Part-Time Playground Positions Now Part of Classified Service for All School Employers

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
November 2018
Number 70

Effective January 1, 2019, all part-time playground positions will become part of the classified service of school districts and community college districts, including those K-12 and community college districts that have incorporated the merit system. (For those unfamiliar with the terminology, a "merit system" district is a district that has adopted the systems of rules and procedures set forth in Education Code sections 45240 et seq. (K-12) and 88060 et seq. (community colleges), which govern the employment, pay and otherwise control the services of the district's classified personnel.)

Prior to January 1, 2018, part-time playground positions were exempt from the classified service. This changed for K-12 public school districts with the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 670 in 2017. Under AB 670, part-time playground employees joined the classified service, but only in school districts that had not incorporated a merit system. (For more information related to AB 670, see 2017 Client News Brief 76.) Recognizing that AB 670 created a difference in the treatment of the position depending on the type of employer, AB 2160 was passed to incorporate part-time playground positions into the classified service for merit system school districts and all community college districts.

AB 670 did not address when employees in part-time playground positions become permanent employees. AB 2160 now provides that part-time playground employees of school and community college districts that have incorporated a merit system, are deemed permanent without placement on an eligibility list or examination. This permanency language appears to require that any part-time person covered by AB 2160 become permanent on January 1, 2019, regardless of whether or not they have served the required probationary period as of that date. Therefore, school districts and community colleges should review a list of which employees will become permanent so that employees who are not meeting standards are identified and decisions may be made about their continued employment.

As with AB 670, AB 2160 provides employees in part-time playground positions with due process rights in termination proceedings, statutory rights related to layoff and reemployment and all other rights of classified service, as provided by law, including leaves, vacation pay and holidays.

The inclusion of part-time playground positions in the classified service does not automatically mean that employees in these positions will become part of a classified bargaining unit. Depending upon the terms of its existing collective bargaining agreement, a union may need to seek a unit modification to include these positions within the bargaining unit. School districts should review the language of their collective bargaining agreements to determine the treatment of part-time playground positions under those the agreements.

To understand the potential fiscal impacts of these statutory changes, districts should analyze the increased cost of health benefits, leave rights, and other applicable rights and benefits.

For more information on AB 2160 and/or AB 670 or their impacts on classified service, please contact the authors of this Client News Brief or an attorney at one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or download our Client News Brief App.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.