Erin Kunze

Erin Kunze Associate

Erin provides advice and counsel to Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s public sector and nonprofit organization clients in the areas of labor relations, governance, and employee pension and health benefits.  She regularly advises clients on a broad spectrum of employment law issues, including workplace policies, disability accommodations, unlawful harassment, workplace investigations, and employee discipline. 

In the area of labor relations, Erin regularly audits collective bargaining agreements and employee relations rules to advise clients on current legal standards and best practices.  She additionally represents clients in negotiations and labor disputes, providing legal counsel through mediation, arbitration and before administrative agencies.  

As a member of the Retirement, Benefits and Disability Practice, Erin advises clients on CalPERS enrollment and retired annuitant issues, as well as issues pertaining to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Public Employees' Medical   Hospital Care Act (PEMHCA) compliance. 

As a member of the firm's Business & Facilities Practice, Erin assists academic institutions and nonprofit clients in complying with foundation, donation, and exempt organization requirements.  She provides advice and counsel on contractual obligations and vendor agreements, and she regularly advises clients on issues specific to community college district foundations, including those with auxiliary organization status.

Prior to joining the firm, Erin developed diverse legal experience through her work with various criminal justice and human rights organizations, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands; Hastings College of Law’s Center for Gender and Refugee Studies; and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR).  Erin has also worked with a number of nonprofit arts organizations including California Lawyers for the Arts, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts. With those agencies, Erin worked on programmatic matters as well as issues relating to nonprofit incorporation, governance, and development.

Recognitions

Erin was selected as a Nothern California Super Lawyers' Rising Star in 2017-2020.

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

BART v. BART POA (2013) - Represented BART Police Department as first-chair in a final and binding arbitration proceeding. Successfully upheld the termination of a police officer who had been terminated by the police chief after it was discovered he had been drinking while on duty, had recreationally used drugs with a neighbor, and was subsequently accused of rape by the neighbor the same evening he used drugs with her.

NEGOTIATIONS

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District - Fire and Administrative Units.

Escuela Bilingue Internacional - Teacher and Non-teaching Units.

LITIGATION

SEIU v. County of Mendocino (2016) - Represented the County in a bench trial and secured a judgment on the claims before the court wherein SEIU alleged that the County had illegally contracted out for mental health services with private providers. The court found that the County was legally authorized to contract out with private providers for mental health services in an attempt to provide such services to a vulnerable sector of the community, and denied SEIU's request for a writ of mandate and injunctive relief.

Dennis Wallace v. Stanislaus County, Jury Trial #2 (2013) - Represented the County in a 4-week long jury trial and obtained a unanimous defense verdict on both claims before the jury: failure to accommodate a disability and failure to engage in the interactive process. Deputy Wallace, who had filed 15 workers' compensation claims while on duty, had a list of physical restrictions that were established by his doctor, and as a result was re-assigned to "light duty" as a bailiff. Wallace refused the re-assignment, and after saying that he did not agree with doctor's restrictions, asked for a different assignment.  When his request was denied, he sued the County. 

Jan 14, 2021

Cal/OSHA Provides Questions and Answers Regarding New Regulations Related to COVID-19 (Nonprofits)

On January 8, the Department of Occupational and Safety (Cal/OSHA) updated its interpretive guidance concerning emergency COVID-19 regulations that took effect on November 30, 2020. The guidance reflects new information concerning employer obligations and employee entitlements under both Title 8 Sections 3205 and 3205.1, which, respectively, relate to the COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP)[1] and workplace COVID-19 outbreaks.[2]

Dec 16, 2020 Nonprofit News

Donor Thanks - Required Content And Best Practices

With Giving Tuesday[1] just behind us, and the end of the tax year quickly approaching for many individual donors, now is a great time to make sure you have adequately acknowledged your donors for their gifts during this challenging year.  Interestingly, charitable organizations are not required to acknowledge all donor contributions.  However, donors cannot claim tax deductions for their contributions without written records of their donations.  Since tax deductions are intended to incentivize charitable contributions, nonprofits should make it as easy as possible for their donors to apply for a deduction at the end of the donor’s tax year.

Dec 7, 2020

Permissibility of Requiring that Nonprofit Employees Receive a COVID-19 Vaccination

Note: On December 16, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) provided updated guidance concerning COVID-19 vaccinations. While that guidance confirms the legal analysis and conclusions provided in this bulletin, including that employers may permissibly require COVID-19 vaccinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), we recommend that employers use the information provided in this bulletin and the one we issued following the EEOC update in order to develop a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.  

Given the recent news coverage concerning COVID-19 vaccines and the government’s distribution plan for such vaccines, many of our clients have inquired whether it will be permissible to require that employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. This question is important from a public health perspective, complicated from a legal one, and almost certain to create controversy.

Dec 4, 2020

Nonprofits Impacted By Governor Newsom's Announcement Regarding New Regional Stay At Home Order

On December 3, in order to slow the unprecedented rise in the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new Regional Stay At Home Order (the “Order”).

Sep 18, 2020

Supporting Candidates and Propositions on California’s November 2020 Ballot – Tips for California Community College District Employees

The following was authored for the Community College League of California.

As Election Day draws closer, we wanted to send out a reminder of some basic rules about political and election activity on campus and during work hours. The law protects everyone’s right to vote, right to voice their opinions, and right to support candidates and initiatives.  Community college district employees have some restrictions and prohibitions on their involvement in political and election activities.

Sep 18, 2020

Supporting Propositions on California’s November 2020 Ballot – Tips for California Community College District Trustees

The following was authored for the Community College League of California.

As Election Day draws closer, we wanted to send out a reminder of some basic rules about political and election activity using district resources. The law protects everyone’s right to vote, right to voice their opinions, and right to support candidates and initiatives.  Community college districts have some restrictions and prohibitions on their involvement in political and election activities.

5 May 2021
Consortium Trainings

Workplace Bullying: A Growing Concern

Humboldt County ERC Webinar
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5 May 2021
Consortium Trainings

Workplace Bullying: A Growing Concern

Monterey Bay ERC Webinar
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18 March 2021
Customized Trainings

Mandated Reporting

City of Cupertino Webinar
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25 February 2021
Consortium Trainings

Managing the Marginal Employee

San Mateo County ERC Webinar
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16 December 2020
Consortium Trainings

Moving Into The Future

Gold Country ERC Webinar
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16 December 2020
Consortium Trainings

Moving Into The Future

Napa/Solano/Yolo ERC Webinar
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Contact Us

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Please contact Cynthia Weldon, Director of Marketing & Training, 800.981.2000.

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