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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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Sep 23toSep 24

Las Vegas, NV
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Remaining Union Free A Counter-Organizing Simulation Preparing Your Team in 2019

September 23, 2019 - 1:00 PM to September 24, 2019 - 6:00 PM PST
3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd. - Las Vegas, NV
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Oct 15toOct 16

Chicago, IL
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Remaining Union Free A Counter-Organizing Simulation Preparing Your Team in 2019

October 15, 2019 - 1:00 PM to October 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM CST
540 N Michigan Avenue - Chicago, IL
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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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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September 17, 2019

Access to Private Property: Labor Board Rules Girl Scout Cookies and Union Protesters are Different

September 17, 2019

A nonemployee’s solicitation for charitable or civic causes on an employer’s property is not the equivalent of a nonemployee union representative’s engaging in a protest soliciting customers to boycott an employer or in union organizing on the property, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held. Kroger Limited Partnership, 368... Read More

September 13, 2019

Top Five Labor Law Developments for August 2019

September 13, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found an employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by misclassifying its employees as independent contractors. Velox Express, Inc., 368 NLRB No. 61 (Aug. 29, 2019). Velox engaged drivers classified as independent contractors to transport medical samples to hospitals and... Read More

September 12, 2019

Labor Board Adopts ‘Contract Coverage’ Standard in Unilateral Change Cases, Overturns Precedent

September 12, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made it easier for employers to defend against unfair labor practice charges alleging a unilateral change in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). As suggested by Chairman John Ring and Member Marvin Kaplan in E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 368 NLRB No. 48 (Sept. 4,... Read More

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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

August 13, 2019
SHRM

Jonathan Spitz Comments on Implications of the Recent 6th Circuit Ruling in Hendrickson USA, LLC v. NLRB

August 13, 2019

Jonathan Spitz comments on the implications of the recent ruling in Hendrickson USA, LLC v. NLRB, where the NLRB incorrectly found that an employer's statements to workers during unionization efforts were coercive in "Employer’s Statements Against Unionizing Were Not Coercive," published by SHRM.  Subscription... Read More

July 24, 2019
Legaltech News

Jonathan Spitz Discusses Implications of Monitoring Workers' Social Media

July 24, 2019

Jonathan Spitz discusses the implications of employers monitoring employees' social media posts in "When Mining Workers' Social Media, Take an Evenhanded Approach," published by Legaltech News. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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NLRB Members Intend to Revisit Applicability of ‘Contract Coverage’ Standard in Unilateral Change Cases
September 10, 2019

How the NLRB analyzes defenses to unilateral change unfair labor practice charges may be in for a substantial revision. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman John Ring and Member Marvin Kaplan have signaled their interest in reviewing the law in this area. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 368 NLRB No. 48 (Sept. Read More

Employers Take Note: Americans’ Approval of Unions Continues to Grow
September 9, 2019

According to a recent Gallup poll, almost two-thirds of Americans approve of labor unions. After reaching an all-time low of 48% in 2009, approval of labor unions has increased steadily to 64%. This increase crosses political party lines. According to the Gallup poll, 82% of Democrats approve of unions. Read More

NLRB Members Lean Toward Possible Easing of Restrictions on Off-Duty Employee Access Rules
September 9, 2019

Two of the four members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have indicated they are willing to rethink a key element of the Board’s more-than-40-year-old precedent regarding employers’ off-duty employee access rules under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Southern Bakeries, 368 NLRB No. 59 (Aug. 28, 2019). Read More

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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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