College administrators need partners who understand their world - the dynamic relationship between faculty and administration, the challenges of ensuring a stable and well-regulated student community, the expanding regulatory climate affecting education, and the technology that will frame the institutions of tomorrow.
Areas of Practice
We routinely advise administrators on compliance, best practices, and trends in the law uniquely affecting community colleges. These areas include:
- Institutional policies, including Employee, Faculty and Student Handbooks
- Admissions policies and practices
- Financial aid and scholarships
- Construction agreements and facilities finance
- Labor negotiations
- Compliance with laws regulating classified and certificated employees
- Wage and hour compliance
- Severance and separation agreements
- Technology and software licensing agreements
- Third-party vendor and multi-institution contracts
- Online education contracting
- Regulatory compliance
- Fundraising and development
- Bond counsel services
- Real Property
- Environmental Issues
Lozano Smith clients consistently turn to the Community College Practice Group for guidance in every aspect of claims and litigation. They assist this specialized group of clientele with:
- Employment litigation
- Harassment and discrimination complaints
- Student code of conduct violations and proceedings
- Tenure disputes
- First Amendment claims
- Layoff proceedings
- Labor arbitrations
- Breach of contract claims
- Embezzlement/fraud issues
- Unfair business practices claims
- Premises liability claims
- Vendor disputes
Investigations - Learn more
The inherent seriousness and sensitivity of workplace investigations often obligates an employer to hire an independent investigator to conduct a prompt and comprehensive investigation. Lozano Smith's Investigative Services Team, a specialist group within our Labor & Employment Practice Group, recognizes the challenges that come with investigations of employee, student, and parent complaints. These attorneys have expertly served as investigators and advisors to clients on a broad range of complaints and can help your district to navigate the investigations process. Working alongside K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities and other public agencies, the Investigative Services Team supports management in reviewing and responding to employee, student, and parent complaints in a fair, impartial, and legally compliant manner.
Real World Applications
By working with attorneys who specialize in the law of higher education, colleges save time and money, and can trust that the attorneys they are speaking to already understand their world. The Group's practical experience translates into proven, efficient solutions.
July 2017 Number 42 State lawmakers have extended the deadlines to apply for and encumber money dedicated to energy efficiency projects at schools and community colleges - the program known as Proposition 39 - and have created a new program to fund such projects indefinitely. Proposition 39 was scheduled to sunset June 30, 2018. Now, Senate Bill (SB) 110 has extended the deadline for encumbering Proposition 39 funds by one year, to June 30, 2019. At the same time, the bill creates the ...
July 2017 Number 41 A California law that bars state agencies from funding travel, and from requiring employees to travel, to states that permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression - and Attorney General Xavier Becerra's recent expansion of the list of states covered by the ban - have raised questions regarding whether the law applies to cities, counties, school districts and community college districts. While there is no definitive l...
July 2017 Number 40 The California Supreme Court has ruled that an independent contractor can be criminally liable for a conflict of interest under California Government Code section 1090, expanding the universe of penalties a contractor can face for violating the statute and reversing a prior appellate court ruling that exempted contractors from criminal liability for such conflicts. The Court's decision in People v. Superior Court (Sahlolbei) (June 26, 2017, No. S232639) ___ Cal.5th ...
July 2017 Number 38 Senate Bill (SB) 96, passed this June as part of the California state budget, contains provisions designed to encourage more contractors to participate on small public works projects. Public works projects under $25,000 and maintenance projects under $15,000 are now exempt from the requirements of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) registration program. The new law also permits contractors to register for up to three years in advance and imposes new penalt...
Employers Must Provide Information on Rights of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims
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...
July 2017 Number 36 The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new instructions to its regional directors regarding how to handle complaints involving transgender students. The document is intended to offer OCR staff additional guidance in light of recent court developments and the Trump Administration's withdrawal of the Obama Administration's guidance on transgender students. (See 2017 Client News Brief No. 9.) The instructions affirm that transgender...
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...