Posts from April 2012.

Mounting financial pressure experienced by most K-12 school districts and community college districts throughout California necessitates more efficient use of district real property. Improved efficiency requires more than just knowing the law. The beneficial use and disposition of district property can take many forms such as selling property, generating lease income, decreasing the cost of ...

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court regarding an employer's duty to authorize and permit non-exempt employees to take rest periods, to provide meal periods to non-exempt employees, and the timing of each. The Brinker court held while employers "must afford employees uninterrupted half-hour periods in which they are relieved of any duty or employer control and are free to come and go as they please," employers are not required to "police" meal breaks. Further, the Brinker court clarified the amount of rest period time an employee is entitled to based on the length of his or her work day, and the timing of the rest period. The Court explained, "employers are subject to a duty to make a good faith effort to authorize and permit rest breaks in the middle of each work period, but may deviate from that preferred course where practical considerations render it unfeasible." Importantly, the Brinker court held an employer is liable for wages for working during the meal period if the employer "knew or should have known" that the employee was working through the meal period.

Categories: Labor/Employment

On March 1, 2012, outrage erupted and national headlines were created when James Hooker, a 41 year old teacher at a high school in Modesto, California, announced that he quit his job, left his wife and family, and moved in with an 18 year old student, Jordan Powers. Both student and teacher have maintained that, while they met when the student was 14, their relationship did not become physical until she turned 18 ...

The California Assembly is considering a bill, Assembly Bill 2039, that would amend Section 12945.2 of the Government Code relating to family and medical leave. Currently, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), like the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid ...

Categories: Labor/Employment

The old adage, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" may not be so reassuring in a day and age when anyone can post an insult about someone on a public blog or social media site for a virtual universe of internet users to see. This is especially so if a student or students have posted insults about an administrator or a teacher on a public website that are viewed by other members of school staff, students, parents, and the community.

There has been a lot of buzz recently about whether employers can demand employees or prospective employees to provide passwords to their private social media accounts. The buzz was undoubtedly associated, in part, with a proposed amendment to the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012, which was approved by the House of Representatives on March 27, 2012. The amendment would have ...

The Uniform Cost Accounting Act at Public Contract Code section 22000 et seq. (“UCAA”) allows participating agencies to avoid the formal bidding procedure for projects that fall under certain cost thresholds. The UCAA includes two thresholds: 1) the "Direct Hire Threshold" which allows public agencies to hire their own employees through a force account or hire other entities directly through a ...

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