Practice Areas

Labor

We advise employers as they create and implement strategies to manage their existing relationships with the unions that represent their employees.  We also assist those employers who place a premium on maintaining their non-union status.

Labor Negotiations

For a unionized employer, effectively negotiating a union contract can be a make or break proposition.  Labor costs can have a dramatic impact on an employer’s ability to compete.  At the same time, negotiations must preserve management rights so that an employer can quickly make the changes it needs to remain competitive.

We have extensive experience in representing both private and public sector employers in negotiating collective bargaining agreements. Our experience spans many sectors of the economy, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and white collar. In advance of and during negotiations, we work closely with management representatives to formulate bargaining objectives and to develop a strategy designed to achieve those objectives. 

Strike Preparation

Exercising the right to strike is a labor union’s ultimate economic weapon.  Helping a client thoroughly prepare for a strike is often the best strategy for avoiding a strike, since a union is likely to perceive an advantage to striking when the employer is known to be unprepared.  We have the experience and the resources to help clients prepare for all contingencies that can arise during a strike, from security issues to continuing operations through the hiring of replacement workers.

Labor Arbitrations

Our experience as litigators and as contract negotiators is frequently put to good use in the grievance and arbitration process.  When grievances arise, our experience negotiating and administering contracts helps us advise clients on the impact of a grievance and the prospects for winning an arbitration.   

We have the experience and resources to bring added value in the process of researching and selecting an arbitrator.  Our attorneys have arbitrated hundreds of cases arising under union labor contracts. These cases range from relatively minor disputes, such as contract interpretation or discipline and discharge cases, to complex cases involving plant closure or subcontracting, where potential monetary exposure can be significant.

Union Avoidance

Yes, the percentage of the nation’s workforce that is unionized has declined steadily for decades.  However, that does not mean that employers who desire to maintain non-union status have nothing to worry about.  To the contrary, unions are fighting for survival and have become increasingly aggressive and sophisticated in their efforts to expand their membership.

Our professionals have decades of experience in devising proactive employee relations strategies for employers.  We provide services designed to maintain a union-free workplace, including labor climate assessment techniques, management and supervisory training, team building, and communications programs.  The objective is to create a work environment in which employees recognize that union representation is unnecessary.  

Recent changes in the composition and orientation of the NLRB have also made it easier for unions to regain lost ground.  When union organizing begins, we bring a sense of urgency that is so vital in an era of “quickie” union elections. We provide the legal advice necessary to navigate the representation process while at the same time helping to develop a communication campaign that maximizes the prospects for a favorable outcome.

Representation Cases

When a union files a petition with the NLRB to represent a group of employees, current NLRB policies place a premium on a timely and effective response from the employer.  Our attorneys have a long track record of success in helping employers counter union organizing efforts.  From crafting an effective communication campaign to representing the employer before the NLRB, we maximize the prospects for maintaining non-union status.

Unfair Labor Practice Cases

We have extensive experience representing management in unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB.  We have solid working relationships with NLRB personnel and, coupled with our depth of understanding of the National Labor Relations Act, can help navigate this challenging process. This experience and know how is especially valuable in today’s world, with the NLRB dedicating much of its enforcement resources to the non-union workforce.

Public Sector Labor Relations

Our attorneys have been actively involved in public sector labor relations since the advent of Ohio’s public employee bargaining law in 1984.  We have experience representing virtually every form of local government entity, including municipalities, townships, counties, school districts and public libraries. 

In an era of severe budgetary constraints, public sector labor negotiations are both demanding and mission-critical.  We help public employers establish realistic bargaining objectives and help them achieve those objectives. When necessary, our experience as advocates maximizes the prospects for success in the fact-finding and conciliation processes that are so prevalent, especially for no-strike safety forces.