Our Team

Keith L. Pryatel

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PryatelKeith’s career in labor law began while he was still in law school, working a clerkship with the Cleveland Cliff’s Iron Ore Company, where he helped prepare summary plan descriptions for employee benefit plans, and amended the Company’s labor contract following the conclusion of collective bargaining negotiations. Keith was able to continue his development in nearly all aspects of labor and employment law by subsequently clerking while in law school for a labor and employment boutique law firm dedicated to representing management in all disputes of the employer/employee relationship.

Keith’s entire post-law school career has been devoted to representing businesses regarding a host of employment-related issues, including equal employment opportunity litigation, occupational safety and health citations and contests, employee non-compete litigation, arbitration in union environments, and pension plan litigation, with a focus on cash balance plan litigation and multi-employer fund withdrawal liability. He has represented employers in many administrative forums, including for the Arbitration Review Board where environmental and safety “whistleblower” claims are traditionally heard, and before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, where OSHA citations are contested and decided.

Keith’s representation of businesses includes the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, defending companies before the National Labor Relations Board, and advocating and defending grievances in the union arbitration forum. Keith is a frequent seminar speaker, advising employers with respect to their human resources policies and procedures, and adoption of pro-active measures designed to prevent expensive employment litigation and ways to even the playing field in the event such litigation arises. Keith has handled and managed class action disputes in a variety of settings, including actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act involving overtime and “hours worked” compensation, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, involving pension benefit distributions in defense of pension plan amendments. His approach to litigation is an aggressive one, often testing the claims and assertions made by a litigating employee at the early stages of the dispute rather than after expensive, time-consuming discovery has occurred. Keith presently serves as arbitration counsel to several multi-national Fortune 500 companies that value his ability to achieve outstanding results while often operating under flat-fee, alternative billing arrangements.

Other Personal Background Information And Interests

Keith and his wife, Teresa, who is an Administrator at the Ohio Lottery Commission, have five children - Annie, Maggie, Maureen, Bridget and James. His hobbies include basketball and target shooting.

Education

  • Xavier University (Honors) (1983)
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Honors) (1986)

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio

Professional Activities And Recognition

  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cuyahoga County Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory

Publications and Presentations

  • The Changing Face of Federal OSHA: How Should Employers Respond?, KWW Annual Client Seminar, November, 2016
  • Violence in the Workplace, CLE Presentation, October 2012
  • Safety Case Studies: Practices that Drive increasing Costs, CLE Presentation, February, 2013
  • Occupational Safety and Health Law and Implications for VSSR and Workers
  • Compensation, CLE Presentation, March 2013

Civic/Charitable Activities And Associations

  • Labor Counsel, Ohio Restaurant Association