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Cities, Counties & Special Districts

AALRR understands that municipal and county entities—as well as their respective agencies—face unique challenges due to the nature of public employment. In addition to following specific laws and regulations, they also encounter a heightened level of scrutiny and pressure from both unions and elected officials.

Our attorneys have assisted countless public employers with the kinds of constitutional issues that arise only in the public sector, including:

  • Substantive and procedural due process
  • Property and liberty interests
  • “Vested benefits” doctrine
  • Equal protection
  • First and Fourth Amendment claims

We have also defended numerous public agencies in lawsuits filed under various state and federal statutes, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Peace Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

A Problem-Solving Approach

As a partner with our municipal, county and public agency clients, we assist them in problem solving. We ask not only “what can we do?” but also  “what should we be doing?” It is a proactive approach that strives to leave no stone unturned when it comes to public employment matters.

As part of this approach, the training sessions and presentations our attorneys offer have proven vital to clients. Our dynamic training programs provide the guidelines for handling the various legal issues our clients face. We have presented to public sector audiences on topics such as:

  • Preventing discrimination, retaliation and harassment
  • Embracing diversity
  • Conducting disciplinary investigations
  • Responding to EEOC and DFEH complaints
  • Understanding employee privacy rights
  • Properly maintaining personnel files
  • Managing employee leaves
  • Imposing employee discipline
  • Labor relations

The firm also prides itself in providing advice and counsel to its clients in all of the areas described above. While a public employer cannot eliminate the risk of a lawsuit or administrative charge, it can improve its likelihood of prevailing in these matters. The members of the firm seek to proactively assist clients as these situations arise.

Labor Relations and Employment Litigation Strength

In the public employment arena, litigation may often proceed before an administrative agency instead of a court. We have considerable experience and success handling proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), as well as before personnel commissions, civil service commissions, arbitrators and hearing officers.

Our attorneys have litigated hundreds of cases before PERB and have established some of its most important precedents over the last three decades. In fact, one of our partners helped to establish PERB in 1976, serving as its initial Associate General Counsel and later as Supervising Administrative Law Judge. Additionally, we have advised clients regarding the complexities and nuances of the Meyers Milias Brown Act. The firm’s city, county and public agency clients have benefitted from our extensive experience with and knowledge of PERB.

Aside from handling unfair labor practice charges, petitions for unit modification and other matters before PERB, our attorneys also serve as chief labor negotiators for many of our clients. Our knowledge of public sector norms, along with our legal experience in labor relations, has enabled our clients to secure favorable collective bargaining agreements.

AALRR also has a very strong record of success in employee disciplinary proceedings. Our services in this area include drafting notices of intent and presenting the public employer's case in termination and other disciplinary proceedings. We also represent public agencies in arbitrations concerning questions of contract interpretation, PERS disability issues and advise public agencies regarding pending grievances on issues such as timeliness and arbitrability.

Administrative Hearings/Arbitrations

AALRR has considerable experience and success representing municipalities, counties and special districts in hearings and arbitrations before administrative agencies, including: more

Brown Act & Local Governance

AALRR attorneys are well versed in all aspects of the Brown Act and other laws pertaining to school district governance. We regularly provide legal interpretations and advice concerning board relations issues, including advising and in-servicing boards on the Brown Act. more

Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations

AALRR has over 30 years of experience representing municipalities, counties and public agencies in all aspects of their relationships with employees and labor unions, including collective bargaining negotiations, meet and confer issues and grievance arbitrations. more

Employment Litigation

AALRR’s employment litigation attorneys have significant experience in aggressively defending public agencies against claims brought by former, current and prospective employees. more

FLSA/Wage & Hour

AALRR routinely assists a large number of cities, counties and public agencies to ensure they comply with the minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and classification requirements of all federal and state wage and hour laws. more

Investigations

At AALRR, we pride ourselves on our ability to function as a problem-solving resource for our clients. One way to do that is to perform prompt, thorough and effective investigations for our clients. Whether one of our attorneys takes the lead as the investigator or whether we guide our clients through their own internal complaint process, our role is to discover what's going on so we can help the client resolve any issues. more

Layoffs, Furloughs & Wage Reductions

Layoffs and furloughs have become an unfortunate part of business operations. At AALRR, we strive to make sure that in the event of a layoff or furlough, the situation is handled with a minimum of disruption and results in the best possible outcome. more

Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act

California was the first state to enact a Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR)—and AALRR was one of the first law firms to handle police disciplinary and employment matters in connection to POBR. more

PERB

AALRR represents cities, counties and public agencies in the defense of unfair labor practice complaints and proceedings before Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). more

Public Employee Retirement Law

The legal issues involved in public employee retirement law are unique and often complex. Adhering to the various regulations outlined by CalPERS and other government pension organizations requires a partner with a thorough understanding of public employee retirement benefits and law. more

Training & Education

AALRR places significant emphasis on proactive client counseling, training and education. We strive to help cities, counties and public agencies implement liability reduction techniques through in-house training workshops in order to minimize the potential for investigations or litigation. more

Writs & Appeals

Our attorneys have handled hundreds of writs and appeals in both state and federal courts. more