California Municipal Law Blog

California
Municipal Law Blog

Legal updates on current legislation and court cases affecting California local government

New Parental Leave Law Takes Effect

Posted in Employee Benefits, Family and Medical Leave

As national discourse around women’s pay equality came to the forefront in 2017, Governor Brown signed several bills in an effort to create a more egalitarian workplace. One such measure came in the form of Senate Bill 63, otherwise known as the New Parental Leave Act, which became effective January 1, 2018. Under prior law, employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide job-protected parental leave. Now employers with at least 20 employees within 75 miles must allow employees with (1) more than 12 months of service with the employer and (2) that have worked at least 1,250 hours with the employer during the previous 12-month period, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. Continue Reading

The Feds’ New Lawsuit Against State “Sanctuary City” Laws: What’s At Issue

Posted in Law Enforcement, Legislative Updates, Uncategorized

On March 7, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a lawsuit challenging California’s “sanctuary” state laws.  This is only one in a series of actions that Attorney General Sessions’ has taken to curtail “sanctuary” efforts in the United States.

While the term “sanctuary” city or state does not have a precise definition, it generally refers to a jurisdiction that limits its cooperation with federal immigration authorities.  The idea behind a “sanctuary” city or state is to reduce the fear of deportation among immigrants living in a jurisdiction illegally, so that they are more willing to report crimes, use health and social services, and enroll their children in school. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Today in Major Union Fee Case

Posted in Employment Law, Unions

The United States Supreme Court hears oral argument today in a case that could reshape finances for public employee unions in 22 states, including California, where those unions are able to collect “agency fees” from non-member public employees to cover the costs of negotiating collective bargaining agreements and representation services.

Two years ago, the Court heard similar issues in Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association 136 S. Ct. 1083 (2016), however, the decision stalled 4-4 at the Court after Justice Scalia’s death prior to the decision, leaving the lower court decision undisturbed.  The new case, Janus v. American Federation is widely expected to result in a finding that such agency fee arrangements violate free association and free expression protections of the 1st Amendment.  Full information about the Janus case can be found here.    The case is on appeal from a Seventh Circuit decision, Janus v. American Federation. Continue Reading

Recent Court Decision Highlights Due Process Requirements for Building Enforcement Appeals

Posted in Recent Court Decisions

A recent court ruling in the First Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal may require cities to make changes to their procedures for hearing administrative appeals of substandard housing citations.

In Lippman v. City of Oakland, a landlord who owns rental property in Oakland appealed citations he received from the City’s Building Services Department for blight and substandard living conditions.  The landlord’s claims on appeal were adjudicated by a single hearing officer who was appointed by the same Department that cited him.  Continue Reading

State Legislation Requires Public Unions to Have Access to New Public Employees

Posted in Employment Law, Unions

If public employers have not already done so, all should be prepared to engage with exclusive representative organizations over employee orientation and providing employee personal contact information to those exclusive representatives in the immediate future.

Assembly Bill 119 is in effect now, and provided recognized employee exclusive representative organizations access to employees during employee orientation and also requires that employers provide employee organizations with personal contact information for bargaining unit employees on a regular basis. Continue Reading

New State Legislation Merges 2015 Marijuana Legislation Into 2016’s Proposition 64

Posted in Medical Marijuana

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA or the “Act”) contains portions of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) that do not conflict with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) along with a variety of provisions designed to create a single, comprehensive regulatory system for commercial cannabis activity and product sale, testing, distribution, and enforcement. Continue Reading

Application of the Healthy Schools Act to Child Care Facilities: What Agencies Need to Know

Posted in Schools

The Healthy Schools Act is found in Education Code Sections 17608 – 17614 (the “Act”). Adopted in 2000, its purpose is to provide for the least toxic pest control management around “schoolsites.”  However, although found in the Education Code, the definition of “schoolsites” is very broad and applies to a range of public child care facilities that may be operated by agencies other than school districts, including park and recreation districts. The Act also applies when a public agency is the owner of a facility that houses a childcare facility. Continue Reading

New Legislation Allows Special Districts to Navigate Voting Rights Act Liability

Posted in Elections

Legislation that took effect in January allows special districts to switch from “at large” to “by district” elections for their governing boards.  Our memorandum describing this new legislation, and how it can help districts avoid Voting Rights Act liability, is linked here:  Memorandum