Public Employees

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Weekly Recap Ethics News and Trends – February 24, 2014

Public servants with the utmost integrity also need to be aware of what is happening ethically around the state. In today’s climate, every public agency’s image is impacted by the missteps or misconduct of others. Below...more

CalPERS May Calculate Retirement Benefits for a City Council Member Separately From His Benefits as a City Employee

A city administrator-turned-elected city council member believed his retirement benefits would be based on his highest salary multiplied by all his years of service, including his years on the city council; however CalPERS...more

Ontario Latest Jurisdiction to Announce Changes to Public Sector Employee Benefits

Earlier this week, the Ontario government announced that it would be making changes to its post-retirement benefit program in order to “bring the Ontario Public Service retiree benefits in line with other public sector...more

Taking Documents To Support Discrimination Claims Can Be Prosecuted As Theft, Notwithstanding Quinlan, New Jersey Appellate...

In State v. Saavedra, 2013 WL 6763248 (App. Div. Dec. 24, 2013), a public sector employee learned that he could be indicted for criminal theft for taking his employer’s highly confidential, original documents...more

Federal Budget 2014 Includes Pension Changes for Public Sector Employees

Yesterday’s federal budget demonstrates that, like many of its provincial counterparts, the federal government is looking for cost savings in its employees’ compensation arrangements. ...more

Classified Management Employee’s Misconduct Justified School District’s Termination of Employment, Despite Protected Speech

A school district classified management employee sought to overturn his dismissal from employment, which he alleged was in retaliation for engaging in protected speech. A California court of appeal held that, given the...more

Bridgeport Board of Education v. NAEG, Local RI-200: What is the Appropriate Punishment for Actual and Perceived Threats in the...

We have all been emotionally touched by the tragedies in Columbine and Sandy Hook, not to mention workplace shootings such as those at Hartford Distributors and the Connecticut Lottery. In that context, employers (and...more

The FLSA Applies To Public Sector Employers, Too

Most HR professionals in the private sector are aware of the risks presented by non-compliance with the overtime and minimum wage requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and its state law companion, the...more

New Michigan Public School Employee Pension Requirements Upheld

The 2012 law that changed Michigan public school employee pension requirements has been upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The new requirements enacted in PA 300 of 2012 will remain in effect for the foreseeable...more

Court Rules No Violation of Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights During Internal Affairs Administrative Interviews

Officers Not Entitled to an Attorney During an Administrative Investigation Under POBRA - Overview: Police officers sued the City of Los Angeles for violations of their civil rights and under the Public Safety Officers...more

Weekly Recap Ethics News and Trends – January 27, 2014

Public servants with the utmost integrity also need to be aware of what is happening ethically around the state. In today’s climate, every public agency’s image is impacted by the missteps or misconduct of others. Below...more

New York City Looks to Expand its Paid Sick Leave Law Before it Takes Effect in April 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio and incoming Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently announced at a joint press conference that the New York City Council will look to expand the Earned Sick Time Act in the coming days. The...more

New Jersey Court Rules Individual Can Be Criminally Prosecuted for Taking Confidential Information to Support Civil Whistleblower...

In 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court created a qualified privilege for an employee taking documents to support an employment discrimination suit. However, this past December, in State of New Jersey v. Ivonne Saavedra, the...more

New Year Means New Laws for Public Employers in California

Like death and taxes, new employment laws are inevitable with each new year. In 2014, public employees are facing a bevy of new laws, including those that address leave, discrimination and retirement benefits and those that...more

Veterans Preference: New Temporary Rule for Oregon Public Employers

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recently issued a new temporary rule that addresses the veterans preference obligations of Oregon public employers. The temporary rule clarifies that job recruitment...more

N.J. Court Upholds Criminal Indictment against Former Employee Who Took Confidential Documents

Recently, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court upheld a criminal indictment against a former employee of the North Bergen Board of Education (the Board), which stemmed from the alleged theft of public...more

Refining the First Amendment Status of Social Media Activity by Government Employees

The Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Pickering v. Board of Education allows governmental employers, including law enforcement agencies, to fire or discipline employees for disrupting operations with excessive complaining, but...more

$15.00 Minimum Wage and Mandatory Paid Sick and Safe Leave for Transportation and Hospitality Workers Take Effect in City of...

Effective January 1, 2014, as a result of an Ordinance passed by the citizens of the City of SeaTac, Washington, certain transportation and hospitality employers in the City must provide their nonsupervisory employees working...more

Court's Tentative Decision on San Jose's Pension Reform Measure Appears to Favor City

However, the Vested Rights Doctrine Proves Fatal to Core Pension Reform Measures - A tentative decision on the legal challenges to the City of San Jose’s pension reform measure, Measure B, was released late last month....more

Dynamic Status Quo Doctrine Overturned by the Public Employment Relations Commission

A recent decision issued by the Public Employment Relations Commission is likely to impact the “dynamic status quo doctrine” which has historically required payment of increments at the expiration of a collective negotiations...more

SEC Reportedly Investigating CalPERS’ Stock Trades

In October 12, 2012, I wrote about CalPERS’ proposed adoption of regulations governing personal trading by members of its Board of Administration and employees. Although I did offer a few technical comments on the proposed...more

Federal District Court (In Its Capacity As An Employer) Must Reimburse Employee for the Cost of Health Benefits for her Same-Sex...

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, an administrative body that reviews decisions of the court’s chief judge, recently weighed in on an issue involving same-sex domestic partner health benefits in the post-Windsor world. The...more

Government Employee Pensions May Now Be Fair Game for Cuts During Bankruptcy Restructuring

On Tuesday, December 2, 2013, Judge Steven Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the City of Detroit, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on July 18, 2013, met the...more

New EEOC Report Examines Obstacles Facing Women in Federal Workplace

Six Impediments, Underlying Issues, Recommendations Identified by Work Group - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a comprehensive report addressing major obstacles...more

California Mayors Propose Game-Changing Pension Reform: The Act Will Permit Public Employers to Modify Benefits of Current...

In October, five California mayors proposed a statewide initiative – The Pension Reform Act of 2014 (Act) – which, if approved, will amend the California Constitution. The Act was amended last month for the principal purpose...more

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