• Posts by Marleen Sacks
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    Marleen Sacks has over 20 years of experience in education and labor law, specializing in employee discipline, student rights and litigation related to employment and education matters. She has successfully prosecuted and ...

On September 2, 2014, a California appellate court upheld an order requiring a college math professor to undergo a “fitness for duty examination” (“FFD”) based on behavior that his colleagues considered erratic and threatening in nature.  The court also rebuffed the efforts of the professor’s attorneys to interject themselves into the workplace dispute by placing conditions on the FFD.  The ...

Imagine the unpleasant surprise one superintendent got recently when he received a warning letter from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for failing to report that a teacher had been let go following allegations that she had pulled a child’s ear. Of course, most school administrators are aware that Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 80303, requires notification to the CTC whenever a certificated employee’s employment status changes as a result of allegations of misconduct. But here, the employee was a substitute teacher. And the superintendent knew nothing about the decision not to use the substitute in the future.

Categories: Labor/Employment

Most school district administrators are aware of the significant burdens involved in firing tenured teachers in California – the extensive due process rights, the amount of time involved, and the legal fees.  But as one small school district in the Bay Area recently learned, there are also significant risks in not moving forward with termination.

Categories: Labor/Employment

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider three cases involving cyberbullying. That refusal leaves school districts in a continuing quandary about how to respond to off-campus cyberbullying, and illustrates how reasonable minds can come to very different conclusions on whether school districts have the right to impose discipline, or whether such discipline violates the First Amendment.

In ...

Categories: Student Issues

Sometimes, when the Legislature attempts to impose restrictions on public entities across the board, it results in an “ill fitting” application to school and community college districts.  AB 1344, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, is the most recent example of this phenomenon.  This new law was designed to limit methods of public official enrichment that were utilized by City of Bell administrators, but it is not entirely clear how these limitations will apply both in general and to school administrators specifically.

Categories: Labor/Employment

Recently, our clients have been getting bombarded with requests from local unions for information related to pending disciplinary cases and grievances, with the unions claiming that the information is “necessary and relevant” to the representation of their members.  No doubt this recent uptick in such requests is due the June 30, 2011 PERB decision in SEIU 1021 v. City of Redding, which held that it was an ...
Categories: Labor/Employment

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