Position Overview: Â The University Counsel, Healthcare Employment will serve as a member of the Office of the General Counselâs (âOGCâ) health sciences team, and coordinate closely with the labor and employment team to provide advice and counsel to the Keck Medicine of USC Human Resources leadership team on a broad range of employment issues. This individual will have primary responsibility for managing employment litigation, including overseeing outside counsel, from the pre-litigation stage through resolution for the Universityâs Keck School of Medicine (âKSOMâ) and Keck Medicine of USC. This role will also provide expert guidance on areas specifically relevant to the HR units of Keck Medicine of USC and KSOM, such as leaves of absence (e.g., FEHA, FMLA, CFRA, PDL), wage and hour compliance (e.g., California Labor Code, FSLA, AB5, PAGA), EEO compliance, labor relations, and policy development. An ideal candidate for this role will demonstrate a willingness to accept significant responsibility and manage a challenging workload within a fast-paced environment. Other responsibilities for this role include proactively communicating with the HR community at large on new laws and emerging trends that can impact operations, drafting and reviewing employment-related agreements, in close collaboration with other lawyers within the OGC.
The University Counsel, Healthcare Employment will execute USCâs vision while championing USCâs culture and values.Â This individual will maintain honesty and impartiality when providing counsel and advice; develop trusting, credible relationships; demonstrate ethical judgment; practice confidentiality; contribute to an inclusive environment by building and maintaining collaborative relationships with team members, peers, and leaders across the HR organization; and uphold the principles of the USC Code of Ethics.
Reporting directly to the Deputy General Counsel, Keck Medicine of USC, this position will be located at the Health Sciences Campus with periodic reporting at the University Park Campus. Experience in higher education or health care is strongly preferred
Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits.
Location: Los Angeles, CA (Downtown, Los Angeles)
Relocation: Locals strongly preferred.
Bar: Member in good standing with a State Bar.
About the University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is one of the worldâs leading private research Universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles and a global center for arts, technology, and international business, USCâs diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments.
In a comprehensive 2020 ranking,Â The Wall Street JournalÂ andÂ Times Higher EducationÂ rankedÂ USC 18th among more than 1,000 public and private universities. Among all California institutions â public and private â only USC, Caltech, and Stanford University ranked within the top 20. Of the 150 universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No. 2 in engagement and No. 5 in environment, a measure of diversity and inclusion.
Amongst the most distinguished undergraduate and graduate programs in the world, USC is home to the following institutions of professionalism, including but not limited to: Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Leventhal School of Accounting, USC School of Architecture, USC Roski School of Art & Design, USC Marshall School of Business, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, USC Gould School of Law, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Keck School of Medicine, USC Thornton School of Music and the USC School of Pharmacy.
In addition to a number of highly ranked academic programs, USC is highly regarded for a number of NCAA sports programs which include: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, beach volleyball, soccer, track and field, and water polo.
About Keck School of Medicine of USC
The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California was established in 1885 as the regionâs first medical school and the second professional school founded at USC.
In July 1999, the University of Southern California announced that it had received a gift of $110 million from the W.M. Keck Foundationâthe largest gift ever made to a medical school at the time and the largest single gift ever made by the Keck Foundation. USC, which committed to raising $330 million in matching funds, renamed its medical school the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California to recognize the generosity of the foundation. The gift has enabled the Keck School to pursue strategic initiatives aimed at transforming the Keck School of Medicine into one of the most highly regarded and competitive medical schools in the nation. A large portion of the gift is being invested in the expansion of Keck School research efforts, including the new Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute. The Institute aims to expand scientific knowledge of the causes, progression, and treatment of degenerative diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimerâs, Parkinsonâs, and other debilitating illnesses.
Scope of Potential Responsibilities
Provide timely guidance to the Keck Medicine of USC leadership team on employment and labor matters, including policies and procedures. Establish rapport and strong relationships with HR employees of all levels. Act as a trusted advisor and initiate proactive and preventative measures to help facilitate a beneficial employee experience.
Proactively advise management on compliance with employment laws in a manner that accomplishes business objectives without undue risk.Â Provide legal advice with regard to both faculty and staff in the labor and employment areas, and supervise outside counsel as needed.
Advise and manage employment matters at the pre-litigation and litigation stages.Â Oversee outside counsel.Â At times, this individual will also assist on other medical staff hearing matters and student affairs disputes as needed.
Advise as to a variety of labor-related legal matters, including, but not limited to interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, union organizing campaigns, and grievances.
Serve as subject matter expert for internal employee relations violations of university policies, laws, and regulations. Develop a thorough understanding of the university's business, people, markets, brands, facilities, customers, and competitors to identify trends, anticipate issues, provide solutions, and formulate appropriate long-term strategies.
Counsel and advise on a broad range of labor and employment law issues, including those under state and federal laws governing EEO, wage & hour, leave of absence, retaliation and whistleblower, discrimination, harassment, trade secret, Title IX, education, and other labor and employment law matters.
Monitor legislation, regulations, case law, and government enforcement activities relating to the above substantive legal areas, and provide proactive, strategic advice.
Manage and drive the strategy for a variety of employment, wage & hour, and other litigation matters as required.Â Provide legal support for investigations concerning potential violations of applicable policies or laws.
Draft, review, and analyze employment-related agreements, including consulting, severance, incentive compensation, and confidentiality agreements
Perform other related responsibilities as requested and when necessary. The University reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.
Manage employment and labor-related claims and disputes (including labor arbitrations, mediations, and litigation), including supervising, managing, and evaluating outside counsel, responding to administrative claims from governmental agencies and settlement demands, and negotiating the resolution of claims.
Negotiate and draft collective bargaining agreements.
Evaluate and communicate legal risks associated with complaints, grievances, charges, employer practices, and other legal matters.
Counsel and advise on items relating to compliance with federal and state governmental agency requirements, such as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the National Labor Relations Board.
Participate in and/or lead relevant enterprise committees and task forces, such as DE&I policy development and performance management enhancement.
The ideal University Counsel, Healthcare Employment demonstrates:
The ability to think proactively and act quickly.
Positive can-do attitude.
Strong interpersonal skills.
Independent & resourceful, yet will seek advice when appropriate.
Strong organizational skills & attention to detail.
Labor & employment law experience, including significant advice and counsel experience in a major law firm, in-house setting, or equivalent
The successful candidate must have the following minimum credentials:
J.D. degree from an accredited law school.
Valid license to practice law in California and good standing with the California State Bar Association.
Minimum seven yearsâ employment law experience.
Possess thorough knowledge of federal and California state employment laws and regulations including but not limited to FEHA, Wage & Hour, FMLA, CFRA, California Labor Code, PAGA, AB5, and FLSA.
Experience working at a law firm or as in-house counsel with a heavy focus on labor and employment law.
Experience with diversity and inclusion topics and concerns.
Exemplary interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with individuals at all levels of an organization.
Strong reputation for discretion, integrity, judgment, responsiveness, and common sense.
Exemplary oral and written communication skills.
Experience overseeing employment and labor alternative dispute resolution and litigation, and working directly with HR leadership.
Fluency in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
Preferred qualifications include experience with the following:
Ten or more years of employment law experience.
Wage and hour litigation experience.
Experience advising and working on employee and labor issues related to mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions.Â
Experience in Higher Education or Health Care.
Experience managing outside counsel on employment litigation matters. Ability to understand business strategies and translate them into actionable and compelling HR initiatives and programs.
Ability to listen and engage positively and successfully with University faculty and staff as well as internal and external business partners.
Ability to think resourcefully as well as proactively drive positive, progressive change.
Substantial problem-solving skills honed through experience managing and completing complex projects.
Experience in a unionized environment.
In addition, the successful candidate must also demonstrate, through ideas, words, and actions, a strong commitment to USCâs Unifying Core Values: integrity, excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion, well-being, open communication, and accountability.
Please submit a cover letter and resume as part of your application.
The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Minimum Education: J.D.Minimum Experience: 7 yearsMinimum Field of Expertise: J.D. and member of California Bar. General business law with extensive litigation experience.
USC is the leading private research university in Los Angeles—a global center for arts, technology and international business. With more than 47,500 students, we are located primarily in Los Angeles but also in various US and global satellite locations. As the largest private employer in Los Angeles, responsible for $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. As a USC employee and member of the Trojan Family—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make USC a great place to work—you will enjoy excellent benefits, including a variety of well-being programs designed to help individuals achieve work-life balance.