Walter Haverfield Attorney

Peter T. Zawadski

  • Associate
  • Cleveland Direct: 216.928.2920
  • Cleveland Fax: 216.916.2407

Overview

Peter T. Zawadski assists clients in resolving legal issues involving labor and employment matters, real estate valuation, contract disputes, employee and student due process challenges, policy drafting, and public records compliance. These issues and others related to school administration frequently arise in Peter’s representation of boards of education. Peter's practice is diverse and includes such issues as discrimination, free speech, freedom of religion, sovereign immunity, discipline, defamation, and social media concerns. Peter defends 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 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Before pursuing a career in law, Peter served as a social worker.

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

  • 2007 - Received "Note of the Year" award for law school note on the topic of health care and arbitration

Articles

Presentations

  •  "Managing Boosters and Other Outside Groups," Ohio School Boards Association, Columbus, Ohio, June 24, 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," BASA School Facilities & Safety Conference, Columbus, Ohio, March 9, 2016
  • "When Enough is Enough: Managing Excessive Absenteeism Without Violating Employee Rights," Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Independence, Ohio, January 25, 2016
  • "Transgender Students: Common Issues and New Guidance," Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network - Session Two (program presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), Independence, Ohio, April 17, 2015
  • "Contracts Have Consequences: The Nuts & Bolts of Vendor Contracts and Common Pitfalls," Northeast Ohio Regional Legal Updates Network - Session One (program presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), Independence, Ohio, October 6, 2014
  • "Managing Boosters and Other Outside Groups," Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network - Session Two (program presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), Independence, Ohio, December 9, 2013
  • "Managing Competitive Bidding and Bid Disputes," Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network - Session One (program presented by Walter | Haverfield LLP and the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County), Valley View, Ohio, September 30, 2013
  • "Caselaw Update," Ohio Schools Council (2012 Fall Seminar)
  • "Legal Issues Arising from the Use of Technology by and Among Students and Staff," Ohio Schools Council (2010 Fall Seminar)

Associations

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