News Briefs | FYI
July 1, 2024
Cal/OSHA approves heat protections for employees The state’s worker safety board has approved new regulations to protect California workers, including those working in schools, from extreme heat while on the job.
On June 20, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved an indoor heat standard to protect indoor workers from heat illness. The new regulation (California Code of Regulations, Title 8, section 3396) will require indoor workplaces to be cooled below 87 degrees Fahrenheit if feasible when employees are present, and below 82 degrees if feasible in places where workers wear protective clothing that restricts heat removal or work in high radiant heat areas.
The Office of Administrative Law has 30 working days to review and approve or deny the proposal. The Standards Board requested that the regulation take effect immediately after OAL approval.
Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment regulation applies to most indoor workplaces, such as restaurants, warehouses and manufacturing facilities. For indoor workplaces where the temperature reaches 87 degrees Fahrenheit, employers must take steps to protect workers from heat illness. Some of the requirements include providing water, rest, cool-down areas, methods for cooling down the work areas under certain conditions and training.
More resources for employers and workers are available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page at www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html.

New web accessibility guidelines adopted by DOJ School districts will want to plan for their websites to comply with new Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that were recently published by the Department of Justice.
According to a recent client news brief from the law firm Lozano Smith, it is important for public agencies to understand the applicable legal requirements for content accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On April 24, the Federal Register published a final rule from the Department of Justice setting website and mobile application accessibility standards under Title II of the ADA. This new rule requires that public entities’ websites and mobile applications comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level A and AA.
Title II of the ADA prohibits state and local public agencies from discriminating on the basis of disability, and from excluding or denying qualified individuals with disabilities from participating in the benefits of their services, programs and activities. But until now, Title II of the ADA did not include reference to any website accessibility standards that state and local agencies are required to meet. In California, however, Government Code section 7405 requires any public agency that receives state funding to meet the accessibility requirements under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires that any California public agency that receives federal funding must conform their electronic and information technology to the WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA standards.
The DOJ’s final rule adopts a technical standard and increases these accessibility standards to WCAG 2.1, Level A and AA, which contains newer criteria and has more considerations relating to providing accessible content on mobile applications.
While the DOJ’s compliance period for public agencies is still two to three years away, it would be prudent for such entities to start engaging their IT staff or contractors responsible for maintaining their websites and mobile applications to ensure that their web content currently meets WCAG 2.0 standards and are prepared to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards prior to the compliance dates.

Student Aid Commission selects Gonzales as new ED The California Student Aid Commission has named Daisy Gonzales to serve as the next executive director of the commission, the nation’s largest state financial aid system. The announcement comes following an extensive national search and unanimous vote of the commission. Gonzales currently serves as the deputy chancellor of the California Community Colleges, where she oversees 116 colleges and supports the implementation of learning environments and services for 2 million students.
“I am honored to be selected to lead the California Student Aid Commission. As a former Cal Grant and Chafee Foster Youth student, I experienced firsthand the transformative power of higher education and financial aid,” Gonzales said, in a news release. “The California Student Aid Commission is a champion for college affordability and equitable student success. In recent years, California’s students have benefited through historic advocacy and investments in financial aid and our work will continue with urgency. Our economy demands an educated workforce and financial aid is the foundation to provide every Californian access to high-quality education and socio-economic opportunity.”
Gonzales is an experienced student-centered leader whose innovative programs and policies have helped hundreds of thousands of students gain access to higher education in California. During her tenure at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, she led the implementation of Vision for Success, a bold systemwide plan focused on reducing time to completion, increasing degree and credential attainment, and boosting transfer to four-year institutions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gonzales served as acting and interim chancellor, supporting California’s community colleges to innovate as they navigated unprecedented challenges.
Gonzales began her career in the classroom as a dual-immersion third-grade teacher. She also focused on higher education and budget policy as a consultant for the California Assembly Appropriations Committee and Assembly Budget Committee during the state 2009-2011 fiscal crisis. Gonzales previously served as the Associate Director of Policy Analysis for California Education.
Gonzales comes from an immigrant household in Southern California and was raised as a former foster youth. She credits her time in the foster care system and public schools for shaping her view of the integral role that government institutions play in the lives of young Californians, as well as her desire to transform public services with dignity and compassion at their center.
Gonzales was a first-generation student at Los Angeles Valley College and later Mills College before earning her master’s and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband, a K-12 education leader.
Nominate outstanding HR administrators for award
Do you know an outstanding human resources or personnel administrator? Nominate them for the Ray Curry Award. Visit acsa.org/raycurryaward for selection criteria and nomination instructions. Nominations are due Friday, Aug. 30, 2024.
Share what educators need to know about AI
Leadership magazine is seeking submissions for its November/December 2024 issue with the theme “Artificial Intelligence.” Subtopics include: limitations on use, student use of AI, improving teacher/administrator efficiency, “deep fakes” and bullying, data privacy and more. Articles should be no more than 2,500 words and include practical information written in an informal style. Email your article to Leadership Editor Michelle Carl. Find Leadership online at leadership.acsa.org. The submission deadline is August 5, 2024.
Get ready for Attendance Awareness Month
Mayors and other elected leaders, school boards and superintendents are in a good position to signal the importance of school attendance by declaring that September is Attendance Awareness Month. Attendance Works has posted an updated template Attendance Awareness Month Proclamation at awareness.attendanceworks.org/resources/proclamations-2024. School and district leaders are also encouraged to attend two free Attendance Awareness Campaign webinars, “Creating a Culture of Belonging and Engagement: Principals In Action” (August 7) and “Leadership for Sustainability: Superintendents Making a Difference” (Sept. 25). Find information and register at https://awareness.attendanceworks.org/resources/webinars.