Darren C. Kameya is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Los Angeles office and is the co-chair of the firm's Investigations practice area. For many years, Mr. Kameya has advised school district clients in both the northern and southern California regions.
Mr. Kameya's legal experience includes labor and employment matters and extends to issues of board governance, public meetings laws, charter schools, facilities use agreements, student rights and discipline, tort liability, insurance coverage issues, public records and privacy rights. Mr. Kameya's background covers other public agencies as well, including cities and special districts. As a litigator, Mr. Kameya has represented clients in federal and state courts, including representation of the City of Carson during trial and on appeal in a published case involving public financing issues. City of Carson v. City of La Mirada (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th 532.
Mr. Kameya's day-to-day expertise lies in providing counsel to school districts on labor and employment issues. He advises superintendents and their cabinet members regarding individual employee discipline and dismissals, leaves and benefits, compensation, reductions in force and privacy rights. He has represented districts before hearing officers in classified discipline hearings, before commissions on professional competence in teacher discipline hearings, and before arbitrators in contract disputes. Human resource administrators frequently seek Mr. Kameya's assistance when defending against a DFEH Complaint or an EEOC Charge of Discrimination, responding to a contract grievance, or complying with the district's public complaint procedures. Mr. Kameya has negotiated superintendent and cabinet position multi-year contracts and buyouts on behalf of school boards.
Mr. Kameya is also an expert in public sector labor relations. He advises school administrators on handling contract grievances from the Level I response to the Level IV arbitration. Mr. Kameya is called upon to advise districts regarding the EERA and alleged unfair labor practice charges, and has successfully defended against union charges before PERB. Mr. Kameya sits at the negotiating table as the chief negotiator for some clients and provides advice during collective bargaining for other districts. Mr. Kameya has also served as lead attorney regarding management, certificated and classified employee layoffs.
Mr. Kameya has lectured at educational conferences and other gatherings, including California School Boards Association (CSBA), Community College League of California (CCLC), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Latino School Board Members Association (CLSBA), School Employers Association of California (SEAC), Leadership Association for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) and the Center for Collaborative Solutions (CCS).
Mr. Kameya earned a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and his J.D. from Fordham Law School. During a visiting year, Mr. Kameya served as a Senior Articles Editor for the UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy.
Mr. Kameya serves as a pro bono arbitrator and mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court and volunteers for UCLA in various capacities. Mr. Kameya is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, is a licensed California Real Estate Broker, and is a member of the California Association of Workplace Investigators.
December 2018Number 87On October 22, 2018, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) upheld an administrative law judge (ALJ) decision finding that the Petaluma City Elementary School District/Joint Union High School District ("District") interfered with employee and organizational rights by: (1) directing employees not to distribute literature "of a political or union nature" on District property, including during non-work time and in on-work areas; and (2) directing employees not to dist...
August 2018Number 42State lawmakers have approved an overhaul of the funding system for California's community colleges. The new Student-Focused Funding Formula for general purpose apportionments will be phased in over three school years, starting in 2018-19. The formula aims to equalize access and improve outcomes for community college students by tying a portion of annual funding to student equity and success.The formula was included in a budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 1809, which ...
According to a recent court decision, "it depends."
On November 15, 2017, a California appellate court held in Whitehall v. County of San Bernardino that paid administrative leave can constitute an adverse employment action in certain circumstances. Even though the plaintiff employee was placed on paid administrative leave during the pendency of an investigation into her alleged wrongdoing, the court found that under the particular facts presented, the leave was an a...
Employers, including public agency employers, will be forbidden from asking job applicants for their salary history when Assembly Bill (AB) 168 becomes effective on January 1, 2018.
AB 168 explicitly prohibits public agency employers from asking job applicants for salary history information. However, when an applicant voluntarily and without prompting provides salary history information, employers may use the information as a factor in determining salary if the e...
In our technology-driven world, a California Public Records Act request typically seeks some form of electronic communication or record created using a computer and software program. Frequently, an agency’s response is to send an email attaching the requested record if it is not otherwise exempt from disclosure. Public agencies must be careful when responding to these requests. Without taking adequate precautions, this common response may actually reveal hidden electronic data, calle...
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1436, which impacts the process for approving the compensation of a local agency executive. To encourage transparency, SB 1436 requires that, before taking final action, a local agency's legislative body orally report a summary of the recommended compensation of a local agency executive. This report must be made during the same open meeting in which final action on the compensation is to be taken.
While school bullying is not a new phenomenon, the media attention upon school shootings and suicides alleged to involve bullying victims is greater than ever. According to the experts, school bullying has widespread and harmful impacts on victims and other students, and it can push a student down the path toward self-harm or causing harm to others. School districts now see bullying as a major concern that must be confronted, rather than avoided, and they have increased efforts to discourage,...
On May 23, 2016, the United States Department of Labor published updated overtime regulations that increase the minimum salary amount necessary for employees to be exempt from overtime pay requirements. The updated regulations (Final Rule) will take effect on December 1, 2016.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1983 (FLSA) requires an employer to pay an employee at an overtime rate if the employee works more than 40 hours in one week. Employees can be exempt from th...
California's Fair Employment and Housing Council (Council) is set to consider amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA or Act) that the Council says will more explicitly spell out existing protections for transgender workers and bring those protections in line with federal guidance and state law.
The Council will discuss the proposed amendments at its June 27 meeting and is now accepting public comment. A date to consider approval of the proposed amen...
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Heffernan v. City of Paterson (April 26, 2016, No. 14-1280) 578 U.S. __ [2016 U.S. LEXIS 2924] that an employee may challenge an employer’s adverse action under the First Amendment even if the employer’s action was based on a mistaken perception that an employee engaged in political activity. The decision impacts government employers, including school districts, county offices of education, and local governments by giving g...
Labor and employment specialists Lou Lozano and Darren Kameya join Devon Lincoln for a discussion of the unique challenges arising at the public employee union bargaining table in 2019. The conversation covers the fallout from the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the implications of the LAUSD strike and other labor actions, and how public agencies can attempt to navigate in these complicated times.
Lozano Smith is pleased to provide public agencies with an in-depth Janus Toolkit including important background information, answers to frequently asked questions, an implementation checklist, templates for communication, and more. Download the toolkit at: www.lozanosmith.com/janustoolkit