Employee Discipline and Termination, Including Appeals
An important part of our client service is providing advice and representation in connection with employee discipline. We have represented our clients in numerous discipline and termination hearings for both faculty and classified employees, including actions in State and Federal courts and appeals before a Personnel Commission. We are further prepared to advise our clients regarding effective discipline strategies that comply with County, State, and Federal regulations.
Handling employee misconduct and the focus on employee remediation/discipline has been an important asset to our clients. We have prepared remediation plans that seek to bring employees engaging in misconduct back on the right track. If those efforts are not successful, we have assisted our clients in bringing proceedings against employees for all matter of misconduct including, but not limited to sexual harassment, theft, dishonesty, unsatisfactory performance, unprofessional conduct, misuse of district property, assault, incompetence, sleeping on the job, and numerous other grounds.
Unlawful Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation
Our attorneys are particularly knowledgeable and experienced in defending public sector clients in sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination claims involving violations of due process, the exercise of guaranteed rights, and discrimination based on race, gender and disability including expertise with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Older Workers’ Benefits Act. Our extensive experience includes advising and defending our clients in litigation before PERB, EEOC, DFEH, and in State and Federal courts on numerous matters relating to employment discrimination and sexual harassment matters. In addition, we routinely conduct training sessions for board members, administrators, and employees on how to avoid wrongful discharge, discrimination and sexual harassment claims.
Family, Medical and Related Leaves
Our attorneys routinely advise school and college districts of the types, availability and calculation of the various kinds of leave to which faculty, classified and administrative employees are entitled, including pregnancy leaves, long-term disability leave, FMLA leave, CFRA leave, and differential leave, among others. We have provided manuals and guidelines for employers to use generally, as well as the calculation of the leave available to a specific employee under his or her particular set of circumstances.
ADA Compliance and the Interactive Process
We have frequently been called upon by our clients to provide legal guidance concerning the requirements (including the interactive process requirements) in the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and related statutory provisions in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act which prohibits discrimination against employees with disabilities. We have also successfully represented clients in both State and Federal court in cases involving claims of disability discrimination.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Testing
Our firm has regularly advised schools and colleges on the propriety of requiring drug and alcohol testing of employees. This includes advising our clients in situations where individual employees are suspected of substance abuse as well as the formation and implementation of policies for random testing for employees considered to be in safety-sensitive positions.
Layoffs and Reductions in Force
The attorneys in our firm have assisted our schools and community college clients in carrying out both classified and faculty layoffs and reductions in force on dozens of occasions. Our representation begins with advising in advance of the statutory and negotiated requirements for layoffs, and includes assistance in determining the proper employees to be noticed based upon seniority, preparation of the necessary resolutions and notices, ensuring compliance with the Brown Act, negotiating the impacts and effects of the reductions with the exclusive representative, and representing the district at any layoff hearings.
Hiring and Employment Classification
Attorneys at Erickson Law Firm A.P.C. are thoroughly familiar with the Education Code and frequently provide guidance related to hiring criteria and hiring decisions. We are also intimately familiar with requirements in the Government Code, Title 5 and other California Codes and Regulations that pertain to all school and college-related employment issues including hiring. We have also performed employment classification and reclassification studies for a number of districts.