Heather R. Coffman

Heather R. Coffman Associate

Heather advises, negotiates, and litigates on behalf of a diverse portfolio of public sector clients. Her clients include counties, cities, public safety agencies, and public education instituations. Heather regularly advises and represents these clients in matters ranging from investigations, disciplinary matters, administrative proceedings, unfair practice charges, and litigation involving state and federal discrimination and harassment claims. In addition, Heather represents public agencies at the bargaining table. Heather also frequently trains clients on new legal developments and strategies to prevent litigation, enhance employee performance, and strengthen labor relations.

Prior to practicing public employment and education law, Heather practiced immigration law. Outside of the office, she serves as a volunteer mediator through a community-based dispute resolution organization.

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

Classified Employee Discipline (2018) – Successfully upheld the suspension of a classified employee at a community college district.  The employee engaged in a series of escalating confrontations with fellow employees, despite progressive action by the District to support him to comport with District policies.

Police Officer Termination (2017) – Successfully upheld termination of a police officer who used his body to block a female non-sworn employee from leaving a work area and shared sexually explicit stories with her. 

Correctional Deputy Termination (2016) – Successfully upheld termination of a correctional deputy who, while off-duty, brandished a firearm at inmates who were performing duties on a work crew.  The deputy then misled the Internal Affairs investigator regarding his conduct.

Vacaville Peace Officers Association v. City of Vacaville (2014) – Successfully represented City defending against Unfair Practice Charges brought by a Peace Officers’ Association before the Public Employment Relations Board.  The POA alleged the City engaged in bad faith bargaining during labor negotiations. 

LITIGATION

Jackson v. County of Humboldt (2017) – Obtained summary judgment in favor of the County in a case where Plaintiff, an employee, asserted that he suffered discrimination on the basis of age. Prior to the motion for summary judgment, successfully represented the County in demurrers to multiple additional claims by the same Plaintiff. 

Lake v. City of Hercules (2013) - Obtained summary judgment in favor of the City in a case where Plaintiff, a female police officer, lied to her Police Chief in order to obtain approval to purchase an assault weapon. After the City terminated her employment for dishonesty she sued the City, alleging that the termination was based on her gender, disability, and protected activity. She also alleged that she had been harassed based on her gender and disability.

NEGOTIATIONS

Sonoma County Union and Employee units.

Marin Community College District Classified Employee Units.

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

California Bar Association

Bar Association of San Francisco

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars in the field of Employment & Labor Law, (2015)

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

Oct 4, 2018

Paid Time Off for Union Leaders: New Law Extends Requirements for Public Employers to Grant Leaves of Absence for Union Stewards and Officers

A concept known as “lost time” in some negotiated Memoranda of Understanding is now State law. Effective January 1, 2019, public employers may be required to grant paid leaves of absence to employees so they can serve in leadership positions in their unions, if requested by the exclusive representative.  The new law is codified as section 3558.8 of the California Government Code. As detailed below, the law requires unions to reimburse employers for the expenditures on behalf of the union employees on leave, but the parties must meet and confer to define the terms of the leaves and reimbursements.

Sep 22, 2016

The Importance of Posting a Salary Schedule

We’ve all heard the saying, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.”

Aug 9, 2016

Building Your Dream Team

In this Tips from the Table segment, Heather Coffman - Labor Negotiation from the San Francisco office of LCW, discusses the concepts of building a "Dream Team" for your negotiations.

Mar 31, 2014

Public Records Act Update: What Happens on a Personal Device (May) Stay on a Personal Device

The California Court of Appeal recently issued a decision that may give some ...

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

17 April 2019
Customized Trainings

Maximizing Supervisory Skills for the First Line Supervisor

Port of Oakland Oakland
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14 March 2019
28 February 2019
Customized Trainings

DOT and Reasonable Suspicion

City of Mountain View Mountain View
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26 February 2019
Customized Trainings

The Art of Writing the Performance Evaluation

Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority Sonoma
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14 December 2018
Customized Trainings

Public Service - Understanding the Roles and Responsibilities of Public Employees

County of Monterey - Auditor Controllers Office - Annual Payroll Conference Seaside
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15 November 2018
Consortium Trainings

Labor Code 101 for Public Entities

North State ERC Webinar
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Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • BA, Tufts University

Contact Us

General Inquiries

info@lcwlegal.com

Contact a Specific Office

Our Locations

Media Inquiries

Please contact Cynthia Weldon, Director of Marketing & Training, 310.981.2000.

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