12 Steps to Avoiding Liability in Community College Districts

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  • Step 1 – Follow the Rules     
    • The Consequences of a District Failing to Follow Its Own Rules
    • Failure to Follow District Policies and Procedures May Be a Plaintiff’s Main Exhibit in a
    • Discrimination Lawsuit
    • Ensuring Compliance with a District’s Policies and Procedures May Bar Claims or Help Districts
    • Defend Against Liability in Civil Litigation
    • Checklist on How to Avoid Violations of A District’s Policies, Procedures and Other Rules
  • Step 2 – Train and Retrain
  • Step 3 – Establish an Effective Hiring and Employee Retention Process     
    • Utilize Accurate Job Descriptions
    • Have Good Reasons for Your Hiring Decisions
    • Avoid the Appearance of Favoritism
    • Retain Good Employees by Mentorship, recognition and reward
  • Step 4 – Accountability for All
    • Performance Evaluations Must Be Accurate
    • The Importance of Documentation and Recordkeeping
    • Empower Your Human Resources Department
  • Step 5 – Be Honest, Consistent, and Fair
    • Honesty
    • Consistency
    • Fairness
  • Step 6 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
    • Principles of Effective Communication
    • Dealing with the Public and the Media
    • Listen to Your Employees
    • Training and Performance Evaluations Are Other Means of Communication
    • Communicate Expectations
    • Communication Requires Feedback
    • Avoid Stray Remarks
  • Step 7 – Pick Your Battles Wisely
    • Be Realistic – Management Will Not Prevail in Every Labor Relations Dispute
    • Think Broadly and Long Term
    • Successful Labor Negotiations Involve More Than Financial Goals
    • Realize That Change May be Unsettling and Threatening to Employees
  • Step 8 – Due Process Matters
    • Due Process Arising From Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation
    • Due Process in Disciplinary Matters
    • Avoid Personal and District Liability
  • Step 9 – Investigate before It’s Too Late
    • Investigations Should Be Conducted Promptly
    • Districts Must Follow Their Own Rules during Investigations
    • If Investigations Reveal Violations of Rules or Law, Act Promptly to Remedy the Situation and
    • Prevent Re-Occurrences
  • Step 10 – Everything Is “Discoverable”
    • Most Documents Constitute Public Records under the California Public Records Act
    • Careless Statements in E-Mail Are a Plaintiff’s Best Friend
    • The Brown Act
  • Step 11 – Litigate to Win!
    • Help Your Attorney Help You!
    • All Testimony Should Be Taken Seriously
    • Checklist for Testifying as a Witness
  • Step 12 – Don’t Take It Personally

This document is provided as a benefit to Liebert Library subscribers and cannot be shared outside of their organization. The information contained within is a template only and is not designed to address the specific and unique issues, internal rules, practices, and/or governing documents that might be in place at your organization. You should always consult with legal counsel prior to implementation of any documents.

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