The Legal Brief

The Legal Brief: Redistricting 2020

January 20th, 2021 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCRedistricting 2020 As the new administration takes office today, one of the many challenges it will face is the release of an accurate decennial census.  In April 2020, the United States Census Bureau sought congressional approval of a three-month delay of its obligation to release the 2020 Census results to the states, citing difficulties in…

The Legal Brief: ESC-2 Spring 2021 Personnel Services Symposium Feb 15th 9am-2pm

January 15th, 2021 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCESC-2 Spring 2021 Personnel Services Symposium Presenting an in-depth, interactive workshop on critical topics of legal concern related to personnel management and special education issues in the COVID-19 era for public school human resources administrators, special education administrators, principals, and superintendents. Speakers and Topics Include: Managing Leaves & Absences During a Pandemic:  ADA, FMLA &…

The Legal Brief: EEOC Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

December 18th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCThe Legal Brief: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines EEOC Guidance on Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 Question and Answer technical assistance to include questions related to vaccination requirements. We offer a summary of some of the more relevant…

The Legal Brief: Redistricting Issues After The 2020 Census

December 15th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCIn response to updated population data resulting from the 2020 census, Texas cities, school districts, counties, and the Texas Legislature will require redistricting in 2021--that is, drawing new boundaries from which the voters will elect their respective governing bodies. Significant changes to the Voting Rights Act, as well as delays related to COVID-19 mean that…

The Legal Brief: Continuation of Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

December 8th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCAs you may be aware, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) took effect on April 2, 2020 and is set to expire on December 31, 2020. The FFCRA has two parts:  (1) it provides paid FMLA leave for employees who had childcare duties due to their child’s regular childcare provider or school being closed…

The Legal Brief: Did You Receive a PIA Request from Mayes Middleton?

December 7th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCWhat is it? A public information request under Texas Government Code section 552.008 asking that districts “produce the line items in the adopted 2021 budget showing any planned expenses for directly or indirectly attempting to influence legislation”, as required by Texas Local Government Code Section 140.0045. Should our district respond? Yes. Rep. Middleton’s request was…

The Legal Brief: Developments in Brain Injury Rights Group Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Special Education Instruction and Services During COVID-19

October 30th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCPreviously, we notified clients regarding the Brain Injury Rights Group litigation filed in the Southern District of New York in which the Plaintiffs have attempted to sue every state education agency and every public school district in the U.S.  Some districts received attempts to serve them.  Other districts, including some in Texas, had due process…

The Legal Brief: Region One Fall 2020 Personnel Services Symposium November 17th 8:30am-3:30pm

October 23rd, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCFall 2020 Personnel Services Symposium Hosted by Region One In-Depth, Interactive Training on Current Personnel Management Issues Join attorneys Sara Leon, John Janssen and Michael Roseberry for a live, virtual webinar on timely employment issues, including issues relating to COVID-19 and the employment implications of the new Title IX regulations. Topics to be covered include:…

The Legal Brief: Court of Appeals Ruling PIA Exception Regarding Transcripts of Community College Professors

October 9th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCThe Legal Brief: Appellate Court Affirms That Public Information Act Exception as to Release of Educator Transcripts Applies Only to Educators at Elementary and Secondary Schools, Not to Junior College Professors  Del Mar College, a junior college in Corpus Christi, Texas, sought trial court review of an Attorney General opinion regarding the release of personnel file…

The Legal Brief: EEOC ISSUES UPDATED COVID-19 GUIDANCE

September 28th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn September 8, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an updated technical assistance document, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” The guidance incorporates information from other agency resources and modifies two existing Q&As.  The update guidance also adds 18 questions and answers adapted…

The Legal Brief: Third Court of Appeals Rules Against School District Employee Alleging Breach of Non-Disclosure Clause of Settlement Agreement with School District

September 24th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn August 14, 2020, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District (Austin), affirmed a lower court ruling that had granted Killeen Independent School District’s plea that the a former District teacher’s breach of contract claim be dismissed on the basis of governmental immunity.  The teacher had sued Killeen ISD on the theory that the District…

The Legal Brief: New Title IX Regs Apply to Employee Complaints of Sexual Harassment

September 21st, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn May 4, 2020, the Department of Education (“DOE”) issued new Title IX regulations, which direct how educational institutions receiving federal funds must address reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault involving both students and employees. The Final Regulations Unequivocally Apply to Students and Employees  The final regulations require an education institution to “promptly” respond…

The Legal Brief: New Title IX Q&A Guidance Issued by DOE

September 16th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn September 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a Questions & Answers guidance relating to the new Title IX regulations, which went into effect on August 14, 2020. Below are highlights from the Q&A guidance document: DOE clarifies that the new Title IX regulations will not be enforced retroactively.…

The Legal Brief: Practice Areas

September 9th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCAt SL&A, we offer a full array of legal services for our school law clients throughout Texas.  We strive to deliver a high-level of client service through teamwork, calling upon our attorneys' decades of public and private experience to provide practical solutions and advice for all school needs.

The Legal Brief: Sample Letters and Forms to Help You Respond During This Challenging Academic Year

September 4th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLC2020-2021 Sample Forms  In response to inquiries and as a service to our client during this challenging academic year, Sara Leon & Associates, LLC, created a series of forms and letters that may be useful in responding to various contingencies. The first form should assist with tracking FFCRA Leave requests. Click Here This form is…

The Legal Brief: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Regarding Special Education Instruction and Services During COVID-19

September 1st, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn July 28, 2020, a class action lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York Department of Education, as well as school districts in the United States and state departments of education in the United States, alleging public school districts violated federal law by not…

The Legal Brief: Addressing COVID-19 Compensatory Services in Annual ARD Meetings

August 31st, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCEducators have many questions about how and when to address issues related to special education services provided during school closures that occurred during the 2019-2020 school year.  Guidance from TEA and from OSEP indicates compensatory services are owed in circumstances where services differed in substance from what was called for in the IEPs drafted for…

The Legal Brief: Questions and Answers About Updated DHS Guidance on Essential Workers

August 26th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCOn August 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued version 4.0 of its Guidance on the Essential Critical Workforce. This most recent update clearly identifies teachers, teacher aides, paraprofessionals, and specialists as essential workers. It also applies to, among others, those who support the education of K-12 students, which presumably includes administrators as…

The Legal Brief: Responding to Employee Requests for Accommodations Due to COVID-19

July 21st, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCAs many employees begin to return to work, school districts may be receiving requests from employees for accommodations due to concerns regarding potential exposure to COVID-19.  Remember, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees may be legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job if they have a disability. If you…

The Legal Brief: What to Do When an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

July 15th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCWhat to Do When an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 As the number of reported positive cases in Texas continues to reach record highs, an increasing number of school districts are likely to face employees testing positive for Coronavirus.  You can follow this four-step process when addressing a confirmed COVID-19 case. Isolate/quarantine confirmed individuals; Address and…

The Legal Brief: The U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Firing an Employee for Being Gay or Transgender Violates Title VII

July 14th, 2020 Sara Leon & Associates, PLLCThe U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Firing an Employee for Being Gay or Transgender Violates Title VII: Title IX Implications and Possible Other Student Issues Resulting from the Decision The Title VII Challenges  In three separate federal lawsuits challenging employment terminations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”),  the Supreme Court…

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