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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.

The Team

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Withdrawal Liability: The Ticking Time Bomb Of Participating In Multiemployer Pension Plans

April 13, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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Archived

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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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December 16, 2017

Unwrapping Late Year NLRB Decisions – Next Steps For Your Organization to Consider

December 16, 2017

Two weeks after newly appointed National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb signaled his intent to ask the Board to consider overruling many union-friendly precedents of the Obama-era Board, the Board has beaten him to the punch.  Over the course of two days (December 14 and 15), the Board repudiated three of the Obama... Read More

December 6, 2017

Labor Aspects in North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Renegotiation

December 6, 2017

Few issues were more dramatically debated during the 2016 U.S. election than the country’s participation in trade agreements, particularly in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Since the election, the U.S. has withdrawn from TPP and is seeking renegotiation of NAFTA. In this... Read More

December 4, 2017

New Labor Board General Counsel Issues Plans for Reversing Course

December 4, 2017

In a sweeping five-page Memorandum, new National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter B. Robb has directed NLRB Regional Offices to submit to his Division of Advice for review cases involving “significant legal issues.” The Board’s chief prosecutor’s guidance describes “significant legal issues” to include many Obama Board... Read More

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December 12, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Collin O’Connor Udell Comments on the Financial Future of Public Sector Unions

December 12, 2017

Collin O’Connor Udell comments on the Trump Administration asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a labor precedent allowing public-sector unions to charge non-members fees for collective bargaining in "Outlook 2018: Supreme Court—What’s at Stake for the Workplace," published by Bloomberg BNA.  Subscription is required to... Read More

November 8, 2017
Law 360

Howard Bloom Comments on Peter Robb's Confirmation to the NLRB

November 8, 2017

Howard Bloom comments on the U.S. Senate confirming management-side labor lawyer Peter Robb as general counsel of the NLRB in "Trump's NLRB General Counsel Pick Gets Senate Approval," published by Law360. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

October 2, 2017
SHRM

Howard Bloom Comments on Supreme Court To Revisit Public Sector Union Fees

October 2, 2017

 Howard Bloom comments on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether public-sector employees can be forced to pay union fees that cover collective bargaining and related union activities in "Supreme Court Revisits Mandatory Public Union Fees," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Board Overrules Specialty Healthcare
December 15, 2017

In a stunning development, the National Labor Relations Board has overruled Specialty Healthcare, the so-called “micro-unit” decision and replaced the “overwhelming community-of-interest” standard adopted there with the traditional “community-of-interest” standard for determining an appropriate bargaining unit in union representation c Read More

NLRB Overrules Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Standard, Reinstates Former Test
December 14, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board has overruled, 3-2, Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015) and returned to the pre–Browning Ferris standard that governed joint-employer liability. Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors Ltd., 365 No. 156 (December 14, 2017). Read More

Trump Board Overrules Workplace Rules Analysis
December 14, 2017

In a stunning development, the National Labor Relations Board has decided that when determining the legality of a facially neutral rule under the National Labor Relations Act, it will consider (i) the nature and extent of the potential impact on rights protected by the Act, and (ii) legitimate justifications associated with the rule. Read More