Drawing on our experience dealing with labor unions and organization campaigns in the United States, we counsel clients on labor/ management relations, advising on and litigating issues under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act. We remain at the forefront of the most critical issues employers face in both union and nonunion workplaces. Businesses of all sizes in nearly every industry turn to us for trusted advice on navigating labor-management issues.
Our lawyers practice before all related US federal, state, and local agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the National Mediation Board (NMB), and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). Members of our team routinely provide congressional testimony and commentary on labor-management issues. We represent and support employer coalitions and industry associations in labor-related litigation.
Morgan Lewis lawyers have a long tradition of government service, with current and former members of our labor/management relations team having served as chairmen and members of the NLRB.
Our labor union knowledge spans many industries, including defense, education, energy, foodservice, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation. Combined with negotiating experience and pragmatism, we manage and resolve challenging bargaining situations. We partner with companies to help them meet their business objectives and achieve resolutions that provide for long-term business success.
We negotiate in both the public and private sectors, and with national, regional, and local collective bargaining agreements. We represent employers in traditional collective bargaining negotiations as well as multilocation and multiemployer bargaining across industries.
We represent clients in labor arbitrations and mediations that arise under collective bargaining agreements. Our team has diverse experience that includes bet-the-company restructuring cases, routine employee discipline and discharge matters, and everything in between.
A corporate campaign is a union-funded tool that uses political, community, and influencer strategies to further a union’s financial goals in adding membership and dues revenue. Through attacks on a company’s brand, operations, leadership, and employment practices, a corporate campaign seeks to weaken company leadership and thus create an opportunity for a union to achieve its financial goal by organizing company employees and adding membership. We partner with clients to develop comprehensive plans to respond to potential and actual corporate campaign maneuvers. We conduct assessments of campaign allegations, compose strategic communications and briefing materials, and provide ongoing counseling, litigation support, and government relations and influencer strategic advice.
Our appellate litigation lawyers provide both strategic and litigation support on cutting-edge labor law issues in cases before US federal courts and administrative agencies. We represent parties, amici curiae, and interveners in a range of labor law matters and arguments. Our team was involved in litigation surrounding the NLRB rules governing “quickie” election procedures, notice posting requirements, and the enforceability of class action waivers.
We represent air and rail carriers in labor relations under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Our experience ranges from partnering with single carriers in representation disputes before the National Mediation Board (NMB) to counseling an entire industry in national collective bargaining negotiations. Our RLA team litigates in federal court, before arbitral boards in both rights and interests disputes, and in other dispute resolution forums.
Drawing on our solid labor relations background, we partner with employers to find creative solutions to the labor and employment challenges confronting the airline and railroad industries. We help overcome challenges to carriers’ rights to change or interpret the status quo, as well as issues related to pay rates, rules, and working conditions.
Union and other employee representation is more prevalent—and is even growing—in countries outside of the United States. Our global labor and employment lawyers tackle international labor law matters, advising clients that operate internationally on the extraterritorial application of US and international labor laws and the impact of European and global works council initiatives.
We advise employers across the United States on both traditional and emerging labor matters. Our role becomes even more important with the rise of regulations that create significant labor relations challenges for both unionized and non-unionized employers that impact both unionized and nonunionized employers. Our team remains at the forefront of these developments, and we regularly testify before the US Congress on key public policy issues. In turn, we pass on what we learn about the potential implications of these issues to our clients in the form of strategic advice.
We help clients navigate evolving issues such as the interplay between social networking and protected concerted activity, as well as counsel on the enforceability of arbitration agreements and class action waivers in the nonunion setting. We can discuss the implications of micro bargaining units, notice posting, and persuader regulations to help clients navigate all aspects of US labor law.
Morgan Lewis represents more than 50 Taft-Hartley trust funds in a variety of industries. Our lawyers have deep technical knowledge of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code as well as a solid understanding of the relationship among ERISA, US labor law, and the collective bargaining process. As trust fund counsel, we advise on Taft-Hartley fund administration and represent trust funds and trustees in court and before regulatory agencies such as the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
We represent clients in unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB. With lawyers and clients in cities throughout the United States, our team has experience before nearly all NLRB regional offices during administrative trials, hearings, and other proceedings. We also have experience working with branches of the agency, including the General Counsel and the Division of Advice, to facilitate effective resolutions to complex matters.
Morgan Lewis helped develop the project labor agreement (PLA) approach, and we have negotiated some of the largest and most notable PLAs. Representing owners and major contractors, our lawyers work with national and local building trade unions to develop PLAs that cover large-scale construction projects. Our long history in this space gives us the perspective to advise clients on how to successfully implement and administer these agreements. Our team defends PLAs from parties that challenge their constitutionality and legality under the NLRA, ERISA, and US federal and state procurement statutes.
We counsel clients on strike and lockout contingency planning. When a strike or lockout occurs, our lawyers help clients design appropriate communications, obtain injunctions in cases of misconduct or other unlawful activity, and negotiate strike settlement agreements.
When a union organizing campaign arises in the workplace, our lawyers provide advice to organizations facing union organizing campaigns, including how they can exercise their right to communicate with employees without running afoul of the NLRA.
In addition to assisting employers during union organizing campaigns and related litigation—including advising on bargaining unit, supervisory, COVID-19-related layoffs and closures, and other bargaining unit issues—we help clients promote positive employee relations. Our experience with sophisticated card check and neutrality agreements provides some employers with the appropriate compromise when it comes to union organizing.
We advise clients on labor relations issues that arise in mergers, spinoffs, divestitures, and reductions in force. Our lawyers help companies navigate the complex issues related to obligations to recognize and bargain with unions. We also advise clients on the establishment of initial wages and employment and the adoption of existing union contracts.
We provide advice designed to help clients achieve their business objectives while navigating the challenges of a unionized workforce. We also partner with clients to protect them from potential claims and defend against labor litigation if necessary.