Labor, Employment and Personnel

What We Do

When the education of students is at the heart of an employer’s mission, it is imperative to hire, support and keep outstanding employees.

Our attorneys work closely with district leaders and supervisors on human resources and employer-employee relations issues to further the mission and to strengthen the workforce. From recruitment to retirement, and everything in between, DWK’s expertise and experience in public education labor and employment law are unmatched.

Labor Law

  • Developing employer-employee relations strategies that serve the best interests of students
  • Pioneering new and better approaches to negotiations with employee groups
  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreements, MOUs and side letters
  • Crafting proposals and drafting final agreement language
  • Advising on contract administration, grievance processing and representation before mediators and arbitrators
  • Defending against unfair labor practice charges filed with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)
  • Representing employers in unit modification and decertification proceedings
  • Representing employers during impasse mediation and at fact finding hearings
  • Counseling employers on lawful responses to picketing, strikes, and other forms of concerted activity
  • Training, training, training


Employment Law

  • Identifying best practices for hiring and classification
  • Drafting employee, administrator and cabinet contracts
  • Developing strategies to sustain and improve employee performance and professional development
  • Assisting with investigations, UCP and other complaint procedures
  • Assisting supervisors with employee remediation efforts and due process requirements
  • Preparing progressive discipline documentation, including conference summaries, warning letters, suspension notices and dismissal charges
  • Representing management in classified and certificated disciplinary proceedings (demotion, suspension and termination)
  • Assisting with certificated and classified layoff processes and hearings
  • Responding to discrimination claims (EEOC, DFEH, OCR, CDE).
  • Counseling clients about interactive process and reasonable accommodations requirement
  • Complying with leave of absence legal requirements
  • Counseling on the unique requirements applicable to merit districts
  • Training, training, training
Employment handshake concept, female hr and successful woman candidate shaking hands getting hired ready to sign job contract concept, employer congratulating welcoming new worker, close up view

Labor, Employment and Personnel – the DWK Way

  • We embrace a philosophy that collective bargaining proposals and outcomes must always serve the best interests of students.
  • We believe in attacking negotiable issues together with our colleagues across the bargaining table, to the exclusion of attacking each other.
  • We endeavor to help districts develop strategies that foster substantive negotiations where real concerns and needs are presented and addressed.
  • We believe that labor, employment and personnel challenges can be thoughtfully, creatively and positively addressed without the need for legal confrontation.
  • We believe that our overarching goal is to help clients implement employment practices that empower them to establish and maintain the highest quality workforce for the benefit of students.
  • We believe that there can be no tolerance of or indifference to discrimination, bigotry or harassment in the educational workplace.
  • We counsel human resources professionals to assist their employees while never losing sight of students’ needs and expectations for education and learning opportunities.

Sample Trainings and In-Services

Young happy man shaking hands with a businessman on a job interview in the office.
  • Assistance, Documentation and Progressive Discipline
  • Ed Lab
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention
  • Leaves of Absence– Employee Rights and Employer Obligations
  • Labor Relations 101 and Beyond
  • Preparing the District Team for Negotiations
  • How to Negotiate Using Core Values
  • The Role of the Board in Negotiations

Interested in scheduling a training for your team?