Legal Issues

19-Mar-2014

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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03-Mar-2014

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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18-Feb-2014

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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13-Feb-2014

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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10-Feb-2014

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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23-Jan-2014

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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13-Jan-2014

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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06-Jan-2014

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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03-Jan-2014

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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30-Dec-2013

COURT: Key Parts of San Jose Measure B Unconsitutional

On December 20, 2013, the Santa Clara County Superior Court overturned the heart of Measure B, San Jose's attack on employees' pensions. In doing so, the court followed the Monterey and Los Angeles superior court which have overturned similar attacks on employees' vested rights. The court ove..

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11-Dec-2013

NINTH CIRCUIT: Reporting Safety Concerns To Supervisor May Not Be Protected By First Amendment

In Hagen v. City of Eugene (9th Cir. 12-35492 12/3/13), the Court of Appeals held when an employee makes statements within the chain of command, regarding an issue of employment, and has a duty to make those statements, they do not first amendment protections. Officer Hagen was a K-9 Officer..

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25-Nov-2013

The Reed Initiative Is Unconstitutional

The Pension Reform Act of 2014, chiefly supported by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, seeks to radically change what it means to have a pension in California. It is well established that a right to a pension vests when an employee accepts employment. But Reed wants to change that to make a pension benefit..

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21-Nov-2013

COURT OF APPEAL: POBR Violation Voids Dishonesty Charge

In Ruiz v. City of Bell Gardens (2013) Case No. B244395, the Court of Appeal affirmed a superior court ruling voiding a dishonesty allegation because of a POBR violation. Officer Ruiz was on administrative leave pending the outcome of an IA investigation. When his department put him on administrativ..

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21-Nov-2013

Stockton POA President, Officer Vinidated of Insubordination

As reported in LRIS, an arbitrator reversed the suspensions of Stockton's POA president and a board member after the City retaliated against them for participating in a POA charitable fundraiser and ordered full back pay. The decision vindicates the officers and makes clear they did nothing wrong. I..

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19-Nov-2013

TERMINATION OVERTURNED: Lake County Deputy Reinstate, Full Backpay Plus Interest

Thanks to the support from the Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and PORAC Legal Defense Fund, Deputy Tom Andrews was vindicated of any wrong doing concerning allegations of dishonesty. Arbitrator John Wormuth determined the Sheriff’s Department lacked just cause interminati..

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14-May-2013

Ninth Circuit Rules Law Enforcement Managers Can Be Personally Liable For Retaliation

In Martha Karl v. City of Mountlake Terrance (9th Cir. May 8, 2012) No. 11-35343, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "it was clearly established ... that a supervisor cannot retaliate against a public employee for his or her subpoenaed deposition testimony offered as a citizen in the c..

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30-Jun-2012

Manteca Court Issues Rare Restraining Order To Protect Officers From Protester's Vendetta

In a rare and significant case involving limitations on speech directed at police, a Manteca judge has issued permanent restraining orders prohibiting the brother of a parolee shot last June from harassing the involved officer. The orders also prohibit him from having any contact with another office..

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04-Apr-2012

US Supremer Court Approves Strip-Searches For Suspects Arrested For Minor Offenses

On April 2, 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that the Constitution permits correctional facilities to conduct blanket strip searches on all arrestees entering general population, even those arrested only for minor offenses. Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington et a..

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05-Dec-2011

Stockton Officer Prevails In Use Of Force Case

Veteran Stockton police officer William Teague recently was exonerated of excessive force charges after an arbitrator found he used reasonable force in detaining a combative subject. Arbitrator Katherine Harris ordered a five-day suspension overturned and ordered appropriate back pay and benefits be..

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18-Nov-2011

CLIENT ADVISORY: Court Of Appeal Strikes Down POBR Waiver, Awards $362,000 In Back-Pay

In Jaramillo v. County of Orange (November 8, 2011) 2011 WL 5338998, the Fourth District Court of Appeal awarded an assistant sheriff back-pay because the County denied him a pre-termination administrative hearing. The case hinged on his purported waiver of POBR rights. Former Orange Count..

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