We have an impressive team of labor and employment attorneys who specialize in representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law at both the state and federal level. They have significant expertise in counseling clients on labor, employment and human resources issues and representing employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all aspects of labor and employment-related litigation.
Traditional Labor Practice
The Firm’s traditional labor practice encompasses nearly every industry across virtually all geographic regions of the country. We advise and represent employers in every facet of management-labor relations, including NLRB proceedings, labor litigation (NLRA, LMRA, FAA), collective bargaining, strike-related issues, arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, corporate campaigns, decertification and deauthorization petitions, and major operational changes such as layoffs, plant closings, outsourcing and relocations.
Our extensive knowledge and experience enables our attorneys to assist clients not only in navigating the complexities of the multiple legal issues confronting employers in the traditional labor law area, but to also provide practical business guidance, options and solutions within the legal framework.
Labor and Employment Counseling
Our attorneys represent management in employment and labor law matters relative to all areas, including contract negotiations, wage and hour claims, employment law compliance, OSHA, employment discrimination, and traditional labor matters. We take an assertive but pragmatic approach for our clients to assist them in constructively managing their employment issues. When necessary, we adopt aggressive positions and use whatever legal means are available to achieve our clients’ legitimate purposes. However, we also work collaboratively to achieve ambitious goals where such an approach is in our clients’ interest.
Our expertise also extends to statutory compliance, focusing on the Public Employee Retirement System (“PERS”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (“USERRA”), and other state and federal employment laws. Our work in this area includes drafting employee handbooks, counseling employers regarding employee leaves of absence, discipline and termination, and defending employers in administrative proceedings and litigation. This experience keeps us “up to date” on the legal issues that might affect collective bargaining.
We assist our clients in developing national, regional, and local employment policies and manuals to help ensure legal compliance and effective management of employment relations. Our attorneys in the Employment and Labor Practice regularly represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wrongful discharge, non-competition disputes, workers’ compensation claims, wage and hour disputes, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA and public policy claims and other litigated matters in state and federal courts, as well as before agencies such as the Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, OSHA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Throughout the process of discovery, hearings, trials, and appeals, we work to obtain cost-effective results that reflect our clients’ priorities.
We regularly counsel our clients on proactive employment practices and litigation avoidance. We will not recommend pursuing litigation when a matter can and should be resolved without incurring expensive, time-consuming court proceedings. When a satisfactory resolution cannot be obtained through other means, however, we are fully prepared to aggressively litigate a case through discovery and trial.
Our cumulative years of practice and the wide variety of significant cases handled by our lawyers in the employment area have contributed to the firm’s reputation as an aggressive, sophisticated, and thorough labor and employment law resource.
In the last few years, the Labor and Employment Practice attorneys have represented or handled various matters for clients, such as:
- Conducting wage and hour audits of many institutions, including a 2,500 employee hospital group, an 800 employee health and social work provider, and numerous other service and manufacturing companies.
- Negotiating several national agreements with the United Steelworkers of America (“USWA”) for companies with combined annual revenues of six billion dollars.
- Representing clients in interest based bargaining in both the private and public sectors.
- Handling all labor and employment legal issues related to the merger of two major national manufacturing companies, including defending reduction in force of nearly 1000 employees, and negotiating new labor arrangements with unions in five states and two countries.
- Developing new regional employment policies for a large medical group and negotiating new labor contracts with its union to achieve increased efficiencies and cost savings, eliminating defined benefit plans, reducing legacy costs, and encouraging constructive labor relations in the future.
- Providing workshops and training sessions on behalf of numerous employers on a wide variety of employment-related concerns, including labor relations, sexual and other employment discrimination.
- Defending hundreds of claims by terminated employees before the EEOC, state civil rights commissions, National Labor Relations Board, labor arbitrators, state and federal courts, and other agencies. Well over ninety percent of the cases we have defended have resulted in decisions in favor of the employer or withdrawals of the claims by the employee.
- Developing and implementing proactive strategies for companies with high workers’ compensation costs to improve their claims management and reduce their expenses.
- Obtaining a summary judgment in favor of our client, a national managed care organization, in a matter involving claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and successfully handling the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Labor and Employment Litigation Services
We represent clients, ranging from small to mid-size employers to Fortune 500 companies, in all aspects of employment litigation including wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA and public policy claims in state and federal courts throughout the country, with emphasis on practice in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Florida and the surrounding regions, as well as before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, similar state agencies, Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and OSHA. Our employment litigation experience also includes non-competition disputes, workers’ compensation claims, wage and hour disputes, and unfair labor practice charges. We have significant experience in class action litigation in state and federal courts. Throughout the process of discovery, hearings, trials, and appeals, we work to obtain cost-effective results that reflect our clients’ priorities.
Our attorneys regularly counsel clients on proactive employment practices and litigation avoidance and will not recommend pursuing litigation when a matter can and should be resolved without incurring expensive, time-consuming court proceedings. When a satisfactory resolution cannot be obtained through other means, however, we are fully prepared to aggressively litigate a case through discovery and trial.
In the last few years, our labor and employment litigators have handled various matters for clients, such as:
- Successfully handling the defense of several wrongful termination lawsuits for local and national banks and financial institutions.
- Handling the defense of a federal court FLSA class action lawsuit primarily alleging unpaid wages and overtime for a fast food franchisee with multiple locations. The matter was hotly contested. We were able to limit the amount of the class members and eventually negotiated a resolution that was favorable to our client.
- Obtaining a jury verdict of no liability in favor of a hospital, physician group and its president on claims brought by a former physician-employee for breach of contract and wrongful discharge.
- Obtaining summary judgment in U.S. District Court in favor of a restaurant franchisee operating over 900 restaurants and employing over 25,000 individuals in case involving allegations of discrimination and wrongful discharge.
- Obtaining summary judgment in U.S. District Court in favor of a global automotive parts supplier in multi-plaintiff lawsuit alleging race discrimination and retaliation.
- Obtaining summary judgment in U.S. District Court in favor of a national automobile dealership in case involving allegations of race and national origin discrimination.
- Successfully negotiating favorable settlement for a franchisee of national restaurant chain in class action lawsuit alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Obtaining summary judgment in U.S. District Court in favor of a global diversified manufacturer in lawsuit alleging age and disability discrimination.
- Obtaining summary judgment in favor of a regional manufacturer in case involving whistleblowing allegations on behalf of former employee.
- Providing workshops and training sessions on behalf of numerous employers on a wide variety of employment-related concerns.
- Defending hundreds of claims from terminated employees before the EEOC, state civil rights commissions, National Labor Relations Board and before other agencies. Well over ninety percent of the cases we have defended have resulted in decisions for our clients or withdrawals of the claims by the employees.
Directors and Officers Litigation
Our attorneys also have extensive experience in representing directors and officers in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Class action defense is also a strength of our firm. This experience includes cases involving antitrust, breach of fiduciary duty and employment issues. Our attorneys throughout the firm in other business-related areas, are a valuable resource for our trial attorneys.