Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Thomas R. Manniello

Partner | Monterey

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Tel: 831.646.1501
Fax: 831.646.1801
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Thomas R. Manniello is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Monterey office. His practice focuses on employment and student matters.

Mr. Manniello assists school districts with collective bargaining, employee discipline, layoffs, grievances and general personnel issues. He has extensive experience with CalPERS and CalSTRS issues, executive compensation issues, employee benefit plans, post-retirement benefits and early retirement incentive options.

In student matters, Mr. Manniello assists school districts with student discipline, students' rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, disruptive parents, field trip liability, student organizations, residency and transfer issues. His work covers all areas of student discipline matters including search and seizure and other student investigation issues, expulsion hearings and appeals, and readmission of expelled students. Mr. Manniello regularly provides training for clients on these subjects.

Presenter Experience

Mr. Manniello is highly sought as a presenter on education law issues throughout California. He is a frequent presenter at events organized by Association for California School Administrators (ACSA), California School Boards Association (CSBA) and various county offices of education on student, labor and employee benefit issues.


He is a member of the California Bar Association and is admitted to practice in all California courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


Mr. Manniello earned his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1997 and a B.S. in Finance from California State University, San Jose, in 1993.

Settlement Addresses Discriminatory Treatment of Minority Students and Students with Disabilities

By: Thomas Manniello-

February 2019Number 11A settlement agreement was recently reached between the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Stockton Unified School District (District) to address discriminatory treatment of minority students and students with disabilities. The agreement resolves a comprehensive investigation conducted by the DOJ, which found that the District's policies and practices with respect to law enforcement referrals discriminated against African-American and Latino students as well ...

School Resource Officers Try to Teach Students a Lesson – and It Backfires

By: Thomas MannielloMarisa Montenegro-

November 2018Number 77In Scott v. County of San Bernardino (9th Cir.) 903 F.3d 943, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's summary judgment in favor of three students in an action alleging that two Sheriff's deputies arrested a group of middle school students in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights and state law. The group of female students were handcuffed, arrested, and transported to the Sheriff's station after a series of bullying and assault incidents betwee...

New Law Requires Paid Time Off for Union Stewards and Officers

By: Thomas MannielloNiki Nabavi Nouri-

October 2018Number 65Effective January 1, 2019, Senate Bill (SB) 1085 requires public agency employers in California to grant, upon the request of a union, "reasonable" paid leaves of absence to employees serving as stewards or officers of the union or of any statewide or national employee organization with which the union is affiliated.While on such leave, employees must suffer no loss of compensation or benefits and retain reinstatement rights, meaning they have the right to return to the s...

Ninth Circuit Shoots Down Challenge to Law Prohibiting Concealed-Carry Permit Holders from Possessing Firearms on School Property

By: Thomas MannielloTilman Heyer-

September 2018Number 46In Gallinger v. Becerra, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to a 2015 change to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act that removed an exemption allowing concealed-carry permit holders to carry firearms on school grounds, but maintained the same exemption for retired peace officers.The Ninth Circuit held that lawmakers had a rational basis for approving this change, effected by Senate Bill (SB) 707, and also that the partial elimination of the exempt...

Retiree Work Hour Limitation Suspended for Fire and Mudslide Response Work

By: Thomas Manniello-

February 2018 Number 4 Governor Jerry Brown has suspended the 960-hour per year work hour limit for retired annuitants who assist California counties battling fires and mudslides. CalPERS announced Brown's suspension of the rule in a January 29 Circular Letter. Governor Brown issued a pair of executive orders lifting the work hour limit and other rules in an effort to expedite hiring of emergency workers and to streamline the recovery of communities devastated by the disasters. In addi...

New Laws Impact Employers' CalPERS Obligations

By: Thomas MannielloErin Hamor-

December 2017 Number 79 Governor Jerry Brown has signed three bills that significantly impact local agency obligations to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and impose penalties on employers running afoul of the law. Each of these bills will take effect on January 1, 2018. Assembly Bill 1309: CalPERS May Fine Employers for Failing to Report Hiring and Payroll Data when Employing Retired Annuitants Under Assembly Bill (AB) 1309, CalPERS may now fine employer...

New Laws Ease Residency and Coursework Requirements for Children of Active Duty Military Personnel

By: Thomas MannielloKyle Raney-

November 2017 Number 77 A pair of new laws intended to ease residency and coursework requirements for students in military families will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Senate Bill (SB) 455 expands on prior legislation to permit students whose parents are on active duty military orders to remotely enroll in school, while Assembly Bill (AB) 365 extends coursework exemptions for other groups of transient students to children of active duty members of the military. SB 455: Updated Resi...

New Law Removes Restriction on Funding Student Field Trips

By: Thomas MannielloLeila Alamri-Kassim-

July 2017 Number 43 A bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 10 allows school districts to pay the expenses of students participating in field trips or excursions to other states, the District of Columbia or a foreign country. Assembly Bill (AB) 341 goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Education Code section 35330(b)(3) currently prohibits the use of school district funds to pay the expenses of a student participating in a field trip or excursion to any other state, the District o...

Proposed Amendments to CalSTRS Creditable Compensation Regulations Have LCAP Implications

By: Thomas Manniello-

May 2017 Number 26 Proposed amendments to the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) creditable compensation regulations would allow employers to establish a class of employees based upon employment in a program established under a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The proposed amendments modify the CalSTRS creditable compensation regulations that came into effect on January 1, 2015. CalSTRS member benefits are based in part on the "creditable compensation" ...

Meet-and-Confer Requirement Does Not Apply to Pension Reform Measure Placed on Ballot through Voter Initiative Process

By: Thomas Manniello-

April 2017 Number 20 In Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board (Apr. 11, 2017, D069626) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Boling), the Fourth District Court of Appeal invalidated a decision by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) holding that a city council violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) by placing a voter initiative to amend the city's charter on the ballot without first meeting and conferring with the unions representing affected city employees. In doing so, the court rejec...

Supreme Court Returns Transgender Student Rights Case to Lower Court

By: Thomas Manniello-

March 2017 On March 6, 2017, the United States Supreme Court sent the case of Virginia transgender high school student Gavin Grimm back to an appellate court, which must now consider the case and the parties' arguments "in light of the guidance document issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice on February 22, 2017" that rescinded the Obama administration's May 2016 guidance on transgender student rights and facilities access. (Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. (...

Student Walkouts: Free Speech Rights vs. Truancy Rules

By: Sloan SimmonsThomas Manniello-

November 2016 Following this week's national election, school officials around the state have been faced with threatened or actual student walkouts. Generally speaking, California law and the United States Constitution prohibit school officials from limiting student speech and expression on school grounds unless it does or is reasonably forecast to substantially disrupt the educational environment, or is otherwise lewd, vulgar, obscene, or plainly offensive. This raises the question of whe...

Governor Signs Three Student Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Bills

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2016 Number 77 Governor Jerry Brown recently signed three Assembly bills related to student health emergency preparedness and response in school districts and charter schools. Assembly Bill (AB) 1719 requires any school district or charter school whose graduation requirements include a health education course to include compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction. AB 1748 authorizes school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to obtain...

Discipline for Cyber Bullying Gets an Upgrade

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2016 Number 73 On September 21, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two new bills that will become effective January 1, 2017, amending sections 234.2 and 48900 of the Education Code relating to cyber bullying. The new laws expressly include video as an electronic means by which bullying can occur. Students can now also be suspended or expelled if "cyber sexual bullying" is committed, and local education agencies are encouraged to inform students that information and reso...

Court of Appeal Confirms that CalPERS Members Must Have Base Salary Listed on Publicly Available Pay Schedule

By: Thomas Manniello-

August 2016 Number 51 A California appeals court has affirmed earlier rulings that retirement benefits under the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) may only be based on salaries listed on publicly available pay schedules. In June, the California Court of Appeal, Third District upheld a CalPERS decision that significantly reduced the retirement benefits of the City of Vallejo's former city manager. (Tanner v. California Public Employees' Retirement System (June 28, 20...

California Decides Not to Require Public School Choice Transfers Under ESSA

By: Thomas Manniello-

July 2016 Number 41 Under Title I the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, schools that failed to demonstrate sufficient annual progress toward established academic proficiency goals fell into program improvement (PI) status and were required to offer students transfers to other non-PI schools in or outside of the district. Such NCLB-driven transfers are commonly referred to as "public school choice" transfe...

Significant Cases

Published appellate decisions he has briefed or argued include Katz v. Campbell Union High School District (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 1024; West v. Umialik Insurance Co. (2000) 8 P.3d 1135; Northern Alaska Environmental Center v. State of Alaska, Dept. of Natural Resources (2000) 2 P.3d 629; Gerstein v. Axtell (1998) 960 P. 2d 599.

Police in Schools – The Role of a School Resource Officer

By: Devon LincolnThomas MannielloJenell Van Bindsbergen-

The role of law enforcement officers on school campuses is not well understood. Devon Lincoln is joined by attorney Tom Manniello, an expert in student discipline issues and discipline reform, and Jenell Van Bindsbergen, an attorney specializing in working with police officers and police departments. In a wide ranging discussion, the panelists lay out the complex issues that come up when an officer polices a school campus.