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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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Archived

How to Respond [Effectively] to Union Organizing in the Chemical Industry

June 26, 2019 - 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.

Archived

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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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November 15, 2019

Top Five Labor Law Developments for October 2019

November 15, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has clarified its standard for evaluating the legality of employers’ facially neutral policies, rules, or handbook provisions. LA Specialty Produce Co., 368 NLRB No. 93 (Oct. 8, 2019). Overturning the Obama-NLRB standard, the NLRB in Boeing Co. provided a roadmap for how it will analyze the... Read More

October 25, 2019

Labor Board Clarifies Boeing Work Rules Decision, Finds Confidentiality, Media Contact Rules Lawful

October 25, 2019

An employer’s confidentiality and non-disclosure rule and media contact rule do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held. LA Specialty Produce Company, 368 NLRB No. 93 (2019). The Board also substantially clarified its decision in Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 15, 2017... Read More

October 7, 2019

Common Mistakes Companies Make with Gig Economy Workers

October 7, 2019

It is no secret that traditional employers often benefit from non-traditional workplace arrangements available in the gig economy, such as relief from paying unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation plans or being exempt from many minimum wage or overtime laws that apply to the traditional employer-employee relationship.... Read More

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November 1, 2019
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Earns Tier 1 Rankings on 2020 "Best Law Firms" List

November 1, 2019

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2019) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce the firm has earned “National Tier 1” rankings for the following practice areas in the 2020 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list: Employment Law - Management Labor Law - Management... Read More

October 31, 2019
GlobalAutoIndustry.com

James Stone and Jim Verdi Discuss Implications of Mexico’s New Labor Laws

October 31, 2019

James Stone and Jim Verdi discuss the implications of Mexico’s new labor laws and their evolving impact on current union organizing efforts in “Mexico’s New Labor Laws: Union Organizing and New Regulations Increase Challenges for US Automotive Companies,” published by GlobalAutoIndustry.com. Subscription may be required to view... Read More

September 3, 2019
SHRM

Philip Rosen, Jonathan Spitz and James Verdi Author "Mexico’s Overhaul of Federal Labor Laws: Updates, Timelines for Employers"

September 3, 2019

Philip Rosen, Jonathan Spitz and James Verdi author "Mexico’s Overhaul of Federal Labor Laws: Updates, Timelines for Employers," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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NLRB Advice Memo: Lack of Coworker Support Does Not Render Pay Complaints Unprotected
November 15, 2019

An employee’s complaints about his pay to coworkers was protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), even though the employee was unsuccessful in enlisting any other employees to support his complaints, the Advice Division of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel has decid Read More

‘Vague’ Savings Clause Insufficient to Save Arbitration Agreement Limiting Employees’ Access to NLRB
November 11, 2019

An arbitration agreement requiring that all “claims or controversies in any way relating to or associated with … employment or the termination of … employment … will be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration,” including “all statutory… claims” violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Read More

Labor Board: Unions Waived Right to Bargain Over Changes to Retiree Medical Benefits
October 15, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that an employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it unilaterally changed retirees’ medical benefits without first negotiating with the unions that represented its employees. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Co., 368 NLRB No. 48 (Sept. 4, 2019). Read More

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Oct 15

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Mexico Enacts Legislation Overhauling its Federal Labor Laws

James Verdi and Sabrina Brown discuss Mexico's recently enacted legislation prohibiting employer interference with workers' rights, protects employees' right to join or not join a union, and requiring unions to secure employee support. 

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Jun 25

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NLRB Replaces Its Test for Distinguishing Between Employees and Independent Contractors

James Verdi and Sabrina Brown discuss the recent test for determining independent contractors under the NLRA.

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Mar 19

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The NLRB’s Analysis on Accretion of Unrepresented Employees

James Verdi and Doriyon Glass discuss the NLRB’s recent analysis on accretion of unrepresented employees and lessons for employers. 

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