Search Results for: Salaries of public employees – Page 2

A&A: Is a Salary/Wage Review Really A “Trade Secret”?

Q: Our District Hospital contracted with a company to do a salary/wage and benefit review of hospital employees. They are meeting in closed session and discussing this report as a “trade secret.” I have requested a copy of this report under the CPRA and was refused based on the trade secret exemption. Their response was, “Said records are not subject to public disclosure as they constitute valuable trade secrets of the District which if disclosed

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Democracy’s Essentials: Questions and Answers on Free Speech & 1st Amendment issues

Programs: Public Events Democracy’s Essentials: Questions and Answers on Free Speech & 1st Amendment issues The Law Enforcement Investigatory Records Exemption it makes it much tougher to get files here than in most other states or even from the FBI.  Attorney Duffy Carolan explains how much it limits access for journalists as well as citizens. [Video clip: 5:59 min.] Does the Investigatory exemption expire when the case is closed?”  What happens to police investigation files

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COMMENTARY

Watershed CA Supreme Court decision is major win for government transparency. A stunning end to the media’s 20-year losing streak in high court access cases. By Peter Scheer America’s highest courts are justly criticized for avoiding hard issues. The judicial fetish for deciding cases on the narrowest possible grounds yields opinions so limited and unambitious in scope that they often raise more questions, and generate more legal disputes, than they resolve. Exceptions are the rare

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Taxpayers Going Postal Over Public Employee Pensions, Perks. Unions’ miscalculation: Opting for secrecy.

BY PETER SCHEER—For public employee unions–those representing police, firefighters, teachers, prison guards and agency workers of all kinds at the state and local level–these are the worst of times. Despite record high membership and dues, and years of unparalleled clout in state capitols, public sector unions find themselves on the defensive, desperately trying to hold on to past gains in the face of a skeptical press and angry voters. So far has the zeitgeist shifted

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Judge rules challenge to records release a SLAPP

While acknowledging that a plaintiff had no right to keep pension records private, a Superior Court judge ruled that the plaintiff’s concern about her privacy was legitimate and dismissed a motion for attorney fees brought by media concerns. -DB Metropolitan News-Enterprise September 8, 2009 By Steven M. Ellis An action by a group of newspapers against a retired Contra Costa deputy sheriff who filed suit to block release of her pension information was a strategic lawsuit

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Los Angeles County postpones release of salary information of highest-paid employees

A Los Angeles County lawyer said they are delaying the release of the names and salaries of its highest paid employees out of concern for the workers’ safety. -db Los Angeles Times September 27, 2010 By Rong-Gong Lin II Los Angeles County officials are taking steps to keep secret the names and salaries of some highly paid county employees, saying they need more time to comply with public records law to protect workers who claim

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Subpoena Defense Seminar — Registration

Join the First Amendment Coalition and First Amendment lawyers Tom Burke and Karl Olson for a training session covering the ins and outs of defending journalists who are subpoenaed for their confidential sources or notes. DATE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 149:30-12:30 Admission: FreeLunch & CLE included PLACE SAN FRANCISCO: Davis Wright Tremaine, 505 Montgomery Street, Suite 800, San Francisco LOS ANGELES: Attend via live stream video, Davis Wright Tremaine, 865 S. Figueroa Street, Ste. 2400, Los Angeles REGISTER Registration

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Watch Now: Fake News & the First Amendment, Sonoma State University on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017

The term “fake news” burst on to the scene during the 2016 election and appears to have earned a permanent spot in the journalistic and political lexicon. But what does it actually mean? Journalists, social media outlets, politicians and news consumers can’t seem to agree on what the term encompasses, much less what its impact and potential remedies are. Do tech companies bear responsibility for containing it, and can they do so without bias or

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Records of complaint relating to investigations of public employees/officials

Records of complaint relating to investigations of public employees/officials Q: One of my employees filed a sexual harassment complaint with the LA DWP against me and several of my coworkers. I asked for a copy of the complaint.  I was told that DWP does not like to give the complaint before the investigation. The investigation found no basis for the claim. Now, when I ask for a copy of the complaint, the LA DWP EEOS

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A&A: Can a public college bar employees speaking to the press?

Q: My community college district has an unwritten policy that bars publicly employed campus safety officers from speaking to members of the press. On several occasions they have told me of the policy and referred routine questions to supervisors. When I questioned supervisors about the policy, including media relations and the college president, they denied any policy existed. If the policy does exist, and the college is willingly and knowingly restraining public employees from speaking, is it

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A&A: State college employees using work email for political campaigning

Q: A member of the staff of a state college used his work email address for over two years to conduct a political campaign. County Counsel is both refusing to act on this matter, and claims there was no inappropriate use of a public email. He talks about door hangers, calling up talk shows, and the county counsel claims as long as he is advocating a position, just talking about campaigning it is ok. I

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Secrecy surrounding public employees’ pay & benefits makes mockery of democracy

BY PETER SCHEER—Local officials talk a good game about government transparency and accountability. And while city council members and county supervisors often go through the motions of conducting official business in an open and public way, on the biggest, most costly and consequential issues that come before them—issues that dwarf all others by orders of magnitude—those same elected officials revert to total secrecy. I am referring to decisions on compensation and benefits for public employees–which,

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A&A: Can the City ban negative online posting by public employees, officials?

Have a question? Our Legal Hotline is free. Q:  I live in Tennessee, and my town recently adopted a social media policy that forbids any city employee, elected official, appointed official, vendor or volunteer from posting anything “negative” about the city on social media. Can you please take a look at this and determine if this is a violation of the First Amendment?  A: The First Amendment, with some exceptions, generally prevents the government from limiting citizens’

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Free speech: Public employees must be protected in fulfilling their civic reponsibilities

The U.S. Supreme Court finding in Garcetti v. Ceballos sharply limited the freedom of public employes to speak about their official job duties, but public employees must be protected as they testify in court, argues David L Hudson Jr. of the First Amendment Center. -db From a commentary for the First Amendment Center, May 11, 2012, by David L. Hudson Jr. Full story    

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A&A: As a retired public employee, can I access my payroll records using the CPRA?

Q:  I am a retired public employee and I’m being taken to small claims for an alleged overpayment that supposedly happened in 2008. I need to try to get copies of my payroll for 2008. If those are still around, can I access those? How would I do it? A: The California Public Records Act, Cal. Govt.. Code sections 6250 et seq., provides that all records of state and local agencies be open to the

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Court Employee Anonymity

Court Employee Anonymity Q: The courts here operate with anonymity as to the identities of the employees therein, which appears to be an illegal circumstance.  Employees of the courts will sometimes inform the public their first names, and only the initials of their last names, but otherwise such simple information is treated as a secret.  Nobody has a name plate or business card, as far as the public is concerned. “Richard G.” is all the

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Federal court: Settlement agreement between restaurant chain and employees open to public

Even though both parties agreed to seal the court records on the case, the federal district trial court judge ruled that a settlement agreement between the a restaurant chain and a group of employees over alleged violations of federal employment law must be open to the public. The judge said, “Few principles have as long a pedigree and are as well-settled as the public’s right of access to court proceedings and judicial documents. With strong

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Federal appeals court: Public employees make gains in free speech rights

A concurring opinion in a court’s decision for public employee free speech strikes a blow against a 2006 Supreme Court judgment. Judge J. Harvey Wilkinson III found more value in airing of grievances than in maintaining government efficiency. -DB The First Amendment Center April 14, 2009 Commentary By Douglas Lee J. Harvey Wilkinson III’s concurring opinion in Andrew v. Clark is not a clarion call to halt the recent erosion of public employees’ free speech

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