Vergara v. California, and the Attenuation of Tenure, Part One: The Decision

In a landmark, June 10, 2014 decision that could set off a wave of similar litigation across the country, a California Superior Court judge ruled in the case of  Vergara v. State of California, et al. that a number of California’s teacher tenure laws had the constitutionally impermissible effect of depriving students of equal protection under…

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It’s All In The Benefits — Non-Salary Remuneration Can Render Your Volunteer An “Employee” For Purposes Of The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act

When is an unpaid volunteer considered an “employee” and thus able to sue for discrimination or retaliation under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”)? The answer: when the volunteer receives remuneration in the form of significant employment benefits. This is the conclusion the Superior Court recently reached in Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities…

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School Paraprofessionals Will Now Be Eligible For FMLA Leave Once They Have Worked 950 Hours After May 12, 2014

On May 12, 2014, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website posted the Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave for School Paraprofessionals final regulations.  Under the new regulations, Connecticut school districts will now be required to provide paraprofessionals with FMLA leave benefits once they have worked 950 hours after the May 12, 2014 date of…

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New Laws Affecting Schools: Highlights of the 2014 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly

The 2014 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded.  The following are some highlights of the more relevant bills that were passed by the General Assembly and awaiting the signature of the Governor.  A more comprehensive listing and discussion of the enactments from the 2014 session will be forthcoming from this firm after…

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Special Education Legal Issues Forum: Thursday June 5, 2014

Attention Special Education Directors and Administrators: The next complimentary Pullman and Comley Special Education Forum will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2014.  School Law attorneys Michael McKeon, Mark Sommaruga and Susan Scott  will present on a variety of topics including the impact of new legislation, recent cases and trends, settlement agreements and Section 504 issues. Specific topics…

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Wager v. Moore: When May A College Have A Duty To Protect The Safety Of Its Students?

Generally speaking, from a legal standpoint, the courts have held that colleges and universities do not have a duty to safeguard the safety of their students.   However, in Wager v. Moore, 2013 WL 6989512 (Conn. Super. Dec. 18, 2013), the Connecticut Superior Court reminded us that there are exceptions to the general rule. In Wager,…

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Warning-Your E-mail Just Became a Meeting: Mauer v. Member, Board of Education, Regional School District No. 1 and The Dangers of Using The “Send”, “Reply“ and (Especially) “Reply All” Buttons

Often times, I will warn school board members against the use of e-mail to conduct board business.  My primary concern is that such e-mails could be deemed to constitute an illegal un-noticed/non-public meeting, in violation of the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”].  A recent decision of the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] further highlights this…

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The FOIA and Superintendent Evaluations: Toensing and The Various Components of The Evaluation

When evaluating superintendents of schools, school boards usually seek to synthesize the views of individual board members into a collective voice for the board.  In Toensing v. Chairman, All Boards Chairs Committee, Regional School District #1, #FIC 2013-223 (February 11, 2014), however, the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] reminded us that there are Freedom of…

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A Reprieve To Mandatory Implementation Of The Uniform School Calendar

On May 3, 2014, the Connecticut General Assembly passed House of Representatives Bill No. 5559, amending, inter alia, General Statutes Section 10-66q  (the bill, as amended and passed, also creates a new apprenticeship grant program under the Standardized Training and Employment Program and expands an existing child day care licensing exemption to apply to any…

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General Assembly Passes Campus Sexual Assault Bill

On April 29, 2014, the State Senate unanimously passed House Bill 5029, An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence on Campus. Two weeks earlier the House of Representatives passed the same version of the bill, so the bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature. (To date, Governor Malloy has not indicated whether or…

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