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Santana Contract and Separation Agreement

Former City Manager Deanna Santana’s breach of contract and discrimination claim against the City of Santa Clara is simple: The City hasn’t [met its commitments], specified in both her employment contract and separation agreement. Santana says that compensation that was due from March 19, 2023 through March 31, 2023 was either denied or “clawed back.” The claim specifically [notes] accrued service credit and 8% CalPERS contribution.

Santana alleges that the City didn’t pay a cost of living raise she would have been entitled to in March, as well a CalPERS contribution and accruals of vacation, sick leave and management leave from March 19 through March 31.

Santana’s employment contract is clear about the city’s obligation if she is dismissed. She had the choice between a lump sum payment equal to twelve months total compensation or staying on the payroll for twelve months.

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Her severance agreement, effective March 31, 2022, says that Santana will receive “any and all compensation” she’s entitled to by the terms of her employment contract through March 31, 2023. The agreement was executed March 24, 2022.

The separation agreement also releases the city from any claims and liabilities “which Ms. Santana ever had or held, now has or holds or hereafter can, shall or may have or hold against the City Released Parties, based on any claims for occurrences” prior to the effective date of the agreement.  This includes claims against a “federal, state, municipal or other government statute, regulation, ordinance or order.”

She further agreed to waive “unknown and unsuspected” claims as of the agreement date; and further that the agreement is an “affirmative defense” — evidence that negates liability even if it’s proved the defendant committed the alleged acts.

The severance agreement with the City of Santa Clara further specifies that any disputes that can’t be settled amicably are subject to arbitration, which will be the final judgment on any dispute subject to appeal.

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3 Comments
  1. CSC 2 months ago
    Reply

    “Santana alleges that the City didn’t pay a cost of living raise she would have been entitled to in March, as well a CalPERS contribution and accruals of vacation, sick leave and management leave.”
    .
    There really isn’t a cost associated with merely living for anyone making more than $150k/yr. Sick leave use to be provided so employees wouldn’t lose basic wages due to short term illness, it was never intended a bonus check. And what’s the difference between vacation and management leave? Government employees have really stretched reasonable benefits into unreasonable perks. Hopefully an arbitrator will read Santana’s employment contract in black and white without trying to line union pockets with unearned taxpayer dollars..

  2. Buchser Alum 2 months ago
    Reply

    What exactly is Santana suing for? Is she suing for what she contends was owed to her for the short period of March 19 to 31 of 2023 or for more than that? It sounds like she may also be suing for what she contends should have been a small COL increase for all of March 2023.

    What is the total for all of this? I cannot imagine it is more than $50 thousand dollars at most.

  3. Peter Watanabe 1 month ago
    Reply

    Seems she had a exit plan when she first signed on, I guess every thief has a plan.

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