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9/11/2023 RFP Labor and Employment Legal Counsel

Labor and Employment Legal Counsel 

Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2023 Requests for information related to this RFP should be directed to: 
Guillermo Bendana, Purchasing Specialist 
Norwalk Housing Authority 
24 ½ Monroe Street 
Norwalk, CT 06854 
Telephone: 203-838-8471  
Facsimile: 203-838-6535 

SECTION    TITLE                                                               
1.0             Purpose and General Overview                              

2.0             Competition Intended                                          

3.0             Scope of Services                                                

4.0             Assignment of Key Advisory Personnel                   

5.0             Basis for Compensation and Payment                    

6.0             Instructions for Submitting Proposals                    

7.0            Evaluation of Proposals: Selection Factors             
Attachments (These forms must be fully completed, executed where provided thereon and submitted under as a part of the proposal submittal.) 
▪ Norwalk Housing Authority Section 3 Plan 
▪ Form HUD 5369 Instructions to Bidders for Contracts Public and Indian Housing Program 
▪ Form HUD 5369-B Instructions to Offerors Non-Construction  
▪ Form HUD 2992 Certification Regarding Debarment and Suspension                                                                                    Form HUD 50071 Certification pf payments to Influence Federal Transactions

The intent of this Request for Proposal ("RFP") is to obtain proposals from qualified law firms to assist the Norwalk Housing Authority ("NHA") by providing legal services, advice and other related consulting services with regard to labor and employment law. Law firms responding to this RFP should have extensive experience, a knowledgeable background and qualifications in the following areas: 
a. Protection and promotion of local government interests related to labor and employment law issues; 
b. Provision of objective legal advice and/or opinions related to labor and employment law issues; and 
c. Extensive experience, training, and representation with regard to employment and working agreements. 
The NHA is looking for a competent, professional group capable of providing the NHA with legal advice, and other related consulting services, with regard to a wide variety of labor and employment law issues and advising NHA staff members, as well as its elected and appointed officials, on these issues, as well. 
Special consideration will be given to firms that have successfully represented public sector entities on labor and employment law issues in Connecticut.  
The firm must provide full disclosure of all existing client relationships that currently, or prospectively, may give rise to conflicts of interest and disqualification as governed by the codes or rules of professional responsibility and conduct promulgated by the American Bar Association. 
It is the NHA's intent that this RFP permit competition. It shall be the offeror's responsibility to advise the NHA, in writing, if any language, requirements, scope specifications, etc. or any combinations thereof, inadvertently restricts or limits the requirements stated in this RFP to a single source. Such notification must be received by the NHA no later than five (5) calendar days prior to the date set for acceptance of proposals. 
All proposals must be made on the basis of and either meet or exceed the required legal services contained herein. The law firm shall be responsible for performing or assisting NHA staff members, and/or its financial advisors, in completing the following tasks: 
a. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to the collective bargaining process to include contract negotiations, arbitration, etc., as needed. 
b. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to employee discipline, as needed. 
c. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to harassment and/or discrimination, as needed. 
d. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and/or other federal laws that may affect employee compensation and benefits, as needed. 
e. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to policies associated with alcohol and controlled substance testing, as needed. 
f. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to employee injuries and disabilities, (to include workers' compensation), as needed. 
g. Provide legal advice and counsel on any additional general employment law matters, including, COBRA, privacy issues, background checks, etc., as needed. 
h. Conduct two educational/training sessions each year in order to provide a general overview of various labor and employment law matters, or other relevant topics. 
i. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to knowledge of American with Disabilities Act (ADA)  
j. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters pertaining to Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA 
a. The law firm shall submit, prior to assignment, the name, position description, resume and duration of assignment for each key professional employee who will be providing advice with regard to labor and/or employment law matters, on an as-needed basis. If the law firm has assigned a specific employee(s) to work on a particular labor and/or employment law matter, the law firm shall not remove such employee(s) from the project without prior approval of the NHA, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. The law firm shall nominate a replacement employee to the NHA and shall not remove any employee from a project until a replacement has been approved by the NHA.  The firm shall provide a license Choose Product ' Access Manager: SHRM 
( practice law in the State of Connecticut along with the CT Juris Number. 
The compensation for services to be provided by the law firm awarded a contract under this proposal shall be based upon the actual time incurred by the law firm in completing said services, invoiced at standard hourly rates in one-tenth hour increments. Direct expenses incurred in the completion of said services (extraordinary printing costs, travel expenses, computer expenses, etc.) shall be invoiced at actual cost. 
The actual scope of work for individual projects shall be defined in a separate instrument prior to the initiation of any specific project, with fees associated therewith determined at that time. Such scope of work shall be authorized by the NHA in advance of any actual work being performed. The fee schedule submitted as a part of this proposal and made part of a contract/price agreement by the successful respondent, shall be adhered to by the law firm for twelve (12) calendar months. 
6.1 Submission of Proposals and Pricing Information 
a. All proposals shall be signed in ink by the individual or authorized principals of the firm. 
b. All price quotes must be submitted on the designated Request for Proposal Pricing Form. 
c. All attachments to the RFP requiring execution by the firm are to be returned with the proposals. 
d. Proposals must be received by the Purchasing Specialist BEFORE the hour specified on the acceptance date. 
Proposals may either be mailed or hand-delivered to 
Norwalk Housing Authority, 24 ½ Monroe Street, Norwalk, CT, 06854. Requests for extensions of this time and date will not be granted. Firms mailing their proposal shall allow for normal mail time to ensure receipt of their proposal by the Purchasing Specialist prior to the time and date fixed for acceptance of the proposals. Proposals, or unsolicited amendments to proposals, received by the NHA after the acceptance date will not be considered. Proposals will be publicly accepted and logged in at the time and date specified above. 
e. Price quotes must be submitted on the designated Request for Proposal Pricing Form only and are to be attached to the proposal in a sealed envelope. Be sure the envelope is properly identified in that the face of the envelope shall indicate I) "Pricing Form"; (2) the RFP number, 3) the time and date of public acceptance, and 4) the title of the proposal. 
f. Each firm shall submit one original and three (3) copies of their proposal (including price proposal) to the Purchasing Specialist as indicated on the cover sheet of this RFP. The original proposal shall be clearly marked. 
6.2 Addendum and Supplement to Request 
If it becomes necessary to revise any part of this request, or if additional data is necessary to enable an exact interpretation of provisions of this request, revisions will be provided to all firms who receive or request this RFP. 
6.3 Late Proposals 
LATE proposals will be returned to the offeror UNOPENED, if the 
acceptance date and offeror's return address is shown on the envelope. 
6.4 Miscellaneous Requirements 
a. The NHA will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by a firm in preparing and submitting a proposal. All proposals shall provide a straightforward, concise delineation of the firm's capabilities to satisfy the requirements of this request. Emphasis should be on completeness and clarity of content. 
b. Offerors who submit a proposal in response to this RFP may be required to make an oral presentation of their proposal. The Purchasing Specialist will schedule the time and location for this presentation. 
c. The contents of the proposal submitted by the successful offeror and this RFP will become part of any contract awarded, and the successful firm will be expected to sign a contract with the NHA. 
d. The NHA reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received by reason of this request, or to negotiate separately in any manner necessary to serve the best interests of the NHA. Offerors whose proposals are not accepted will be notified in writing. 
e. The successful offeror is prohibited from assigning, transferring, conveying, subletting, or otherwise disposing of this agreement or its rights, title or interest therein or its power to execute such agreement to any other person, company or corporation without the prior consent and approval, in writing, by the NHA. 
6.5 Withdrawal of Proposals 
a. All proposals submitted shall be valid for a minimum period of ninety (90) calendar days following the date established for acceptance. 
b. Proposals may be withdrawn on written request from the offeror at the address shown in the solicitation prior to the time of acceptance. 
c. Negligence on the part of the offeror in preparing the proposal confers no right of withdrawal after the time fixed for the acceptance of the proposals. 
6.6 Firm Pricing for City Acceptance 
Proposal pricing must be firm for NHA acceptance for ninety (90) days from proposal receipt date.  
6.7 Authority to Bind Firm in Contract 
Proposals MUST give the full firm name and address of the offeror. Failure to manually sign the proposal may disqualify it. The person signing the proposal should show TITLE or AUTHORITY TO BIND HIS/HER FIRM IN A CONTRACT. The firm name and authorized signature must appear on the proposal in the space provided in the lower right-hand comer. 
6.8 Exemption from Taxes 
The NHA is exempt from State Sales Tax and Federal Excise Tax. Tax Exemption Certificates indicating the NHA's tax exempt status will be furnished by the NHA on request. 
6.9 Inquiries 
Questions and inquiries, both verbal and written, will be accepted from any and all firms. Inquiries pertaining to the RFPs must give the RFP number, title and acceptance date. Material questions will be answered, in writing, and will be distributed to all firms who receive the RFP: provided, however, that all questions are received at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the proposal acceptance date. 
6.10 Substitutions 
NO substitutions, including key personnel, or cancellations are permitted after the award without written approval of the 
NHA Attorney, in consultation with the Purchasing Specialist. 
6.11 Rights of City 
The NHA reserves the right to accept or reject all or any part of any proposal, waive minor technicalities and award the contract(s) to best serve the interest of the NHA. 
6.12 Prohibition as Subcontractors 
No offeror who is permitted to withdraw a proposal shall, for compensation, supply any material or labor to or perform any subcontract or other work agreement for the person or firm to whom the contract is awarded or otherwise benefit, directly or indirectly, from the performance of the project for which the withdrawn proposal was submitted. 
6.13 Compliance with NHA's Purchasing Policy. 
All proposals submitted shall be in compliance with the NHAs Purchasing Policy. 
6.14 License Requirement 
All firms doing business in NHA are required to be licensed in accordance with the NHA's business license code, if applicable. 
6.15 Proprietary Information 
It is the responsibility of each offeror to clearly mark any part of his/her proposal considered to be of a PROPRIETARY OR CONFIDENTIAL NATURE. Offerors shall not mark sections of their proposal as PROPRIETARY OR CONFIDENTIAL if they are to be part of the award of the contract and are of a "Material" nature, (i.e., prices). 
The NHA will read, review and evaluate each proposal, and selection will be made on the basis of the criteria listed below. The firms submitting proposals shall include the following: 
a. Proven record of experience in public law, specifically related to labor and employment law matters; 
b. Proven knowledge of applicable Federal, State and local laws; 
c. Ability to provide collective bargaining, employment or labor law counsel services in a timely manner; 
d. Personnel qualifications (i.e., resumes of key personnel 
who will be responsible for the work); 
e. References (i.e., satisfaction of former clients) along with names and addresses of parties for whom comparable work has been performed; 
f. Overall completeness, clarity and quality of proposal; and 
g. Cost of services (i.e., price proposal). 
Once each Proposal has been independently read, a composite preliminary rating will be developed which indicates the group's collective ranking of the highest rated proposals in a descending order. At this point, if necessary, NHA will conduct interviews and have discussions with only the top ranked firms (usually the top three depending upon the number of proposals received). If an offeror is selected outright or is selected for interview and subsequent discussion, that offeror must submit the required pricing forms containing a non-binding estimate of the cost of services and the required costing data sheets indicating an estimate of the number of man-hours and other data. These forms, provided in the original solicitation, must be submitted to NHA within three (3) working days of notification.  
During the interview process and discussion stage, the nonbinding price proposals and costing data sheets can be discussed. Once these interviews and discussions are completed, including the non-binding estimates of cost and man-hours, NHA will finalize the rankings, including consideration of the cost of services (i.e., price proposal). Final negotiations for a binding estimate of cost will begin with the top ranked firm. If a contract acceptable to the NHA cannot be negotiated at a price considered fair and reasonable, negotiations shall be terminated with the top ranked firm and negotiations conducted with the next ranked firm, and so on. The NHA will conduct all subsequent negotiations and will make a recommendation to the Norwalk Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for the resulting contract award. 
References for IMPORTANT: Offerors shall provide references on this form only. 
1. Name:                                                                           Contact:   
 Title:                                                                                   Mailing Address:                                                                   Telephone:   
2. Name:                                                                           Contact:   
 Title:                                                                                   Mailing Address:                                                                   Telephone:

3. Name:                                                                           Contact:   
 Title:                                                                                   Mailing Address:                                                                   Telephone:

4. Name:                                                                           Contact:   
 Title:                                                                                   Mailing Address:                                                                   Telephone:   
5. Name:                                                                           Contact:   
 Title:                                                                                   Mailing Address:                                                                   Telephone:    

NOTICE TO OFFERORS: All law firms interested in offering a proposal under this Request For Proposal must submit pricing information on this form and complete all attachments herein. 


The law firm noted above hereby agrees to provide the requested services as defined in Request for Proposal No. on an hourly basis as follows: 
Year One-Fiscal Year Ending 3/31/2024  
Attorney Name                                 Hourly Rate 

Year Two - Fiscal Year Ending 3/31/2025 
Attorney Name                                Hourly Rate
Year Three - Fiscal Year Ending  3/31/2026

Attorney Name                               Hourly Rate 
Year Four-Fiscal Year Ending  3/31/2027
Attorney Name                             Hourly Rate

Year Five - Fiscal Year Ending  3/31/2028
Attorney Name                             Hourly Rate 
  The requested services noted in Section 4.0 shall be provided at the hourly rates noted above, for services performed during each of the years noted above. A fixed amount of $      may be charged for any training, or educational sessions conducted. Additional legal services or other activities must be pre-approved by the NHA, in writing, and will be deemed reimbursable according to the hourly rate schedule referenced above. 
Business License Number:  
Person to contact regarding this proposal:     

Required HUD Forms are included in the link at the top of this RFP.