Retirement for Disability – Latest Developments in CalPERS’ Requirements

Retirement for Disability – Latest Developments in CalPERS’ Requirements

Retirement for disability can already be a cumbersome and confusing process. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) new and additional mandates – as set forth in its March 30, 2017 Circular Letter – raises the ante. The Letter informs all contracting public agencies of the following six requirements pertaining to the disability retirement of local safety members.

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

A Minor is Not Excused from Seeking Relief from a Denial of his Application for Leave to File a Late Claim under the Government Tort Claims Act even where the District had a Duty to Grant Leave

J.M., a 15-year-old student at Fountain Valley High School, suffered head trauma during a school-sponsored football game.  He continued to participate in full-contact football practice, and began to experience headaches, dizziness, and nausea.  Four days after the initial trauma, a doctor diagnosed J.M. with double concussion syndrome.   However, J.M. did not present a timely claim for his injuries to the board of the Huntington Beach Union High School District as required by the Government Tort Claims Act.  

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

Nonprofit Corporation Operating Charter Schools Is Not Exempt from Waiting Time Penalties

Gateway Community Charters is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates public charter schools.  Heidi Spiess worked at one of these schools as an at-will employee.  Following her termination, Spiess filed a claim with the labor commissioner alleging Gateway failed to pay all unpaid wages at the time of her termination as required by Labor Code section 201.  An employer that willfully fails to pay wages due at the conclusion of the employment relationship is subject to “waiting time” penalties pursuant to Labor Code section 203.  The labor commissioner awarded Spiess wages, liquidated damages, interest, and a penalty pursuant to Section 203.  

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

Supreme Court Provides New Standard Regarding the Requirements of FAPE Outside of the Regular Curriculum

Endrew F. was diagnosed with autism at age two.  He attended school in Douglas County School District from preschool through fourth grade.  By his fourth grade year, however, his parents became dissatisfied with his progress.  Although Endrew displayed a number of strengths, he still exhibited multiple behaviors that inhibited his ability to access learning in the classroom.  Endrew’s parents believed that only an overhaul of the District’s approach to Endrew’s behavioral problems could reverse this trend, but the District proposed a fifth grade Individualized Education Program (IEP) that was largely the same as Endrew’s past IEPs.  The IEP is the means by which a school tailors its programs to the needs of the student, providing the “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires.

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

The IEP is the Blueprint for Enforcement under the IDEA

M.C. suffers from Norrie Disease, a genetic disorder that renders him blind.  He also has a number of other deficits that cause him developmental delays in all academic areas.  M.C.’s mother, M.N., met with several school administrators and instructors in the Antelope Valley Union High School District to draft an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  At the conclusion of the meeting, M.N. signed an IEP document authorizing the goals and services but did not agree that it provided a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

General Contractor Entitled To Partial Indemnification From Subcontractor Despite Its Own Active Negligence

An employee of a plastering subcontractor suffered injuries when he attempted to erect scaffolding and he fell through an opening in a roof for the installation of a skylight that had been left covered in plywood by a General Contractor’s employee.  The plastering subcontractor’s (PS) employee sued the General Contractor (GC) for negligently cutting the skylight hole and leaving the hole inadequately covered.  The GC cross-claimed against an intermediate sub-contractor responsible for the interior design, which had hired PS as its subcontractor.  The GC sought full indemnification for damages resulting from the PS employee’s injury pursuant to the GC’s contract with interior design subcontractor (IDS).  That contract required IDS to (i) indemnify the GC for the acts or omissions arising out of the work of IDS or its subcontractors; and (ii) obtain the same signed indemnity from any of IDS’ subcontractors prior to any such subcontractor’s commencement of work.  PS had not executed the indemnity agreement at the time of its employee’s injury.  The indemnification provision applicable to IDS and any of its subcontractors provided that the indemnification provision would apply “except to the extent claims arise out of, pertain to, or relate to the active negligence or willful misconduct of the contractor parties…, or to the extent such obligation is inconsistent with the provisions of California Civil Code 2782.05.”  

Apr 27, 2017 Education Matters

Deputy Sheriffs’ Claims for Retroactive CalPERS Benefit Enhancement Barred for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

In a case handled by LCW attorneys Frances Rogers and Danny Yoo for the County of Riverside, a California Superior Court granted the County’s Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing a lawsuit seeking retirement benefits under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”). Plaintiffs were current and retired Sheriff’s deputies who were hired by the County when their former employer, a city, dissolved its police department and began contracting with the Sheriff’s department for law enforcement services. Both the city and the County provide retirement benefits through CalPERS.