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Labor and Employment - School Related Experience

Labor and Employment - School Related Experience

Personnel work on behalf of school districts:

  • We have represented a district in an employee dispute for which we developed a defense strategy and plan to attempt dismissal of the matter at an early stage.
  • We have routinely represented districts on the full range of employee issues, including negotiated resolution of employee disputes, advice on FMLA and ADA technical issues, personnel records, workplace harassment, investigations of employee misconduct, employee discipline and termination.
  • We routinely represent districts on numerous employment disputes ranging from negotiated issues to defense in lawsuits to handling administrative hearings regarding teacher termination proceedings. We have had successful outcomes in all of the termination hearings in which we have represented school districts, many of which have been complicated and high-profile.
  • We successfully defended a district in a high-profile matter regarding a teacher who punched a student in the face during a traffic altercation. The teacher chose to have a public hearing on the matter even though she was given an opportunity to resign in lieu of termination proceedings. She declined that opportunity to resolve the matter. We handled the Statement of Charges, public hearing and appeal to the Governing Board. We prevailed at all levels and the teacher did not pursue litigation, presumably based on the strength of the record below.
  • We conducted an investigation for a district into the propriety of a high school principal’s conduct in a high-profile matter that involved oversight or the lack of it over a teacher later convicted of child abuse. After forwarding the recommendation to the board, the principal resigned. We successfully negotiated the terms and conditions of the principal’s resignation, in lieu of termination proceedings, which would have been costly and time-consuming for the district. We also handled the termination of a teacher arising out of the same episode.
  • We represented a district and investigated allegations that an employee sexually harassed others. After forwarding our recommendation on to the district, we successfully negotiated the terms and conditions for the employee’s resignation, in lieu of termination proceedings.
  • We successfully represented a district in negotiating the terms and conditions for resignation of a certified employee, in lieu of termination proceedings. This employee had filed several EEOC charges, which the employee agreed to dismiss with prejudice. The hearing, and pending litigation, would have been costly and time-consuming.
  • We have assisted districts in negotiating mutually-agreed upon resignations of high-profile certified employees, thereby avoiding costly and disruptive public hearing process.
  • We have represented several districts in teacher dismissals where teachers threatened hearings and litigation but we negotiated successful voluntary departures, which was a significant savings of time and cost to the district.
  • We have represented school districts in a multitude of EEOC matters.
  • We recently represented a district in a teacher termination hearing where the opposing counsel was extremely aggressive and attempted to delay the administrative process with last-minute “emergency” court actions in state and federal court. We prevailed in those actions and at a two-day administrative hearing before a hearing officer, who recommended dismissal of the teacher. The Board upheld the recommendation.
  • We regularly advise and work with community colleges on personnel procedures.
  • We have provided advice on matters involving possible civil-criminal exposure relating to personnel issues.
  • We represented school district clients before governmental agencies.
  • We prepared school district employees who were being interviewed and/or deposed in pending litigation. These were cases where neither the school district nor the employee were parties, but where it was felt professional preparation was necessary to protect the interests of both the teacher and the district, as well as the student.
  • We researched and drafted numerous opinion letters dealing with subjects such as teacher tenure, the allocation of special education costs, and the application of new statutes to existing circumstances.
  • We drafted or assisted management personnel in preparing employment policies and handbooks for many cities and towns.
  • We represented school district clients on various court actions in employment matters.
  • We defended an administrative complaint against a district for failing to find appropriate alternative employment for a handicapped teacher. The teacher was a PE teacher and suffered from nasal allergies. We defended the matter on grounds that the “Act” did not cover such “handicaps” and that the teacher quit before the district was given an opportunity to find alternative employment.
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