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- Business Contracts, Construction and Facilities
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- Employment Litigation
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- Business Contracts, Construction and Facilities
- Employment Law
- Workplace Investigations
- Administration and Board Governance
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JD, University of California, Davis School of Law
BA, California State University, San Jose
Did You Know
District v. Faculty Member (2020) – Decision Pending. The District acted to terminate a long-term tenured faculty member for consistent abusive conduct toward students, inappropriate, demeaning, and belittling comments, and physical threats against students. Respondent raised academic freedom as a defense.
District v. Classified Confidential Employee (2020) – Terminated a classified confidential employee for failure or refusal to perform duties properly. Employee at one point refused to work on a project and attempted to convince other employees on the project to also refuse to work on it until the District provided additional compensation for the work.
District v. Classified Manager (2019) – Matter pending. Demoted a classified manager for gross incompetence, neglect of duty, and failure or refusal to perform tasks assigned to her by the Vice Chancellor, her supervisor.
District v. Classified Employee (2019) – Terminated a classified employee who appeared at work apparently under the influence of alcohol on two occasions and refused to go for alcohol testing when directed to do so by the Vice President of Human Resources.
District v. Faculty Member (2018) – An arbitrator upheld a semester-long suspension of a tenured non-instructional faculty member for personal use of district resources, errors in educational plans negatively affecting students, and failure to perform duties as directed by her supervisor.
District v. Classified Employee (2018) – Terminated a classified employee for insubordination, and performance deficits. Employee refused to perform work as directed by his supervisor, refused to provide her with updates on pending work, told her she was incapable, and refused to work with outside consultants in updating IT systems.
In Re ER (2010) – Probationary Faculty Non-Reelection Grievance. The employee alleged several violations of the collective bargaining agreement procedures regarding the evaluation of probationary faculty members. The arbitrator ruled that the decision not to grant the employee tenure was reasonable despite violations of the collective bargaining agreement. The arbitrator also ruled that he was without power to order a fifth probationary year.
In Re CM (2010) – Tenured Faculty Termination. District terminated a tenured faculty member for chronically poor performance, low student survey responses, and demonstrably poor performance. Employee settled for nuisance value after the first deposition of a member of her evaluation team.
In Re PH (2010) – Probationary Faculty Non-Reelection Grievance. The District was proceeding under Education Code section 87740, which refers to a finding of cause. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that the District did not have to show cause to deny Grievant tenure because section 87740 only provides a procedural method for a grievant to obtain a hearing in the absence of a contractual provision for arbitration. It does not change the standard by which the matter is decided. Grievant claimed discrimination on several protected bases. The Administrative Law Judge found no discrimination.
In Re CT (2010) – Permanent Classified Employee Termination. The employee was terminated for taking property from a dormitory room. The hearing officer rejected all of the employee’s defenses and found the District had reasonable cause to terminate the employee.
In Re DT Whistleblower Complaint (2009) – Whistleblower Retaliation Claim Under Education Code Section 87164. The employee claimed he was given an unsatisfactory evaluation and reassigned after he brought an inappropriate budget transfer to the attention of the administration. The Administrative Law Judge found that the employee was not credible and that his performance justified the District’s actions.
In Re Vacation Accrual Grievance (2008) – Grievance by classified employee association regarding an application of vacation accrual cap language in collective bargaining agreement. The arbitrator ruled that the District properly applied the cap language in the bargaining agreement and in a related side letter agreement.
In Re TVC (2008) – Tenured Faculty Termination. Faculty member terminated for excessive absences. The faculty member was absent for an average of 25% of each academic year. The faculty member filed an EEOC charge alleging disability discrimination. The matter settled for nuisance value at the EEOC mediation.
Kern Community College District – Employee organization alleged that the District failed to properly implement a salary formula based on salary information from the District and six comparable districts, as published on the State Chancellor’s Office website. After the district filed its information with the Chancellor’s Office, it discovered that there was a significant error in its data. It submitted a corrected report to the State, as required by law. The employee organization filed a grievance, claiming that it was entitled to a salary increase based on the originally reported but erroneous figures. The arbitrator ruled that the District properly corrected the data filed in error and that therefore, employees were entitled to a 1.44% increase rather than the 8.23% increase claimed by the union.
Merced Community College District – Sale of Surplus Property (2012) – Effected a successful sale of surplus property for over seven figures for the Merced CCD. MCCD sold the surplus property to a local K-12 school district. We prepared the necessary Board resolutions and findings permitting the District to sell the surplus property directly to another public entity. Upon approval by the Board prepared and negotiated the purchase agreement. During escrow, assisted the District in producing the appropriate documentation and handled issues that arose during the transaction, including the need to have a Board approved an amendment to the purchase agreement. Escrow closed on time and the District promptly received payment for the sale.
Bid Protest – San Lorenzo Valley USD (2010) – Successfully advised the District and the Board in declaring the apparent low bidder non-responsive on a $4 million project.
Lease Purchase Merced CCD (2011) – Acted as District Counsel for $3.1 million lease-purchase transaction. The project was extensive energy conservation measures throughout campus.
COPs Antelope Valley CCD (2010) – Acted as District Counsel for a $10,000,000 Certificates of Participation in Los Angeles County Schools Pooled Financing Program 2010 Series C. The funds are being used for the construction and installation of photovoltaic solar panels upon shaded parking areas, parking lot upgrades, and hardware for information technology.
In Re-Classified Fact-Finding (2009) – Classified Post-Impasse Factfinding. The factfinding panel recommended the District’s position as its recommendation on six of the seven issues submitted.
On October 8, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 438, which will require school districts and community college districts to provide classified employees with the same layoff notice and hearing rights as certificated and academic employees have. It also provides that any layoff notice or...
On Thursday, June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, (the “Juneteenth Act”) into law to recognize the end of slavery in the United States. This new law adds Juneteenth, which takes place on June 19th of every year, to the list of federally recognized...
On December 7, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued updated guidance concerning the recommended quarantine period for individuals following a “close contact” exposure to someone with COVID-19. The CDPH guidance now aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s...
Districts and employees cannot use district funds and resources to support or oppose any candidate or ballot measure. This means:
Employees may not use district resources, facilities, equipment, or supplies to campaign for or against a candidate or ballot measure. This is true, even if a district...
As Election Day draws closer, we wanted to send out a reminder of some basic rules about political and election activity using district resources. The law protects everyone’s right to vote, right to voice their opinions, and right to support candidates and initiatives. Community college districts...
On Friday, August 28, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” plan, effective August 31, 2020, which imposes color-coded, risk-based criteria on tightening and loosening COVID-19 allowable activities and expands the length of time between changes to assess how...
After the U.S. Department of Education released final regulations for the implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 on May 6, 2020, multiple states and advocacy organizations filed lawsuits against the Department and asked federal judges to delay the effective date of the new...
On August 7, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) issued guidance for the operation of institutions of higher education, including community college districts, to provide safe environments for employee...
As community college districts look toward the Fall 2020 semester, they will be making significant operational decisions about the way they will be offering programs and services. The current economic outlook, continued uncertainty about shelter-in-place orders as a result of COVID-19, and possible...
On March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20. In addition to provisions regarding Medi-Cal, CalFresh and CalWORKs, the Order supersedes the changes to the Brown Act in his March 12, 2020 Executive Order.
Under the Executive Order, Governor Newsom waived several...
On March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsome issued Executive Order N-25-20. In addition to other provisions, the Order conditionally suspends certain provisions of the Brown Act, which applies to local agencies. It also conditionally suspends certain provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act, which...
LCW recently issued two bulletins for community college districts on responding to the coronavirus outbreak—one focusing on employment issues, the other on student issues. As this dynamic situation continues to evolve, a growing number of community college districts are considering shifting...
In the past month, COVID-19, the illness caused by the Coronavirus, spread throughout much of the world, including to the United States. California has now reported its first fatality associated with the virus, and Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency. Given the scope of the virus’s...
In the past month, COVID-19, the illness caused by the Coronavirus spread throughout much of the world, including to the United States. California has now reported its first fatality associated with the virus, and Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency. Some school districts have announced...
This Special Bulletin follows up on our February 5, 2020 Special Bulletin on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus of 2019. The information in that Special Bulletin remains valid, including those steps individuals can take to lessen the spread of the virus.
In the past month, COVID-19 spread throughout...