September 2011

Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Limited Protests at Funerals

September 13, 2011, by Jennifer E. Faught

As we discussed in a previous blog posting, SB 888 would have limited the ability of protestors to demonstrate at funerals.  Aimed at least in part at the activities of the Westboro Church, SB 888 attempted to protect the privacy of mourners.  Governor Brown vetoed the bill on September 6, because of its "plain" failure to comport with the Snyder v. Phelps US Supreme Court decision. The bill's sponsor (Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance) is said to be working on a new version of the bill. You can read the Governor's veto message here.

Project Thresholds Change Under Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act

September 19, 2011, by Meyers Nave

Public entities that utilize the UPCCAA should take note that the monetary thresholds for bidding on public projects has changed as follows:

(a) Public projects of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) or less may be performed by the employees of a public agency by force account, by negotiated contract, or by purchase order.

(b) Public projects of one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($175,000) or less may be let to contract by informal procedures as set forth in this article.

(c) Public projects of more than one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($175,000) shall, except as otherwise provided in this article, be let to contract by formal bidding procedure.

Ninth Circuit Finds Anti-Solicitation Ordinance Aimed at Day Laborers Violates First Amendment 

September 27, 2011, by Deborah J. Fox

The Ninth Circuit invalidated a City of Redondo Beach ordinance that prohibits solicitation between day laborers and occupants of motor vehicles on streets and highways. In Comite De Jornaleros De Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, Ninth Circuit Case No. 06-55750, No. 06-56869, the Ninth Circuit en banc opinion reversed the prior panel decision that held the Redondo Beach ordinance constitutional. The Court held that the Redondo Beach ordinance is not narrowly tailored to the City's objective and that the City could use less restrictive means to ensure traffic flow and safety.

Ninth Circuit Re-Affirms March 2011 Decision Holding Employer's Rule Against Hiring Job Applicants Who Have Previously Tested Positive for Drug or Alcohol Use Does Not Violate ADA or FEHA   

September 27, 2011, by Edward L. Kreisberg, Matthew C. Lewis

In Lopez v. Pacific Maritime Association, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. 2011), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals approved an employer's rule against hiring job applicants who have previously tested positive for drug and alcohol use.  The court's initial ruling was released in March 2011, but on September 21, 2011, the court denied the job applicant's petitions for rehearing.