Legal Issues


Court of Appeal Denies Workers' Compensation Benefits for Officer's Injury During "Hold Over" Shift Commute

On May 19, 2014, the California Court of Appeal in Lanz v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board ruled an officer's family was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits because an employee's commute after a "hold over" shift fell outside his ordinary course of employment. In Lanz , a Pl..

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PERB Holds Factfinding Applies to Single-Issue Disputes

On April 26, 2014, PERB held factfinding applies to single-issue disputes as well as negotiations for memorandums of understanding ("MOU") in County of Contra Costa. This important point of contention will likely be resolved by appellate courts in other recent cases considering the same issue. ..

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California Supreme Court Rules CPRA Requires "Particularized Showing" to Prevent Disclosure of Officers' Names After Shooting

On May 29, 2014 in Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach , the California Supreme Court held the California Public Records Act ("CPRA") requires a "particularized showing" of officer safety concerns to prevent disclosure of an officer's name after a shooting. In this case,..

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Court of Appeal Rules Employer May Seek a Second Doctor's Opinion About Fitness for Duty After Employee Returns from FMLA Leave

On March 15, 2014, the California Court of Appeal in White v. County of Los Angeles held an employer may order a second fitness for duty evaluation after the employee returns from medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). Under the FMLA, an employee must be reinstated to work a..

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PERB Asserts Jurisdiction Over Police and Police Management for Factfinding and Denies Untimely Request

PERB's recent decision in City of Redondo Beach was significant for two reasons. First, while PERB does not ordinarily assert jurisdiction over police and police management due to exceptions outlined in MMBA sections 3509 and 3511, it found these exceptions do not apply to its authority to appo..

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CalPERS Fights for Retirement Security in Detroit

The California Public Employees' Retirement System ("CalPERS") filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals to support the Committee Retirees of the City of Detroit and others in appealing the bankruptcy court's determination that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy. Specifically,..

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Court of Appeal Finds Department May Have Unlawfully Terminated Officers

On March 20, 2014, the California Court of Appeal found the Orange County Sheriff's Department may have violated officers' POBR rights when it failed to provide a pre-termination hearing after a potentially pre-textual layoff. The officers were "laid off" from their positions at the Sheri..

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BART POA Wins Injunction Protecting Identity of BART Officer Involved in Critical Incident

In BART Police Officers Association v. Bay Area Rapid Transit District et al ., the BART Police Officers’ Association (BPOA) successfully defended the privacy rights of its members and prevented the unlawful disclosure of the name of an officer under investigation in a critical incident. ..

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Court Strikes Down San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s Challenge to Attorney General’s Summary of His Pension Reform Act

On March 17, 2014, a Superior Court judge rejected Mayor Chuck Reed’s challenge to the Attorney General’s summary of his “Pension Reform Act of 2014.” Reed claimed the first sentence of Attorney General Kamala D.Harris’s summary was false, partial, and argumentative. ..

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Court of Appeal Rules CPRA Does Not Require Public Agencies to Disclose Officials’ Communications on Personal Accounts

On March 27, 2014, the California Court of Appeal held the California Public Records Act (CPRA) does not require public agencies to disclose officials’ communications about public business on personal email and cell phone accounts. The Court held communications stored solely on private acc..

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Court of Appeal Rules Overtime is Defined By Collective Bargaining Agreement

The California Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corporation. The Court ruled collective bargaining agreements (CBA) meeting certain requirements define overtime for covered employees, not the California Labor Code. In Vranish, Exxon Mobil employees regularly worke..

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Ninth Circuit Rules Fire Department Dispatchers and Aeromedical Technicians Are Entitled to Standard Overtime Pay Under FLSA

On March 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Haro v. City of Los Angeles. The Ninth Circuit found standard overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to fire department dispatchers and aeromedical technicians. This case distinguishes fire department dispatchers a..

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Supreme Court to Resolve What Counts As a Personnel File

Government Code section 3255 requires employers give firefighters an opportunity to review any adverse comments before they can be placed in the firefighters "personnel file, or any other file used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer." Likewise, Government Code section 3256.5 give ..

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9th Circuit: Pooling Premiums Not a Vested Contract Right

On February 13, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Retired Employees Association of Orange County, Inc. v. County of Orange (2/13/2014) 9th Cir. 12-56706. The Retired Employees Association of Orange County (“REAOC”) filed a lawsuit against the County of Orange when the County d..

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Ninth Circuit Strikes Down San Diego's CCW Policy

Today, in Peruta v. County of San Diego, the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down California's law about concealed weapons permits as a violation the the Second Amendment right to bear arms. California law says a person has to have "good moral character," complete a training co..

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Supreme Court Rules on Donning and Doffing

FLSA section 203(o) allows employers and unions to bargain about whether to pay employees for time spent “changing clothes” on employer. However, courts have struggled with interpreting the meaning of “changing clothes” under the section 203(o) exception. The..

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POBR, FFBOR Amendents Clarify Witness Right To Representative

On January 17, 2014, the state senate amended Senate Bill 388. the law would amend the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and Fire Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FFBOR). Both laws give legal rights to officers and firefighters under investigation or witnesse..

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CALPERS Reports Huge Investment Gains

CalPERS posted another huge increase in its investments which grew by 16.2% in 2013. That's more than the 12.5% CalPERS reported in July 2013 and the 13.3%it earned in 2012. CalPERS has continued to grow its assets since 2011 when a 20.7% return prompted CalPERS to declare "We are back." According t..

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PERB Follows NLRB To Require Employers Give Electronic Notice of Unfair Labor Practices

In Stationary Engineers Local 39 v. City of Sacramento (December 24, 2013) PERB Dec. No. 2351-M, PERB formally adopted the NLRB's rule from i J & R Flooring, Inc. d/b/a PicinFlooring (2010) 356 NLRB No. 9, to require electronic notice postings. As it explained, PERB "update[d] PERB's traditi..

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Court Of Appeal Protects Police Officer's Workers' Compensation Benefits

In City of Sacramento v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board (Cannon) (December 26, 2013, Court of Appeal Case No. C072944), the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of accuracy and fairness when rating workers’ compensation injuries. The decision establishes the Almaraz/Guzman rule is not limited to..

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