Peter Zawadski

Peter T. Zawadski

Partner

Direct:  216.928.2920
Fax:  216.916.2407

pzawadski@walterhav.com

Focus Areas

Education

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D.
    • With honors
    • Managing Editor, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine
  • Carleton College, B.A.
    • Cum laude

Licensed to Practice

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Overview

Peter T. Zawadski is a partner who works in Walter Haverfield’s Education Law and Labor and Employment practice areas. He assists employers and school district clients in resolving legal issues covering labor and employment matters, real estate property valuation, contract negotiations and disputes, employee and student due process challenges, policy drafting, and public records compliance. Legal services related to school administration and education programs frequently arise in Peter’s representation of public school boards of education. Peter’s practice is diverse and includes legal advice on matters involving discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, free speech, religious expression, sovereign immunity, Title VII, Title IX, discipline, defamation, social media concerns, and related investigations. Peter also works on cases involving the defense of employers in state and federal court and before administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, county boards of revision, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Office for Civil Rights, the State Employment Relations Board, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Before pursuing a career in law, Peter served as a social worker.

Download Peter T. Zawadski's Full Bio

Experience

EDUCATION – LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
  • Advises boards of education in making decisions related to personnel adjustments and reductions in force.
  • Represents boards of education before the State Employment Relations Board when charged with alleged unfair labor practices.
  • Represents school districts in proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ohio Civil Rights Commission with respect to claims of race, sex, age and disability discrimination.
  • Represents school districts in federal court involving claims alleging violations of the First Amendment’s free speech protections and discrimination based on race, sex, age and disability discrimination.
  • Represents school districts in employee termination and discipline proceedings, including advocating on behalf of clients at arbitration.
  • Counsels clients regarding compliance with the ADA, FMLA, FLSA, ADEA and other employment laws.
STUDENT ISSUES
  • Counsels school districts regarding obligations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Represents school districts during investigations and mediations conducted by the Office for Civil Rights.
  • Represents school districts in federal court litigation involving alleged violations of constitutional rights and Section 1983 (e.g., bullying, harassment, etc.).
  • Counsels school districts regarding due process rights and procedural safeguards in discipline situations.
  • Counsels school districts regarding residency and custody disputes.
SUNSHINE LAW & PUBLIC RECORDS
  • Counsels school districts faced with voluminous public record requests and responded to same on behalf of clients.
  • Counsels school districts on various aspects of compliance with Ohio’s Open Meetings Act.
  • Counsels school districts on compliance with Ohio’s Public Records Act, including the impact of new technologies on public records.
EDUCATION – GENERAL COUNSEL
  • Advises school districts of obligations under Ohio’s competitive bidding laws.
  • Assists school districts with policy review and development.
  • Counsels school districts in developing policies for compliance with the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.
  • Reviews vendor and employment contracts on behalf of school districts.
  • Represents school districts in court when sued for alleged breach of contract claims.
  • Represents boards of education before county boards of revision and the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals to maintain the tax base of the school districts.
PRIVATE SECTOR LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW EXPERIENCE
  • Procured dismissal of unfair labor practice charges brought by a private sector employee when he was dismissed from employment.
  • Prevailed at arbitration when a former employee challenged the employer’s decision to terminate the employee for poor performance.

Recognition

  • 2017-2018 – Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Area of practice: Schools & Education.

award

Articles

Presentations

  • “BASA Summer Legal Update,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2022
  • “Legal Update on the Rights of LGBTQ+ Students,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
  • “Legal Update,” Northern Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2022
  • “Legislative and Case Law Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
  • “Legal Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
  • “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2022
  • “Legal Update,” North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
  • “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Educational Service Center’s Superintendents’ Professional Learning Community, 2022
  • “Legal Update for the Principal Network Meeting,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2021
  • “Special Education Legal Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2021
  • “Sizzling School Law Subjects,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators Regional Meeting, 2021
  • “The Fundamentals of Title IX and Areas Impacted by Title IX,” W|H Education Webinar, 2021
  • “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2021
  • “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2021
  • “Duties of a Title IX Compliance Officer,” W|H Education Webinar, 2020
  • “Legal Update – Independent Contractors, 1099s,” Ohio Association of School Business Officials – SW Region, Miamisburg, Ohio, October 1, 2019
  • “School Law: Social Media and Apps, Cyberbullying, Privacy and Other Technology Issues,” National Business Institute, February 19, 2019
  • Interview with Cleveland’s ABC affiliate (WEWS-TV). Zawadski cautioned school districts against administering CBD oil to students, 2018
  • “Overcoming Legal Obstacles in Personalized Learning,” symposium titled, “Students at the Center 2.0: The Next Look at Global & Personalized Learning for Educators & Administrators,” 2018
  • “Expectations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Office for Civil Rights,” Compliance Officer Training, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, 2017
  • “Expectations of the Expectations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Office for Civil Rights,” Compliance Officer Training, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, 2017
  • “School Sports Law: Hot Legal Topics Involving School Athletics,” Legal Update Series, Summit County Educational Service Center, 2017
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of Vendor Contracts,” Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference, 2016
  • “What You Need to Know for the 2016-2017 School Year,” Lorain County Educational Service Center, 2016
  • “Managing Boosters and Other Outside Groups,” Fall Meeting of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials Northeast Chapter, 2016
  • “What You Need to Know for the 2016-2017 School Year,” Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, 2016
  •  “Managing Boosters and Other Outside Groups,” Ohio School Boards Association, 2016
  • “School Sports Law: Hot Legal Topics Involving School Athletics,” Legal Update Series, Summit County Educational Service Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, April 29, 2016
  • “Are you Ready for Some Football (or Basketball, Volleyball, etc.)?: Need to know information regarding athletics, coaches, booster groups and more,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, Independence, Ohio, April 11, 2016
  • “Contracts Have Consequences,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators School Facilities & Safety Conference, 2016
  • “When Enough is Enough: Managing Excessive Absenteeism Without Violating Employee Rights,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, 2016
  • “Transgender Students: Common Issues and New Guidance,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network – Session Two (presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), 2015
  • “Contracts Have Consequences: The Nuts & Bolts of Vendor Contracts and Common Pitfalls,” Northeast Ohio Regional Legal Updates Network – Session One (presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), 2014
  • “Managing Boosters and Other Outside Groups,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network – Session Two (presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), 2013
  • “Managing Competitive Bidding and Bid Disputes,” Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network – Session One (presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), 2013
  • “Caselaw Update,” Ohio Schools Council, 2012

Associations

  • Member, Ohio School Boards Association’s Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

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