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Legal Issues

February 20, 2024


Beginning this year, California Assembly Bill 505 gives sweeping new investigative duties to the state Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) created by SB 823.

November 25, 2023

New California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

The law effectively prohibits testing for THC – the active ingredient in cannabis – because it requires employers to use a test that “do[es] not rely on the presence of nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites” to determine impairment.

September 19, 2023

Probation Peace Officers & Off-Duty Weapons

This bulletin provides an overview of current legal authority governing the off duty carrying of concealed firearms by probation peace officers. This bulletin does not constitute legal advice.

November 7, 2022

State Amends "Youth Bill of Rights" to Give New State Agency Authority to Investigate Officers

Amendments to the Welfare and Institutions Code signed into law late this year by Governor Newsom expand the “Youth Bill of Rights” to give authority to the new Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) to investigate complaints against peace officers in juvenile facilities.

January 13, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a stay prohibiting the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from enforcing a national vaccine mandate.

September 4, 2021

California's Police Decertification Bill Would Strip Probation Officers of Qualified Immunity

On Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk is Senate Bill 2, the California Legislature’s latest attack on peace officers. While the bill is focused on establishing a decertification procedure for officers who are regulated by POST, the bill also seeks to take many statutory immunity protections away from all peace officers in the state, including probation officers. The governor has until October 10, 2021, to sign or veto the bill.

June 21, 2021

Can Probation Department Ask for Proof of Vaccine?

Acting under the emergency powers granted him by the California Emergency Services Act, Governor Newsom last Thursday ordered Cal/OSHA’s new workplace regulations on COVID-19 implemented immediately.

June 15, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Prohibits Searches of Home Under "Community Caretaking" Doctrine

When police officers in Cranston, Rhode Island seized a suicidal homeowner’s firearms after removing him for a psychiatric evaluation, they set in motion a case that may have significant implications for nationwide changes to community policing in the post-Floyd era. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month in Caniglia v. Strom (2021) 141 S. Ct. 1596 that the officers’ entry into the home violated the Fourth Amendment and was not justified by the “community caretaking function” law enforcement officers are often asked to perform...

January 14, 2021


On September 30, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1950, aimed by its sponsors at “changing mass supervision laws” by limiting misdemeanor probation to one year and probation for most felonies to two years. The new law took effect January 1, 2021, but some superior courts and probation departments already have begun extending the law retroactively to shorten existing terms of probation.

December 29, 2020

Public Employers Can Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination But Must Bargain Over Effects of Vaccination Policy

With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines for mass distribution have come questions about the authority of public safety agencies to require employees to be vaccinated. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this month issued revised guidelines addressing vaccination requirements and exemptions under federal law.

October 30, 2020


The abrupt implementation of juvenile justice realignment in California under Senate Bill 823 requires an urgent response from probation peace officer associations to protect the rights, working conditions and safety of the members.

September 4, 2020

UPDATED: California's Pending "Police Reform" Bills

On August 31, 2020, the California Legislature ended its 2020 legislative session. Several of the bills California’s legislators had proposed to implement “police reform” after the death in custody of George Floyd failed, while some key measures passed and are on their way to Governor Newsom’s desk.

August 6, 2020

The Case for Qualified Immunity

The national outcry to strip peace officers of partial immunity from civil liability ignores the reasons why this “qualified immunity” exists, what it does for government officials and the public on the rare occasions it applies, and the consequences of taking it away.

July 30, 2020

The Road to Hell: California's Pending "Police Reform" Bills

California’s legislators have joined in a big way the national bandwagon beating the drum for “police reform” after the death in custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Since May 25, 2020, Senate and Assembly members have used “gut-and-amend” procedures to introduce at least nine bills calling for everything from compensation for excessive force to increased civilian oversight to a ban on the use of crowd control devices.

May 6, 2020

Social Media & Peace Officers in the Pandemic Era

In the world before COVID-19, the use of social media by probation peace officers and other public employees in California already carried many risks. The last few years have seen the Legislature, courts and probation departments impose new conditions on employee use of websites, apps, and e-mail for social networking and work-related communications while at the same time increasing the likelihood of public exposure of employee communications and misconduct.

April 19, 2020

COVID-19 Presumptive Causation Laws

Compiled by Will Aitchison, Labor Relations Information System

March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the workplace for probation peace officers. This Client Bulletin addresses the most recent developments at the federal, state and county level and provides links to resources your bargaining unit may find useful to obtain additional information about the rights and responsibilities that apply to you and your labor association during this unprecedented and difficult time.

March 31, 2020


The purpose of this Client Bulletin is to answer some of the questions most frequently asked by public safety employees and labor associations about the effects of COVID-19 on work, family and healthcare.

March 10, 2020

New California Law Supports Local Agency Peer Support Programs

Peer support programs statewide have new liability and confidentiality protections thanks to the “Law Enforcement Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Program” that became law this January. The new statute, Government Code sections 8669.1-8669.7, supports local agency peer support by providing for training in confidential communications and giving employee organizations a role in designing peer support programs.

March 9, 2020

Appellate Court Upholds Minor’s Cell Phone Search Terms

Probation conditions requiring a minor to submit his electronic devices to a warrantless search recently were upheld by the Sixth District Court of Appeal in a case involving a constitutional challenge to the probation terms. The court held in In re Q.R. (2020) 44 Cal.App.5th 696, that the probation conditions were not constitutionally overbroad given the nature of the minor’s sex-related offenses.

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