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Practice Area Details

Labor, Employment and Personnel

From healthcare costs to retirement benefits, employee discipline to hiring/firing practices, California public schools face an increasingly complex array of statutes, rules and regulations that are, at best, confusing and often conflicting.

Districts increasingly need access to sound counsel based on up-to-the-minute information, solid expertise, and extensive experience in California labor relations in order to successfully navigate through these evolving issues.

Dannis Woliver Kelley was representing public education agencies in our state before the Educational Employment Relations Act was even passed in 1976. We continue to provide unparalleled service and results-oriented advice to employers throughout California in all areas of labor-management relations law. Members of our firm are trained in interest-based bargaining, including CFIER, and are trainers in the CTA/Management Interest-Based Negotiations model. We regularly negotiate on behalf of our clients concerning wages, salaries, working hours, healthcare costs containment, family leave, and numerous other issues. We have helped managers to carry out layoffs, to obtain resignations and to assess grievances in terms of what is in the best interest of the district.

Having played an integral role in the evolution of labor law in the public education sector, Dannis Woliver Kelley attorneys bring to the table a unique historical perspective combined with the most up-to-date research and information available. Our unsurpassed knowledge of California education law enables us to provide effective and highly successful representation by: 

  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreements, including successor agreements and reopeners
  • Advising on contract administration, grievance processing and representation before mediators, arbitrators and hearing officers
  • Defending against unfair labor practice charges
  • Consulting in representation and decertification elections and bargaining unit modification proceedings
  • Counseling employers in the lawful response to picketing, strikes, and other forms of concerted activity
  • Ensuring that a public agency's elected officials are in full compliance with the law
  • Developing proposals, negotiating goals and strategies
  • Advising districts and country offices of education regarding hiring and promotion matters from policy development to individual case issues
  • Assisting clients with investigating and taking appropriate steps to discipline employees while providing them with due process
  • Handling hundreds of classified hearings for both merit and non-merit system school districts
  • Protecting public schools from liability

We strive to help you foster and maintain productive and problem-solving environments that successfully transform the tone and substance of negotiations from one of confrontation to one where real concerns are presented and addressed. Our guidance has helped districts settle or resolve matters that may otherwise have escalated into legal confrontations. And though we proactively seek cost-effective solutions that avoid litigation, we are prepared to handle all aspects of any lawsuits that may arise for a client.

Training and In-Servicing

The negotiation process does not end with the signing of an agreement. Rather, the contract is a dynamic document that can be affected positively or negatively, depending on the degree of vigilance management displays in effective contract administration. Dannis Woliver Kelley provides assistance in this area through in-services with staff on contract enforcement and all aspects of grievance processing, including representation at arbitration hearings and PERB unfair practice hearings.

For more information on the specific training and in-services we provide, please click on individual listings below:

  • Evaluation and Documentation Technique
  • Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
  • Employer-Employee Relations and Contract Administration Seminars
  • Board Member Workshops
  • Education and Labor Law Consortia

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