Gabriela D. Flowers

Senior Counsel | Sacramento

Attorney Insights

gflowers@lozanosmith.com
Tel: 916.329.7433
Fax: 916.329.9050
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Overview
Gabriela D. Flowers is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office and is co-chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. Ms. Flowers also specializes in the Student and Litigation aspects of education law. Ms. Flowers routinely assists clients through both Certificated and Classified discipline and dismissal procedures, as well as defending unfair labor practice charges. Her Labor & Employment practice also includes grievance processing, contract interpretation, employee leaves and responding to claims of discrimination filed with the DFEH, EEOC and DIR.

Ms. Flowers supports administrators and boards with matters concerning conflicts of interest, the Brown Act and the Public Records Act. In addition, she gives presentations on a variety of topics, including conflicts of interest, Form 700, the Brown Act and Board Governance.

Additional Experience
Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Ms. Flowers worked as an attorney at a public entity law firm, where she gained experience in labor and employment issues facing school districts and county offices of education, including: employee discipline, collective bargaining, contract interpretation, grievance processing and unfair labor practices. Ms. Flowers also has experience in a variety of matters that affect the provision of public education, including: student rights and discipline, governance and special education.

Education
Ms. Flowers earned her J.D. from University of California at Davis in 2010 and was recognized as a Public Service Law Program scholar. She received her B.A. in English from Santa Clara University (cum laude) and her B.S. in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Santa Clara University (cum laude), both in 2007.

California Recognizes “Nonbinary” Gender Category And Requires Certain State Agencies To Collect Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Data

By: Gabriela FlowersCourtney de Groof-

April 2019Number 22The California Legislature recently passed legislation, taking effect in 2018 and 2019, making it easier for individuals to change their gender identity on official documents, adding a new gender identity option to certain forms of identification and vital records, and requiring certain state and local agencies to change data collection practices so that gender identity is more accurately accounted for in demographic data.Assembly Bill (AB) 677: Sexual Orientation and Gende...

Legislature Further Limits the Ability to Consider Expunged, Dismissed, or Sealed Convictions in Hiring Decisions

By: Gabriela FlowersBenjamin Brown-

December 2018 Number 84 Senate Bill (SB) 1412, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, builds on prior law limiting consideration of expunged, dismissed, or sealed convictions in hiring decisions. SB 1412 prevents employers from requiring job applicants to disclose certain criminal convictions that have been expunged, dismissed, sealed, or statutorily eradicated. SB 1412 also provides that employers may only consider particular expunged convictions that are enumerated in the law when makin...

New Law Expands the Four-Year Evidentiary Window in Permanent Certificated Discipline Cases Involving Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

By: Gabriela FlowersJayme Duque-

October 2018Number 62Assembly Bill (AB) 2128, effective January 1, 2019, will allow evidence and testimony outside the current four-year time window when a certificated employee is accused of sexual misconduct with a student or minor.Generally, Education Code section 44944 prohibits testimony, evidence, or a dismissal or suspension decision relating to matters that occurred more than four years before the date a permanent certificated employee is served with a notice of disciplinary action. W...

Legislature Enhances Minor Witness Protections in Employee Discipline Proceedings

By: Gabriela FlowersJayme Duque-

October 2018Number 63Assembly Bill (AB) 2234, which becomes effective January 1, 2019, provides a comprehensive set of requirements for the presentation of testimony by minor witnesses at administrative disciplinary proceedings initiated under the egregious misconduct hearing process for permanent certificated employees, and for discipline hearings involving allegations of egregious misconduct for permanent classified employees of merit or non-merit system school districts. As a reminder, in ...

Lawmakers Okay Budget Bill Addressing Union Dues Collection and Communications about Membership Rights

By: Dulcinea GranthamGabriela Flowers-

June 2018Number 29California lawmakers have approved a budget trailer bill that imposes new obligations on public sector employers related to deducting union dues and fees from workers' paychecks. Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 866 on the same day the United States Supreme Court barred the collection of mandatory agency fees that cover unions' cost of providing services, which the Court deemed a violation of workers' First Amendment free speech rights. (See 2018 CNB No. 27.)The ...

Supreme Court Rules Public Sector Union Agency Fees Are Unlawful

By: Dulcinea GranthamErin HamorGabriela Flowers-

This news brief is intended for public school districts, including community colleges. For the Janus news brief intended for municipalities and special districts, click here.June 2018Number 27Overturning a longstanding precedent, the United States Supreme Court has held in Janus v. AFSCME that public employees may not be compelled to pay mandatory agency fees, or "fair share" fees, to public-sector unions, because such fees violate the First Amendment.The Janus decision will have a sweeping, ...

When Politics and Walkouts Come to the Workplace: Considerations for Teachers, Superintendents, and Governing Boards

By: Dulcinea GranthamGabriela FlowersTilman Heyer-

March 2018 Number 8 The February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has inspired a groundswell of political activism at K-12 schools across the country. Lozano Smith previously reported on considerations and implications of student activism surrounding this issue. (See 2018 Client News Brief No. 7.) School districts must also consider if and how to regulate and respond to employee speech surrounding the gun control debate and other controversial topics. Additionally,...

Federal Court Holds Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation is Prohibited under Title VII

By: Gabriela FlowersJanae Castellani-

April 2017 Number 18 In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (7th Cir., April 14, 2017, No. 15-1720) ___ F.3d ___ < http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit =Display&Path=Y2017/ D04-04/C:15-1720:J:Wood:aut:T:fnOp:N:1942256:S:0>, a federal appeals court evaluated whether federal antidiscrimination laws protect an individual against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)). In a landmark decision, t...

Labor and Employment Legislative Update, Part One

By: Dulcinea GranthamGabriela 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...