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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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See All Upcoming Events

September 9

Sunnyvale, CA

Surveying the New Labor Law Landscape: A Rocky Road Ahead

September 9, 2015
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM PST
Juniper Networks Global Headquarters
1133 Innovation Way
Building A
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

To RSVP, please e-mail Lilian Pham at lilianpham@juniper.net.

... Read More

September 9

Redefining the Standard: Is Your Company Now a Joint Employer?

September 9, 2015
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

The NLRB’s recent decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc.... Read More

September 30

Webinar

The NLRB, OSHA and Enhanced Drug Testing Challenges in Today’s Workplace

September 30, 2015
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

Recent aggressive actions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Occupational Safety & Health Administr... Read More

See AllPublications

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August 28, 2015

Labor Board Sets New Standard for Determining Joint Employer Status

August 28, 2015

A sharply divided National Labor Relations Board has announced a new standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015). One of the most significant decisions issued by the Board in recent years, it is likely to impact the... Read More

August 17, 2015

NLRB Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction Over Student-Athletes’ Attempt to Unionize – For Now

August 17, 2015

Concluding that its assertion of jurisdiction “would not serve to promote stability in labor relations,” the National Labor Relations Board has declined to exercise authority over the College Athletes Players Association’s (CAPA’s) petition to represent scholarship football players at Northwestern University.... Read More

July 30, 2015

NLRB Doubles Down In Curbing Secrecy of Employer Investigations

July 30, 2015

In a case with potentially far-reaching implications, the National Labor Relations Board has issued a decision invalidating a confidentiality policy similar to that applied by many employers during workplace investigations. Banner Health System d/b/a Banner Estrella Medical Center, 362 NLRB No. 137 (June 26, 2015). The decision... Read More

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See AllIn the News

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August 31, 2015
Law 360

Jeffrey Schwartz Comments On Murphy Oil Arbitration Agreements

August 31, 2015

Jeffrey Schwartz comments on Law 360's "5th Circ. Tough on NLRB In Murphy Oil Class Waiver Fight." Subscription may be required to view article   Read More

August 28, 2015
SHRM

James Stone Discusses NLRB's Changes to Joint-Employer Standard

August 28, 2015

James Stone discusses the NLRB's changes to the joint-employer standard in SHRM's "Union Organization Eased Under NLRB’s Broader Definition of ‘Joint Employer.’" Subscription may be required to view article     Read More

August 27, 2015
The Daily Caller

James Stone Discusses Implications of Changes to Joint-Employer Standard

August 27, 2015

James Stone discusses implications of the NLRB's changes to the joint-employer standard in The Daily Caller's "NLRB Upends Franchising and Contracting in Landmark Case." Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Blogs

Quickie Elections Just Got Quicker: Electronic Signatures Okayed to Support Union Petitions
September 2, 2015

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has decided to accept electronic signatures in support of a showing of interest, effective immediately. Read More

Rats, Pigs and Cats, Oh My: Union’s Display of Large Inflatable Animals and Bannering at Las Vegas Resort was Lawful, Board Judge Holds
September 2, 2015

Las Vegas, Nevada-based Laborers Local 872 did not violate the National Labor Relations Act by displaying four-foot high banners and inflatable animals 18 to 20 feet high around the perimeter of a casino and resort complex (Westgate), and partially blocking cars and patrons, because Westgate contracted with a non-union contractor (Nigro) Read More

NLRB Issues New Standard for Determining Joint Employer Status
August 27, 2015

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board has adopted a new standard for determining whether two employers are joint employers for purposes of collective bargaining. Browning-Ferris Industries of California, 362 NLRB No. 186 (August 27, 2015). Read More