Public Employees

News & Analysis as of

EEOC Rule on Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in Federal Employment

Seyfarth Synopsis: These new regulations require federal agencies to be “model employers” of individuals with disabilities. As such, they now must take specific steps that are “reasonably designed” to gradually increase the...more

Are Police-Worn Body Cameras A Mandatory Subject Of Bargaining?

Whether justified or not, the recent spate of high-profile police shooting cases throughout the United States has brought national attention to the issue of whether law enforcement officers should be using body cameras while...more

They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during...more

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies

Like years past, there were plenty of laws passed in Sacramento in 2016 that will impact public agencies. Here is a summary of those that have specific importance to your work. We hope that you will contact us for further...more

Police Employers Beware — Benefits Payments Under General Municipal Law Section 207-c May Not Shield You From Tort Claims

Municipal police employers who thought that their payment of benefits to injured police officers under General Municipal Law Section 207-c shielded them from tort claims brought by those injured officers need to think...more

Court of Appeal Rejects Another Post-PEPRA Challenge

On December 20, 2016, the California Court of Appeal struck another blow to a legal challenge brought against an employer who changed its pension policies in the wake of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013...more

First Circuit Affirms Narrow Scope of Federal Criminal Statutes in Reversing Patronage Convictions of Massachusetts Probation...

On December 19, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its decision in United States v. Elizabeth V. Tavares, John J. O’Brien, and William H. Burke, III.1 In 2014, three officials of the Massachusetts Office...more

Policing Social Media Policies

Police officers in Petersburg had a First Amendment right to post to Facebook their complaints about their police department. A department policy limiting social media postings was unconstitutional. So held the U.S. Court...more

Reversal of Probation Dept. Convictions Means Ortiz Term Ends with a Whimper

Carmen Ortiz’s term as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts runs for only a few more weeks. If she’s wishing it were over today, I’d understand. ...more

Pensions Round-Up - December 2016 (UK)

In this edition we look at key developments from November 2016 including the following. - The Pensions Regulator: the publication of checklists about new information required in the 2016- 17 scheme return for DB and...more

Texas Appellate Court Finds Employee on FMLA Leave Is Not Entitled to Unemployment Benefits

In a case of first impression, Texas’s Second Court of Appeals recently examined the issue of whether an employee who is taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may obtain unemployment benefits...more

In Legislative Foray vs. Principals, School Custodians Gain a Short-Lived Victory

On December 1, both the Massachusetts House and Senate enacted a bill during informal sessions that would have made it harder for public school principals to fire custodians and other non-teaching employees for not doing...more

Pensions Round-Up - December 2016

In this edition we look at key developments from November 2016 including the following - The Pensions Regulator: the publication of checklists about new information required in the 2016-17 scheme return for DB and...more

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”

Decision Expected Soon from California Supreme Court - Public agencies in California should prepare for the likelihood that communications on officials’ and employees’ private devices related to the agency’s “conduct of...more

What’s Next After First District Court of Appeals’ Vested Rights Decision in MAPE v. MarinCERA?

On Aug. 17, 2016, Division Two of the First District Court of Appeal issued a unanimous published decision in MAPE et al. v. MarinCERA, et al. (Aug.17, 2016, A139610) upholding the constitutionality of certain aspects of the...more

Shock the Monkey: Police Officer Photo Post on Social Media Costs Him His Job

When is a “joke” so not funny that you lose your job? The Mississippi Court of Appeals gave some direction on that question, affirming the City of Meridian’s termination of a police officer for an inappropriate (arguably...more

Having Election News Withdrawal?

Supreme Court Decides Case on Protected Political Activity in Public Employment - Some of us may have had enough of all things election by now. But the United States Supreme Court decided a case last April that...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Opposing Employer Actions Directed at General Public Not Protected Activity

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employee who expresses opposition to an employer’s policies and practices that affect members of the general public is not engaging in an activity that FEHA protects, because the activity is not opposing...more

Considerations When Hiring Legislative Branch Employees

With the 114th Congress drawing to a close, a number of officials will leave the legislative branch for new opportunities. This transition allows the private and nonprofit sectors to recruit seasoned professionals with recent...more

"Post-Election Issues"

Now that the 2016 elections are over, we must contend with special legal issues that arise from contributions made to, and expenses incurred for, federal, state or local inaugural or transition committees, as well as recounts...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, we had three teachers “take the knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at a whole-school pep rally. Fortunately, only a few of the students noticed their actions. Originally...more

Court Finds Airport Cannot Fly Under the Radar on Employee’s Email Privacy Claims

A federal district court in Virginia recently grounded an airport’s attempt to escape liability for accessing an employee’s email account. (Hoofnagle v. Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission.) The decision, which delivered a mixed...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

Considerations When Hiring Executive Branch Employees

As the Obama administration winds down, the number of administration officials leaving the government will increase dramatically. The traditional exodus that accompanies the end of a presidential administration creates...more

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