The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012
Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2012
Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2012)
Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012)
Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
- U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
James E. Bayles, Jr. is a senior attorney in Morgan Lewis' Labor and Employment Practice. He is one of the practice group's original attorneys in Chicago.
Mr. Bayles exclusively represents employers in a variety of employment and employment-related matters, including benefits (ERISA) litigation, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act compliance and citation defense, administrative litigation under various whistleblower statutes enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, AIR21, SOX and the STAA, and litigation under federal and state antidiscrimination laws.
Mr. Bayles is a member of the bar of numerous federal district and circuit courts and has more than 20 years of experience litigating cases at both the federal district and appellate courts levels. He has represented fiduciaries and plan sponsors and their amicii in a wide variety of individual and class actions involving breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA, denial of health and welfare benefits, plan amendments to reduce or eliminate retiree benefits, ESOP going-private transactions, stock-drops, and 401(k) plan/investment administration fees. Mr. Bayles has also represented management clients in individual and complex class actions under the ADEA, Title VII, and the ADA. He regularly works with both lay witnesses and experts who specialize in financial and statistical analysis.
Mr. Bayles counsels clients with respect to OSH Act and analogous state plan compliance, including compliance with safety and health regulations and standards and the recording of occupational injuries and illnesses on OSHA 300 logs. He also conducts incident investigations involving fatalities and catastrophes (FATCATs), including on-site interviews of management and non-management witnesses, evaluation of the physical site, and representation of management witnesses during OSHA inspections. Following inspection, Mr. Bayles negotiates with OSHA area and regional directors, Department of Labor solicitors, and state attorneys to resolve, reclassify, or withdraw citations and reduce penalties resulting from incident investigations, programmed inspections, and employee safety complaints. He also represents employers in citation defense actions before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
Mr. Bayles is co-author of Chapter 30 (the Occupational Safety and Health Act) of the Employment Law Desk Book for Human Resources Professionals (West 2001). He is a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee of the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section.
Mr. Bayles received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was an Associate Editor of the California Law Review. He earned his M.B.A. and his B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Chicago in 1988 and 1987, respectively.
Mr. Bayles is admitted to practice in Illinois.
- University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1991, J.D.
- University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business, 1988, M.B.A.
- University of Chicago, 1987, B.A.