California Supreme Court Holds Disclosure Is the Rule, Not the Exception, in Public Record Requests

October 2017
Number 59

Automated license plate reader (ALPR) scan data is not subject to the “records of investigation” exemption under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the California Supreme Court has ruled. The Court, however, did not foreclose the ability to withhold such information if it would invade an individual’s privacy.

In American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Aug. 31, 2017, No S227106) ___ Cal.5th ____, the Court considered whether a request for ALPR data was exempt from disclosure.

Background

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) both utilize ALPR technology to locate vehicles linked to crimes under investigation. High-speed computer-controlled cameras that are mounted onto fixed structures or patrol cars automatically capture images of license plates for each vehicle that passes through the optical range. Each number captured is then checked against a list of license plate numbers that are associated with crimes or criminal investigations-the “hot” list. If a match occurs, the system alerts either officers or a central dispatch unit.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought to investigate the legal and policy implications of the government’s use of ALPR data. The ACLU submitted a CPRA request to the LAPD and LASD seeking all ALPR data collected over a one-week period, consisting of at minimum the license plate number, date, time and location information of each license plate recorded. The ACLU did not seek disclosure of any license plate numbers that matched the hot list. Both the LAPD and LASD declined to produce the requested scan data, citing the CPRA’s exemption for law enforcement records of investigation.

Both the trial court and the Court of Appeal concluded that the requested data was exempt from disclosure under the records of investigation exemption. But in a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s decision, noting that its obligation to interpret the CPRA in a manner that favors disclosure required that all exemptions be construed narrowly. The Court reasoned that in order to qualify as an “investigation,” an inquiry by law enforcement must be targeted at suspected violations of the law and not collected as part of “bulk data collection.” Here, the ALPR scans were not each “conducted as part of a targeted inquiry” into a specific crime, and therefore could not be considered records of investigation.

The Court recognized the public interest in not disclosing the data. As the Court explained, such disclosure threatened individuals’ privacy, since “data showing where a person was at a certain time could reveal where that person lives, works, or frequently visits.” However, the Court also recognized that disclosure of the ALPR data could be used to determine if the information was being properly obtained and used. Accordingly, the Court returned the case to the trial court with instructions to consider whether the balance of public interests would be altered if the ALPR data could be redacted or anonymized by “replacing the actual license plate numbers with fictional numbers.” The Court cautioned that in analyzing the catchall exemption of the CPRA, a court “cannot allow ‘vague safety concerns’ to foreclose the public’s right of access.”

Takeaways

This opinion serves as an important reminder that courts are likely to err on the side of disclosure under the CPRA and will likely continue to restrict the general use of disclosure exemptions.

For more information on this case or the California Public Records Act in general, contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.
Written by:

Jenell Van Bindsbergen

Partner & Co-Chair

Alyse Pacheco

Associate

©2017 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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Rescission of DACA: What Public Agencies Need to Know

October 2017
Number 57

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program temporarily permitted some 800,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to lawfully stay, attend school, and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The Administration is phasing out the program over a six-month period that will end on March 5, 2018, unless Congress enacts legislation extending DACA’s protections.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) official memorandum rescinding the program provides the following:

  • New Initial DACA Applications: New initial DACA applications will no longer be accepted.
  • Pending Initial DACA Applications: Pending initial DACA applications submitted before September 5, 2017will still be adjudicated and processed on a case-by-case basis.
  • New DACA Renewal Requests: Requests for DACA renewals from current beneficiaries whose benefits expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 are eligible for a two-year extension, but the applications must be sent in by October 5, 2017. For individuals whose renewal date is after March 5, 2018, the individual’s current work permit expiration date will be his or her last day of DACA status and employment authorization-no renewals will be allowed.
  • Pending DACA Renewal Requests: Renewal requests from current beneficiaries that were accepted by DHS as of September 5, 2017 will still be adjudicated and processed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Existing DACA Beneficiaries: DHS will not terminate previously issued DACA removal protections or revoke work authorization for the remaining duration of their validity periods.

The Administration’s decision has raised many concerns. According to an August 2017 report by the Migration Policy Institute, the vast majority of DACA recipients are employed or attending school, with one quarter of recipients juggling both college and work. Thus, the end of DACA is poised to have significant impacts on both public employers and schools. Below we highlight some of the implications for public agencies, and note a few measures that agencies can take now to prepare for the upcoming changes.

Implications for Employers

Proving Authorization to Work

Federal law prohibits employers from employing an individual when the employer knows that the individual is not authorized to work in the U.S. Within three days of hire, all employees must fill out an employment eligibility verification Form I-9, regardless of the employee’s immigration or citizenship status, in order to verify identity and employment eligibility. DACA beneficiaries granted work authorizations are issued Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An EAD card issued to a DACA recipient is one of the acceptable identification and work authorization documents listed on Form I-9. EADs are issued to foreign nationals with different types of legal status (e.g., refugees and asylum recipients), not just DACA beneficiaries, and employers are not permitted to ask employees for specific details regarding their immigration status.

Reverification

Once an employee has completed Form I-9 or the E-Verify work eligibility process, an employer should not ask to see the employee’s work permit or other identity or employment eligibility verification documents until the document the employee provided expires or is about to expire. When an employer asks to see such a document again, the process is called “reverification.” Based on USCIS guidance, in order to continue to employ an individual whose EAD has expired, employers will need to reverify the employee no later than the date of expiration. If the reverification process is not completed by the expiration date, the employee may not continue to work and should be put on leave of absence or terminated, in accordance with the employer’s policy.

Avoiding Discriminatory Practices

Although it is unlawful to continue to employ DACA recipients after the expiration of their EADs, it is also unlawful to subject them to greater scrutiny than other employees for reverification purposes, or fire them prematurely based on having a permit that will expire in the future. Under both the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against work-authorized individuals based on their nationality or their citizenship or immigration status. It is unlawful, for example, for an employer to selectively reverify the employment eligibility of one employee or a group of employees based on their country of origin, citizenship or immigration status. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating in the verification and reverification process by requesting additional or different documents than are required for verification, demanding a specific document, or refusing to accept a document because of an unfounded suspicion that a document is fraudulent. In addition, authorized workers are protected from intimidation, threats, coercion and retaliation for having filed a discrimination charge against their employer.

Employers should have an established, periodic practice of internally reviewing their employees’ Form I-9 paperwork in order to ensure compliance with federal laws. A best practice is for employers to keep track of all temporary work authorizations that are about to expire and then give employees advance notice that they will soon need to show proof of updated work authorization when their permits are about to expire. USCIS suggests establishing a calendar notification system for employees whose EADs will expire and providing those employees with at least 90 days’ notice prior to the expiration date. Employers without a current practice of internal reviews should consider implementing such a practice.

Implications for Schools

Public schools have an obligation to provide K-12 students a free public education, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. The rescission of DACA does not change a public school’s obligations to educate and provide a safe learning environment for all students. In addition, undocumented students are afforded protections under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Under FERPA and California student records laws, schools may not provide information from a student’s education record to federal immigration agents unless they obtain parental consent or receive a warrant, court order or lawfully issued subpoena for the information. Immigrant students may also be protected under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which provides certain educational rights for displaced and migrant children. For college students, undocumented status does not affect a student’s ability to attend California colleges, qualify for exemptions of non-resident tuition, or to apply for financial aid. Thus, the rescission of DACA has minimal impact on students’ eligibility for school attendance and financial aid.

Takeaways

While pending federal lawsuits and various companies and organizations are actively urging the reinstatement of DACA, the future for DACA beneficiaries remains uncertain. As public agencies wait for further guidance from Congress and the courts, there are some proactive measures that employers and schools can take now, including:

  • Avoid discriminatory practices, such as engaging in unfair verification and reverification; prematurely terminating employees before work authorization expires; treating individuals differently based on their nationality, immigration or citizenship status; or intimidating or retaliating against employees for having filed discrimination charges;
  • Have an internal practice of consistently tracking work authorizations, and provide an employee with at least 90 days’ notice prior to the expiration of his or her work authorization that he or she will need to show proof of updated authorization; and
  • Inform students and parents of DACA students’ education and privacy rights, which include the right to attend college and the right to apply for financial aid, regardless of immigrations status.

If you have any questions about the federal government’s rescission of DACA or its impact on public agencies, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

Dulcinea A. Grantham

Partner & Co-Chair

Sloan R. Simmons

Partner & Co-Chair

Sara E. Santoyo

Associate

©2017 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.

Court Eliminates Registration Requirement for Model Aircraft

September 2017
Number 55

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may no longer require the registration of model aircraft, following the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Huerta v. Taylor.

Model aircraft, commonly known as drones, are unmanned aircraft that weigh 55 pounds or less and are used exclusively for recreational purposes. Small unmanned aircraft used for any commercial purposes, or unmanned aircraft heavier than 55 pounds, are not impacted.

The Huerta case challenged a rule promulgated by the FAA in 2015 known as the Registration Rule that required model aircraft to be registered with the FAA. Challenged on the basis of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which specifically prohibits the FAA from promulgating any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, the court barred the application of the Registration Rule to model aircraft.

The court did not consider the application of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act to an FAA circular that restricted model aircraft flight in the Washington, D.C. area, because the challenge fell outside of the 60-day window to challenge the rule and the plaintiff did not have reasonable grounds for the delay. FAA Advisory Circular 91-57A continues to prohibit the operation of model aircraft in Prohibited Areas, Special Flight Rule Areas or the Washington National Capital Region Flight Restricted Zone without specific authorization.

Previously, the FAA took the position that state and local government regulation of unmanned aircraft must be consistent with the federal statutory and regulatory framework. Federal registration was the exclusive means for registering unmanned aircraft, and no state or local government could impose an additional registration requirement without first obtaining FAA approval. The court’s ruling did not address whether state and local governments may now be permitted to require registration of model aircraft pursuant to their police power.

Regardless, state and local governments may still rely on their traditional police power in areas such as land use, zoning, privacy, trespass and law enforcement operations to regulate uses of unmanned aircraft, including model aircraft. FAA examples of permissible state and local regulations include prohibitions against use for voyeurism, against use for hunting or fishing, and against attaching firearms or similar weapons.

For more information on the Huerta decision or on drone regulation in general, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

William P. Cureley III

Partner & Co-Chair

©2017 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.

Discovery of Public Records after Requester Filed Lawsuit Leads to Attorney Fee Award for Plaintiff

September 2017
Number 51

A California appeals court has found a city liable for attorney’s fees after determining that a related lawsuit prompted the city to produce records during the litigation that the plaintiff had first sought through a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request.

In Sukumar v. City of San Diego, the Court of Appeal held that the City of San Diego, although acting in good faith and having ultimately disclosed all records responsive to a CPRA request, had to pay a plaintiff’s attorney fees after being sued under the CPRA. A key factor in the court’s decision was the city’s repeated assurances to both the plaintiff and the trial judge that all responsive records were disclosed when in fact this was not the case.

The CPRA and the Catalyst Theory

A public agency may be sued under the CPRA if a requesting party believes the agency’s response to their request for records was inadequate. Plaintiffs in such cases are eligible for an award of attorney’s fees if they win their case. They may also be eligible for fees in situations where they do not win but can prove there was a substantial causal relationship between the lawsuit and the public agency’s production of additional records. This method of securing attorney fees is known as the “catalyst” theory. This rule applies to all local agencies that must produce records
under the CPRA.

Background

Plaintiff Ponani Sukumar made a CPRA request seeking 54 separate categories of records dating back to 1990 that related to neighbors’ complaints regarding a list of code violations Sukumar allegedly committed and the city’s investigation of those complaints. About a month after Sukumar made his request, the city provided access to some of the records and sent a letter stating that this was the city’s “last response.” Three weeks later, Sukumar filed a lawsuit alleging that the city was withholding responsive documents. The city continued to produce records after the suit was filed.

During the legal proceedings, the city’s attorney claimed that all of the responsive documents had been produced. However, a key document was subsequently produced on the day that depositions of city employees were scheduled. During a deposition, a city employee indicated that additional records may not have been produced. Following the depositions, the city produced an additional 146 pages of emails and five photographs.

After the city produced these additional records, the trial court held that Sukumar’s lawsuit was moot because the city had produced all of the responsive documents. The court also decided that the lawsuit was not the motivating factor for the city’s production of the additional records, and as a result, Sukumar was not eligible for recovery of attorney’s fees. Sukumar appealed the attorney fee decision.

The appeals court reversed the trial court’s decision, determining that substantial evidence existed to show that the lawsuit induced the city to locate and produce additional records, entitling the plaintiff to recover attorney’s fees. The Court of Appeal was not persuaded by the city’s argument that the lawsuit did not cause it to produce requested records because the city had already agreed to turn them over, holding that “but for” the court-ordered depositions, which were a direct product of the lawsuit, the city would not have continued to look for, or produce, the responsive records. The Court of Appeal acknowledged that there was no evidence of bad faith on the city’s behalf, but held that bad faith is not the applicable test.

Takeaways

The decision in this case highlights the importance of carrying out broad and comprehensive searches for records responsive to CPRA requests from the outset. Such searches may reduce the likelihood of overlooking responsive records. This will be especially challenging given the volume of electronic data under a public agency’s control. Also, when a public agency knows that additional records may be discovered at a later date, it may be in the agency’s best interest to immediately notify the requesting party when the records will be made available. By following these practices, public agencies can hopefully avoid the issues presented in this case and the accompanying risk of attorney’s fees.

If you have any questions about the Sukumar decision or the California Public Records Act in general, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

Manuel F. Martinez

Partner

Steve Ngo

Senior Counsel

Jerrad M. Mills

Associate

©2017 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.

Despite Marijuana Industry Efforts, Local Control Survives

August 2017
Number 48

Eight months after California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized adult use of recreational marijuana in California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill that will facilitate the issuance of marijuana business licenses beginning in January 2018. Despite marijuana industry efforts to minimize local government regulation, the new bill guarantees continued local agencies’ control over marijuana operations in their jurisdictions.

The primary thrust of Senate Bill (SB) 94, the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Recreation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) is to combine state regulation of medical and recreational marijuana under the new Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). However, the bill also provides for local control over permitting and safety regulation of marijuana businesses. Under the new law, local agencies have the right to:

  • Expand the prohibition zones around schools, daycare centers and youth centers for marijuana businesses;
  • Inspect the premises and examine the records of licensed cannabis businesses, during normal business hours, and set fines up to $30,000 for each incident of non-compliance with local laws;
  • Regulate mobile dispensaries and require a physical, permitted location for the dispensary, even if it is closed to the public;
  • Enforce fire and life safety requirements on marijuana operations; and
  • Seize and destroy illegal marijuana, including during peace officers’ investigation stage, with unlicensed individuals being held responsible for the cost of the destruction.

Local ordinances remain exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review until July 1, 2019.

SB 94 also clarifies the scope of joint state and local agency jurisdiction. The bill provides:

  • State authority to delegate full power and authority to local agencies – through an agreement with local jurisdictions – to enforce regulations promulgated by the BCC;
  • Revocation of state licensure if the cannabis licensee is not complying
    with local laws;
  • The allocation of $3 million to the California Highway Patrol to be used for training drug recognition experts, which might also be used to support local drug enforcement;
  • Streamlined processes for the collection and remitting of marijuana taxes and fees;
  • A requirement that local jurisdictions provide the BCC with copies of any ordinances or regulations related to commercial cannabis operations as well as designating a contact person to act as a liaison between the BCC and the local government; and
  • Establishment of a process for local agencies and the BCC to share information about an applicant for a marijuana license.

For more information on Proposition 64 and the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Recreation and Safety Act, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney in Lozano Smith’s Local Government Practice Group or at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

Jenell Van Bindsbergen

Partner

Lee Burdick

Senior Counsel

©2017 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.

Appellate Courts Reject Recreational Trail Immunity for Adjacent Hazards

August 2017
Number 47

Two decisions in the last three months have increased the potential for a public entity to be held liable for an injury suffered on one of its recreational trails. Appellate courts decidingGarcia v. American Golf Corporation (May 3, 2017, No. B267613) ___ Cal.App.5th ___ and Toeppe v. City of San Diego (July 27, 2017, No. D069662) ___ Cal.App.5th ___ held that a public entity cannot assert recreational trail immunity when an adjacent hazardous condition of the public entity’s property is unrelated to, or independent of, the trail. Previous decisions had broadly applied statutory recreational trail immunity to hazards on property adjacent to public trails.

The California Supreme Court denied review of the Garcia decision on August 9. As of this writing, no request for Supreme Court review has been filed in Toeppe.

Prior Law

Public entities generally are immune from liability for injuries caused by their recreational trails, pursuant to Government Code section 831.4. The statute specifically provides that a public agency is not liable for an injury caused by a “condition of” an “unpaved road” or “trail” used for general recreational purposes.

In the past, this immunity has been consistently interpreted to broadly protect public agencies from liability due to injuries from both design elements and locations of trails. InAmberger-Warren v. City of Piedmont (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1074, the plaintiff was bumped off a path and started to slip down a hill. The court held that recreational trail immunity extended to both the design of a trail (the lack of handrails) and the location (the placement next to a steep slope). One year later, in Prokopv. City of Los Angeles (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 1332, the appellate court held that the “condition of” a bikeway included the design of a bicycle gate into which plaintiff had crashed, and that even though the injury occurred just off the bikeway itself, that the gateway to the bike path was “an integral part of the bike path.”

Earlier this year, in Leyva v. Crocket & Company, Inc. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 1105, an appellate court considered a case where the plaintiff was struck by a golf ball while on a publicly owned trail. The plaintiff argued that the lack of safety barriers on the adjacent golf course caused the injury, and that this condition was not a faulty design or condition of the trail. The appellate court disagreed and concluded that the immunity applied since the trail’s location next to the golf course was an “integral feature” of the trail, and the erection of a safety barrier would be equivalent to the installation of a handrail in Amberger.

The Garcia Decision

Factually similar to Leyva, the plaintiff in Garcia was a child in a stroller who was hit in the head by a golf ball while on a pedestrian walkway between a roadway and a golf course, which were all owned by a city. However, in Garcia the court concluded thatAmberger “did not hold that there must be immunity for every injury occurring on a trail when an adjacent public property was a contributing factor. … It identified the issue as whether the trail and an adjacent public property meet a relatedness test.” The court found that the trail and golf course did not pass this relatedness test, and it distinguished Leyva despite its strong factual similarities.

Consequently, the court issued a narrow holding: A public golf course cannot assert a recreational trail immunity defense when the trail abuts a public street; the course is a commercially-operated, revenue-generating enterprise; the course has a dangerous condition; and the dangerous condition caused harm to a user of the trail.

The Toeppe Decision

Issued by the same appellate district that issued Leyva, theToeppe decision used an approach similar to Garcia but stated a broader holding. The plaintiff was walking on a trail in a public park when a eucalyptus branch fell and injured her. The court distinguishedAmberger by saying that the tree was “independent of the trail” and that the dangerous conditions in the two cases were fundamentally different. The court also distinguished Leyva despite the fact that the hazardous condition in Leyva was off the trail and independent of it. The court concluded that the recreational trail immunity did not apply, holding that “this is not a case about trails. It is about trees.”

Impact on Public Agencies

Leyva still has some precedential value, but by tacitly disapproving that case, the Garcia and Toeppe cases seem to establish a new paradigm that limits public agency immunity for hazardous conditions
adjacent to recreational trails. Accordingly, public agencies may need to reassess the design, insurance, maintenance and use of their trails to minimize the risk of liability.

If you have any questions about these decisions or trail immunity in general, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

William P. Curley III

Partner

Arne B. Sandberg

Senior Counsel

©2017 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.

California Travel Ban Does Not Apply to Local Agencies

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 legal guidance on the issue, the law expressly applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions, including the University of California and the California State University system. As “state agencies,” it appears the law also applies to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the California Department of Education. AB 1887 does not state that it applies to cities, counties, school districts or community college districts, nor do these entities appear to be state agencies under the law.

The acting general counsel of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office agrees: In a June 29 legal update, he said that while the restrictions apply to the chancellor’s office itself, community college districts are local education agencies that are not covered by the ban. Still, the letter cautioned local community college districts that the chancellor’s office may not be able to approve a request for state-funded travel to any of the states covered by the ban.

Effective January 1, 2017, Government Code section 11139.8 (enacted by Assembly Bill (AB) 1887) prohibits California state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions from requiring any state employees, officers or members to travel to other states that permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and also, from approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to a state that has passed such a law.

AB 1887 prohibits travel to any state that has enacted a law after June 26, 2015 that voids or repeals existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or permits discrimination against same-sex couples or their families on those bases.

The original list of states covered by the ban included Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. On June 22, Becerra added Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas to the list after those states approved laws that permit such discrimination.

Exceptions to the travel restrictions include:

  • Enforcement of California law, including auditing and revenue collection;
  • Litigation;
  • To meet contractual obligations incurred before January 1, 2017;
  • To comply with requests by the federal government to appear before committees;
  • To participate in meetings or training required by a grant or required to maintain grant funding;
  • To complete job-required training necessary to maintain licensure or similar standards required for holding a position, in the event that comparable training cannot be obtained in California or a different state not subject to the travel prohibition; and
  • For the protection of public health, welfare or safety, as determined by the affected agency, department, board, authority, commission or legislative office.

If local government agencies intend to use state grant money for travel to any of the states covered by the ban, they should check to determine if the travel restrictions are included as a condition of the grant. In addition,
local agencies may have adopted their own policies that mirror AB 1887.

Additional information about AB 1887 and the states the travel ban applies to is available on the Attorney General’s website. For more information on AB 1887, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our nine offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.

Written by:

Stephanie M. White

Associate

©2017 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.