Attorneys

Attorney

Kerianne Steele

Shareholder

Email: ksteele@unioncounsel.net
Telephone: (510) 337-1001

Legal Practice

2007-present           Attorney, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, Alameda, CA
Represents primarily public sector unions in California and Nevada.  Focuses on internal union governance and management, contract negotiations and enforcement, administrative hearings, arbitration, litigation, and training of union leaders.  Worked as law clerk for firm, 2005-2007.

Organizing Experience

2006-2007             Student Volunteer, AFSCME Local 3299
Provided student support, through, inter alia, journalism and participation in civil disobedience, for effort to eliminate the unjust contracting-out of dining service work at UC Davis campus.

2004-2007             Head Steward and Election Committee member, UAW Local 2865
Assisted with membership drive and contract extension effort.

2000-2001             Member of Worker Organizing Committee, UNITE-HERE! Local 11
Directly participated in innovative efforts to organize low-wage hospitality industry workers throughout Los Angeles area, with specific focus on a luxury hotel in Santa Monica, CA.

1997-1998              Student Volunteer, SEIU Local 509
Provided student support for staff union drive at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA.

Publications

Authored the Pocket Guide to Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act, California Public Employee Relations, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California at Berkeley, CPER Easy Reference Series, June 2013.

Co-authored with W. Daniel Boone, Workplace Violence: When Is A Threat a Threat? Threats of Violence in the Workplace: The Union Perspective, Arbitration 2005, Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting, National Academy of Arbitrators.

Co-authored with W. Daniel Boone, How to Have an Arbitration Hearing in One Day or Less: Whatever Happened to the One-Day Arbitration? Expedited Arbitration Procedures as an Effective Method for Combating Delay, Increased Cost, and Formality in Labor Arbitration, Arbitration 2007, Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting, National Academy of Arbitrators.

Contributes regularly, from January 2010 to the present, to the public sector case notes column of the California Labor and Employment Law Review, the official publication of the State Bar of California Labor and Employment Section.

Reported California Court of Appeal Decisions

San Francisco Unified School District, et al. v. City & County of San Francisco, et al. (1st Dist. 2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1070.
Held: Statutory authorization for unified civil service system for City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Unified School District did not violate California Constitution.
Participation: helped prepare trial court record and briefs, assisted with appellate briefing, and delivered oral argument to Court of Appeal on behalf of intervenor labor unions.

SEIU, Local 1021 v. San Joaquin County (3d. Dist. 2011) 202 Cal. App. 4th 449.
Held: Employee who retired after being terminated was entitled to a disciplinary appeal hearing.  Participation: Handled trial court briefing and argument, delivered oral argument to Court of Appeal, and represented the union at arbitration in June 2012.

City of Richmond v. SEIU, Local 1021 (1st. Dist. 2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 663.
Held: No “public policy” grounds to vacate an arbitrator’s award reinstating an employee accused of sexual harassment.  Participation: Represented union at arbitration, handled trial court briefing and argument, delivered oral argument to Court of Appeal, and opposed petition for review.

San Francisco Housing Authority v. SEIU, Local 790 (1st. Dist. 2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 933.
Held: Arbitrator’s chosen remedy was rationally related to her interpretation of the contract and the violations thereof which she identified.  Participation: Prepared appellate record and briefing.

Trainings and Conferences

Designs, coordinates and regularly delivers trainings to union leaders regarding, inter alia, sexual harassment prevention, Hudson reporting, elements of just cause, California pension “reform,” organizing under the NLRA, decision/impact bargaining under the MMBA, workplace bullying, social media and protected activity, reasonable accommodation under the ADA, and leave laws. 

Presented on social media: “What the Tweet?: Can I Really Be Disciplined For That?”
State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Law Section, Public Sector Conference
May 2011, Sacramento, CA

Presented on social media: “Trouble in the Virtual Teachers’ Lounge: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Social Networking in an Educational Setting”
American Federation of Teachers, Lawyers’ Conference
April 2012, Washington, DC

Presented a webinar on the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013
September 2012

Presented on panel at American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law 2013 National Symposium on Technology and Labor and Employment Law
Topic: “Do Employees Have Any Free Speech Rights in the Workplace?”
April 2013

Background

Education   J.D., University of California, Davis, School of Law, May 2007.
Admitted to California Bar in November 2007 and Nevada Bar in April 2008.

                   B.A., Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, December 2001.
Majored in Labor Studies, and wrote senior thesis on organizing low-wage workers in Los Angeles hospitality industry.

Languages            English, and functionally fluent in Spanish

Miscellaneous Displays of Labor Solidarity

Running with the “Unioncounsel.net” running team

http://unioncounsel.net/videos/43rd_brickyard_race_in_martinez_ca_april_15_2012.html

Singing with the Van Bourg Labor Solidarity Chorus

  • “If Meg Whitman Were the Statue of Liberty,” lyrics by Skelly Kessler, Secretary-Treasurer of San Mateo County Central Labor Council, put to music by Nina Fendel of Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA7ArSaT2iA

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