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Peter T. Zawadski


Peter Zawadski


Learn about Peter

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.




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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


Peter presents to employers, management groups, organizations, individual school districts, and educational service centers about all facets of employment and education law, including customized client requests, on the following topics/subjects:

  • Social Media and Apps, Cyberbullying, Privacy and Other Technology Issues
  • Investigating Misconduct
  • Vendor Contracts
  • Avoiding and Addressing Harassment Allegations
  • Employer-Employee Rights
  • Compliance Training
  • Administrative Team Trainings
  • Legislative and Case Law Updates
  • Students’ Rights
  • Title IX
  • School Athletics
  • Managing Boosters and Outside Groups
  • Personalized Learning