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Cracking the Code: 2019 Update to the Code of Professional Conduct

On September 17, 2019, the State Board of Education (“State Board”) approved a revised version of its Licensure Code of Professional Conduct for Ohio Educators (“Code of Conduct”).  The Code of Conduct is the basis for decisions on issues pertaining to licensure and currently con
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Department of Labor’s Final Rule: Its Impact on School Districts and Potential Remedies

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its long-awaited Final Rule increasing the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, and professional (“white collar”) employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) minimum wage and over
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What To Do If ICE Comes Calling

Many school districts in Ohio are home to large immigrant populations.  Recently, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made national headlines when it raided Mississippi food processing plants, carrying out its largest immigration raid in a decade.  As a r
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Reminder to Issue Annual FERPA Notifications

As the school year begins it is important to remind, and perhaps inform for the first time, employees and school districts of their responsibilities under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This becomes even more important as many employees use social media to post
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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Opinion Requiring Employers to Designate FMLA-Qualifying Leave as FMLA Leave Regardless of Employee Requests to Delay the Designation

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Opinion No. FMLA2019-1-A, in which the DOL responded to a question regarding whether an employer may delay designating paid leave as Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave or may expand an employee’s FMLA leave beyond
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Graduation, Treasurer Liability, SROs, and More: What House Bill 491 Means for Your District

During the “lame duck” session in late 2018, the Ohio legislature passed a host of bills before newly-elected officials took office in January, 2019.  Several of the new laws affect public K-12 schools in Ohio, including House Bill 491 (“HB 491”).  HB 491 touches on several major issu
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What the End of Fair Share Fee Could Mean for Your District

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, No. 16-1466, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), finding that the extraction of agency fees, also known as “fair share fees,” from nonconsenti
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See You at the Pole Religious Gatherings – A Legal Perspective for School Districts

On September 27, 2017, students across the country will participate in “See You at the Pole” prayer gatherings (“SYATP Gatherings”) at their schools.  As SAYTP Gatherings have become common, school districts have sought guidance to ensure that SYATP Gatherings do not unlawfully establ
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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Search of Unattended Book Bag

It is well-established that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to public school students.  As the U.S. Supreme Court stated in 1969, “it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights…at t
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