Know Your Rights

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE Injured by A student

Education Code 44014

Attack, Assault or Physical Threat of an Employee of a School District 


44014. (a) Whenever any employee of a school district or of the office of a county superintendent of schools is attacked, assaulted, or physically threatened by any pupil, it shall be the duty of the employee, and the duty of any person under whose direction or supervision the employee is employed in the public school system who has knowledge of the incident, to promptly report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement authorities of the county or city in which the incident occurred. Failure to make the report shall be an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).


(b) Compliance with school district governing board procedures relating to the reporting of, or facilitation of reporting of, the incidents specified in subdivision (a) shall not exempt a person under a duty to make the report prescribed by subdivision (a) from making the report.


(c) A member of the governing board of a school district, a county superintendent of schools, or an employee of any school district or the office of any county superintendent of schools, shall not directly or indirectly inhibit or impede the making of the report prescribed by subdivision (a) by a person under a duty to make the report. An act to inhibit or impede the making of a report shall be an infraction, and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).


(d) Neither the governing board of a school district, a member of the governing board, a county superintendent of schools, nor an employee of a school district or of the office of any county superintendent of schools shall impose any sanctions against a person under a duty to make the report prescribed by subdivision (a) for making the report.


(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 17, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)

Workplace Harassment

Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws.

Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:

Filing a Grievence

What is a grievance? 

Generally a grievance is a violation of a specific provision of the contract, past practice, written policy or settlement agreement.  

When, how and why to file a grievance

Your union contract provides a mechanism for you to make sure your employer abides by the contract. That mechanism is the grievance procedure. When an employer violates a provision of the contract, union members have a right to file a grievance.

When to file a grievance

File a grievance whenever your employer violates a provision of the contract. If you are not sure about what the contract says on the matter, talk it over with your site representative. Some examples of typical grievance issues are out-of-class work, overtime pay, and disciplinary procedures.

Not every gripe is a grievance—there are problems you may face that are not covered in the contract (for instance, your boss may be rude). Grievances are specifically about contract violations, but sometimes are more broadly defined. But even if your complaint doesn't meet the definition of a grievance, it doesn't mean you can't take action—you, your steward, other workers in your shop and the union together can organize and pressure the employer.

On the other hand, if the problem you are having is covered in the contract, then you should definitely file a grievance.

How a grievance works

Sit reps have copies of grievance forms. The first step in pursuing a grievance is to talk to your site rep and determine if the concern is grievable by reviewing the contract together.  If you determine it is, contact the CEA President. The grievance should contain a clear statement of the issue and a reference to the relevant rule or contract section. The site rep will forward the form to the CEA President who will contact you and your site rep on next steps in the process.  Union representatives will work with you and represent you throughout the grievance process.

Why filing a grievance is important

Sometimes union members know the employer is violating the contract but they are hesitant to file a grievance because they think it's no big deal or they don't want to get in trouble. But contract violations are a big deal! And it's your right to grieve them; your boss cannot retaliate against you for filing a grievance. Whenever we let an employer violate the contract without challenging him, we are weakening the contract for all  members—it sends a message that we will not enforce the contract. When we file grievances, we let employers know that we take the contract seriously and we will make them take it seriously, too. Sometimes, just knowing union members will enforce their rights acts as a deterrent, and management will think twice before violating the contract.

From the website of AFSCME — New York City Electronic Data Processing Personnel, © Local 2627, 2005-016 all rights reserved.