Susan L. Oppenheimer
Susan Oppenheimer's practice encompasses the areas of education law, public sector labor/employment law, and developmental disabilities law, with an emphasis on grievances and arbitrations, discrimination claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, unfair labor practice proceedings before the State Employment Relations Board, and negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements. Susan also advises and represents clients on personnel matters, discrimination investigations, Title IX, FMLA, ADA, and issues involving the First Amendment (speech and religion). She represents public school districts and other public sector clients throughout the state of Ohio and is an experienced practitioner in civil litigation, having represented public sector clients before a variety of courts and administrative agencies in Ohio, including state and federal trial and appellate courts.
In more than 20 years of representing educational entities and other public sector clients, Susan has obtained numerous favorable outcomes for clients in connection with charges of discrimination, unfair labor practice charges, and arbitration of discipline and contract interpretation cases. She has also resolved many grievances through mediation and achieved success in teacher termination hearings, unemployment compensation cases, and other litigation matters.
Professional & Community Activities
- Member, Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
- Member, National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys
- Former Member, Capital University's Choral Union; Ohio University's Choral Union and Chamber Chorale
- Past president and trustee, United Appeal for Athens County
Bar Admissions & Activities
- Admitted, Ohio; United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio; United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio; United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1987)
- Williams College (B.A., cum laude, 1984)
Arbitration and EEOC charge relating to employment termination
Successfully defended a school district’s termination of an employee, obtaining a grievance arbitration award upholding the termination and dismissal of an EEOC charge alleging race and national origin discrimination.
Appeal of employment contract nonrenewal
Successfully defended the nonrenewal of an employee’s contract by a county board of developmental disabilities, obtaining dismissals of the employee’s appeals to the State Personnel Board of Review, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and the Tenth District Court of Appeals.
R.C. 3319.16 superintendent termination hearing
Obtained hearing officer decision recommending termination of school superintendent based on falsification of student attendance data.
Federal bullying litigation
Successfully represented a school district in federal court against claims of bullying, disability discrimination under ADA and Section 504, and sexual harassment under Title IX.
Represented a school district in connection with the formation of multiple non-teaching bargaining units, including handling a State Employment Relations Board (SERB) hearing on petition for representation, advising on union campaign issues and negotiating initial contracts.
Advised school districts regarding Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues relating to employee fitness for duty.
School district board resolutions and contracts
Prepared school board resolutions and contracts related to shared services for school district clients.