The Labor & Retirement Team at the City Attorney’s Office is both an advice and a litigation team responsible for the legal work that affects nearly every department, board, and commission in the City and County of San Francisco, as well as the nearly 30,000 employees that serve the City. It is a large team that covers eight general areas: (1) advising City departments, (2) assisting the Department of Human Resources, (3) handling litigation brought against the City by its own employees, (4) preparing and approving collective bargaining, (5) resolving files of grievances, (6) advising the Retirement Board, (7) dealing with disability proceedings, and (8) providing advice to the Health Services System.
The Team is responsible for providing advice to their clients on employment law, labor law, and charter provisions pertaining to the city’s employees, including employee discipline, disability laws, internal investigations, proper hiring and promotional practices, and employee grievances, to name a few. In order to deflect possible litigation, the Team provides training on all of these topics to managers and employees in many City departments.
When litigation is unavoidable, the Team provides the City with top notch representation in lawsuits that include virtually any type of employment issues that cannot be resolved amicably. Past lawsuits have included actions brought by City unions as well as those brought by individuals based on state and federal discrimination laws, privacy laws, civil rights laws, and common law. The Team also represents the City in any arbitration that can arise from collective bargaining agreements with City unions, as well as negotiations with those unions.