Our Practice Labor and Employment

Labor and Employment continues to be an evolving and complicated area of law for public schools.

Beyond the traditional topics of bargaining of union contracts and employee discipline proceedings, this also encompasses general labor relations, contract administration, personnel and hiring policies analysis and fringe benefit issues.

Labor and Employment law also includes employee evaluations, administrators’ Act 93 agreements, employee handbook preparation and analysis, assistance in dealing with attempts by unions to organize employees, defense of discrimination complaints and other civil rights claims, and defense of unfair labor practice charges.

For clients facing an internal issue regarding alleged workplace misconduct (such as harassment), we provide guidance in conducting a thorough, sound internal investigation. Our comprehensive guidance in communication strategies, checklists, and reporting will not only help bring such problems to a swift resolution but, more importantly, stand up to scrutiny in court.

Typical calls we receive from clients include these questions:

  • “Is this employee covered under FMLA?”
  • “We have reached an impasse with the union.  What do we do now?”
  • “How do we handle benefits and contributions when a contract is frozen?”
  • “How long should contract negotiation take?”
  • “Is someone entitled to have legal representation at a disciplinary meeting?”
  • “To what extent can we reduce hours of classified staff or eliminate positions?”

The questions and needs vary by district or entity and even time of year.  However, we are well-prepared on all of the issues above and many more.  Our lead attorneys handling employment law issues have over 100 years of labor relations experience under their belts. 

Additionally, the firm was involved in negotiating several of the first collective bargaining agreements in Pennsylvania under Act 195 enacted in 1970, which established the framework of public-sector collective bargaining in Pennsylvania, giving public employees and teachers the right to strike (and continued on to negotiate over 600 collective bargaining agreements within the commonwealth). 

Additionally, we provided insight, recommendations, and suggestions to the General Assembly that led to its adoption of Act 88 of 1992, a ground-breaking revision to Pennsylvania’s collective bargaining law, later testing and developing strategies for implementing collective bargaining under that Act.

Ensure that you handle even the most seemingly simple employment law issue correctly and contact us for more information.