Governor Vetoes FEHA Protections for Reserve Peace Officers
Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 272, by Assembly Member Tom
Lackey, on September 8. This bill, which was opposed by CSAC and
CSAC-EIA, would have added volunteer reserve peace officers as
“employees” under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act
(FEHA). CSAC was opposed to this bill because of the potential
implications for treating volunteers as employees. Reserve
officers are unpaid volunteers who work on an as-needed basis.
Local units of government currently have the flexibility to
decide when and how they will utilize reserve officers, but this
bill would have curtailed that ability. AB 272 could have led to
a discrimination or retaliation claim in cases where an entity is
not actually required to use that person as a volunteer. The
Governor stated the following in his veto message:
To the Members of the California State Assembly: I am Returning Assembly Bill 272 without my signature. This bill would impose, for the first time, liability upon public entities for claims of discrimination brought by volunteer police officers. Last year I signed AB 1443, which afforded protection against harassment to all volunteers, including peace officers. That bill makes sense, but I am not convinced that the expanded liability included in this bill does. Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown Jr.
CSAC Provides Feedback on Behalf of Counties on Proposed Changes to FLSA
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, including raising the standard salary level and increasing the threshold for highly compensated employees; DOL also requested comments on a potential mechanism for automatic adjustments, including non-discretionary bonuses, and modifying the duties test. The proposed changes would include public employees, and could have a significant impact on counties. CSAC solicited feedback from counties, and last week submitted comments to DOL.. CSAC will continue to monitor the rulemaking process and keep counties updated.