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JD, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

BA, State University of New York at Binghamton

City of Carlsbad – Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of El Cajon  Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of La Mesa – Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of Fullerton – Safety Units.

City of Port Hueneme – Safety Units.

City of Rancho Cucamonga – Non-Safety Units.

City of Murrieta – Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of South Pasadena – Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of Oceanside – Safety Units.

Joshua Basin Water District – Non-Safety Unit.

City of Encinitas – Safety and Non-Safety Units.

City of Redondo Beach – Served on Factfinding Panel.

City of Port Hueneme – Served on Factfinding Panel.

Kern County – Presented Case to Factfinding Panel.

City of Hesperia – Served on Factfinding Panel.

City of El Cajon – Served on Factfinding Panel.

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.

Neustadter v. CalPERS, et al. (2013) – In this case, Steve defended a lawsuit brought by a former local agency employee against CalPERS and the agency, that sought to compel higher retirement benefits through CalPERS or for the agency to pay the difference if CalPERS was determined to not be responsible for the payment. Steve successfully argued that the benefits currently being provided were correct and the agency had no further liability to the former employee.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Glenn William Steele v. Southern California Regional Rail Authority, d/b/a Metrolink (2011) – In a case handled by Steve Berliner and James Oldendorph of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s Los Angeles office, the Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that Metrolink’s installation and operation of an audio and video monitoring system in the cabs of Metrolink locomotives did not violate the locomotive engineers’ privacy rights, due process rights, and that the actions were not preempted by state law.  The union for the engineers that operate the locomotives, and one individual engineer, had sued Metrolink seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that the engineers had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the cabs of the locomotives and that Metrolink’s monitoring system violated their procedural and substantive due process rights.  They also claimed that the installation of the cameras and the policy adopted to govern their use were preempted by state law. The Court granted Metrolink’s motion for summary judgment on all of Plaintiffs’ causes of action, finding that there were no issues of material fact warranting a trial.  This ruling resulted in a victory for Metrolink on all claims.

Claims Filed with the California Civil Rights Department Regarding Calculation of CalPERS Disability Retirement Benefits
LCW Special Bulletin

On or about June 8, 2023, a law firm filed a complaint of discrimination with the Civil Rights Department (“CRD” ) and requested a right to sue notice on behalf of a former employee of Lake County who received a disability retirement through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System...

Updated CDPH Guidance Removes Face Covering Requirements in Most Settings
LCW Special Bulletin

On February 28, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) updated its guidance concerning the use of face coverings to further relax those requirements.
While the updated CDPH guidance continues to require the use of face covering in certain high-risk settings, the guidance removes...

New state law increases pension-related costs for cities: How municipalities can mitigate the impact

In his recent Western City article,  “New state law increases pension-related costs for cities: How municipalities can mitigate the impact,” partner Steven M. Berliner discusses the growing cost of providing pensions and the impact that SB 278 has on the public sector.
To read the full...

Public Agency Risks Grow Under New Calif. Pension Law

LCW Partner Steve Berliner penned “Public Agency Risks Grow Under New Calif. Pension Law,” which was published in the Oct. 8 Employment Authority section of Law360. In the piece, Steve addresses Senate Bill 278, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom and takes effect on Jan. 1,...

Gov. Newsom Signs Senate Bill 278, Which Greatly Increases Public Employer Exposure to Damages for CalPERS Compensation Reporting Errors
LCW Special Bulletin

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 278, which adds Government Code section 20164.5 and will go into effect on January 1, 2022. SB 278 greatly increases the potential costs to CalPERS agencies for reporting errors, by creating new and in some cases retroactive...

Requesting Proof of Employees’ Vaccination, Confidentiality Requirements, & Use and Disclosure of Employee Vaccination Information
LCW Special Bulletin

With the recent adoption of amended Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations, and its allowances for fully vaccinated employees, employers must consider how they will manage employees at their worksites and facilities, and whether they will make any distinction between employees who are fully vaccinated and...

Newly Adopted Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations Remove Certain Requirements Related to Physical Distancing, Face Coverings and Partitions
LCW Special Bulletin

On June 17, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) readopted an amended version of the Emergency Temporary Standards (Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations) (“June 17 Amendments”). These amendments affect many of the requirements that have been in place since OSHSB initially adopted the...

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Withdraws Its Proposed Amendments to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations, Returns Workplaces to the Status Quo
LCW Special Bulletin

On June 9, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) convened a special meeting for the second time in two weeks, this time to consider the withdrawal of the proposed regulations that the Board adopted at its June 3 meeting, amending in significant ways the Emergency Temporary...

Amended Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations Require that Employers Update their COVID-19 Prevention Programs and Take Other Actions
LCW Special Bulletin

On June 3, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) adopted regulatory amendments to the Emergency Temporary Standards (Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations). These amendments, which are the first since OSHSB promulgated the regulations in November 2020, will become effective on...

Partner Steven M. Berliner Quoted in Daily Journal, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, Courthouse News Service and EdSource
The Daily Journal, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, Courthouse News Service, Pensions & Investments and EdSource 

Partner Steven M. Berliner was quoted in Daily Journal, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, Courthouse News Service, Pensions & Investments and EdSource regarding the California Supreme Court ruling on July 30, 2020 against a union of Alameda County sheriff’s deputies over the legality of a...

California Supreme Court Leaves The California Rule Largely Intact in Highly Anticipated Opinion Concerning Public Employee Pension Rights
LCW Special Bulletin

On July 30, 2020, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Assn. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Assn. (Alameda).  It was anticipated that the Court would address the continuing viability of the “California Rule.”  Under the California...

CalPERS Issues Circular Letter Explaining How Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Should be Tracked and Reported
LCW Special Bulletin

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) has answered several outstanding questions concerning how paid leave hours taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) should be tracked and reported.  On April 16, 2020, CalPERS issued Circular Letter No....

Emergency Response
The Daily Journal

J. Scott Tiedemann, Peter Brown, and Steve Berliner were interviewed in the Daily Journal to discuss advising clients in the time of COVID-19.  Topics discussed include public safety advice, labor relations issues, and retirement counsel during a pandemic.  To read the full article, please visit...

How to Hire CalPERS Retirees the Right Way
The Daily Journal

This article discusses best practices when hiring CalPERS retirees.  Topics explored include reinstatement issues and pitfalls and independent contractor status.
To read the full article, please view the Daily Journal’s website here.

House Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Bill Moves To Senate For Vote
LCW Special Bulletin

On March 14, 2020, at 12:51 am, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to reduce the impact of the virus on American families, the House of Representative passed H.R. 6201, titled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act).  The bill will now move to the Senate, where it...

How Public Employers Should Respond to Employees’ Exposure To COVID-19
LCW Special Bulletin

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...

Strategies to Manage Increasing Pension Costs
Western City Magazine

 In California, increasing pension costs are already starting to crowd out any discretionary spending for many cities. Recent news from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) offers little hope for relief for agencies that contract with CalPERS. Changes in the actuarial...

January 04, 2024
Bargaining Over Benefits
Labor Relations Certification Program
August 08, 2024
Bargaining Over Benefits
Labor Relations Certification Program

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