California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

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Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

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Ninth Circuit Decision Reaffirms The Difficulty Members Of Law Enforcement Can Face In Asserting First Amendment Claims

Posted in Constitutional Rights, First Amendment, Public Safety Issues, Retaliation
Update: On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided to re-hear Dahlia v. Rodriguez en banc. Accordingly, public agencies can no longer rely on the three-Judge panel opinion discussed below. A panel of eleven Judges will re-hear the appeal. The opinion of that en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit will likely… Continue Reading

Officers Shooting Pepper Balls to Disperse Partying College Students Are Not Entitled To Qualified Immunity

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Public Safety Issues
This guest post was authored by Judith S. Islas Last November UC Davis police donned in riot gear used pepper spray on a group of student protestors at an “occupy” movement demonstration held on the university campus.  That pepper spray incident was captured on video. It triggered an internet and media frenzy, multiple investigations and… Continue Reading

What Does The Supreme Court’s Ruling In US v. Jones Mean For GPS Tracking By Employers?

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Privacy, Workplace Policies
Last summer we reported that an employer may under California law use GPS devices to track employer owned or leased vehicles.  We recently revisited this issue in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in United States v. Jones.   Although Jones does address the use of GPS devices to track vehicles, the holding will… Continue Reading

“Last Chance Agreement” Failed To Contain Waiver Of “Skelly” Rights

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Litigation, Personnel Issues
This guest post was authored by James Oldendorph   On August 3, 2011, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a public employee had not knowingly waived his right to a due process pre-termination hearing by signing a “last chance agreement,” and that the public employer violated his due process right by not… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Rules Cheerleader’s Free Speech Claims Were Not Frivolous

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Education, First Amendment
On September 12, 2011, in John Doe and Jane Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas ruled that a high school student will not be required to pay attorney’s fees to the school district for her First Amendment free speech claims, but she will be required to… Continue Reading

Court Rules Metrolink May Monitor Locomotive Engineers Via Audio/Video Surveillance

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Litigation, Privacy
This guest post was authored by James E. Oldendorph Jr. In October 2009, Metrolink installed two inward-facing cameras in all of its locomotive cabs.  While one of the inward-facing cameras records the control panel and gauges, the other is located seven to eight feet from where the locomotive engineer is seated inside the cab and… Continue Reading