Oct 19, 2017 Business & Facilities

Under CEQA, the Mere Signing of a Purchase Agreement for the Acquisition of Land Does Not Trigger the Duty to Prepare an Environmental Impact Report

In June 2014, the Mt. San Jacinto Community College District (“College District”) entered into a purchase agreement to buy a plot of vacant land in Wildomar from the Riverside County Regional Park & Open-Space District (“Regional Park District”) for $2.5 million.  The College District planned to use the land as the site of a new campus.  The purchase agreement did not commit the College District to any type of construction plan.  Among other things, the agreement required the College District to complete an environmental impact report (“EIR”) before the sale was finalized.  The agreement also required both the College District and the Regional Park District to ensure the disposition of the property is in compliance with CEQA.  

Oct 19, 2017 Client Update

Court Finds No MMBA Violation, and that the Union Failed to Prove Any Vested Right to a Particular Amount of City-Paid Medical Premium

The case arose out of negotiations between the City of Vallejo and the Vallejo Police Officers Association (VPOA). The case involved negotiation of a successor MOU to the parties’ 2009 agreement and the City’s bankruptcy proceedings.  The parties disputed the amount of the City’s contribution to, and duration of the City’s obligation to pay health care premiums for those who were hired before February 2009, under the 2009 agreement – a dispute that surfaced only during negotiation of a successor agreement.

Oct 19, 2017 Client Update

“Benched” Police Officers Cannot Prove FEHA Discrimination Based Upon the Race of their Victim, Or Retaliation Because of their Lawsuit

The California Court of Appeal recently reversed a jury verdict awarding almost $4 million to two police officers who claimed they were unlawfully kept out of the field, or “benched”, after an officer-involved shooting.  George Diego and Allan Corrales (Officers) were Hispanic police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD or Department).  In 2010, they were involved in an on-duty shooting in which Corrales shot and killed an unarmed, autistic African-American man named Steve Washington.  

Oct 19, 2017 Client Update

Employer Defeats Disability Claims After Employee Could Not Show Link between His Post-Discipline Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and His Failure to Respond to 10 Calls to Work

Antonio Alamillo worked as a locomotive engineer for BNSF Railway Company.  He chose an “extra board” schedule that required him to work only when called in.   BNSF policy provided that an employee working an “extra board” schedule could be dismissed if the employee missed five calls within a 12-month period.  

Oct 19, 2017 Client Update

New Regulations Effective July 1, 2017 Detail Protections for Employees on Basis of Gender Identity and Expression, and Gender Transition

While transgender employees in California were already protected against discrimination and harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), new regulations have been issued that describe specific protections.  Employers are now prohibited from seeking gender or sex-related information from applicants and employees, including seeking proof of an applicant’s or employee’s gender or gender identity.  Employers also must honor an employee’s request to be identified by a preferred gender, name, or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns.

Oct 19, 2017 Client Update

Court Strikes Administrative Rule that Would Have Raised Salary Level for Overtime- Exempt Status

A federal court in Texas has struck down a U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule (“Final Rule”) which would have raised the federal salary threshold for employees to qualify for exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime requirements from the current $23,660 to $47,476 per year.  The rule would have also increased the salary threshold level for the highly compensated employee overtime exemption from $100,000 per year to $134,004 per year.  These changes would have extended FLSA overtime pay to over 4 million employees.