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Liz Valerio Presented at MASC Panel regarding Bargaining during COVID-19

On Monday, June 15, 2020 Liz Valerio was a presenter with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees panel “Preparing for Collective Bargaining in an Era of COVID-19″.  Topics included bargaining during COVID-19 and other back-to-school issues facing Massachusetts Districts.

Appeals Court Affirms Nondelegable Authority of Police Chiefs

Last week, the Appeals Court issued a decision in City of New Bedford v. New Bedford Police Union (97 Mass. App. Ct. 502) affirming a Superior Court’s decision vacating an arbitration award that found the City of New Bedford (“City”) violated the parties’ collective bargaining agreement with the New Bedford Police Union (“Union”) “when it […]

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Providing Services to English Learners During COVID-19 Pandemic

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) issued new guidance regarding the provision of services to English language learners during remote learning. The comprehensive guidance provides, in part, that while districts are operating via remote or distance learning: Districts continue to screen new students to determine their English language status. Students must be […]

U.S. Department of Education Publishes New Title IX Regulations Requiring Policy Updates and Training

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) released new Title IX regulations that will go into effect on August 14, 2020.  These regulations require training and changes to school district policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment.  Among the changes are: Notice of Sexual Harassment The regulations require a school district to respond when the […]

Appeals Court Discusses CBA Language in Regard to M.G.L. c. 149 § 30C

Last week, the Appeals Court issued a decision, State Police Association of Massachusetts v. Alben (19-P-210), regarding whether police officers were entitled to overtime pay for detail work contrary to the applicable collective bargaining agreement. As noted in the decision, the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort) contracted with the Massachusetts State Police for police service at […]

Appeals Court Discusses Nondelegable Management Rights of Fire Chiefs

On Friday, May 1, 2020, the Appeals Court issued a decision regarding the nondelegable management rights afforded to fire chiefs in the Commonwealth, and the extent to which those rights permit fire chiefs to make unilateral policies and decisions on matters affecting public safety.  The decision, Town of Dracut v. Dracut Firefighters Union, IAFF Local […]

COVID-19 FERPA FAQ

Remote learning implicates many issues related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and prohibits school districts from disclosing personally identifiable information (“PII”) from a student’s education record without prior written consent or an applicable exception under FERPA.  Recently, the […]

Superintendents Must Hear Disciplinary Appeals Under 37H

On April 28, 2020, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) issued a decision regarding the delegation of a superintendent’s statutory authority to hear a student’s appeal from a principal’s decision under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H. In Doe v. Worcester Public Schools, SJC-12827, a student in the Worcester Public Schools was suspended for 152 […]

Remote Learning Update

On April 24, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued updated guidance for school administrators regarding remote learning. The updated guidance can be found here: 2020-0424updated-remote-learning.

EEOC Guidance Permits Employee COVID-19 Testing

Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 related guidance to address the issue of employers testing employees for COVID-19. Specifically, the EEOC opined that “…employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of […]

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