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Public Sector

The basics of employment law are universal, but public sector employers are governed by a set of laws, regulations, requirements and practices that are unique.


Our attorneys have vast experience working with public employers, from large to small cities, counties, public safety and public service authorities, government agencies, school districts, park and recreation districts and related public employer management. Our exclusive focus on workplace law makes Jackson Lewis particularly well suited to represent public sector clients requiring regular assistance across a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters, including contract negotiations and administration, interest arbitrations, disciplinary proceedings, employment arbitrations, litigation, administrative hearings, appellate proceedings and all legal matters related to the administration of personnel policies and managerial decisions.

Employment Litigation

We defend individual, collective and class action lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, intentional torts and other serious workplace issues in federal and state trial and appellate courts. From early assessment onward, our model is to work with clients to develop appropriately aggressive defense strategies, explore early resolution options, conduct meaningful discovery, employ effective motion practice and present the case at trial in the most effective and efficient manner. Our representation of public sector employers includes:

  • Defending First and Fourteenth Amendment litigation alleging retaliatory or discriminatory conduct in violation of constitutional rights;
  • Defending Fourth Amendment litigation alleging unconstitutional search and seizure;
  • Defending police-related litigation;
  • Defending litigation involving breach of contract for failure to hire, wrongful termination and failure to reinstate allegations;
  • Defending Title VII litigation alleging retaliation or discrimination; and
  • Advising on compliance with the FLSA and other wage and hour issues.

Labor Relations

Our labor attorneys have represented public sector management clients in collective bargaining, grievances before arbitrators, mediators, state labor boards, government agencies and, when necessary, litigation before state and federal courts. We provide legal advice and counsel to public sector employers regarding local personnel and employer/employee relations policies, drafting applicable Board resolutions, union certification and election procedures, unit clarification and placement proceedings, management and confidential employee designations, disability hearings, contract negotiations, civil service proceedings and counseling, grievance and arbitration hearings, interest arbitrations, responding to FOIA-type requests, unfair labor practices before state public employment relations boards, traditional and third party economic activity pressures (such as picketing, bannering or hand billing) and public appeals, including social media sites, work stoppages, workforce reductions and reorganizations, as well as the entire range of pre- and post-hire employee relations issues.

Training, and Advice and Counsel

Jackson Lewis is known nationwide for training programs that provide preventive solutions for our clients. Our attorneys are experienced and effective trainers on all personnel topics. We also provide advice and counsel services directly tailored to the operations and nuances of the particular public employer, including departmental and human resources audits for best practice solutions.

For more information, download the Public Sector Representation brochure.

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April 20, 2018

Brazilian Labor Courts Continue to Emphasize Importance of Non-Compete Clause Limitations

April 20, 2018

A recent Brazilian labor court ruling clarified the procedural requirements for employers drafting non-compete clauses in employment agreements. Although the Brazilian Federal Constitution establishes “freedom of work,” and the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279/1996) prevents an employee from disclosing an employer’s... Read More

April 18, 2018

Massachusetts Equal Pay Act Calculation Tool: What Employers Need to Know

April 18, 2018

Ever since Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the state Equal Pay Act (MEPA) on August 1, 2016, employers have been seeking direction on how employee pay should be analyzed to withstand scrutiny under the new law. MEPA goes into effect on July 1, 2018. On March 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (OAG)... Read More

April 18, 2018

Massachusetts Adjusts Limits on Employer Inquiries into Job Applicants’ Criminal History

April 18, 2018

A provision in the Massachusetts criminal justice reform law signed by Governor Charlie Baker amends the state’s restrictions on the questions employers may ask a job applicant regarding the applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process. The new restrictions include an adjusted limitation on asking about misdemeanor convictions... Read More

Showing 1-3 of 173