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Labor and Preventive Practices

The world, the law and the labor landscape have changed in the past few years – it is important for every employer to consider new preventive labor relations approaches and best practices that take these changes into account.

Overview

Jackson Lewis is a law firm that offers legal advice to employers through the many laws that impact on every aspect of an employer’s decision and ability to develop and implement a strategic, comprehensive preventive labor relations program. We provide labor advice to all employers – whether entirely unionized, entirely union-free or partially unionized – in every industry.

While the National Labor Relations Act has always applied to employees regardless of union representation, the Board’s decisions and initiatives in the past few years have broadened the law’s reach significantly. Our advice reflects our experience and insights into these changes.

Our labor attorneys have represented private and public sector clients in thousands of matters before arbitrators, mediators, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, state labor boards, other government agencies, and state and federal courts. On a daily basis, we offer legal advice and counsel to employers regarding corporate campaigns, card check and neutrality agreements, union organizing, protected concerted activity, NLRB elections, contract negotiations, grievance and arbitration proceedings, unfair labor practices, international labor issues, recent and upcoming NLRB decisions, new agency and legislative initiatives, federal contractor requirements, traditional and third party economic activity pressures (such as picketing, bannering or hand billing), internet-based public appeals (such as through websites, blogs and social media), work stoppages and walkouts, LMRDA compliance, injunction proceedings, purchase/sales, reductions and reorganizations, cross-practice issues (coordinated with immigration, workplace safety, sports, wage and hour, privacy and other workplace practices), as well as the entire range of pre- and post-hire employee relations issues. Our firm has been retained to offer legal advice to many employers who have succeeded in winning NLRB elections or in averting union elections altogether. We also have represented unionized employers in negotiations ranging from “bet the farm” situations to simple contract renewals.

Overall Services Provided to Both Union-Free and Unionized Employers

For all employers, we:

  • Provide legal advice to company Boards of Directors and executive teams as they develop their strategic, comprehensive preventive labor relations programs that are legal and appropriate in today’s changing workplace;
  • Conduct management legal/human resources preventive labor relations assessments that analyze the legal implications of an employer’s labor and employee relations policies and practices, and make legal recommendations for employer best practices;
  • Advise on the development of employee handbooks, supervisory and policy manuals, social media policies, class action waivers, confidentiality agreements, internal investigations, alternative dispute resolution and other problem solving procedures, employee orientation programs, communications and government relations programs so that all such documents, policies and processes are state of the art and comply with all legal requirements;
  • Design and conduct Board/executive/management/supervisory educational programs which provide legal advice to guide employers through their particular issues and ensure compliance with the law;
  • Provide legal advice including on-site management counseling during corporate campaigns, union organizing, negotiations, picketing and other related activities; and
  • Conduct ongoing legal training for managers and supervisors where advice is offered relating to either (1) union organizing (for union-free employers) or (2) contract administration or negotiations-related matters (for unionized employers).

Additional Services Provided to Union-Free Employers

We advise employers before and during union organizing on a daily basis, including but not limited to providing services such as:

  • Overall strategic legal advice;
  • Board/executive/management/supervisor training relating to union organizing and/or corporate campaigns;
  • Legal/HR assessments to advise regarding lawful, effective best practices;
  • Recommendations regarding lawful employer communications;
  • Bargaining unit advice; and
  • Other legal recommendations for employer consideration.

We wrote the book “Winning NLRB Elections,” which is nationally renowned, and are regularly retained to advise and represent companies during NLRB “R” cases. Our representation of employers in thousands of NLRB representation cases and unit clarification proceedings has run the full gamut, including stipulations, significant contested hearings (including new “micro-unit” and joint employer cases), post-election objections and appeals. We have developed specialized corporate campaign preventive advice and strategy/action plan recommendations for our clients’ consideration so that organizations can remain employers of choice.

Additional Services Provided to Partially- or Fully-Unionized Employers

For unionized employers, we:

  • Provide legal representation during collective bargaining negotiations either “at the bargaining table” or “behind the scenes” as legal counselors and advisors, including:
    • analyzing contracts, grievance history and arbitration awards to legally advise and recommend strategies for contract negotiations and long-term labor relations management based on changes in the law, bargaining trends and our client’s needs;
    • meeting with and advising management about legally appropriate strategies to achieve the client’s collective bargaining goals;
    • developing strategies and approaches for thorny issues such as withdrawal liability and health care reform;
    • advising clients regarding lawful communications with employees, the press, public officials and others about negotiations;
    • advising and/or representing employers if federal, state or city mediators become involved in the bargaining process; and
    • advising clients about contingency plans to meet the legal challenges for continued operations in the event of a work stoppage, strike or other cessation of work.
  • Provide representation during the term of a collective bargaining agreement, including:
    • representing clients during grievance and arbitration proceedings;
    • educating front-line management where legal advice is offered to properly and effectively administer the collective bargaining agreement;
    • communicating with union officials (or advising our clients to do so) about unanticipated or critical issues that arise during the term of the contract; and
    • advising clients regarding the legal strategy surrounding mid-term modifications to the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Represent clients in deauthorization, decertification and unit clarification proceedings before the NLRB.

Additional Services Provided to Clients During Purchase/Sale and Other Transactions

We have significant experience providing labor, employment and benefits advice in the context of mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases, management agreements, corporate restructurings and other transactions. Our attorneys frequently advise and work closely with a client’s internal and regular outside corporate counsel in these areas.

Examples of the specific services we provide to buyers, sellers and investors include advice and counseling with respect to:

  • Strategic planning for the transaction;
  • Statutory compliance with Federal, state and local laws (WARN statutes, dislocated worker statutes, successorship and withdrawal liability issues, ADEA, ERISA, COBRA, NLRA, etc.);
  • The due diligence process;
  • Executive compensation, employment agreements and restrictive covenants;
  • Disposition of employee benefit and compensation arrangements, including advice and negotiation of arrangements in the collective bargaining context, advice on multiemployer pension and welfare benefit plan issues, development of successor benefit arrangements, and other post-transaction benefits matters;
  • Negotiation and drafting of the terms of transaction documents;
  • Development of post-transaction labor strategies;
  • Negotiation of successor collective bargaining agreements; and
  • Integration of business units after the closing of a transaction.

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Mar 21toMar 22

Chicago, IL
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Remaining Union Free: A Counter-Organizing Simulation

March 21, 2017 - 12:00 PM to March 22, 2017 - 4:00 PM
205 N. Michigan Avenue - Chicago, IL
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Mar 23

Riverhead, NY
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SHRM Long Island Breakfast Series: This Escalated Quickly: How to Protect Yourself If And When a Case Goes To Trial

March 23, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST
1830 Route 25 - Riverhead, NY
Credits: HRCI - 1.5, SHRM - 1.5
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Apr 6

Cleveland, OH
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The New Employment Law Landscape Under the Trump Administration

April 6, 2017 - 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
6100 Oak Tree Blvd., Lower Level Conference Center - Cleveland, OH
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Understanding the Dilemma: An Introduction to Withdrawal Liability

March 30, 2016 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
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Understanding the Dilemma: An Introduction to Withdrawal Liability

December 8, 2015 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
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The NLRB, OSHA and Enhanced Drug Testing Challenges in Today’s Workplace

September 30, 2015 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
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March 22, 2017

Senate HELP Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Nominee Acosta to Head Labor Department

March 22, 2017

The Senate Health, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on March 22, 2017, held confirmation hearings on the nomination of R. Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor. Acosta was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both of whom have known Acosta for years. Rubio described Acosta as... Read More

March 21, 2017

Supreme Court Rules President’s Power to Make Temporary Appointments is Limited

March 21, 2017

Former National Labor Relations Board Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon’s continuing to serve as Acting NLRB General Counsel after President Barack Obama nominated him to the General Counsel position violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided in a 6-2 decision. National Labor Relations... Read More

March 7, 2017

‘A Day Without a Woman’ Demonstrations Planned for March 8

March 7, 2017

On the heels of the “Day Without Immigrants” protest, thousands of women may take the day off from work on March 8, 2017, to underscore the value of working women to the economy. The organizers of “A Day Without a Woman” cites national political issues as the key reason for this “general strike” action... Read More

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March 8, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Jonathan Spitz Comments on Employees Participating in the "Day Without A Woman" Strike

March 8, 2017

 Jonathan Spitz comments on the labor law protections of those participating in the Women's March work stoppage in "Women’s March Continues, but Strikers May Lack Labor Law Protections," published by Bloomberg BNA. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

March 3, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Philip Rosen Comments on NLRB's New 'Joint-Employer' Standard

March 3, 2017

Philip Rosen comments on Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., challenging a National Labor Relations Board ruling that said the company jointly employed the workers of a business with which Browning-Ferris had a contractual relationship in "Businesses Fear Joint Employer ‘Creep’," published... Read More

February 24, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Philip Rosen Comments on National Right-to-Work Policy Efforts

February 24, 2017

Philip Rosen comments on Congressional efforts to get a national right-to-work measure signed into law in "Republicans’ National Right-to-Work Proposal Faces Hurdles," published by Bloomberg BNA. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Unions Winning More Elections, But Organizing Fewer New Workers
March 21, 2017

Unions won 72% of all representation elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board in 2016, and 74% when the election involved a small unit of 49 workers or less, according to a Bloomberg BNA report based on NLRB data. These percentages are a four-year high for unions. Read More

NLRB’s New Joint Employer Standard Receives Chilly Reception During Court of Appeals Hearing
March 20, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board’s new, expanded “joint employer” standard faced sharp criticism during oral argument at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In Browning-Ferris, the Board created a broad new standard for determining whether two entities are joint employers. Read More

House Bill Spotlights Paid Union Activities By Federal Employees
March 14, 2017

A House bill would require federal agencies to report annually on the amount of “official time” (i.e., taxpayer-paid time) that federal employees spend on union activities rather than working at their regular job duties. H.R. 1293 (the “Official Time Reform Act of 2017”) was introduced by Rep. Read More