Erin Kunze

Erin Kunze Associate

Erin provides representation and legal counsel to Liebert Cassidy Whitmore clients on a variety of employment and education law matters, including retirement, labor relations in the public and private nonprofit sectors, public safety, and safety planning in schools. She provides training to LCW clients in the areas of performance management, harassment and discrimination, and mandated reporting. Erin assists academic institutions and nonprofit clients in complying with foundation, donation, and exempt organization issues.

Prior to joining LCW, Erin developed diverse legal experience through her work with various philanthropic organizations, including Hastings College of Law's Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project. Erin also served as a Legal Intern in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. She remains passionate about human rights issues.

Erin also brings nonprofit experience to her work with LCW clients. In addition to her human rights and immigration work, Erin has worked with 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 issues relating to nonprofit incorporation, governance, and development.  She now enjoys working through legal issues relating to these subjects with LCW clients.

Erin received her undergraduate degree from Boston University (magna cum laude) and her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School (cum laude).


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.


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. 

Apr 25, 2017

Application of the U.S. Civil Rights Act to Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 (hereafter “Title VII”) has long prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment. One question of ongoing statutory interpretation has not been definitively answered: what constitutes “sex” for the purposes of employment discrimination? Are the terms “sex” and “gender” interchangeable under the law? And does the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex extend to a prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

Jan 26, 2017

Court Affirms that PEPRA Does Not Limit County’s Right to Repeal COLA Pickup

On December 20, 2016, the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District reaffirmed the purpose and spirit of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (“PEPRA”) as a law designed to “limit,” rather than “shield,” public employees’ retirement compensation

Jan 14, 2017

2017 is Here! Be Aware of These New Laws and Ordinances

As 2017 kicks off, employers should be aware that a number of new state-wide laws and local ordinances begin taking effect.  

Jan 10, 2017

Six Statutes for the New Year

As 2017 kicks off, employers should be aware that a number of new state-wide laws and local ordinances begin taking effect.  In this blog, we highlight just a few that California’s public employers should now be implementing.

Sep 6, 2016

Do You Have Seasonal Workers? What To Know About Health & Retirement Benefit Obligations

As the summer season winds down, so do public agency departments that hire seasonal workers to staff summer camps, pools, extended park and recreation hours, and a myriad of season-specific facilities and activities. But, just how do seasonal workers impact the agency’s health and retirement benefit obligations?

Aug 23, 2016

Courts Continue to Chip Away at Vested Rights

In the past few years, the courts have made it more difficult to establish a vested right to retiree medical benefits. We now have a decision that greatly reduces employee / retiree defenses that a change in benefits is unconstitutional.  The First District Court of Appeal last week upheld the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association’s (“MCERA”) decision to prospectively limit the forms of pay and benefits included in the definition of “compensation earnable” and “pensionable compensation” – used to determine an employee’s final compensation for the purpose of determining pension benefits, finding that the change did not substantially impair current employees’ vested rights to a “reasonable” and “substantial” pension. Under this decision, the change was, thus, constitutional under state and federal law.

18 October 2017
Customized Trainings

Preventing Workplace Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation

East Bay Regional Park District Oakland
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12 October 2017
Consortium Trainings

Legal Issues Regarding Hiring

Mendocino County ERC Ukiah
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12 October 2017
Consortium Trainings

File That! Best Practices for Document and Record Management

Mendocino County ERC Ukiah
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13 September 2017
Customized Trainings

Reasonable Suspicion

East Bay Regional Park District Oakland
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9 August 2017
Speaking Engagements

HR Boot Camp for Special Districts

California Special Districts Association (CSDA) HR Boot Camp Vallejo
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14 June 2017
Customized Trainings

Mandated Reporting

East Bay Regional Park District Oakland
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