Frances Rogers

Frances Rogers Partner

Frances Rogers provides representation and legal counsel to public agency clients in all matters pertaining to labor, employment and municipal governance. In addition to extensive litigation, arbitration, and administrative hearing experience, Frances is also experienced and knowledgeable on matters including, harassment and discrimination, employee misconduct/discipline, leaves, performance management, workplace safety, wage and hour, the Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act and ethics in public service. Frances is also an experienced administrative investigator on matters of employee misconduct.  Frances advises and represents law enforcement and fire agencies on employee discipline, internal affairs investigations, disability, the Peace Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

Frances also represents and advises community college districts and school districts in several areas including student discipline, campus safety and police, teacher/faculty/classified discipline, reduction-in-force, merit system, hiring, leaves, Title IX, Clery Act, FERPA, Brown Act, ethics and governance.  In 2008, Frances served as Interim General Counsel for a California community college district.

Frances has extensive experience advising and advocating for local government agencies on retirement issues involving CalPERS, '37 Act county retirement systems, STRS, and other local municipal pension systems. Frances has advised and represented clients on matters including reduction in retirement costs, pensionable compensation, retirement system membership, employer and employee contributions, U.S. and State Constitution vesting issues, disability retirement, post-retirement employment limitations, and retiree health insurance.

Frances has experience in labor negotiations and matters involving labor relations, specifically with respect to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act and the Educational Employees Relations Act. She has negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of public agencies and handled and advised on other labor relations matters including, PERB complaints, unfair labor practices, unilateral implementation, labor grievances and litigation, and decertification/certification.

Frances is a contributing author to the firm's California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog. She is also an instructor for the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Management Course.

Prior to joining Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Frances worked for a Central Valley firm handling a variety of civil litigation.


Scarpino v. City of Perris and County of Riverside (2017) - Plaintiffs alleged the County’s CalPERS retirement benefit formula should apply to their years of service at a prior CalPERS agency. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of the client, the county, on the grounds the Plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before CalPERS.

South Pasadena Police Officers Assn. v. City of South Pasadena (2015) - California Court of Appeal upheld judgment in favor of the City upon labor unions' petition for a writ of mandate to compel the City to revoke its change in contributions to retiree medical insurance. The Court found no violation of the U.S. or California Constitutions when, after exhausting meet and confer processes, the City unilaterally imposed a change in the City's contribution to the retiree medical insurance for current employees. The Court held the MOU's promise of retiree medical contributions was only binding until the expiration of the MOU. Employees who did not retire during the term of the MOU had no vested right to any level of City contributions to retiree medical after the MOU expired and another MOU entered into or an imposition of terms and conditions of employment after impasse.

San Bernardino County of Public Attorneys Association (SBCPAA) v. County of San Bernardino, et. al. (2014) - Successfully defended the County of San Bernardino against SBCPAA's challenge to the County, eliminating its pick-up of a portion of the employees' contribution to the retirement system. SBCPAA argued that a statute enacted as part of the PEPRA actually required the County to continue the pick-ups absent the employees' agreement to a change in the employer contribution.

Orange County Attorneys Assn. v. County of Orange (2014) - Defended the County against a petition for writ of mandate brought by the labor organization seeking to compel the County to continue picking up employee member contributions to the county retirement system.  The court held that the County did not violate Government Code section 31631 when, after the MOU expired, it unilaterally imposed a discontinuation of the County's pick-up of member contributions and a continuation of the employees' obligation to pay the "past service liability" occasioned by the adoption of an enhanced benefit formula.

Chidester, et. al. v. Rancho Santiago Community College District (2012) - This was a successful outcome of part-time employee's suit to be reclassified as a full-time contract employee.  The court ruled against the employee based the doctrine of laches. The Orange County Superior Court held that 13 years was per se an unreasonable delay in seeking relief.

IAFF, Fresno City Firefighters Assoc., Local 753 v. City of Fresno (2010) - Labor union filed a petition for temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to block the City's intended work furloughs. We successfully defeated the petition for temporary restraining order and the union thereafter dismissed the petition for permanent injunction.

Santa Maria Police Officers Association v. City of Santa Maria (2010) - Police Officers Association (POA) filed a petition for writ of mandate to block the City's enforcement of a police officer shift bidding system, alleging the City's action violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. After hearing on the petition, the court decided in favor of the City.

Ellis v. City of Reedley (2007) - (Not Reported) Former police officer sued City-employer for several claims relating to his termination, including disability discrimination and failure to provide reasonable accommodation and engage in the interactive process under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the City on all three ADA causes of action.


City of Vista - Fire Negotiations.

City of Pico Rivera - Negotiations for Four Different Bargaining Units.

City of El Cajon - Non-Safety Negotiations.

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District - Faculty Negotiations.

Orange County – Deputy Sheriffs Association Contract Negotiations

California Council of School Attorneys (CCSA)
San Diego County Bar Association
Feb 24, 2020

Cannabis in the Classroom: Navigating the Administration of Medical Marijuana on Campus Under New California Law

Partner Frances Rogers and Associate Kate Im recently authored an article for The Recorder covering SB 223 which permits school districts, county boards of education, and charter schools maintaining kindergarten or any grades 1 to 12 to adopt a policy allowing a parent or guardian to administer medical marijuana to their student who is a “qualified patient" on school grounds.  

Mar 4, 2019

California Supreme Court Holds That Air Time is Not a Vested Right, Passes on Reexamining “California Rule”

The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, a case addressing whether the Legislature’s elimination of “air time” as an optional benefit for members of CalPERS unconstitutionally impaired a vested contractual right.  Holding that the air time benefit was not entitled to constitutional protection, the Court took a pass on reviewing a much bigger question:  Whether the so-called “California Rule” for modifying pension benefits should remain intact.          

Aug 8, 2018

Voter - Backed Pension Reform Is Dealt a Blow by California Supreme Court

Last week, the City of San Diego’s Proposition B, a 2012 voter-approved ballot measure designed to save the City’s weakening pension system, was dealt a potentially fatal blow by the California Supreme Court in Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board.  Although put to City voters through a citizen’s initiative, the Court nonetheless reasoned the City caused the changes to employee pension benefits and did so without first negotiating with labor unions.  The fate of those pension reforms that may help stabilize the City’s pension obligations now hang in the balance.

Mar 1, 2018

CalPERS Reduces Amortization Period with Impacts to Employer Contribution Rates

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) recently decided to change its Actuarial Amortization Policy (“Amortization Policy”), which will impact employer contribution rates for contracting agencies. The revised Amortization Policy will go into effect for public agencies in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which will be based on the June 30, 2019 actuarial valuations. 

Jan 10, 2018

California Court of Appeal Issues A Contrary Decision Addressing "Vested Rights" Of Public Employees in the Aftermath of PEPRA: Where Will the Supreme Court Decision Land?

A California Court of Appeal recently issued a decision with implications that can affect all public employers in California and in contrast to a decision by another Court of Appeal just over a year ago.  The decision issued in Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Assn. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Assn. on January 8, 2018 addressed the issue of whether pension systems governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) can apply changes to compensation earnable under the Public Employee Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) for employees hired before PEPRA’s January 1, 2013 effective date.  In addition, the Court addressed the Constitutional protections afforded, and the limits of, “vested rights” to immutable pension benefits.  CERL and CalPERS employers take notice. 

Apr 28, 2017

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.

12 March 2020
6 February 2020
Consortium Trainings

Administering Overlapping Laws Covering Discrimination, Leaves and Retirement

North San Diego County ERC Rancho Santa Fe
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17 January 2020
7 January 2020
Customized Trainings

Key Legal Principles for Public Safety Managers - POST Management Course

Peace Officer Standards and Training - POST San Diego
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6 December 2019
Speaking Engagements

Calm Amidst Chaos: Staying Informed and What You Need to Know to Counsel Undocumented & Immigrant Students

California School Boards Association (CSBA) Annual Education Conference San Diego
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