Dulcinea  Grantham

Partner | Walnut Creek

Attorney Insights

dgrantham@lozanosmith.com
Tel: 925.953.1620
Fax: 925.953.1625
Vcard   | Bio

Overview

Dulcinea Grantham is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek office. Ms. Grantham serves as co-chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. Her expertise also includes student law. Ms. Grantham has significant experience handling layoff hearings, arbitrations and classified and certificated employee dismissal matters. She has handled small and large layoffs, including hearings in excess of 300 full-time employees.

Experience

Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Ms. Grantham served as Deputy Legislative Counsel for the California Legislative Counsel's office in Sacramento, California. She provided nonpartisan legal services for Members of the Legislature. She drafted bills, constitutional amendments, resolutions, and amendments to those measures, particularly in the areas of elementary and secondary education, elections, legislative procedure, and private employment.

Ms. Grantham was an adjunct faculty member with the University of San Francisco School of Law where she provided instruction to law students on the legislative process, legislative drafting, and statutory interpretation. Ms. Grantham also was an extern with the California Supreme Court, Chambers of Justice Kennard; a law clerk with the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of California; and a project clerk with Lewis and Roca, LLP in Tucson, AZ. She interned in the Office of Senator John McCain in Washington, D.C. and in the Ward III City Council Office in Tucson, Arizona.

Presenter Experience

Ms. Grantham has been a speaker for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) on a wide range of topics including negotiating in difficult fiscal times and student residency and transfers. She has made presentations on hiring and supervising athletic employees for the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and CSBA.

Articles

Ms. Grantham has written numerous, significant articles. They include:
  • "Code of Conduct: Reviewing and Auditing Your Hiring and Supervision Practices for Athletic Coaches" published by American School Board Journal, Volume 198, No. 8, August 2011;

  • "Certificated Step and Column Freezes" published by School Services of California, in the Fiscal Report, Volume 30, No. 1, January 2010;

  • "The Impact of the European Union Data Privacy Directive Safe Harbor on U.S. Privacy Practices: Is it Time for Congress to Take Action to Strengthen U.S. Privacy Laws?" published in the Fall 2001 issue of the Journal of Internet Law; and

  • "Transforming Transplantation: The Effect of the Health and Human Services Final Rule on the Organ Allocation System" published in the University of San Francisco Law Review in 2001.

Professional Affiliations

Ms Grantham is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the California Bar, the National School Boards Association's Council of School Attorneys, and the California Council of School Attorneys.

Education

Ms. Grantham received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

Rescission of DACA: What Public Agencies Need to Know

By: Dulcinea GranthamSloan SimmonsSara Santoyo-

October 2017 Number 57 On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program temporarily permitted some 800,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to lawfully stay, attend school, and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The Administration is phasing out the program over a six-month period that will end on March 5, 2018, unless Congress enacts legislation...

Two New Laws Intended to Address Teacher Shortage

By: Dulcinea GranthamRoxana Khan-

September 2017 Number 54 Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills intended to ease California's teacher shortage. Assembly Bill (AB) 681 seeks to expedite processing of credential applications for teachers who studied in other countries, while AB 170 eliminates the requirement that an applicant for a multiple subject teaching credential possess a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education. Both laws take effect January 1, 2018. AB 681 will give the Commission on Teacher Creden...

New Law Broadens List of Sex Offenses that Lead to Immediate Suspension of Teaching Credential

By: Dulcinea GranthamJanae Lopes-

September 2017 Number 52 State lawmakers have revised the list of sex offenses that mandate the immediate suspension of a teaching credential. These changes take effect on January 1, 2018. Assembly Bill (AB) 872 adds several sex offenses to the list of offenses that lead to immediate suspension of a teaching credential, contained in Education Code section 44010. The new list includes all sex crimes requiring registration under the Sex Offender Act, as spelled out in subdivision (c) of ...

Employers Must Provide Information on Rights of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims

By: Dulcinea GranthamSteven Nunes-

July 2017 Number 39 California employers with 25 or more employees must now inform their employees in writing about the legal rights of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims. Employers, including public agencies, must provide this information using the form prepared by the California Labor Commissioner or in a notice that is substantially similar to the Labor Commissioner's form in content and clarity. The form must be provided to new employees upon hire and to other empl...

New Law Requires Union Access to Employee Orientation Sessions

By: Louis LozanoDulcinea Grantham-

June 2017 Number 34 Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation that requires public agency employers to give union representatives access to new employees during orientation sessions. The bill, which went into effect immediately after Brown signed it on June 27, is part of Assembly Bill (AB) 119, a budget trailer bill. The bill is a product of the efforts by unions representing public employees to mitigate the impact of an anticipated United States Supreme Court decision that could m...

High Court Declines to Review Ruling on Cash in Lieu Payments

By: Dulcinea GranthamJayme Duque-

June 2017 Number 28 The United States Supreme Court has denied review of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that cash payments made to employees in lieu of benefits must be included as pay when calculating their overtime pay rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On May 15, 2017, the Court denied the City of San Gabriel's petition for review of Flores v. City of San Gabriel (2016) 824 F.3d 890 (Flores), allowing the decision to remain legal precedent. Flores provides narr...

Proposition 64: Legal and Practical Considerations

By: Lee BurdickDulcinea GranthamJenell Van Bindsbergen-

December 2016 Number 87 On November 8, 2016, California voters passed the "Control, Regulation and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act" ("Prop. 64"), legalizing recreational marijuana use for those 21 years old and older. The new law, effective immediately, among many other provisions does the following related to marijuana: Establishes a regulatory scheme for cultivation, distribution, sale, testing and use; Allows for personal cultivation of up to six plants inside a private home; P...

Labor and Employment Legislative Update, Part One

By: Dulcinea GranthamPenelope GloverGabriela FlowersErin Hamor-

December 2016 Number 85 Governor Jerry Brown considered several bills this legislative season that impact the rights of public employees and their employers. In this first part of a two-part series, Lozano Smith examines four new laws with the greatest potential impact on public employers in 2017, plus two major bills the Governor vetoed. Assembly Bill (AB) 1918: County Offices of Education May Issue Temporary Certificates to Teachers Working in Nonpublic Schools while their Credential...

Partial Pay for Baby Bonding Leave Extended to Classified and Community College Employees

By: Dulcinea GranthamDesiree Serrano-

October 2016 Number 84 In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 375 (see 2015 Client News Brief No. 56), which allowed certificated school district employees to use differential leave for up to 12 weeks when they take baby bonding leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), effective January 1, 2016. On September 30, 2016, the Governor signed AB 2393, which extends the rights afforded under AB 375 to classified employees of school and community college districts...

Court Rules School Districts not required to Use Standardized Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

By: Michael SmithDulcinea GranthamStephen Mendyk-

October 2016 Number 80 A California trial court has ruled that the Stull Act does not require school districts to use the results of standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. (Doe v. Antioch Unified School District (Super.Ct. Contra Costa County, 2016, No. MSN15-1127.) The court examined the text of Education Code section 44662(b)(1), which states that a school district "shall evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to [t]he progress of pup...

PERB Holds District's Delay in Responding to Union Information Request, Policy Banning Distribution of Union Materials in the Workplace May Violate the EERA

By: Dulcinea GranthamAmanda Ruiz-

September 2016 Number 60 The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently held that an employee union could bring claims alleging violations of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) for a district's unreasonable delay in providing the union with requested negotiations information and for its blanket prohibition on the distribution of union literature in the workplace. In this case, the Petaluma Federation of Teachers (PFT) filed an unfair practice charge with PERB Counse...

New ADA Regulations Confirm Congressional Intent to Give Broad Protection to Individuals with Disabilities

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer UlbrichRyan Tung-

August 2016 Number 56 The Department of Justice recently released revisions to the regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments of 2008, which went into effect on January 1, 2009. The 2008 amendments were passed by Congress in response to various Supreme Court cases which denied protection to individuals under the ADA based, in part, on a finding that the individuals failed to qualify as "disabled" under the law. The purpose of the newly released revisions...

Federal Employment Postings Updated, With Posting Deadline of August 1

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

August 2016 Client News Alert On July 26, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced changes to two required federal employment postings. The updated Federal Minimum Wage and Employee Polygraph Protection Act notices were required to be posted at all workplaces, including public agency workplaces, by August 1. The new Federal Minimum Wage notice, which was updated to include revised enforcement rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act, can be found here. The new Employee Pol...

Ninth Circuit Ruling Regarding Overtime Payments and the Fair Labor Standards Act May Have a Significant Impact on Employers

By: Dulcinea GranthamNiki Nabavi Nouri-

July 2016 Number 47 Striking a major blow to the practice of providing employees with cash payments in lieu of benefits (or "opt-out payments"), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on June 2, 2016, holding that employers, including public agency employers, must include these cash payments in the regular rate of pay when calculating the overtime rate for employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (Flores v. City of San Gabriel (9th Cir., June 2, 2016, No. 14-56421)...

California Supreme Court Upholds Superintendent's Criminal Conviction for Misappropriating Funds

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

July 2016 Number 46 The Supreme Court of California in People v. Hubbard (2016) 63 Cal. 4th 378 recently upheld the criminal conviction of the former superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District for improperly paying a district employee without board approval. Jeffrey Hubbard served as superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure, he directed the district's payroll department to increase the compensation of Karen Christ...

Employers Subject to New FEHA Regulations on Anti-Harassment Policies, Training, and Notice

By: Dulcinea GranthamGabriela Flowers-

May 2016 Number 30 Effective April 1, 2016, California employers are subject to new regulations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits workplace discrimination and harassment. The new regulations focus on changes in the following three areas: employer policies, training and dissemination of an employer's harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy. Employer Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment/Anti-Retaliation Policies All employ...

The Required Employer “Intent” Element in Disability Discrimination Claims Under FEHA

By: Dulcinea GranthamMeera Bhatt-

April 2016 Number 26 To prove a claim for disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employee must establish intent on the part of the employer. Recently, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that the "intent" requirement is satisfied if the employee proves (1) the employer knew the employee had a disability or the employer perceived the employee as disabled, and (2) the employee's actual or perceived disability was a "substantial ...

Court of Appeal Reverses Trial Court Decision in Vergara; Upholds Certificated Dismissal, Tenure, and Layoff Statutes

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

April 2016 Number 24 Earlier today, the California Court of Appeal issued its decision in the closely watched case of Vergara v. State of California (April 14, 2016) 2016 Cal.App.Lexis 285, reversing a 2014 trial court’s ruling that certain teacher employment laws are unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. In June 2014, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu invalidated state laws governing the two-year track to permanent certificate...

Compulsory Agency Fees for Public Employees Remain Legal Following Supreme Court Split

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

March 2016 Number 17 In a one-sentence decision, an equally divided United States Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which upheld the right of states to compel public employees who choose not to join unions to pay "agency fees." "Agency fees" are an equal portion of bargaining costs related to wages, benefits and working conditions. The 4-4 split follows the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Plaintiffs in this Calif...

President Signs Into Law "Every Student Succeeds Act" Overhauling "No Child Left Behind"

By: Dulcinea GranthamSloan Simmons-

December 2015 Number 80 President Obama has signed into law the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA), a sweeping overhaul of "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) that eases the burden of the NCLB's testing and reporting requirements and restores local autonomy to schools and districts by making states responsible for students' academic achievement. The ESSA reaffirms the notion that local leadership is best for local schools by overwhelmingly shifting authority from the federal government to the ...

Teacher's Blog Maligning Students Is Not "Protected Speech" Under the First Amendment

By: Dulcinea GranthamMeera Bhatt-

November 2015 Number 75 In Munroe v. Central Bucks School District (E.D. Pa. 2014) 34 F. Supp. 3d 532, 538, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a teacher's blog disparaging students was not "protected speech" under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Although not binding precedent in California, the decision provides guidance in evaluating what First Amendment protections should be afforded to employees' speech, if any. Natalie Munroe, a former employee of...

PERB Upholds Union's Right to Receive Information Despite Employees' "Opt Out"

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

October 2015 Number 64 The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently held that a school district violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) by failing to fully respond to a union's request for information despite the fact that some employees opted out of the release of their information and the union did not reassert its request when it did not receive all the information. In Los Angeles Unified School District (2015) PERB Decision 2438, the District reassigned te...

PERB Upholds Union's Right to Receive Information Despite Employees' "Opt Out"

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

October 2015 Number 64 The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently held that a school district violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) by failing to fully respond to a union's request for information despite the fact that some employees opted out of the release of their information and the union did not reassert its request when it did not receive all the information. In Los Angeles Unified School District (2015) PERB Decision 2438, the District reassigned te...

The Legislature Further Limits Expungement of Documents Demonstrating Egregious Misconduct from Certificated Employee Files

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

August 2015 Number 45 The Governor recently signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1452, which further limits a school district's treatment of certificated employee records involving "egregious misconduct." Education Code section 44932 prohibits a permanent certificated employee from being dismissed, except for certain enumerated causes including egregious misconduct. "Egregious misconduct" is defined exclusively as immoral conduct that involves certain sex offenses (Ed. Code § 44010), drug offen...

An Employment Decision Cannot be Motivated by an Employee's Need for an Accommodation Due to Religious Beliefs or Practices

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

June 2015 Number 32 The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer may not use a seemingly neutral policy or practice to discriminate against an employee or applicant in the free exercise of religion. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (June 1, 2015) 2015 U.S. Lexis 3718, (Abercrombie & Fitch), the Court found that even a neutral policy may cause intentional discrimination against an employee or applicant when used to de...

PERB Upholds Termination of Teacher Despite the Teacher's Proof of a Nexus Between His Legally Protected Activities and His Termination

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

June 2015 Number 31 The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently upheld the termination of a teacher with a history of misconduct despite the fact that the teacher established a causal nexus between his legally protected activities and his termination. In Jurupa Unified School District (2015) PERB Decision No. 2420, PERB rejected allegations by a teacher that was terminated in retaliation for filing an unfair practice charge. The teacher filed an unfair practice charge on Apri...

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Separate Accommodation Policies and Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

April 2015 Number 19 The United States Supreme Court has ruled that courts should analyze differences in accommodations for pregnant versus nonpregnant employees. In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (March 25, 2015) 2015 U.S. Lexis 2121, the Supreme Court held that when an employee brings a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) (42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k)), courts must consider whether and how an employer's policy treats pregnant workers less fav...

No FEHA Violation for Releasing Employee Who Was Unable to Perform Essential Job Functions

By: Dulcinea GranthamMaryn Oyoung-

March 2015 Number 15 In Nealy v. City of Santa Monica (January 21, 2015) 2015 Cal.App. Lexis 139, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment in favor of the City of Santa Monica (City) finding that because an employee was unable to perform the essential job functions even with reasonable accommodations, the City did not violate the California Fair Employment and Housing Act in releasing the employee from employment. Specifically, the court found the City was not required to e...

PERB Expands the Definition of "Protected Activity" Under the EERA

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

March 2015 Number 13 The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently expanded the definition of "protected activity" under the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), holding that the term is to be broadly construed to include activities related to both an employee's professional and employment relationships. Specifically, PERB held that the protections for employees under the EERA are intended to "protect the right of certificated employees to be 'afforded a voice in the formu...

Court Affirms That Parties to an Interactive Process Must Engage "In Good Faith"

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

February 2015 Number 4 EEOC v. Kohl's Dep't Stores, Inc. (1st Cir., Dec. 19, 2014) __F.3d__ 2014 Lexis 24043 serves as an instructive guide to employers regarding their role in the interactive process required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12112. In this case, the court reiterated the requirement that both the employer and the employee are required to participate in the interactive process in good faith, and an employee's failure to participate in goo...

Legislature Addresses Shortage Of Tuberculosis Tests

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

November 2014 Number 86 Governor Brown recently signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1667 into law to amend the procedures for tuberculosis (TB) testing in California schools. Current law requires certificated and classified employees to undergo a TB skin test. Beginning January 1, 2015, these employees will instead be required to submit to a TB risk assessment. If the TB risk assessment identifies risk factors, the person would then be required to submit to a TB test. An employee can always choose ...

AB 2053 Requires "Abusive Conduct Prevention" Component be Added to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

September 2014 Number 69 Assembly Bill (AB) 2053 amends Government Code section 12950.1 effective January 1, 2015 to require that abusive conduct prevention be included in sexual harassment prevention training. Under Government Code section 12950.1, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisory employees. Employers must provide this training within six months of the date the employee assumes the super...

AB 1443 Extends Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Protections to Unpaid Interns and Volunteers

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

September 2014 Number 68 Legal protections against discrimination and harassment got a little broader this year. Government Code section 12940, which is part of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protects employees, applicants for employment, and certain contactors from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Government Code section 12940 prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing employees on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin...

New Law Requires Minimum Paid Sick Days For Employees

By: David WolfeDulcinea Grantham-

September 2014 Number 59 On August 30, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Act). Beginning on July 1, 2015, employees, including part-time, seasonal and temporary employees, who work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment must now accrue a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. There is no hourly minimum for eligibility. Employees may begin to use accrued paid s...

Court Rules Certain California Teacher Employment Laws Unconstitutional

By: Dulcinea GranthamNiki Nabavi Nouri-

June 2014 Client News Alert Earlier today, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu issued a tentative decision in Vergara v. State of California (June 10, 2014, No. BC484642), ruling that certain teacher employment laws are unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. Specifically, the court invalidated state laws governing the two-year track to permanent certificated employment status, the certificated dismissal process, and the requirem...

New Risks in the New Year: Use Caution with "Agreement Not to Contest Unemployment Benefits" Clauses

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

January 2014 Number 5 As we enter the new calendar year, be on the alert for "do not contest" clauses included in proposed employment separation agreements. Typically, in these clauses the employer agrees not to contest an employee's claim for unemployment insurance. Due to a recently enacted federal law, these seemingly benign provisions could potentially leave public entities on the hook for benefits paid into their unemployment tax account as well as significant fines. The Unemploym...

Court of Appeal Narrowly Construes the Education Code Requirements for Counting "Days" to Become a Permanent Certificated Employee

By: Dulcinea GranthamNiki Nabavi Nouri-

September 2013 Number 54 A recently published California appellate opinion provided school districts with needed direction on determining when a probationary employee has attained permanent status. The case concerned Education Code section 44908, which provides that "a complete school year" for a probationary certificated employee is "at least 75 percent of the number of days" for that year. In order for a certificated employee to move from probationary to permanent status, they must comp...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Employees Claiming Retaliation Must Prove Adverse Employment Action Occurred Because of Their Protected Activity

By: Dulcinea GranthamNiki Nabavi Nouri-

July 2013 Number 36 In 1991, Congress amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to permit an employee to establish liability against his or her employer for discrimination by demonstrating "that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a motivating factor for any employment practice, even though other factors also motivated the practice." This standard is known as the mixed-motive test and is applied to the Title VII category of discrimination known as status-based discr...

Service Requirements Clarified for Non-Reelection of Second-Year Probationary Employees

By: Jennifer UlbrichDulcinea Grantham-

June 2013 Number 32 In the recent decision of Grace v. Beaumont Unified School District (June 4, 2013 __ Cal.App.4th__ [2013 WL 2418320]), the California Court of Appeal has issued the latest in a series of appellate decisions that address the method of service required to effectuate the non-reelection of a probationary certificated school employee under the Education Code. Pursuant to Section 44929.21(b) of the Education Code, a school district must give notice of non-reelection to a ...

Reminder: The March 15th Noticing Deadline Is Around The Corner!

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

March 2013 Number 10 In the month of March, it is important to prepare for timely service of various notices of personnel action that must be sent during this period. We recommend that the following actions be taken on or before March 15th: All non-reelection notices for second year probationary certificated employees should be delivered by personal service. First year probationary certificated employees may be served at any time, but we recommend serving them before March 15th. (Ed....

Jury Finds That District Was Not Required to Accommodate Teacher's Request to Avoid Teaching "At-Risk" Students

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

January 2013 Number 3 A San Mateo County jury recently sided with the Sequoia Union High School District in a civil court case brought by Manuel E. Delgado, Jr., a tenured teacher of the District, for the District's alleged failure to provide Mr. Delgado with reasonable accommodations for his diabetes and anxiety disorder. Mr. Delgado, a teacher at the District's Menlo-Atherton High School, filed a complaint against the District alleging that his medical conditions, identified as Type ...

An Employer's Honest Belief That An Employee Took Medical Leave For An Improper Reason Is Not Enough To Justify a Dismissal

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

December 2012 Number 78 Under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), an employer must reinstate an employee to the same or a comparable position upon returning from an approved medical or family care leave (Gov. Code §12945.2(a).) CFRA is silent as to when an employer may lawfully dismiss an employee if it suspects that the employee is misusing his/her leave. The recent decision of Richey v. AutoNation, Inc. (November 13, 2012) __ Cal.App.4th __ (2012 WL 5492902) provides some guid...

Public Entities And Religious Expression During The Holidays

By: Dulcinea GranthamSloan Simmons-

November 2012 Number 76 The holiday season often presents challenges for public entities in upholding the First Amendment's protection of religious expression as well as its prohibition against government-sponsored religious endorsement and promotion. The following is a brief reminder of guidelines for public entities, including schools, cities and counties, to follow in this area of the law. Holiday Displays: Christmas Trees, Manger Scenes and Menorahs. Holiday displays on public prop...

Legislative Changes Impacting Labor and Employment Issues in Schools

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

October 2012 Number 72 The Governor recently signed several bills affecting labor and employment in the public sector. Among these bills are Senate Bills (SB) 1291 and 1292 and Assembly Bills (AB) 1964 and 2386. SB 1291: Extension of Unemployment Benefits to Teachers In Training Programs SB 1291 extends the California Training Benefits Program ("Program"), which extends through January 1, 2019, currently available unemployment benefits to unemployed individuals who participate in sp...

PERB Affirms Test For Determining When A Public Employer May Discipline Employees Acting As Union Representatives

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

October 2012 Number 70 In a recent decision, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) affirmed its test for what it considers to be protected activity when employees are acting as union representatives. In Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 (SEIU) v. State of California (Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation) (Department) (2012) PERB Decision No. 2282-S, PERB concluded that the Department committed an unfair labor practice when it disciplined a union represe...

Governor Signs Legislation to Extend Layoff Notice Timelines for Classified Employees

By: Dulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

October 2012 Number 50 School and community college districts are currently required to provide written notice to classified employees no less than 45 days before their effective layoff date if layoffs are necessitated by the reduction or elimination of classified services because of lack of work or funds. Effective January 1, 2013, Assembly Bill ("AB") 1908 amends Education Code sections 45117 and 88017 to extend these notification timelines for classified employees from 45 to 60 days. ...

Trial Court Rules LAUSD Certificated Teacher Evaluations Must Consider Student Progress Toward Meeting Standards

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

June 2012 Number 33 A Los Angeles County Superior Court has determined that the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) certificated evaluation process failed to comply with state law that requires teacher performance evaluations to be based, in part, on student progress toward meeting state and district achievement standards. In Jane Doe v. Deasy (June 12, 2012, No. BS134604), a group of California school children and their parents alleged that LAUSD's evaluation process violate...

Court of Appeal Affirms School District Discretion in Hiring Temporary Certificated Employees

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

June 2012 Number 29 In an important case for school district employers, McIntyre v. Sonoma Valley Unified School District (May 1, 2012) __ Cal.App.4th __, 2012 WL 1858959, the California Court of Appeal for the First District recently held that certificated employees may be classified as temporary for multiple school years and affirmed prior court decisions holding that school districts are not required to "match" employees on leave of absence with any specific temporary employee. Ms. ...

Teacher Trainees Taking Alternative Routes to Certification Are "Highly Qualified" Under NCLB

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

May 2012 Number 27 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that under current federal law, teachers who are not yet fully certificated, but who are on their way to obtaining certification through "alternative routes," are highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). (See Lozano Smith Client News Brief No. 1 (Jan. 2011).) In Renee v. Duncan (May 10, 2012) __ F.3d __ (2012 WL 1624772), a group of California school children, their parents, an...

New Appellate Case Limits Discretion Of Schools Districts To Classify And Release Employees Hired Into Categorical Programs As Temporary Employees

By: Karen RezendesDulcinea GranthamJennifer Ulbrich-

March 2012 Number 10 The California Third District Court of Appeal issued a decision in Stockton Teachers Association CTA/NEA v. Stockton Unified School District (March 1, 2012) ___ Cal.App.4th___ (2012 WL 663158) that could have a wide-ranging impact on how districts classify and terminate employees hired to serve in categorically funded programs. While we think the case was incorrectly decided and hope that the California Supreme Court will grant review of the case, as it stands now, th...

Public Employees May File Suit Seeking Nondisclosure of Personnel Information Pursuant to Public Records Act Requests

By: Harold FreimanManuel MartinezDulcinea Grantham-

February 2012 Number 07 In a recent decision, Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Case No. B231787, the court of appeal granted public employees the right to file a lawsuit to prevent an employer from disclosing private personnel information in response to Public Records Act (PRA) requests. The court also concluded that under the PRA, complaints against employees that are substantial and well-founded must be disclosed. As the court made clear, balancing the privacy righ...

Committee Formed To Review Employee Health Benefits Not Subject To Open Meeting Provisions Of The Brown Act

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

December 2011 Number 81 In a recent decision, a California court of appeal affirmed that a joint labor/ management committee formed for the purpose of reviewing the district's health benefits program is not a legislative body subject to the open meeting provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act). The case was decided under Government Code section 3549.1 subdivision (a), which is a part of the Education Employment Relations Act (EERA) and provides that any meetings and negotiations b...

Three New Bills Support Employee Rights

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

December 2011 Number 79 This fall, Governor Brown signed three bills affecting employee rights. First, the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, enacted by Assembly Bill (AB) 469, imposes new penalties on employers for failing to pay the minimum wage. Second, AB 592 makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to grant an eligible employee's request for pregnancy or family leave. Third, Senate Bill (SB) 459 imposes civil penalties for the improper classification of an employee as an independe...

Governor Signs SB 272 To Clarify Employee Leave Rights To Donate An Organ Or Bone Marrow

By: Dulcinea GranthamDarren Kameya-

August 2011 Number 35 On August 1, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 272 which clarified the terms of Labor Code section 1510 relating to employee leaves of absence to donate an organ or bone marrow. Labor Code section 1510 previously provided employees with a right to up to thirty (30) days of paid leave, in any one-year period, for the purpose of donating an organ to another person. It also provided paid leave of up to five (5) days for bone marrow donations. Sect...

Court Finds School Employee's Craigslist Advertisement Soliciting Sex Constitutes Grounds For Dismissal

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

July 2011 Number 24   In San Diego Unified School District v. Commission on Professional Competence (194 Cal.App.4th 1454), the court of appeal held that an employee's Craigslist advertisement soliciting sex, accompanied by pictures of his genitalia and graphic text, established evident unfitness to serve as a teacher and immoral conduct, both of which constituted grounds for his termination. The teacher in question was employed by the San Diego Unified School District ("District") a...

Classified Employees Do Not Retain Permanent Status When Rehired In A Lower Classification

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

April 2011 Number 14 In California School Employees Association v. Governing Board of East Side Union High School District (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 540, the court of appeal found that classified employees who obtain permanent status in non-merit system districts, and who are laid off and then rehired in a lower classification, do not maintain their permanent status and may be released from the lower level positions as probationary employees. In this case, a California School Employees As...

Your Essential Checklist For Certificated And Classified Layoffs

By: Dulcinea Grantham-

January 2011 Number 4 In the past few years, most public school districts in California have been forced to cut their staffing levels to accommodate the deep cuts in school funding from Sacramento. This year, Governor Brown has proposed a state budget that maintains programmatic funding for schools at the same level in 2011-12 as that in effect for 2010-11. The Governor's proposal is not final, however, and will be adjusted through compromises with the State Legislature, and in the Govern...

Significant Cases
Ms. Grantham authored an amicus brief on behalf of the California School Boards Association (CSBA) in the Hildebrandt v. St. Helena USD case. Hildebrandt established a school district's right to maintain full-time teaching or service positions without being forced to split the positions to accommodate senior laid off employees. Ms. Grantham successfully represented Sonoma Valley Unified School District at the California Court of Appeal in McIntyre v. Sonoma Valley Unified School District, where a certificated employee challenged her temporary employee classification. In that decision, the Court affirmed the authority of school districts to classify certificated employees as temporary for multiple years and upheld prior case law confirming that school districts are not required to match each temporary employee to a specific employee on leave. Also of note, while at the California Legislative Counsel's Office, Ms Grantham represented the California Legislature in Californians for an Open Primary v. McPherson (38 Cal.4th 735).