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Chief of Labor & Employment

Assistant Public Defender Headquarter Supervisor

Recruitment #23-005354-0002



The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks an Assistant Public Defender to join our team as the Chief of Labor & Employment (CLE).  The CLE oversees the division to include managing employees in the division.  The CLE works closely with the Public Defender, Chief of Human Resources, executive leadership, and management officials, providing confidential advice, guidance, and counsel regarding employment and labor law issues.  MOPD is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.


The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is a statewide agency that provides superior representation to indigent clients at all stages of the criminal case including trial, appeal, and eligible post-conviction proceedings. Representation is provided through offices and services at 52 locations statewide with a workforce of approximately 1000 employees. At MOPD, we use our legal education and expertise to fight for justice and fairness, as tenacious advocates we refuse to remain silent amid human suffering. Our unique talents, identities, educational backgrounds, and perspectives guide us in providing superior representation to our clients. We stand firm against prejudice, systemic racism, and inequity in all communities and spaces.


MOPD’s mission focuses on Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and function as a team united in achieving MOPD’s mission.  Learn more about the mission, public defense and our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The Chief of Labor & Employment (CLE) will serve as the subject matter expert in Chief of Labor & Employment matters, represent agency management at settlement conferences and administrative hearings, consult with Human Resources and management officials on a wide range of complex employee and labor relations issues, and provide guidance and trainings for MOPD district office leaders.  The CLE also prepares settlement agreements, reviews and analyzes the Memorandum of Understanding (Labor Contract), provides recommendations to the Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Defender in employee and labor Relations matters, and reviews OPD policies, procedures and employee handbooks for legal sufficiency.


6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202



  • Leads the Labor & Employment division whose responsibilities span throughout MOPD’s 12 districts in 52 offices throughout the state of Maryland.
  • Serves as an expert on interpretation and application of statutes, case law, rules, and regulations and provides expert compliance advice to management on applicable authority.
  • Advises the Public Defender, executive leadership, management officials, Human Resources, and supervisors on employment and labor matters involving: the ADA, FMLA, Title VII, FLSA, NLRA, other federal, state, and local employment laws, leave, accommodations, recruiting, hiring, discipline, performance management, separations, reductions-in-force, wage-hour, compensation, benefits and other employment issues.
  • Provides counsel on the legal standards for taking adverse and performance-based actions; laws regarding discrimination and harassment; issues relating to labor and employee relations, unions, collective bargaining agreements, negotiations, and grievances; and statutes, regulations, and policies relating to the administration of leave and other employee benefits. 
  • Represents agency management in arbitration, mediation and at settlement conferences, grievance proceedings, administrative hearings and other government proceedings.
  • Manage employees and ensure compliance with labor contracts and applicable laws. 
  • Heads management and union labor committee meetings and facilitates productive discussion. 
  • Acts as chief spokesperson for multiple labor agreements and represents the agency in negotiations.
  • Advises management on disciplinary actions and contract interpretation issues.
  • Trains management and employees to comply with labor agreements and agency rules. 
  • Provides recommendations to the Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Defender in Labor & Employment matters.
  • Provides recommendations to the EEO Officer/ADA Coordinator.
  • Partners with inside legal counsel and manages outside legal counsel as needed on complex employee and labor relations issues.
  • Works in partnership with outside counsel on collective bargaining agreements, negotiations, grievances and other union matters as directed by the Public Defender.
  • Provides counsel on the legal standards for taking adverse and performance-based actions; laws regarding discrimination and harassment; issues relating to labor relations, unions, collective bargaining agreements, negotiations, and grievances; and statutes, regulations, and policies relating to the administration of leave and other employee benefits.
  • Supervises employees in the Labor & Employment division;
  • Completes other duties as directed by the Public Defender.


Core Competencies and Requirements

· Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar

· 8-10 years of substantive labor and employment law experience (including advising clients on a range of employee and labor relation issues).

· Experience representing management at settlement conferences and administrative hearings.

· Experience working in a unionized environment and interpreting and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

· Exceptional organizational, legal, and time management skills.

· Strong legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills.

· Ability to pay attention to details and deliver high quality, accurate work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

· Exceptional interpersonal skills.

· Ability to work collaboratively and positively in a dynamic team environment.

· Ability to proactively manage a team and all litigation deadlines.

· Ability to identify and resolve problems quickly while managing multiple clients and matters.



How to Apply

If you wish to be considered, please fill out the application and submit the following items in one PDF attachment through the Maryland State Government Job Openings Page.

(1) a current resume, (2) a cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) a list of four professional references, and (4) writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees and cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position. MD Code, Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d)(2).


As a State agency, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. MOPD is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. 


All applicants must be able to communicate with clients and visitors and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment.  Applicants must be able to work in various positions and travel to various courtrooms and office environments throughout the state. MOPD is further committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities by modifying or adjusting the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee be considered for the position they desire; to perform the essential functions of the position in question; or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship. 


Applicants must be able to operate a computer and other office equipment. Applicants must have access to a motor vehicle or be able to navigate public transportation. If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Tawanda Jackson, Human Resources Supervisor, at 410-767-8503 or

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