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Fall River

What in the World is a “Past Practice” and Why do I Care?

  • By: David Prentice
What in the World is a “Past Practice” and Why do I Care?

In the world of public employment and the labor negotiations, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the employer and bargaining unit is a valued and protected document.  Indeed, many MOUs contain a “zipper” clause.  This prevents either the employer or employee group from attempts to reopen the agreement during its term.  The point, is that both sides want finality and...

What Now? Cautionary Tale of a Termination with a Twist

  • By: David Prentice
What Now? Cautionary Tale of a Termination with a Twist

Every now and then, a public agency will make a mistake in the handling of a personnel matter.  The following is a cautionary tale with a twist.

The City/County of San Francisco terminated a police officer.  The California Court of Appeal subsequently concluded that the officer’s discharge was wrongful.  As a result of the holding, the Court ordered that the discharge...

WELL, THIS IS EMBARASSING

  • By: David Prentice
WELL, THIS IS EMBARASSING

In a case from just last month, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the discharge of a deputy sheriff for “embarrassing” her department.

A Sheriff’s Deputy (deputy one) was assigned to work in the county jail as a correctional officer after just four (4) months on the job.  She continued to work as a correctional officer, and in 2010 she...

We Were On A Boat: Self-Care in the Time of a Global Pandemic.

  • By: Sophia Meyer
We Were On A Boat:  Self-Care in the Time of a Global Pandemic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic can feel overwhelming.  Employees who have been classified as “essential” have been placed in situations where they not only have to work their regular assignment, but may have incurred additional hours, on top of caring for family, providing educational opportunities and support to children, and dealing with their own feelings all while in an ever-changing climate of...

FMLA ELIGIBLE? WHO KNOWS.

  • By: David Prentice
FMLA ELIGIBLE?   WHO KNOWS.

The FMLA, at Section 102 (a) (1) (C) [Act], establishes that eligibility for leave under the Act must meet certain criteria.  One criterion is to care for a seriously ill family member who is a “spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent…” of the employee.  In other words, the person being cared for must have a biological or legal relationship...

Stay Out of It – Inmates Have No Standing to Sue About Phone Bills

  • By: P.J. Van Ert
Stay Out of It – Inmates Have No Standing to Sue About Phone Bills

Many of our county clients maintain contracts with private service providers for a variety of municipal needs. In a recent case, several California counties were sued by a group of inmates, organized by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, claiming that fees for telecommunications service in jails were an unlawful tax, requiring voter approval under Proposition 26.  The fees for use...