Legislative Changes Impacting Labor & Employment Issues in Schools

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 specified training programs. SB 1291 also provides that, effective January 1, 2014, unemployed permanent or probationary teachers who participate in K-12 math, science, or special education credential or training programs approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing are automatically eligible for extended unemployment benefits under the Program.

SB 1292: Principal Evaluations

Effective January 1, 2013, SB 1292 adds Article 13 (commencing with Section 44670) to the Education Code to authorize the governing board of a school district to create and implement an evaluation process for school principals. Under SB 1292, principal evaluations are authorized for the first and second year of employment as a new principal, as well as additional evaluations thereafter as determined by the governing board. SB 1292 provides that the criteria for principal evaluations may be based upon the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and may include, among other things, pupil academic growth, performance of teacher evaluations, and effective school management. AB 1292 also authorizes school districts to utilize funds from Title I and II of the No Child Left Behind Act or other available state and federal funds to implement its terms.

AB 1964 and AB 2386: Amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act

AB 1964 expands and clarifies protections from discrimination based on religious beliefs. Current law requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs or observances of an employee unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the employer. AB 1964 includes religious dress and grooming practices as a belief or observance covered by the protections against religious discrimination. AB 1964 further specifies that any accommodation of an employee’s religious dress or grooming practice that requires the employee to be segregated from the public or other employees is not a reasonable accommodation.

AB 2386 clarifies that the existing protections against sex discrimination include protections for employees who are breastfeeding or suffering medical conditions related to breastfeeding.

The statutory changes made by AB 1964 and AB 2386 are effective January 1, 2013.

If you have any questions regarding these bills or other labor and employment matters, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or download our Client News Brief App.

Written By

Dulcinea Grantham
Walnut Creek Office

Mary L. Kellogg
Los Angeles Office

©2012 Lozano Smith

As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.


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