FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS FOR DIR’S LABOR COMPLIANCE UNIT

August 2011
Number 21

On August 1, 2011, the Office of Administrative Law approved the request by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) for another 90-day extension of its emergency regulations, which will again delay the implementation of the DIR’s Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) for Labor Compliance Programs (LCP) for school and community college construction projects. During this extension period, the DIR will be working on adopting new permanent regulations to implement the CMU in early 2012. (Please see Client News Brief No. 28, July 2010, Client Alert No. 16, November 2010, and Client Alert No. 8, May 2011 for more details regarding the recent developments of the LCP requirements.)

This extension continues the suspension of all CMU operations, along with the fee which was to be imposed for its labor compliance enforcement, through the end of October 2011. In the meantime, the DIR has scheduled a public hearing for August 15, 2011 on its proposed new regulations. The new regulations are intended to address concerns raised by the state’s bond counsel and others regarding the CMU fee and to delay the effective date of the CMU to January 1, 2012 or later. For now, school districts and community college districts should continue to administer their own LCP programs or obtain the services of third-party LCP providers for projects.

We will continue to monitor developments from the DIR and provide any updates on the CMU and the related fee. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding labor compliance requirements or construction matters in general, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

Written By:
Ruth Mendyk
Shareholder and Facilities & Business Practice Group Co-Chair
Fresno Office
rmendyk@lozanosmith.com

Michael Dunne
Paralegal
Fresno Office
mdunne@lozanosmith.com

© 2011 Lozano Smith

LEGISLATURE CODIFIES INCREASES IN INFORMAL BID LIMITS UNDER THE UNIFORM PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION COST

August 2011
Number 20

Effective July 1, 2011, the State Controller increased the informal bid limits under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (Act) from $125,000 to $175,000. (Please see Client News Brief No. 17, May 2011.) Assembly Bill (AB) 943, signed by Governor Brown on July 25, 2011, confirms this increase in the Public Contract Code.

Currently, the Act provides that if all bids exceed the $125,000 informal limit, the bid may be awarded to the lowest bidder up to a maximum of $137,500. However, with the passage of AB 943, if all bids received exceed the new $175,000 informal bid limit, the bid may be awarded to the lowest bidder up to a maximum of $187,500. Note that AB 943 does not take effect until January 1, 2012. Therefore, if all bids exceed $175,000, the agency may not award the bid to the lowest bidder up to the $187,500 limit until January 1, 2012. AB 943 does not affect a local agency’s ability to award bids up to the new $175,000 informal bid limit between now and January 1, 2012.

The Act provides an alternative method for school districts, cities, and other public agencies to obtain bids for public works projects that can save agencies the time and expense required by the traditional bidding process. It does not apply to the purchases of equipment, materials, supplies, or services. As before, the limit for construction projects performed by force account or without bidding remains at $30,000 under the Act.

Lozano Smith attorneys have assisted many public agency clients with adopting the required procedures and maintaining compliance with the Act. If you have any questions about this recent development, or about becoming a uniform construction cost accounting agency, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

Written By:
Daniel Maruccia
Associate
Sacramento Office
dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com

© 2011 Lozano Smith

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL WORKSHOPS

August 2011
Number 19

Summer will soon be coming to a close and districts are busy planning welcome back sessions for their employees. Lozano Smith attorneys are also getting ready for the new school year and preparing training presentations to be included in these welcome back sessions. These presentations include:

  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
    (Required for Supervisors)
  • Student Discipline Refresher
  • Student Fees and Fundraising
  • IEP Team Meetings
  • Cyber Communications for Employees and Students
  • Employee Evaluation and Discipline

These workshops are designed to provide up-to-date, practical advice and training for all district personnel.

If you would like to include a Lozano Smith training presentation with your district’s back to school session, please contact Kim Pollastrini at kpollastrini@lozanosmith.com or 1-800-445-9430, or contact any of our eight offices located statewide.

© 2011 Lozano Smith

LOZANO SMITH PUBLICATION SUMMARIZES CHANGES IN DISABILITY NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS

August 2011
Number 18

Discrimination against people with disabilities is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendment Act (ADAAA). The ADA is a broad law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, by public entities, and in places of public accommodations. The ADAAA amended the ADA in 2009 with the intent of providing workers with broader protections against disability discrimination.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently adopted new regulations implementing changes to both the ADA and the ADAAA. The DOJ regulations became effective on March 15, 2011 and updated Title II of the ADA, which prohibits disability discrimination by state and local government entities and addresses requirements regarding:

  • Service animals
  • Wheelchairs
  • Ticketing
  • Telecommunication
  • Interpreters and Other Visual and Auxiliary Aids
  • 2010 Standards for Accessible Design

The EEOC regulations, which went into effect on May 24, 2011, clarify what qualifies as a disability and analyze the broad protections provided by the ADAAA in the employment context.

Lozano Smith has reviewed the new DOJ and EEOC regulations and created a publication, The Americans With Disabilities Act Updated to Reflect 21st Century Challenges, summarizing the changes in the law that are most relevant to school districts. If you have any questions about this publication or more generally about disability nondiscrimination laws, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

Written By:
Daniel Osher
Shareholder and Special Education Practice Group Co-Chair
Monterey Office
dosher@lozanosmith.com

Aria Link
Law Clerk
Monterey Office
alink@lozanosmith.com

© 2011 Lozano Smith

LOUIS T. LOZANO NAMED TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SUPER LAWYERS®

July 2011
Number 17

Louis T. Lozano, Shareholder in Lozano Smith’s Monterey office, has been named by California Super Lawyers® magazine as one of the top attorneys in Northern California for 2011. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers.

For Mr. Lozano, this  marks his sixth year of being designated with this prestigious honor. He was also named a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

He is known as a thought leader and has been at the forefront of important legal issues in education law including school funding, land use and developer fees. He is best known for his labor negotiation skills and has resolved many serious labor disputes, avoiding costly strikes for his clients.

Each year the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.

“It is once again an honor to receive this nomination from my colleagues at Lozano Smith and our terrific clients,” said Lozano. “I continue to love what I do and am inspired by the new associates in our firm and the school board members and administrators helping to improve the field of education.”

To learn more about Lozano Smith or obtain additional information, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

© 2011 Lozano Smith

DEVON B. LINCOLN PROMOTED TO SENIOR COUNSEL

July 2011
Number 16

Lozano Smith is pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2011, Devon B. Lincoln, attorney in the Monterey Office, has been promoted to Senior Counsel.

Drawing on her experience as a corporate attorney on large transactions, Ms. Lincoln focuses her practice on construction, bidding, solar projects and clean energy, general facilities and business issues, and matters involving charter schools, including charter school governance and facilities issues and creating dependent charter schools. She is co-chair of the firm’s Charter School Practice Group and coordinates the firm’s Client News Brief Program.

Having been with the firm since 2003, Ms. Lincoln understands the mission and beliefs of Lozano Smith. Her work ethic, positive attitude, and extensive abilities will serve her well in her new role as Senior Counsel.

To learn more about Lozano Smith or obtain additional information, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

© 2011 Lozano Smith

SUBPOENAS ISSUED TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND COUNTY OFFICES OF EDUCATION IN THE CASE OF COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, ET. AL. V. ATLANTIC RICHFIELD COMPANY

July 2011
Number 15

School districts and county offices of education across the state have recently begun to receive subpoenas from litigants in the case of County of Santa Clara, et. al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company. The lawsuit was filed by a number of cities and counties against the manufacturers of lead paint. The suit alleges that the presence of lead paint on or near buildings in these communities is a public nuisance and that the manufacturers who created and marketed the paint have a responsibility to abate it.

In order to build their case and identify affected sites, the defendants have issued broad and far-reaching subpoenas to school districts and other public agencies across the state. The subpoenas essentially request the production of any and all documents that pertain to the presence of lead paint at any of the agency’s facilities, both currently and in the past.

Many of our clients have contacted us regarding these subpoenas. Because the subpoenas issued to each of our clients are nearly identical and because they raise the same issues and concerns, we have been negotiating with the defendants regarding the scope of the subpoenas and are coordinating responses. If you have received a subpoena in this case and have any questions or would like our assistance, please contact attorney Thomas R. Manniello at (831) 646-1501 or by email at tmanniello@lozanosmith.com

To learn more about Lozano Smith or obtain additional information, please do not hesitate to contact one of our eight offices located statewide or consult our website.

© 2011 Lozano Smith