Photo of Melanie Chaney

Melanie represents and regularly advises cities, counties, public safety departments and special districts regarding employee and labor relations matters.  The breadth of her experience as both a negotiator and a litigator informs her practical approach to the myriad of labor and employment issues faced by public entities.

Sonoma DecisionThe Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently held in Sonoma County Superior Court (Sonoma) that employees are entitled to union representation at interactive process meetings.  With this ruling, PERB expressly overturned prior precedent on this issue.

Before the Sonoma ruling, PERB recognized a right to union representation in individual meetings with the employer primarily only

Happy HolidaysIt is that time of the year again… the holiday season.  Time to celebrate!  Many employers throw festive holiday or year-end parties complete with food, alcohol and entertainment.  According to a Society of Human Resource Management Survey on Holiday/Year End Activities, in recent years about two-thirds of organizations have held holiday parties for their employees. 

Employment-Application.pngThe National Football League’s handling of several recent high-profile domestic violence incidents involving players Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Jonathan Dwyer has raised the national consciousness regarding how employers handle domestic violence issues. Domestic violence has been, and continues to be, a prevalent problem that creates many challenging issues for employers.  A recent Centers for

football

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled that Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships and have not exhausted their playing eligibility are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act, and therefore have the right unionize and engage in collective bargaining with their “employer.”  (Northwestern University v. College Athletes Players Association (CAPA)

Men-in-Wheelchair.jpgUnder the ADA and FEHA, the employer has the duty to identify and implement a reasonable accommodation to allow a disabled employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Common pitfalls for employers in determining appropriate accommodations are:

1.     Over-reliance on the written job description

Job descriptions are critical in the disability interactive process