Public Sector Labor Law and Employment Law


As noted above, Nancy and Brian together bargain 20-25 labor contracts a year for Oregon school districts and community colleges – a total of about 450 contracts over the years. Nancy has handled more Fair Dismissal Appeals Board cases than any other attorney in Oregon (more than 60 filed cases; all but three settled or ruled favorably to the district). In recent years, Brian and Jennifer have assisted with those cases and associated appellate court work. Together, the partners have handled more than 150 labor arbitration cases, 75+ cases before the Employment Relations Board, and more than 35 employment-related cases before the Oregon appellate courts. The firm has also represented Oregon school districts in a number of federal court cases originating with the termination of a school staff member.

But, litigation numbers do not describe the full extent of work with employment and labor law matters. Year after year, school districts consult attorneys in the firm about layoffs, misconduct situations, and poor performance of employees. All five members of the firm assist administrators almost daily in writing plans of assistance, planning and carrying out investigations, drafting disciplinary documents, advising about layoffs, and interpreting leave laws. The vast majority of personnel and labor-related situations are resolved short of litigation.

In addition, the partners have been involved over many years in educating and training Oregon school administrators regarding collective bargaining and contract management. Nancy began teaching graduate-level Negotiations and Contract Management in Lewis & Clark’s educational administration licensure program in 1982, and has taught those courses more than 60 times – during the last 10 years in partnership with Brian Hungerford. Nancy has published a bi-monthly digest of labor law developments and case decisions, Oregon Labor Law Digest, for over 30 years, and a textbook, Oregon Labor Law Today, since 1982. It is updated every two years and is now in its 8th edition plus supplements. Nancy was also extensively involved in the development of legislation to amend the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act in 1995 and the Fair Dismissal Act in 1997.