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The Litigation Over PEPRA Continues: Appellate Court Rules New Hires Have No Vested Right to Pension Formulas Negotiated Before PEPRA Took Effect

On September 10, 2012, Governor Brown signed the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (“PEPRA”), which mandated certain limits to pension rates and contributions for new and existing employees. PEPRA altered the landscape for pensions for public sector employees and will continue to be the subject of litigation as the fight over vested pension rights continues.... continue reading

PERB Denies Union’s Petition to Add Classification Under EERA

PERB recently affirmed a decision denying a petition to add a job classification to Fremont Unified District Teachers Association. The classification, Behavioral Intervention Specialists (“BIS” or “behavioral specialists”) complete special education assessments and plans for behavior management. Under the Educational Employment Relations Act (“EERA”), the bargaining unit can only be made up of teachers and... continue reading

Broad Directives Not to Contact Other Employees During an Investigation May Be Unlawful

Anyone involved with internal investigations has heard the familiar refrain that the investigation is confidential and that they are forbidden to discuss it with anyone. Often, employers go so far as to forbid employees under investigation from contacting anyone connected to the investigation while it is ongoing. Recent case law from the Public Employment Relations... continue reading

California Supreme Court Reiterates that California Law Compensability Standards Are More Protective of Employees Than Federal

Thursday morning, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that on-call hours spent at an employee’s worksite under the employer’s control are compensable. The case, Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc., concerned security guards and their sleep time. The security guards were required by agreement to reside in trailers owned by the employer. But the employer... continue reading

Employees’ Time Undergoing Security Checks is Not Compensable Under Federal Law—But There’s a Decent Chance it Would Be Under California Law

On December 9, 2014, in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, a unanimous United States Supreme Court ruled that employees are not entitled to be compensated for time spent undergoing security checks before leaving an employer’s facilities. The case turned on an interpretation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“the FLSA”), and specifically the Portal-to-Portal... continue reading

Officers Must Have Evidence that Transfer was for Purposes of Punishment in Order to Establish Right to an Administrative Appeal

The California Court of Appeal  recently issued a decision that has been certified for publication,  which discusses the right to an administrative appeal of a “transfer for purposes of punishment” under the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of Rights Act (“POBR”). The case is L.A. Police Protective League v. City of Los Angeles (CA 2/4... continue reading

Personnel Records Now Available in Disciplinary Hearings

In a significant departure from prior law, the California Supreme Court has ruled that peace officers may have access to personnel records in disciplinary hearings via a Pitchess motion. The decision in Riverside County Sheriff’s Department v. Stiglitz will allow Deputy Kristy Drinkwater to obtain discovery that may support her disparate treatment argument, in which... continue reading

Court Ruling Requires Personal Service for Notice of Discipline Under POBR

The Third District Court of Appeal recently struck down CDCR’s common practice of serving disciplinary notices by mail as violating the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (“POBR”). In Earl v. State Personnel Board, 2014 DJDAR 15208 (November 13, 2014), a CDCR parole agent was served a “Letter of Intent” by certified mail,... continue reading

Final Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling Does Not Implicate Stockton’s Pension Obligations

We reported a couple of weeks ago about a tentative ruling issued by a federal bankruptcy judge regarding the City of Stockton bankruptcy plan. At that time, the media reported that the judge found that the City could cut its pension obligations to CalPERS in order to pay greater sums to Wall Street creditors or... continue reading

PERB Weighs in on Timing of Requests to Withdraw Unfair Practice Charges

The Public Employee Relations Board (“PERB”) recently issued a decision in Service Employees International Union, Local 521 v. County of Fresno, PERB Decision No. 2352-M, clarifying that a request to withdraw an unfair practice charge after a proposed decision is issued will be granted but only with prejudice. In that case, SEIU sought to withdraw... continue reading

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