Heather M. Cole

Heather works with firm clients on varied aspects of school district representation, including:

Assisting with all aspects of employee misconduct including evaluation, investigation, and prosecution. She represents school districts in Education Law Section 3020-a hearings, Civil Service Law Section 75 proceedings, and disciplinary grievance arbitration and appeals.

Providing advice, representation and counsel to public school districts responding to labor relations grievances and improper practice charges. She serves as lead negotiator on administrative, instructional, and non-instructional collective bargaining agreements, including matters related to APPR and the Facilitated Intensive Negotiations process. She represents school districts and BOCES throughout the grievance process and before PERB on improper practice charges.

Defending school districts in appeals before the Commissioner of Education on matters of school safety, student discipline, elections, school closure, and employee complaints.

Providing representation and counsel on a broad range of employment and labor relations matters, including matters before the New York State Division of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Coordinating and overseeing the delivery of school election training, review of public notices and ballots, election-related appeals, and election night “on call” service for school district clients.

Providing training on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) for those seeking certification from the New York State Education Department. She also assists in investigating and remediating DASA allegations.

Advising clients regarding compliance with the Freedom of Information Law and Open Meetings Law.

Providing training to school districts on a wide range of topics including new School Board member training, sexual harassment, investigating student misconduct and conducting student disciplinary hearings, documenting and remediating employee misconduct, managing employee absenteeism, conducting school elections, and updates on legal issues relevant to school districts.

Heather is a frequent speaker and author. She regularly presents for organizations such as the New York State Association of School Attorneys (NYSASA), the Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs (MASLA), and the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). She has been published in NYSSBA’s On Board magazine.

Admissions

New York State Bar

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

Associations

Board of Directors of the New York State Association of School Attorneys

Education

Boston College, magna cum laude

Syracuse University College of Law