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Temporary Employees of a Community College District

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Public Education
CATEGORY: Organizing the Workplace, Public Education

As the Court of Appeals in Haase v. San Diego Community College District (1980) aptly observed:

“Entry into the Education Code is painful.”

The complex web of laws that is the Education Code can be daunting to decipher. The provisions relating to the employment of part-time, temporary faculty to meet a community college district’s ongoing instructional and non-instructional needs, and employment and classification of non-academic community college district employees specifically exempt from the classified service, are no exception.  This workbook focuses on simplifying and de-mystifying the provisions regarding hiring adjunct faculty and provides guidance to community college districts regarding when and why districts can hire temporary non-academic employees.

The workbook addresses important questions pertaining to the employment of adjunct faculty members such as:

  • How often can they be employed?
  • Under what circumstances do they acquire tenure?
  • How is their tenure calculated?
  • How many hours a week can they work?
  • How can they be utilized flexibly but without exploitation?
  • Should they be required to maintain office hours?
  • Can they accrue vacation?
  • Can they be employed in different disciplines?
  • Can they be employed in categorically funded programs?

Likewise, the workbook addresses important questions pertaining to the employment of non-academic community college district employees and those relating to positions specifically exempt from classification such as:

  • Why go outside the classified service?
  • When can you go outside the classified service?
  • When can a community college district employ personal service contracts?
  • Under what circumstances can an exempt employee become a classified employee?

Topics Include:

  • General Principles
    • Limitations on the Number of Temporary Faculty Members
    • Classification of Temporary Faculty Members
  • Historical Background
  • Case Law Since Peralta
  • Basic Rules
  • When Temporary Hours May Advance an Employee Toward Tenure
  • Other Relevant Education Code Statutes
  • Impact of Collective Bargaining Agreements   
    • Provisions in Collective Bargaining Agreements Are Not Preempted by the Education Code
    • Obligation to Bargain Reemployment Preferences for Part-Time, Temporary Faculty
  • Impact of ACA on Temporary Faculty Members
    • Who is a Full-Time Employee?
    • How Should Districts Calculate “Hours of Service” for Temporary Faculty Members?
  • What is the Classified Service?
    • Non-Academic Employees
    • Definition of “Classification”
    • Rights and Responsibilities of Classified Employees
  • Why Go Outside the Classified Service?
  • When Can You Go Outside the Classified Service?
    • Merit vs. Non-Merit Distinction
    • Temporary Employment Positions Specifically Excluded from Classified Service
    • Employee in Regular Status Who Reduces Time
    • Must All Work That is Neither Academic nor Exempt Be Performed by Classified Employees?
    • A Note on Employees in Categorically Funded Programs
  • Personal Services Contracts
    • To Achieve Cost Savings When All of the Following Conditions Are Met:
    • Contract Mandated by the Legislature
    • Services Not Available Within the District
    • Services Incidental to a Contract for Purchase or Lease of Real Property
    • Contracts Necessary to Accomplish Community College District Goals and Purposes
    • Emergency Appointments
    • Equipment or Materials Not Available from District
    • Services are of Urgent, Temporary, or Occasional Nature
  • Under What Circumstances Can a Temporary (Exempt) Employee Become a Classified Employee?

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