Richard F. Vitarelli


P 860-331-1553 F 860-247-1330


Richard F. Vitarelli


Richard F. Vitarelli is a principal in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is the co-leader of the Labor Relations practice group, the firm’s national labor practice.

He has over two decades of experience representing employers nationally in strategic labor relations, collective bargaining, and union organizing, including in the context of mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and contract administration. He serves as general labor and employment counsel for employers and multi-employer associations in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, health care and senior living, airline, commercial laundry, transportation and distribution, state and local government.

Rick's practice includes handling sophisticated collective bargaining matters, including national, multi-employer and industry agreements. His practice also includes representation of employers in multi-employer benefits matters, including multi-employer pension withdrawal liability and Taft-Hartley Fund collection matters. His labor relations practice includes representation of employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act.

He regularly represents and advises clients in preventive labor relations and counter-organizing. For several years, he served as a managing author of the "Employer’s Guide to Union Organizing Campaigns" (Wolters-Kluwer/Aspen Publishers).

Before joining Jackson Lewis, Rick served as practice group leader for a major regional firm, overseeing the labor, employment, benefits and immigration practice. He also served as outside general counsel to the Waterbury Connecticut Financial Planning and Assistance Board, a state takeover board created to restructure finances, labor agreements and post-employment benefits. He was a commissioner of the Connecticut State Ethics Commission from 1997 to 2004 and served as vice-chair and chair-elect from 2002 to 2004.

While attending law school, Rick was a member of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America© "Employment Law - Management" and "Labor Law - Management" (2007-present)
  • Chambers USA, “Labor & Employment” (2015-2022)
  • Connecticut Law Tribune, “New Leaders of the Law”
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyers" (2006-2019, 2021-present)
  • Hartford County Bar Association, "Judge Maxwell Heiman Award"
  • Human Resource Executive, recognized among twenty of “The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys,” in the category of traditional labor law
  • Legal 500 USA, “Recommended Attorney” (2016, 2020-2022)
  • Lawdragon, "500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers" (2020, 2021)
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, "AV Preeminent® - Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence" (2014-present)

Professional Activities and Associations

  • American Bar Association

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Past Director

Published Works

  • "Employer’s Guide to Union Organizing Campaigns," Wolters-Kluwer/Aspen Publishers (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Editions) [Author]


  • “The Bargaining Process: Unions and Carriers,” Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law, ALI-CLE, Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law Conference (Washington, DC, September 27, 2018)
  • “2018 Top Wage and Hour Issues Facing Construction Contractors,” AGC Labor and Employment Law Council’s 34th Annual Construction Law Symposium (Washington, DC, May 4, 2018)
  • “Workplace Legislative, Judicial & Regulatory Issues…2018 & Beyond,” Tri-State SHRM Conference (Mohegan Sun Convention Center, May 2, 2018)
  • “Understanding and Living with Multi-Employer Pension Fund Withdrawal Liability,” Associated General Contractors (New York State, December 6, 2017)
  • “Your Guide to the New NLRB,” CBIA/Jackson Lewis Employment Law Conference (Cromwell, CT, November 15, 2017, November 30, 2017)
  • “Understanding and Living with Multi-Employer Pension Fund Withdrawal Liability,” International Council of Employers Annual Meeting (Washington, DC, October 5-6, 2017)
  • “The Bargaining Process: Unions and Carriers,” Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law, ALI-CLE, Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law Conference (Washington, DC, April 27, 2017)