Civil Service Lawyer in the County of Los Angeles Emphasizes Advocacy for Public Sector or Government Employees
Experienced California attorney advocates for public sector employees with job-related problems such as civil service appeals, discharge, discipline, investigations, medical accommodation, medical release, harassment, discrimination claims, appraisal of promotability, non-appointment, performance evaluations, grievances, etc.
I represent county, city, state, federal and special districts employees in all job classifications. I also defend nurses and other healthcare professionals in investigation and state license revocation proceedings.
I am experienced in representing public and private sector labor unions in arbitration of discipline or contract interpretation cases, organizing campaign in election to certify a union, election objections and unfair labor practice cases.
How your employment law matter turns out could have an enormous effect on you and your family. At the Law Offices of Victor Manrique in Los Angeles, represent clients in a variety of labor and employment law matters. If you require assistance with a civil service or personnel commission hearing, or appeal into court through a petition for writ of mandate or other administrative law matter, my firm will give you personalized attention, practical advice and clear communication
Victor Manrique has no special relationship with the County of Los Angeles or any other government entity. I have fought County departments for decades and handled thousands of discharge cases against Los Angeles County. I represent only the employee, not the employer.
Accomplished employment lawyer with a personal approach
I have earned a reputation for giving clients personal attention and tenacious advocacy. Whenever possible, I try to obtain favorable settlements but if the best way to achieve justice is to try your case, I am a skillful administrative trial lawyer with a deep understanding of applicable employment laws. My goal is to ease your burden during a difficult time which is why I offer reasonable rates and will work personally with you from start to finish.
Counsel for civil service employees in all job-related claims, counsel for nurses defending their state license, and counsel for labor unions.
Throughout Southern California, my firm provides the highest levels of legal representation.
Investigation Phase – When an employer receives a report of alleged employee misconduct on or off the job, it will gather information and then contact you to give an investigative statement. Do not underestimate the importance of representation from the beginning of potential discipline as your earliest statements may be used against you. As a public employee in California, if you have a reasonable suspicion that an interview statement may be used to discipline you, then you have the right to representation during an interview, but you must ask for the representation, the employer is not obligated to tell you about this right. Moreover, the California Supreme Court has held that a public employee should be given notice that any administrative statements may not be used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding. You cannot be dishonest during an investigation but an experienced attorney can help you stay focused, factual and brief.
Skelly Meeting – In California, public employees have the right to receive a notice of intent to discharge, demote, or suspension for more than five days which invites you to a meeting known as a Skelly meeting arising from the case of Skelly v. State Personnel Board (1975) covering all government employees in California. Anything you say at a Skelly meeting could be used against you at a later evidentiary hearing so assistance of experienced counsel can be most effective in preserving your rights and advocating for fairness principles that underlie all public sector employment.
Civil Service or Personnel Commission Appeals – Most public sector employees, that is, government employees, who are fired from their job have rights to contest the discharge or serious discipline before an agency of the employer known as a Civil Service Commission or a Personnel Commission. All non-union employees such as managers and supervisors may retain an attorney to assist in employment problems. Some unionized employees are covered by labor contracts that require discipline to be handled only through union grievance and arbitration meaning the union represents the employee. Many public jurisdiction merit system rules require discipline and discharge case including for unionized employees to be heard before a civil service or personnel commission and California law permits employees to choose their own lawyer for such cases. For example, in the County of Los Angeles, any discipline of five days or less goes through the union grievance and arbitration procedure while discipline of six days up to discharge is heard before the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission. My first step in evaluating whether I can help you is to review whether a merit system in the form of a civil service or personnel commission exists or whether the matter is controlled exclusively by a union contract. A union labor contract in the public sector is known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and these contracts are usually found at the union’s website. For example, in Los Angeles County, employee discipline of a suspension of less than five days is heard through a union grievance and arbitration procedure of the MOU, but discipline of a six-day suspension up to a discharge is heard before the Civil Service Commission which requires an appeal to be filed within 10 or 15 business days depending on the type of appeal. A government employer may use the term “discharge,” “dismissal,” “termination,” “release” or “separation” which all mean you are being fired. Read a discipline letter carefully and get help before your time limits run out.
Civil Service Administrative Hearing – Most public employee discharges, demotions, discipline and promotion cases are presented before civil service or personnel commissions. I excel in administrative trials and hearings before civil service and personnel commission that review the recommendations of hearing officers. The key to prevailing at trial is preparation and I am committed to my clients to prepare them on all important points of a case before their testimony.
Appeals from Civil Service, Personnel Commission or other Government Agencies – If you have prevailed in an administrative case against a public entity, normally, the agency will comply. Occasionally, the public agency may bring a court challenge called a Petition for Writ of Mandate against a commission decision within 90 calendar days of the decision. You will need competent counsel to handle the defense to preserve your win before Superior Court where these cases are filed. If you are unhappy with a decision of the administrative commission or agency, you may bring a Petition for Writ of Mandate within 90 days of the final administrative notice of the decision. The standard of review used by a Superior Court is that you must show there was “an abuse of discretion.” Careful analysis before bringing or defending against a writ of mandate is required before deciding how to proceed. I have handled many writ cases.
- Nursing license defense — Becoming a good nurse involves a great deal of sacrifice, but one accusation could put the career you built in jeopardy. In nursing license defense cases, I investigate the facts and advocate your interests to prevent unwarranted sanctions. If you are contacted by an investigator about your nursing practice, consult a lawyer immediately. If your nurse license is revoked, you may be placed on a national register preventing you from practicing nursing across the country. Contact my office before you give an investigative statement.
- Discrimination — No one should have to put up with illegal discrimination or sexual harassment on the job. You do have legal options if you have been mistreated due to your race, age if over 40, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, medical disability or other protected personal characteristic. I have brought claims on behalf of employees who have been mistreated on the job. I have also defended employees who believe they have been falsely accused of discrimination. Discrimination claims can be brought through a union grievance, a civil service appeal, an agency’s equity investigative unit, an equity review panel, a State of California charge with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within 1 year of the incident, or a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days of the incident. The state DFEH and federal EEOC investigates, they may invite you to a mediation, and must give you a letter of the right-to-sue before you can file a lawsuit. In order to sue a government entity, you must also file a separate government claim to perfect your right to file a court lawsuit. In a timely way.
- Medical discrimination can become complex since medical conditions can evolve over time and may also be brough in several forums. Understanding and exercising your right to medical Interactive Process Meetings (IPMs) is important to get timely attention to a medical problem before it turns into a disciplinary one. Understanding sick-leave benefits, long-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, disability retirement benefits through your retirement plan, and medical release rights, is important to navigate your protections and benefits.
I am passionate about helping abused employees win favorable results and dignity in the workplace.
Note: The information on this website is for informational purposes only and not legal advice in your specific case. The facts of each case must be evaluated to give particularized advice. The attorney does not guarantee results.
Attorney has won exceptionally difficult cases for workers
I have secured results that have made a substantial positive difference in the lives of my clients. No attorney can guarantee a win in every case, but with honest communication, thoughtful preparation and assertive trial skills, I have obtained desired results for many types of public employees such as the following:
- Children Social Workers
- Eligibility and Financial Service Workers
- Nurses and other health care professionals
- Administrative Managers and Supervisors
- Information Technology employees
- Probation Officers
- School Districts employees
- Secretarial and Adminisrative Assistants
- Sworn and civilian employees of law enforcement and fire agencies.
- Civil Enginners
- Operating engineers and construction workers
- Transportation workers
- Utility workers.
- Parks and Beach Workers
- Sanitation workers
- Warehouse workers
- Prison employees
- Executive managers
- Human resource workers
I am the former Chief Counsel of the county workers union for a decade. I have handled cases for over 40 separate Local and 9 International labor unions. I represented a county employee associations for another decade. I have handled thousands of individual employee cases over the years. I can effectively evaluate your case.
If you have been fired or are on the process of being fired for improper reasons, you deserve compassionate yet tenacious representation to pursue dignity in the workplace.
Contact a thorough California attorney about your employment law concern
The Law Offices of Victor Manrique represents clients in employment and labor law cases, nd professional licensing cases. . My office is on Wilshire Boulevard at Berendo Street in the historic Talmadge Building, 3278 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010. You can schedule a consultation by calling 213-487-4733 or contacting me online.