imposes a Competitive Procurement Process on All Lease-Leaseback Projects Awarded After January 1, 2017

On September 23, 2016, Governor Brown signed AB2316 into law, which makes significant changes to the K-12 lease-leaseback statutes, Education Code section 17400 et seq., effective as of January 1, 2017. The two most significant changes made by AB2316 are requiring a competitive process in selecting the lease-leaseback contractor, and expressly authorizing preconstruction services by the same lease-leaseback contractor. These new requirements shall remain operative until January 1, 2022, unless future legislation changes, or extends, the operative dates.

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September 23, 2016

California Court of Appeal Rules that Public Employees Only Have a Right to a “Reasonable” Pension

On August 17th, a California appellate court ruled that the government may make reasonable modifications to public employees’ pension benefits without infringing upon their vested right to a reasonable pension. Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association 2016 WL 4379316 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2016). While acknowledging that employees’ right to their pensions vests upon employment, the court emphasized that this right is limited, and that decreasing employees’ pension benefits may be necessary to combat "pension spiking," which has "long drawn public ire and legislative chagrin" and amounted to billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities.

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September 22, 2016

Specialized Instruction and Services for a General Education Student Amounted to Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services

School districts should be careful characterizing educational services and supports as "general education" interventions when they may actually constitute services, accommodations and modifications which are individualized to a child’s particular needs. A child’s progress utilizing such services and supports could indicate that he or she qualifies for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA").

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September 15, 2016

California Appellate Court Restricts General Contractors’ Ability to Rely on Subcontractor Bid Price

Under long-standing California law, general contractors who rely on a subcontractor’s bid can generally recover damages from the subcontractor under a promissory estoppel theory if it fails to honor its bid and enter into a contract. However, a recent decision has imposed new limitations on this rule. In Flintco Pacific, Inc. v. TEC Management Consultants, Inc., the Second District Court of Appeal held that a general contractor’s reliance on a subcontractor’s bid price was not reasonable and could not be enforced when the general contractor had ignored other relevant terms and conditions in the bid. General contractors would be well advised to consider this decision and the facts on which it is based when evaluating subcontractors’ bids, so that they do not suffer the same fate.
 

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September 14, 2016

Former Administrator Entitled to Salary Placement under Faculty Salary Schedule

Education Code section 87458 provides a community college administrator who does not have tenure as a faculty member in the same district, and who is not under contract in a program or project to perform services to public or private agencies, with the right to become a first-year probationary faculty member once his or her administrative assignment expires or is terminated (assuming specified requirements apply). This section is silent, however, regarding the salary payable to the former administrator who accepts a position as a first-year probationary faculty member.

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September 9, 2016

California Court of Appeal Suggests, Without Deciding, Employers Must Accommodate Employees’ Association With Disabled Individuals

On August 29, 2016, a California Court of Appeal backed away from an earlier a decision that employers must accommodate employees associated with individuals with a disability. (Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express (August 29, 2016) Case Nos. B261165, B262524.) Before the court’s groundbreaking holding in April 2016, no other court had held that the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee who is associated with a disabled individual. Upon petition for rehearing, the court stated it was not deciding the issue, however, it stated in passing that the FEHA may reasonably be interpreted to require accommodation based on an employee’s association with a physically disabled person.

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September 7, 2016

MIDYEAR 2016 CEQA UPDATE

There was substantial California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") activity in the Courts of Appeal during the last six months, with eight new decisions summarized in this Update. These decisions covered issues ranging from whether environmental review is required for a Memorandum of Understanding without agency commitment to when a lead agency designation agreement is appropriate under CEQA.

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September 2, 2016

Federal OSHA Issues Final Rule for Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") has adopted new requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses. For decades, employers have tracked employee injuries and illnesses on an "OSHA Log." Historically employers in California have maintained the OSHA logs at their establishment and retained these records for five (5) years. With some exceptions, the recorded information was not reported to Cal/OSHA but that will soon change.

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