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SSDS Attorney Appointed to Santa Monica Personnel Board


Melanie Luthern Allen was appointed by the Santa Monica City Council to sit on the five-member Personnel Board. The Personnel Board is an advisory body to the City Council and Human Resources Director on matters pertaining to personnel administration and is a quasi-judicial review body for hearing employee appeals of certain disciplinary actions.


SSDS congratulates Melanie on this exciting new step in her career.


Melanie’s Bio


Areas of Practice


Melanie Luthern represents public and private sector unions in litigation matters, arbitrations, and administrative hearings. She advises public and private sector unions on a wide range of topics regarding their day-to-day operations including employment law and EEO compliance, internal union elections, COVID-19 protocols, and vaccine requirements, as well as workplace violence restraining orders. She also provides advice related to strategic campaigning and organizing.


Ms. Luthern also assists unions with policy and legislative matters in subject areas such as labor peace, cannabis law, fair scheduling, hazard pay, the California Coastal Act, and CEQA, and advocates for clients at local and state agencies and local governments.

Professional History


Ms. Luthern came to SSDS after working as a Research Analyst and Political Organizer for UNITE HERE Local 11, focusing on legislative work and political mobilization. In her representation of private sector labor unions, Ms. Luthern's practice focuses on grievance arbitrations involving discipline and contract interpretation disputes, internal union elections, legislation and policy, day-to-day operations and other issues affecting the union as an employer. Ms. Luthern advises clients on policy matters before state and local governmental bodies including the California Coastal Commission. Ms. Luthern recently reached a sizeable settlement for a union member in a just cause arbitration. She has also successfully handled public sector proceedings in which a teacher's credentials were at stake.


Ms. Luthern also represents clients with matters related to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, including the investigation and filing of claims and working with the agency to ensure that workers' rights are protected. Ms. Luthern has worked with our Union clients to see that these OSHA complaints led to the issuance of citations and hazard alert letters and imposition of fines against the employer.


Ms. Luthern is originally from Youngstown, Ohio and lives in Santa Monica, California. She enjoys hiking and biking with her young son and husband. She is an avid reader and gardener. Her flower beds are safe harbors for plants unjustly labeled as weeds.

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