• Posts by Sharon Ormond
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    Sharon Ormond chairs the firm’s Education Law Technology group and is a member of the firm’s Higher Education, Title IX, Civil Rights, and Wage and Hour groups.  She represents numerous Community College Districts and other ...

California’s public educational entities need to be aware of changes to federal law that will become effective on December 1, 2016.  The U.S. Department of Labor will be publishing its official Final Rule on May 23, 2016, updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations regarding the executive, administrative and professional exemptions from overtime and minimum-wage requirements.

Categories: Labor/Employment

Materials distributed during our Education Law Technology Symposium in September 2015 included pending federal and state bills, the passage of which would affect colleges and universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts in California. Governor Brown signed into law two bills mentioned in those materials, Senate Bill 570 and Assembly Bill 964, which relate to obligations of agencies in ...

Categories: Legislation, Technology

On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a “final interim rule” for registering unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, just in time for the holiday season.  (Note: Although the new rule goes into effect on December 21, 2015, the FAA has also created a second “notice and comment” period, and claims it may modify the interim ...

Tags: Drones

On June 25, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, which extends leave provisions for community college district (CCD) employees within the first year of an infant’s birth or legal adoption.  In a Rocky Chávez, Assembly Member and the Bill’s sponsor, stated:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) introduced a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on March 8, 2013, for immediate use, along with a new Handbook for Employers. The new form, which is identified with “version (Rev. 03/08/13)” in the lower left corner, features several new revisions:

• Expands the form from one page to two pages. The first page is to be ...

Categories: Labor/Employment
Tags: Form I-9

California community colleges are required to admit any California resident with a high school diploma.  But what if an applicant has been expelled or faces expulsion proceedings from another district for violent acts? Could such an applicant simply re-enroll in a neighboring district?  A new law, effective January 1, 2013, allows a district to deny admission, after holding a hearing to determine whether the ...

Legal challenges of affirmative action, and of affirmative action bans, in public higher education continue to occupy the courts.  In 2012, the federal courts gave conflicting rulings on the constitutionality of affirmative action bans enacted by California and Michigan, and the Supreme Court has been asked to give the final say.

Proposition 209, approved by California voters November 1996, added Article ...

Where is the boundary between the free speech rights of public employees who express controversial or offensive ideas or opinions, and the authority of public employers to limit employee speech that is claimed to be inconsistent with policies prohibiting harassment or other discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics? This question can be particularly ...

Categories: Higher Education

On August 31, 2012, AALRR attorneys Irma Rodriguez Moisa and Sharon J. Ormond obtained a unanimous jury defense verdict in favor of The Regents of the University of California after a 14-day jury trial.  The Plaintiff, James Friedman, was laid off from his position at the University of California at Los Angeles in April 2010 after a reorganization of his unit resulted in his position being eliminated.  He filed suit in September 2010 against the Regents, alleging: age and religious creed discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA); retaliation for protesting or opposing of age and gender discrimination in his department in violation of the FEHA; failure to take steps to prevent retaliation from occurring in violation of the FEHA; whistleblower retaliation under California Labor Code section 1102.5 for reporting alleged copyright violations; and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.  He further sued two management employees of the University, alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  (James Friedman v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC445059.)

Categories: Higher Education

Public colleges and universities across the country are frequently faced with issues involving free speech activities on their campuses. Some campuses permit students and non-students to engage in free speech activities (such as gathering signatures on petitions or speaking with students about religious, political or social issues of interest) anywhere on campus without restriction. More often, campuses set limitations that apply to everyone or at least to non-students, such as requiring that speakers engage in speech activities in a designated free speech area or zone and to give prior notice of their intent to use the area.

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