Public Agency Labor & Employment

Public agencies, like private business, must address all types of labor and employment concerns, from hiring through firing and the many issues that arise in the course of employment relationships. However, public agencies are subject to even greater scrutiny than private businesses and they must comply with more stringent regulations regarding their workers.

Best Best & Krieger LLP, a recognized leader in advising public agencies, assists hundreds of public agency clients in meeting their employment and labor–related needs. We help our public agency clients avoid pitfalls and we resolve issues quickly and effectively when they arise. Our Labor & Employment attorneys advise on all employment and labor matters, conduct investigations into employee complaints and vigorously defend public agency employers in litigation and administrative matters at the federal, state and local levels. Working closely with human resources and management staff, we help ensure that employment decisions and actions comply with all applicable laws.

BB&K attorneys provide training for human resources professionals, managers and supervisors and assist in establishing, implementing and enforcing best practices and employment-related protocols regarding issues such as:

  • Hiring and firing 
  • Workplace Safety 
  • Disability accommodations
  • Worker and manager discipline
  • Discrimination, harassment and retaliation allegations 


Our attorneys advise on, draft and negotiate employment agreements, compensation terms, employee pensions and benefits, and union contracts, as well as assist with labor-related issues and provide guidance regarding all facets of municipal law, special districts, and fire department, police and education institution-related matters. 

Further, we stay current on legal developments and keep our clients informed with regular updates on labor and employment laws and cases with articles, Legal Alerts, blog posts and other communications.

David Allen

David Allen

Pension Consultant*

(916) 329-3688

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Public Sector: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Carlos L. Campos

Carlos L. Campos

Partner

(760) 837-1602

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang

Partner

(916) 329-3685

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Public Sector: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Samantha Chen

Samantha Chen

Associate

(925) 977-3315

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Roger K. Crawford

Roger K. Crawford

Partner

(909) 466-4918

Areas of Focus: Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Labor Negotiations & Other Union Matters | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Wage & Hour Law | Workplace Safety
Laura J. Fowler

Laura J. Fowler

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2085

Areas of Focus: Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Public Agency Labor & Employment
Cynthia M. Germano

Cynthia M. Germano

Partner

(951) 826-8232

Areas of Focus: Labor & Employment | Labor Negotiations & Other Union Matters | Municipal | Municipal Law | Wage & Hour Law | Workplace Safety
Howard B. Golds

Howard B. Golds

Partner

(951) 826-8339

Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Public Agency Labor & Employment
Susan Neethling

Susan Neethling

Of Counsel

(916) 329-3687

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Public Sector: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Epiphany Owen

Epiphany Owen

Partner

(949) 263-6589

Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | Education Law | Education Litigation | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Special Education | Student Affairs
Arlene Prater

Arlene Prater

Partner

(619) 525-1334

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Education Litigation | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Municipal Law
Stacey N. Sheston

Stacey N. Sheston

Partner

(916) 551-2099

Areas of Focus: Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Wage & Hour Law
Ann Siprelle

Ann Siprelle

Partner

(916) 551-2834

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Cristina Talley

Cristina Talley

Of Counsel

(949) 263-6588

Areas of Focus: Government Policy & Public Integrity | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Public Safety
Mark R. Velasquez

Mark R. Velasquez

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2824

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | General & Special Counsel | Investigations | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
John D. Wahlin

John D. Wahlin

Partner

(951) 826-8313

Areas of Focus: Business | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Tax | Trusts & Estates
Event Sep 15, 2018

Sexual Harassment Law After #MeToo

California Lawyers Association

70 Years of Pension Precedent Could Soon Be Weakened by the California Supreme Court
Authored Articles & Publications Aug 16, 2018

70 Years of Pension Precedent Could Soon Be Weakened by the California Supreme Court

Isabel Safie Provides Insight Into Lawsuits That May Have Significant Implications for Public Agencies Facing High Pension Costs in PublicCEO

Down to the Minute: Starbucks Wage-and-Hour Decision
Legal Alerts Aug 8, 2018

Down to the Minute: Starbucks Wage-and-Hour Decision

California Supreme Court Rejects Employer-Friendly Defense in Class Action

Partners Roger Crawford and Isabel Safie Named Top Labor & Employment Lawyers
Press Releases Jul 19, 2018

Partners Roger Crawford and Isabel Safie Named Top Labor & Employment Lawyers

Daily Journal Releases Annual List of 75

What Public Employers Need to Know Now in Wake of Janus Decision
Legal Alerts Jun 28, 2018

What Public Employers Need to Know Now in Wake of Janus Decision

SCOTUS Changes How Public Sector Union Fees are Collected; Governor Also Signs SB 866

Event Jun 28, 2018

Gender Empowerment in the #MeToo World

League of California Cities

When is an Employer Responsible for Accidents on Employees’ Commutes?
Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2018

When is an Employer Responsible for Accidents on Employees’ Commutes?

California Court of Appeal Reverses $14 million Judgment Against Employer Because Employee’s Vehicle was Not Required at Work on the Day of the Accident

BB&K Webinar Jun 12, 2018

Preparing for Changes in the “Vested Rights Doctrine” - Understanding Plan Design Options

BB&K Free Webinar

[WEBINAR] Preparing for Changes in the “Vested Rights Doctrine” - Understanding Plan Design Options
Videos Jun 12, 2018

[WEBINAR] Preparing for Changes in the “Vested Rights Doctrine” - Understanding Plan Design Options

BB&K Webinar

Harassment and Transgender Regulations: Workplace Impact
Authored Articles & Publications May 23, 2018

Harassment and Transgender Regulations: Workplace Impact

BB&K Partner Joseph Ortiz Writes on Recent Regulations in Riverside Lawyer Magazine

The Dynamex Fallout: Independent Contractor Classifications Endangered
Legal Alerts May 4, 2018

The Dynamex Fallout: Independent Contractor Classifications Endangered

California Employers Should Heed Recent State Supreme Court Ruling

Event May 2-3, 2018

LCC City Attorneys' Spring Conference

League of California Cities

Lessons Learned from San Jose and other Attempted Solutions
Videos Apr 24, 2018

Lessons Learned from San Jose and other Attempted Solutions

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Pension Liability by the Numbers
Videos Apr 24, 2018

Pension Liability by the Numbers

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Perspectives: The Practical Effects of Today's Pension Programs
Videos Apr 24, 2018

Perspectives: The Practical Effects of Today's Pension Programs

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Legal Update: Is the California Rule in Flux?
Videos Apr 24, 2018

Legal Update: Is the California Rule in Flux?

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Event Apr 19, 2018

2018 Housing Conference

Fair Housing Council of Riverside County

Event Mar 1, 2018

Employment Law 101

California Lawyers Association

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part II
Legal Alerts Feb 20, 2018

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part II

Court Cases Impacting Labor & Employment Law

Settlement Reached with CalPERS on Behalf of Truckee
Client Successes Feb 15, 2018

Settlement Reached with CalPERS on Behalf of Truckee

BB&K Represented Town in Negotiations

BB&K Webinar Feb 13, 2018

Free Municipal Law Webinar Series from BB&K

Legal Issues that Matter Most to California Cities

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part I
Legal Alerts Feb 7, 2018

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part I

Legislative Changes Impacting Employers

Gov. Brown’s Executive Order Suspends Certain Retired Annuitant Employment Requirements
Legal Alerts Feb 6, 2018

Gov. Brown’s Executive Order Suspends Certain Retired Annuitant Employment Requirements

Modifications Needed for Disaster Response Staffing Levels

CalPERS Employers are Now Subject to Two New Penalties
Legal Alerts Feb 1, 2018

CalPERS Employers are Now Subject to Two New Penalties

New Laws Change Out-of-Class Appointments Requirements and Impose New Penalties in Connection with Retired Annuitant Employment

BB&K Event Jan 18, 2018

BB&K Annual Labor & Employment Update 2018

Free BB&K Seminar

[WEBINAR] Labor & Employment Law: What Changed in 2017
Videos Jan 9, 2018

[WEBINAR] Labor & Employment Law: What Changed in 2017

BB&K Free Webinar

BB&K Event Jan 9, 2018

Labor & Employment Law: What Changed in 2017

BB&K Free Webinar

Event Jan 8, 2018

SB 96 – Prevailing Wage Compliance – Tips for Local Procurement Officials

101st Annual CAPPO Conference

Best in Law: Four Steps Employers Can Take to Avoid a #MeToo Situation
Authored Articles & Publications Dec 26, 2017

Best in Law: Four Steps Employers Can Take to Avoid a #MeToo Situation

BB&K Attorneys Joseph Ortiz and Tristan Kirk Write for the Press-Enterprise

Event Dec 13, 2017

Review of Issues and New Labor Laws for 2018

Greater Riverside Employer Advisory Council

Addressing Workplace Harassment in an Age of Heightened Awareness
Legal Alerts Dec 5, 2017

Addressing Workplace Harassment in an Age of Heightened Awareness

Four Steps Employers Can Take Now

Event Dec 4-8, 2017

Embracing A World Of Difference

CALPELRA 42nd Annual Training Conference

Event Nov 16, 2017

Groundwater Sustainability Plans, Prevailing Wage Requirements

CARCD's 72nd Annual Conference

[WEBINAR] SB 96: Department of Industrial Relations’ New Prevailing Wage Penalties
Videos Nov 8, 2017

[WEBINAR] SB 96: Department of Industrial Relations’ New Prevailing Wage Penalties

BB&K Municipal Law Webinar Series

Parental Leave Rights Expanded Under New California Law
Legal Alerts Oct 23, 2017

Parental Leave Rights Expanded Under New California Law

Businesses and Agencies with 20 or More Employees Impacted

The Governor’s Housing Package
Legal Alerts Oct 16, 2017

The Governor’s Housing Package

Affordable Housing Production in California Gets a Boost from Sacramento

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment
Legal Alerts Sep 11, 2017

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment

Ninth Circuit Decision on Nevada State Highway Patrol Prior Restraint Case

BB&K Welcomes Jeffrey Chang, Susan Neethling and David Allen to the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice
Press Releases Aug 4, 2017

BB&K Welcomes Jeffrey Chang, Susan Neethling and David Allen to the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice

Additions Expand Services for Public Agency Employers

Save Local Business Act Would Clarify “Joint Employer” Liability Under FLSA and NLRA
Legal Alerts Aug 2, 2017

Save Local Business Act Would Clarify “Joint Employer” Liability Under FLSA and NLRA

Legislation Introduced in House of Representatives Addresses Recent Expansion of Joint Employer Doctrine

AB 119: What Public Employers Need to Know about their Obligations to Give Unions Access to New Employees
Legal Alerts Aug 1, 2017

AB 119: What Public Employers Need to Know about their Obligations to Give Unions Access to New Employees

Information, Access and Notice Requirements for Public Employers

Best in Law: What to do to Comply with Transgender Laws
Authored Articles & Publications Jul 10, 2017

Best in Law: What to do to Comply with Transgender Laws

New California Laws Took Effect July 1, Partner Joe Ortiz Writes in Press-Enterprise

Howard Golds Video Bio
Videos Jun 13, 2017

Howard Golds Video Bio

Partner

Event May 3-5, 2017

City Attorneys' Spring Conference

League of California Cities

Right to Seek Injunctive Relief Cannot be Waived by Arbitration Provision
Legal Alerts Apr 24, 2017

Right to Seek Injunctive Relief Cannot be Waived by Arbitration Provision

Arbitration Agreement does not Provide Shield from General Contract Defenses

California Legislature Proposes State Overtime Bill
Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2017

California Legislature Proposes State Overtime Bill

Measure is Similar to Federal Rule That Was Put on Hold by Court

Joint Employer Relationship Between Contractors and Subcontracts Redefined by a Federal Appeals Court
Legal Alerts Mar 31, 2017

Joint Employer Relationship Between Contractors and Subcontracts Redefined by a Federal Appeals Court

New Standard Puts Employer at Significant Risk

Restaurant Chain Must Allow Employees to Wear Union Buttons
Legal Alerts Mar 24, 2017

Restaurant Chain Must Allow Employees to Wear Union Buttons

NLRB Ruling a Cautionary Tale for Employers

Press Releases Feb 22, 2017

Partner Arlene Prater Named One of San Diego’s Most Influential Women in Business

San Diego Daily Transcript Recognizes Women for Impacts in Their Fields

Event Jan 27, 2017

Business Seminar Series: New Labor Laws 2017

Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies
Legal Alerts Dec 22, 2016

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies

Laws Passed in 2016 That Will Impact Public Agency Work

BB&K Event Dec 14, 2016

Free BB&K Webinar Series: Prop. 64 - Marijuana, Employer Policies and Employee Rights

Second in Series on Prop. 64

[WEBINAR] Prop. 64: Marijuana, Employer Policies and Employee Rights
Videos Dec 14, 2016

[WEBINAR] Prop. 64: Marijuana, Employer Policies and Employee Rights

Second Webinar Dec. 14: Marijuana, Employer Policies and Employee Rights

[WEBINAR] Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016
Videos Dec 9, 2016

[WEBINAR] Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016

New Legislation and Case Law Impacting California Employers

BB&K Event Dec 8, 2016

BB&K Webinar: Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT | Webinar

Best in Law: Employers, Be Aware of Just-signed Laws
Authored Articles & Publications Nov 28, 2016

Best in Law: Employers, Be Aware of Just-signed Laws

Bathrooms, Retirement Plans Among New Laws, Partner Brian Reider Writes in the Press-Enterprise

BB&K Partner Arlene Prater Among San Diego Best Lawyers for 2016
Press Releases Apr 28, 2016

BB&K Partner Arlene Prater Among San Diego Best Lawyers for 2016

SD Metro Magazine’s List Includes the BB&K San Diego Office Managing Partner

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