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Andrew B. Prescott



Andrew Prescott represents private and public sector employers in diverse labor, wage and hour and discrimination matters. His labor practice includes unfair labor practice charge hearings, collective bargaining and grievance arbitration. He represents employers nationally and in various industries, including gas transmission and energy, transportation, manufacturing and health care. He has advised foreign employers on compliance with United States employment and labor law.

What do you focus on?

Employment Litigation

I defend employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. I have handled cases before the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, state courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and federal court in Rhode Island.

When my clients get sued, I help them develop and execute litigation plans focused on achieving resolution while managing cost. I spend time exploring the feasibility of alternative dispute resolution and pursuing cost effective settlements when it makes business sense. For example, in related cases brought against a bank client, I prevailed in one case on summary judgment and reached a successful settlement of the other through mediation in a coordinated approach that saved money and vindicated management’s decisions.  

Training and Employment Counsel

I also educate and train managers and other employees on a variety of subjects, including sexual and other forms of harassment and best management practices, to help minimize exposure to employment liability. I recently delivered management training for a hospital that provided interactive opportunities to assess risk and share approaches to common problems. My goal is to provide a practical and useful understanding of the many laws governing employers. I help human resource and executive personnel stay ahead of changes in the law through such training and day-to-day advice.

Labor Relations

Employers turn to me for counsel in remaining union free and for representation when they must deal with a union representing their employees. I have negotiated and written collective bargaining agreements covering employees of hotels, power generating facilities, health care institutions, manufacturers and public transit providers.

Management rights, incentive compensation and other provisions I negotiate give my clients the operational flexibility they need to thrive in competitive environments. In grievance arbitration cases, I use my litigation skills to represent employers defending cases involving termination and discipline, contract interpretation, operational/management rights and benefits.

Victories I have obtained in grievance arbitration have ensured that terminated employees would not be forced back by arbitrators; reinforced management rights; and permitted necessary changes in benefits. Often, employers dealing with unions need representation on multiple fronts such as when I concurrently negotiated a first collective bargaining agreement and defended the same employer in unfair labor practice proceedings alleging firing the chief union organizer for making threats of violence.    

What do you see on the horizon?

On the labor front, alternative labor groups will play an increasingly important role and will test the vulnerability of employers to legal challenges on the wage and hour, health and safety and equal employment opportunity fronts. Arbitration and other dispute resolution approaches will reemerge as employers seek to resolve disputes without the cost and expense of traditional litigation.   

Representative Cases and Clients

  • After a four-year legal battle, Andrew secured a complete victory at arbitration for a  defense contractor and its CEO who were accused of gender discrimination. The plaintiff, an internal candidate, alleged that the company had hired an external candidate, a Caucasian male, for the position of Vice President of Human Resources instead of promoting her, especially since she was more substantially qualified for the position. After being notified that she did not receive the position, the plaintiff filed a complaint seeking damages exceeding $1.5 million. After a multi-day hearing in Washington, DC, the arbitrator dismissed the plaintiff’s charge in its entirety.
  • Representing a manufacturing company in federal court in Boston against a former employee alleging breach of contract and unlawful termination.
  • Represented a gas pipeline and energy company based in Canada in various labor relations matters including negotiations of multiple collective bargaining agreements and grievance arbitrations.
  • Representing national construction company in disability discrimination charge before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination brought by an employee who worked for the company in Iraq and Kuwait.
  • Successfully defended a flight school and several individuals in Massachusetts Superior Court injunction action involving a non-compete agreement. The court denied the request for injunctive relief. 
  • For more than a decade, Andrew has been representing a public transit authority in a wide array of labor and employment services including as lead negotiator with two unions in collective bargaining, employment counseling, grievance arbitration, and litigation.
  • Represented an architectural lighting manufacturer before the National Labor Relations Board in defense of an unfair labor practice. The company was able to successfully defend the case and the union was forced to withdraw the charge because, among other things, the expanded management rights clause—which Andrew negotiated for the company—gave the company authority to adopt such standards.
  • Represented a transit agency in interest arbitration hearings regarding multi-year collective bargaining agreement. Amount at issue exceeded $10,000,000.
  • Representing a cooperative membership organization that operates various stores (including a bookstore) and an online catalogue against unfair labor practice (ULP) allegations that they violated the National Labor Relations Act because of a “no solicitation” sign that appears on three of the four public entrances to the store. The Board dismissed the ULP charge based on arguments made by Andrew.

 

Marijuana and the workplace

Providence Business News | November 24, 2017

Providence labor and employment partner and office managing partner Andrew Prescott analyzes the workplace impact of the legalization of marijuana in all six New England states.

'Ambush' Election Rule Under Fire

Human Resource Executive Online | July 31, 2017

The article focuses on the Workforce Fairness and Democracy Act.  Providence labor and employment partner Andrew Prescott discusses the act’s potential to eliminate the ambush election rule.

Medical marijuana decision seen as complicating life for employers

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | June 01, 2017

Providence labor and employment partner Andrew Prescott provides commentary in this article about Rhode Island’s Hawkins-Slater Medical Marijuana Act, which bars employers from refusing to hire someone if he or she uses medical marijuana.

A look at Trump's Labor Department

HR Executive Online | May 15, 2017

Providence labor and employment partner Andrew Prescott is quoted in this article about the new Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and how he may impact the Labor Department rules and policies.

Employers take care—it’s May Day

HRE Daily | May 01, 2017

Providence labor and employment partner Andrew Prescott is mentioned in this article about employees’ rights around International Workers Day demonstrations.

Here's how labor and employment might change under Trump

Fast Company | November 11, 2016

Providence Labor & Employment partner and office managing partner Andrew Prescott is quoted discussing how President-elect Trump may reshape the National Labor Relations Board and the ways it could affect employers.

5 employer lessons from NLRB's Chipotle decision

Law360 | October 19, 2016

Providence office managing partner and Labor & Employment partner Andrew B. Prescott, and Labor & Employment associate Jessica Jewell, guest authored this column about important guidance for employers in light of the National Labor Relation Board’s recent decision regarding several Chipotle employment policies.

‘Big' Relative Term in Legal Market Where Midsized Players Rule

Providence Business News | August 05, 2016

Providence office managing partner Andrew Prescott is quoted throughout this article discussing the Rhode Island legal market.

Career Tracker: Lawyers on the move

Reuters Legal | June 29, 2016

News that Andrew Prescott has been named Providence office managing partner is featured in this on-the-move column.

Contact

Andrew B. Prescott

Partner
Office Managing Partner, Providence

Providence

Phone: 401-454-1016

Boston

Phone: 617-345-6124


Fax: 401-454-1030

Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., cum laude

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, B.A., magna cum laude

Rhode Island

Massachusetts

Andrew was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the fields of Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Litigation—Labor and Employment. Andrew has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007, and was the 2015 Providence “Lawyer of the Year” in Labor Law—Management.

Andrew has been recognized as a “Rhode Island Super Lawyer” in Labor and Employment based on a peer-review survey by Thomson Reuters (2008–2013). He has also been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Labor & Employment (Rhode Island). He has been recognized by Chambers USA in previous years.

Andrew is a member of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Institute Board of Directors. He volunteers for the Meeting Street Center and served as the former chair for both the Board of Directors of the New England Division of the American Cancer Society, and the Labor Law Committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Andrew is a member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association.

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