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AB-1651 Community colleges: academic employees: involuntary administrative leave and investigations.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 09:00 PM
AB1651:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1651


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 87623 to the Education Code, relating to community colleges.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1651, as amended, Reyes. Community colleges: academic employees: paid involuntary administrative leave. leave and investigations.
Existing law establishes the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as one of the segments of public postsecondary education in this state. Existing law establishes community college districts throughout the state that employ faculty and provide instruction at the community college campuses they operate. Existing law, for purposes of provisions relating to community college employees, defines an “academic employee” as a person employed by a community college district in a type of service, excluding paraprofessional service, for which minimum qualifications have been established, and thus, for this purpose, the term “academic employee” is synonymous with “certificated employee.”
This bill would prohibit an academic employee of a community college from being placed on paid involuntary administrative leave except for specified compelling reasons. This bill would specify procedures to be followed when an academic employee of a community college is placed on paid administrative leave, including the convening of a hearing by the superintendent of the community college district or, in his or her absence, by the next highest-ranking administrator of that district. The bill would specify various procedural rights of the academic employee in this situation.
The bill would specify that the decision to place an academic employee of a community college on paid administrative leave is subject to the grievance provisions of an applicable collective bargaining agreement. leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave, or otherwise investigated without first being provided a copy of each written complaint related to the proposed involuntary administrative leave or allegation of misconduct and the details of the allegation or allegations upon which the investigation or the decision to place the employee on involuntary administrative leave is based, as specified, except as provided in the event of a serious risk of physical danger or other necessity arising from the allegations. The bill would further specify that the parties to an applicable collective bargaining agreement are entitled to negotiate additional policies and procedures relating to the investigation or involuntary administrative leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave leave, of an academic employee as long as those policies and procedures are not in conflict with this bill. The bill would provide that the identity of complainants are required to be disclosed only to the extent permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 87623 is added to the Education Code, to read:

87623.
 (a) (1) An academic employee shall not be placed on involuntary administrative leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave, or otherwise investigated for an allegation of misconduct, without first being provided a copy of each written complaint related to the proposed involuntary administrative leave or allegation of misconduct and the details of the allegation or allegations upon which the investigation or the decision to place the employee on involuntary administrative leave is based, which shall be provided to the employee at least two business days before either of the following:
(A) The employee is placed on involuntary administrative leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave.
(B) Any investigatory interview or other interrogation of the employee.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), if there is no written complaint against the employee, the employee shall instead be notified in writing of the details of the allegation or allegations upon which the investigation or the decision to place the employee on involuntary administrative leave is based within the timeframe specified in paragraph (1).
(b) (1) The requirements of subdivision (a) do not apply in the event of a serious risk of physical danger or other necessity arising from the allegations, and the employee may be placed on immediate, involuntary administrative leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave, or otherwise investigated.
(2) An employee placed on involuntary administrative leave or otherwise investigated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be provided the information described in subdivision (a) within five business days of the employee being placed on involuntary administrative leave or otherwise investigated.
(c) The parties to a collective bargaining agreement entered into pursuant to Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code shall be entitled to negotiate additional policies and procedures relating to the investigation or involuntary administrative leave, including involuntary paid administrative leave, of an academic employee as long as those policies and procedures are not in conflict with this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, the identity of complainants shall be disclosed only to the extent permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g).
(e) For purposes of this section, “paid administrative leave” means a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact.

SECTION 1.Section 87623 is added to the Education Code, to read:
87623.

(a)An academic employee shall not be automatically placed on paid administrative leave. An academic employee may be placed on paid administrative leave only in accordance with this section, and for compelling reasons, which shall include allegations of any of the following:

(1)Misappropriation of an amount of funds or property that is not de minimis.

(2)An act that would constitute a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

(3)True threats of physical violence, as defined by law.

(4)Other serious and extreme behavior, or serious misconduct.

(b)(1)Paid administrative leave shall be for a duration not to exceed 30 calendar days unless the superintendent of the community college district, after an informal hearing, determines that an extension of the leave is appropriate. The community college superintendent may delegate the holding of the hearing to a subordinate employee who is not involved in the investigation of the allegations, if the superintendent makes the final decision. In the absence of the superintendent, the final decision shall be made by the highest-ranking administrator of the community college district other than the superintendent. The superintendent or other administrator making the decision shall make findings of fact to explain the decision.

(2)At least five workdays prior to an informal hearing held pursuant to paragraph (1), the community college district shall set forth in writing the factual basis and rationale for the imposition of the paid administrative leave.

(3)The informal hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Skelly hearing procedures, which include, but are not necessarily limited to, all of the following:

(A)Reasonable notice of the proposed action given to the academic employee.

(B)Reasons for the proposed action given in writing.

(C)A copy of the pertinent allegations, along with any supporting materials, given to the academic employee.

(D)The academic employee has a right to respond to the proposed action either orally or in writing.

(c)An investigation of an academic employee relating to the proposed imposition of paid administrative leave shall be completed expeditiously, and within 90 calendar days, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that additional time is required.

(d)The decision to place an academic employee on paid administrative leave shall be subject to the grievance provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement entered into pursuant to Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code. In the event that an academic employee is on paid administrative leave for more than 90 calendar days, that employee has a right to demand either of the following:

(1)To receive a second hearing on the propriety of the extension of the paid administrative leave.

(2)To proceed to an expedited arbitration of any grievance contesting the continuation of the paid administrative leave, except the decision to arbitrate under this paragraph, shall be solely the decision of the academic employee, and not subject to the duty of fair representation under Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(e)The compensation of an academic employee who is on paid administrative leave shall include pay for all work that the academic employee would have performed if he or she had not been placed on leave.

(f)The parties to a collective bargaining agreement entered into pursuant to Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code shall be entitled to negotiate additional policies and procedures relating to the paid administrative leave of an academic employee as long as those policies and procedures are not in conflict with this section.