AB 89, also known as the Peace Officers Education and Age Conditions for Employment, or “PEACE” Act, went into effect on January 1, 2022.

The most straightforward piece of that legislation was Government Code section 1031.4, which raises the minimum age for most peace officer employment from 18 to 21.  This is a current requirement

Performance-Review.pngHow many times have you heard LCW attorneys tell you to timely and accurately complete performance evaluations?  You likely hear this advice at every Employment Relations Consortium training you’ve attended.  A recent case reminds us all how crucial honest performance evaluations and other forms of progressive discipline can be.

In the case of Dickerson v. Board of Trustees of Community College District No. 522,   Bobby Dickerson was employed as a part-time janitor by an Illinois Community College District.  Between 2005 and 2007, his supervisor gave him written warnings issued for his refusal to perform work assignments, failure to secure job-related equipment, and for leaving the worksite without permission.  In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Dickerson applied for full-time positions with the district, but never succeeded.  Shortly after his third failed attempt at a promotion, Dickerson complained to the district that he was being discriminated against because of his “personal traits” and a speech defect. 

Dickerson then received a performance evaluation in December, 2007 for the period of November, 2006 through November, 2007.  Dickerson received “unsatisfactory” ratings in three of the seven performance categories.  The supervisor also provided written comments such as, “Dickerson is consistently late for work and needs to improve;” “jobs need to be redone because of not listening to the job instructions;” and that Dickerson “does only the bare minimum to meet job requirements.”  Dickerson disagreed with the evaluation and filed a grievance with his union alleging the district gave him the evaluation in retaliation for his exercise of union activities.

In February, 2008, Dickerson filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the district failed to promote him to a full-time position because it believed he was mentally disabled in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Dickerson had a below average IQ which indicated “mild mental retardation.”

Shortly after filing the EEOC complaint, Dickerson approached the Vice President of Human Resources and asked what he should be doing differently in order to be promoted to a full-time position.  The Vice President replied to the effect of, “you are suing your employer and you should not be suing your employer.”

Continue Reading Documentation Of Poor Work Performance Defeated Claims Of Discrimination And Retaliation In Violation Of The ADA