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Attorney Details

Donald A. Velez

Donald A. Velez

Partner - Oakland

510.273.8780 t
415.755.2610 d
510.839.9104 f

email dvelez@bwslaw.com
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Donald (Dino) A. Velez has over 20 years of litigation experience representing public entities, and over 12 years experience representing and advising public school districts and public entities on labor, employment, and personnel matters; board issues; charter schools; student issues; and litigation. 

In the labor and employment arena, Mr. Velez conducts labor negotiations and advises school districts and public entities on their personnel matters and employment issues.  He has successfully defended civil rights and discrimination lawsuits and successfully argued in the courts of appeal. Mr. Velez has represented entities in arbitrations, dismissal and termination proceedings, certificated layoffs, and has represented numerous clients at PERB, EEOC, DFEH, and other administrative bodies.

Mr. Velez’s experience in labor, employment, and personnel law includes:

  • Labor negotiations for certificated and classified bargaining units, including negotiation of salary and benefits; furlough days, retirement incentives, evaluation and PAR/BTSA articles, and transfer articles
  • Won numerous arbitrations of grievances over issues such as, pension contributions; staff development buy back days and funding flexibility; instructional minutes and prep time for teachers; release time for union officers; class schedules; transfers; evaluations; and PAR/BTSA funding and implementation
  • Prosecution of teacher and classified disciplinary action, including certificated dismissals and hearings
  • Defended a large district against a class action suit by retirees relating to lifetime health benefits
  • Investigation of personnel matters, including allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation
  • Defended several large districts against sexual harassment suits brought by employees and/or students
  • Trained administrators and managers on Prevention of Sexual Harassment; Progressive Discipline and Documentation; Investigations and Personnel Records; and Best Practices for Acceptable Use of Technology and Social Media

Mr. Velez’s charter school experience includes:

  • Successfully defended district against multiple writ petitions claiming offer of facilities under Proposition 39 was not reasonably equivalent
  • Review of start up charter petitions, coordination of staff input, and the preparation and presentation of recommendations to grant or deny charter petitions before district boards;
  • Review and response to Proposition 39 facilities requests; preparation of the record supporting facilities offers; and preparation of facilities offers

Mr. Velez has also represented districts with respect to board issues, student matters, and construction and professional negligence litigation.  Mr. Velez conducts trainings for board members and administrators at ACSA, CSBA, CASBO, and other associations, as well as for school districts throughout California. 
 

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