Labor & Employment

Labor & Collective Bargaining

We have handled over 100 union organizing campaigns around the country for our clients. A key component of our work in connection with union avoidance involves training supervisors and other managers on the “do’s and don’ts” under the National Labor Relations Act. We have assisted employers in a host of industries with this work, including in non-manufacturing settings such as financial services, the hospitality industry, and health care services. In some cases, we have obtained the dismissal or withdrawal of union representation petitions, without the need for an election, by expanding the appropriate unit in cases before the NLRB. Our work in the labor relations arena has also involved analysis and advice to these clients on appropriate independent contractor relationships, joint employer relationships, and supervisory status under the National Labor Relations Act.

As unions have refined their organizing focus and tactics to include corporate campaigns, we have had extensive experience in that area as well. For example, we recently helped a multistate employer extricate itself from a longstanding dispute with a union coalition that included a corporate campaign directed against the employer’s international corporate family.

Our work in connection with union avoidance includes federal litigation components as well. For example, recently we successfully defended union-initiated federal court litigation, and related NLRB proceedings, brought under a card check agreement. The employer we defended remains non-union. We have obtained a Ninth Circuit reversal of an NLRB bargaining order arising out of a union organizing campaign. That employer has also remained non-union.

We anticipate that the National Labor Relations Board appointed by President Obama will continue to bring about significant changes in the union organizing and labor relations landscape. In addition to the many changes already enacted by this board (e.g., approval of micro-units, outlawing handbook disclaimers in some settings), we anticipate that the Obama board will prompt reversals in cases such as Weingarten (employee representation) rights in the non-union setting. We have extensive experience in dealing with these issues and with protected concerted activity challenges in the non-union context. For example, we successfully defended a significant financial services client who was accused of violating the Act in connection with employee absences to support the “Day without Latino” marches. We also have successfully defended a non-union bank and a non-union hospital that each faced unfair labor practice charges alleging that various employees were punished for discussing their wages and/or disciplinary records with co-employees.

In addition, we have extensive experience in representing unionized employers in collective bargaining, arbitrations, and NLRB proceedings, including such cutting-edge issues as secondary boycott “bannering.” Whether we are working with a union-free employer who wishes to retain that status or a unionized employer seeking to deal firmly and yet constructively with its unions, our broad range of labor relations experience is instrumental in helping clients achieve their goals.