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Peter Janiak

of counsel

Peter Janiak, one of the original editors of the California Public Sector Law Labor Relations treatise has joined Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP as Of Counsel.  Peter received his J.D., with an emphasis in labor law, from UC Davis-King Hall.  His primary practice areas are employment discrimination and public-sector labor relations.

Peter began his legal career as an appellate attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington D.C. working on matters relating to the scope and application of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  He then transferred to the EEOC’s San Francisco Litigation Center as a litigation attorney and Chief of the Compliance Unit, enforcing federal district court orders and consent decrees addressing work-place discrimination.

Peter left government service to become Chief Counsel for the California School Employees’ Association (CSEA) where he supervised the legal department and was legal adviser to management and the board of directors.  He then established his own law firm specializing in employment discrimination, workers compensation and public-sector retirement cases.

In 1994, Peter returned to the EEOC where he served as a senior trial attorney until his retirement in 2002.  During this time, he served as lead counsel for the EEOC in Arnett vs. CalPERS, which involved age discrimination against disabled California public safety officers whose disability retirement benefits were reduced because of their age. After working its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case was remanded to the Northern District of California.  Plaintiffs prevailed resulting in the largest monetary class action settlement with the EEOC to date.

Since his retirement from federal service, and prior to joining GHS, Peter engaged in numerous confidential work-place investigations for public and private employers, conducted training programs addressing work-place harassment and discrimination, and served as Of Counsel with Messing Adam & Jasmine, LLP, in San Francisco.

Peter was a founding member of the California State Bar’s Labor and Employment Section and co-editor of Matthew-Bender’s “California Public Sector Labor Relations” text.


  • University of California Davis School of Law (J.D., 1970)
  • Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia, Reserve Infantry Officer School, Fort Benning, Georgia. Parachute Training School, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Reported Decisions

  • Hays v. Potlatch, 465 F.2d 1081 (8th 1972)
  • English v. Seaboard, 465 F.2d 42 (5th 1972)
  • Huston v. General Motors, 477 F.2d 103 (8th 1973)
  • Ochoa v. Monsanto, 473 F.2d 318 (5th 1973)
  • EEOC v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. 1975 WL 267; 1976 WL 686 (D. Or.)
  • Felde v. City of San Jose, 839 F. Supp. 708
  • Lee v. California Butchers Pension Trust Fund, 1996 WL 382; 943
  • CSEA v. Compton U.S.D., 165 Cal App 3d 694 (1985)
  • CSEA v. Azuza U.S.D, 152 Cal App 3d 580 (1984)


Mr. Janiak has authored numerous articles published in the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.  He is also the co-author and one of the original editors of the California Public Sector Labor Relations treatise published by Matthew-Bender; and the co-author of “The Duty to Bargain in Good Faith Under the Myers-Millias-Brown Act” published by the Institute of Industrial Relations at the University of California, Berkeley.


Mr. Janiak served with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and 504 Airborne Battle Group, in Mainz, Germany.


Practice Areas