On September 30, 2022, Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill No. 2413, which modified sections 45113 (K-12) and 88013 (CCD) of the California Education Code. The new law prohibits the immediate suspension without pay, suspension with a reduction in pay, demotion with a reduction in pay, or dismissal before a decision is rendered after the hearing, of a permanent classified employee of a school district or community college district who timely requests a hearing on charges against them. In such cases, the district must wait to implement the suspension, demotion or termination until after the evidentiary hearing assuming the recommended discipline was upheld at the hearing.

The prohibition on immediate suspension does not apply when the governing board or an impartial third-party hearing officer finds after an initial Skelly review process that the District established by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee engaged in criminal misconduct or misconduct that presents a risk of harm to pupils, staff, or property, or committed habitual violations of the district’s policies or regulations.

The district may also stop paying a permanent classified employee 30 days after their request for hearing if the hearing will be conducted by an impartial third-party hearing officer or the Governing Board. The law does not apply where it conflicts with a collective bargaining agreement entered into before January 1, 2023. The law also does not apply to districts that have a merit system; districts with a merit system should continue to follow the personnel commission rules.

This change may affect whether, when and how districts may impose suspensions and/or dismissals pending the termination process. Districts should review their classified employee collective bargaining agreements and determine whether any changes are necessary in light of this new law. Such changes must be negotiated for successor contracts entered into after the district’s current collective bargaining agreement expires.