Employment law is a broad and complex area of practice impacting every aspect of the employer and employee relationship. Unlike other firms, who may have a subsection of their attorneys who practice in this area, every LCW attorney is well versed in this area and provides daily advice and counsel to public agencies, educational institutions and private companies throughout California.
We have worked closely with general counsels, city attorneys and county counsels, and have directly handled the representation for our clients in literally hundreds of legal proceedings before civil service and personnel boards, arbitrators, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), State and federal EEO and other administrative agencies and the courts. These proceedings have covered the full spectrum of employer-employee relations matters, such as civil service and arbitration appeals, recognition and unit representation matters, unfair labor practice charges and related negotiating issues, employment discrimination matters, whistleblower claims, pension and disability issues, Fair Labor Standards Act claims and workplace investigations.
Statutory and Constitutional Practice
Much of our practice is devoted to advising agencies regarding compliance with the innumerable employment related laws and regulations. These include California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Meyers-Milias-Brown and Educational Employment Relations Acts, the Brown Act Public Meeting Law, the Public Records Act, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act, and many others. In addition, most of these laws are accompanied by voluminous administrative regulations.
As employers, our clients are also subject to the dictates of the State and Federal Constitutions, including procedural substantive due process, equal protection, first amendment and privacy rights, and the fourth amendment's protection against unreasonable searches, all of which are bases for employment related claims (see Litigation Services).
Over the years, LCW has established a successful record of representing our clients in a wide spectrum of administrative proceedings, including proceedings before arbitrators and hearing officers, fact finding and arbitration panels, personnel and civil service commissions, retirement boards, the Public Employment Relations Board, State Labor Commissions, Unemployment and CalOSHA commissioners, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Fair Employment and Housing Commission.
We have represented literally hundreds of clients in employee disciplinary proceedings. Our attorneys are experts in advising and representing agencies in the most effective ways of having employee disciplinary actions upheld.
Public Safety Representation
Public safety agencies are particularly vulnerable to employment related claims and liabilities. Our firm has developed a unique ability to most effectively represent the interests of law enforcement and fire protection management in this regard. For example, our attorneys advise and defend against claims under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act on a continuing basis. A significant portion of our litigation practice involves public safety issues (see Litigation Services). For a full description of our work in this area, see our Public Safety section.
We are increasingly involved in advising our clients regarding the laws and regulations of public employee retirement plans and retiree health insurance issues, as well as handling claims under the Public Employment Retirement System (PERS), the County 1937 Retirement Act, and local agency retirement programs. To learn more about our work in this area, see our Retirement section.