Labor Relations

We anticipate and help employers resolve labor relations issues that stand in the way of doing business.

Our approach

Emotionally charged, highly visible and almost always economically significant, labor relations continue to redefine the employee-management relationship.

Despite declines in the union movement, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to tilt in labor’s favor, expanding the definition of legally protected activity and making it easier to organize. Unions are trying new tactics to rebuild membership and power, including social media and PR smear campaigns. And they frequently scrutinize employer policies and try to use the NLRB and government agencies to access union-free workplaces.

Every industry has different workforce needs. Our experience across sectors allows us to anticipate and prepare you for potential labor issues. Whether you have a unionized or union-free workforce, we strategize with you to minimize the impact of labor relations issues such as:

  • Union organizing
  • Other protected concerted activity
  • NLRB charges and related litigation
  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Contract arbitrations
  • Work stoppages
  • Picketing

We take a balanced approach—combining negotiation, conciliation and, when appropriate, aggressive representation. We have served as lead negotiators in collective bargaining opposite some of the largest and most aggressive labor unions in North America. Our job is to help our clients meet their business goals without compromising employee loyalty, enthusiasm or productivity.

Who we work with

  • Employers with union and non-union employees—particularly in the private sector
  • Deep focus on health care, hospitality, distribution, transportation, manufacturing and construction industries

Vaccine mandate lacks detail

The Daily Record | September 15, 2021

This article on President Biden’s recent vaccine mandate for employees of larger companies quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on legal questions and nuances employers have regarding the mandate’s implementation and her outlook on OSHA’s upcoming emergency temporary standard.

Rochester labor and employment attorney swamped with messages since vaccine mandate announced

Spectrum News | September 14, 2021

This broadcast segment, on President Biden’s announcement requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for employees of larger companies, features insight from Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding, focusing on questions that remain for employers as they navigate the legal landscape and nuances of the mandate, as well as the testing option still available for vaccine-resistant employees. Rochester records clerk Jody Smith also appears in the segment.

Legal perspective on vaccine mandates for employers

Rochester Business Journal | September 10, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding contributed this column which analyzes the legality of mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees, including the different requirements governing exemption requests, and provides best practices on how employers can mitigate challenges when implementing this policy.

Navigate cannabis legalization, avoid employment litigation

HR Dive | August 13, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding co-wrote this contributed article highlighting three common pitfalls for employers as they comply with the patchwork of state and federal laws regulating the use of legal cannabis by their employees.

World business report

BBC World News | August 06, 2021

In the following podcast and broadcast segment, Los Angeles Labor & Employment associate Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan discusses the potential for regulators to take a stronger look at the gaming industry following the recent lawsuit filed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Activision Blizzard. The discussion also touches upon efforts made in the gaming industry to increase diversity, unionization, and ways that publishers and other gaming companies can take a proactive response to address potential workplace culture issues.

FTW with Imad Khan

Dot Esports | August 02, 2021

In the following podcast and broadcast segment, Los Angeles Labor & Employment associate Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan discusses the potential for regulators to take a stronger look at the gaming industry following the recent lawsuit filed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Activision Blizzard. The discussion also touches upon efforts made in the gaming industry to increase diversity, unionization, and ways that publishers and other gaming companies can take a proactive response to address potential workplace culture issues.

CDC adjusts mask guidance as Delta variant surges

Law360 | July 27, 2021

This article, covering the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance following a surge in COVID-19 cases, quotes Boston Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth on the numerous factors employers will need to navigate as they consider their return-to-work plans.

The Crown Act expands definition of racial discrimination according to legal expert

WHEC-TV | July 24, 2021

In this broadcast segment on ‘The Crown Act’, a federal bill aiming to broaden the definition of discrimination by including hair texture and protected hair styles, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding explains the impetus for the bill and its potential implications for employers nationwide.

Employer-side lawyers parse pay equity law

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | July 23, 2021

Providence Labor & Employment counsel Jessica Schachter Jewell is quoted throughout this article on what employers can expect under Rhode Island’s new pay equity law, including the importance of looking across all protected classes, potential complicating factors related to the “ comparable work” concept, and wage history prohibition and transparency.

It's time for a four-day workweek, America

Democrat & Chronicle | July 14, 2021

This article on the pandemic’s disruption of the conventional workweek quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Stephanie Caffera for her thoughts on worker productivity, which continued while working from home, and how it’s opening up the conversation around restructuring the workplace.

Promotions

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | June 17, 2021

This column of notable attorney news highlights the selection of Providence Labor & Employment partner Stacie Collier as NP’s first-ever Chief Talent Officer.

People in the law

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | June 11, 2021

This column of notable attorney news highlights the selection of Providence Labor & Employment partner Stacie Collier as NP’s first-ever Chief Talent Officer.

Breaking down the HERO Act

Rochester Business Journal | June 11, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Stephanie Caffera and associate Conor Tallet contributed this article analyzing New York’s first of its kind law, the Health and Essential Rights Act, and the new burdens on employers to protect employees from COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases in the workplace.

Baystate Business

Bloomberg Radio | June 07, 2021

Boston Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth joined the radio program to discuss recent workplace vaccine guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), including employers’ concerns, industries where some organizations have mandated vaccinations, and what could constitute “coercive” incentives from employers, among other related topics.

Labor of law

Law.com | May 27, 2021

Stacie’s selection as the firm’s first-ever chief talent officer was also featured in Law.com’s “Labor of Law” column.

Nixon Peabody's talent officer talks maintaining firm culture

Law360 | May 27, 2021

In this Q&A feature, Chief Talent Officer Stacie Collier, of the Labor & Employment group, discusses priorities and goals in her new role, and how she views this new role as an evolution of work that she and the firm have been doing for a long time.

Why corporate diversity reports are not good enough

Fortune | May 26, 2021

Stacie’s selection as the firm’s first-ever chief talent officer was also featured in Fortune’s Broadsheet newsletter, “for and about the world’s most powerful women”.

Wake-up call

Bloomberg Law | May 26, 2021

Providence Labor & Employment partner Stacie Collier is featured in this article for being appointed as the firm’s first-ever Chief Talent Officer.

What employers need to know about the new COBRA subsidy

Rochester Business Journal | May 07, 2021

Rochester Corporate partner Brian Kopp and associate Lena Gionnette contributed this article analyzing the new COBRA subsidy, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and the challenges it will pose to employers.

People and awards

Rochester Business Journal | April 14, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment associate Conor Tallet’s arrival to the firm was included in this roundup of notable executive news.

On the move

The Daily Record | April 12, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment associate Conor Tallet’s arrival to the firm was included in this roundup of notable executive moves.

What does marijuana legalization mean for employment in New York State?

Spectrum News | March 31, 2021

This news segment on the legalization of marijuana in New York quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on how the enforcement of marijuana in the workplace will likely be similar to alcohol.

NLRB slams animal hospital that called the police on worker

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | March 30, 2021

Chicago Labor & Employment counsel Frank Saibert contributed this article discussing how the National Labor Relations Board’s reach extends beyond unionized workers and matters.

Weed and the workplace: What legalization could mean for testing, possession, and use

WROC-TV | March 29, 2021

The following television news segment on New York State’s pending marijuana legalization bill quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on how the enforcement of marijuana in the workplace will likely be similar to alcohol.

Business leaders: Get ready for new union-friendly labor policies

Rochester Business Journal | March 19, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Stephanie Caffera contributed this article highlighting employer considerations related to the Biden administration’s union organization changes. Stephanie developed the article with Providence senior counsel Andrew Prescott and Long Island associate Rose Nankervis, both of the Labor & Employment group.

CDC vaccine guidance offers ‘road map’ for employers

Law360 | March 10, 2021

Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair Ben Kim, of Los Angeles, and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn provide commentary in this article analyzing the CDC’s new post-vaccination guidance, discussing implications for employers.

RIMA to host virtual manufacturing conference and expo April 13

Providence Business News | March 09, 2021

This article, covering the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association’s annual conference, mentions that NP will host a workshop entitled “Making It Through Changes in Employment, Labor and Workplace Health and Safety Law.“ Providence office managing partner Andrew Prescott and San Francisco partner Rachel Conn, both of the Labor &Employment group, will present the session.

Morning edition

WXXI-AM (NPR affiliate) | March 08, 2021

In this radio segment discussing a remote workforce in a post-pandemic world, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on tax and withholding rules, among other employment laws, that employers should be aware of as employees may want to work in other states.

90-day window for COVID-19 travel guidelines has some confused

WHEC-TV | March 02, 2021

In this broadcast segment on the loosening of some of New York State’s COVID-19 travel guidelines, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her thoughts on state and federal guidelines that employers must follow to protect their workforce.

On the Move

Newsday | February 25, 2021

Long Island Labor & Employment counsel David Tauster is included in this column of notable Long Island executive news for his promotion to counsel.

On the Move

The Recorder (California) | January 28, 2021

Los Angeles Project Finance & Public Finance partner-elect Jade Turner-Bond and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner-elect Rachel Conn were included in this roundup of notable legal moves for their promotions to partner.

Tegna recruits sports podcaster-Locked On

The Deal | January 27, 2021

This article on Tegna’s expansion into the fast-growing podcast market through its acquisition of Locked On Podcast Network mentions Washington, D.C. partners John Partigan and Sean Clancy and Rochester partner Brian Kopp, all of the Corporate group, for representing Tegna. The deal team also included Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Todd Shinaman; and Washington, D.C. associate Pierce Han and Boston associate Bohao Zhou, both in the Corporate group.

Proposition 22 and the Tenuous Path Forward to App-Based Companies

The Daily Journal | January 22, 2021

San Francisco associate Jade Butman and Los Angeles associate Andrea Chavez, both of the Labor & Employment group, contributed this article on the California law classifying workers as either independent contractors or employees, and the law’s impact on the gig economy.

R.I. Looks to Expand Workplace Tests

Providence Business News | January 22, 2021

This article covering Rhode Island’s push to double the number of daily COVID-19 tests in the state quotes Providence office managing partner Andrew Prescott, of the Labor & Employment group, on a R.I. statute that could potentially restrict employers from requiring tests as a condition of employment.

COVID-related paid sick leave options for employers

Rochester Business Journal | January 20, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding contributed this article for her outlook on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and what’s top-of-mind for employers in the year ahead.

Retroactive Dynamex Exposes CA Employers to Wage Suits

Law360 | January 15, 2021

In this analysis of the California Supreme Court’s opinion that Dynamex applies retroactively, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca provides commentary on potential implications for pending worker-classification cases as well as those coming down the pipeline.

Questions Arise on Local Impact of DOL's Ruling on Standards for Employees, Independent Contractors

Rochester Business Journal | January 15, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Todd Shinaman is quoted in this article on the Department of Labor’s recent rule clarifying the standard for employee vs. independent contractor. Todd is quoted on the best practice for businesses to take a holistic view of employee definitions by other government agencies, such as the IRS, and to take a wait-and-see approach with the incoming administration.

Baystate Business: Snow, Stimulus, and Fitness

Bloomberg Radio | December 16, 2020

Boston Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth joined Thursday’s “Baystate Business“ radio program to discuss whether employers can and should mandate that employees get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to the office.

California Poised For Growth Despite Pandemic Impacts, Regulations

Engineering News-Record | December 10, 2020

In this article on the workplace requirements for contractors and other employers in the construction industry, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted for her outlook on Cal/OSHA’s definition of “exposed workplace” and the potential overlap of notifications requirements with AB 685.

In Depth

KNX-AM | December 10, 2020

San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn appears as a guest in this radio news segment to discuss the dilemma employers are facing and what they should consider—Cal/OSHA, California sick leave laws and other advisories—as they navigate how to provide a safe workplace for their employees during the holidays.

NYS Assembly Bill Seeks to Empower Health Department to Make COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory

Spectrum News | December 09, 2020

In this television news segment on a bill introduced in the New York State Assembly to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on the bill’s enforcement mechanism.

Your Boss Can Restrict Your Holiday Plans in the Pandemic

The Wall Street Journal | December 07, 2020

In an article covering what employers can and cannot enforce when employees are outside of the workplace, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn explains how off-duty conduct laws in some states and union contracts could prevent employers from taking action against employees.

4 Ways Firms Are Trying to 'Move the Needle' on Diversity

Law360 | December 04, 2020

This article covering a recent Move the Needle Fund town hall highlights NP’s “Mansfield Rule for workflow allocation“ and quotes Professional Personnel Partner and Providence Labor & Employment partner Stacie Collier on how our firm is building a more inclusive culture by equalizing access to work opportunities for all lawyers.

Scabby the Rat's Days Could Be Numbered as NLRB Weighs in

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | December 03, 2020

Chicago Labor & Employment counsel Frank Saibert contributed this article analyzing the National Labor Relations Board’s recent request for public input whether to limit the use of Scabby the Rat and banners against secondary employers.

New Regulations May Make It Easier for Travelers to State, but Questions Remain

WHEC NBC-10 | November 02, 2020

In this broadcast segment on New York State’s new coronavirus regulations regarding interstate travel, which replaces the 14-day quarantine for travelers, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on how the new regulations are more manageable for businesses.

NLRB OKs Trade Association's Facebook Group Post Deletions

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | October 20, 2020

Chicago Labor & Employment counsel Frank Saibert contributed this article analyzing a National Labor Relations Board ruling to overturn a decision preventing a trade association from removing posts on its Facebook group, noting that the trade association’s registry members are not actually employees.

Burnout signs have risen 33% percent in 2020; here are seven ways to reduce risks

LinkedIn Workforce Insights | October 07, 2020

This article, covering how organizations can reduce burnout risks among employees, cites NP for “bucking the trend” by focusing on advancement and promotion even during these challenging times, and quotes Professional Personnel Partner and Providence Labor & Employment partner Stacie Collier on plans for the firm’s 2021 partner class.

Illinois Workers’ Comp Law Doesn’t Pre-Empt Biometric Privacy Claim

HR Magzine | September 28, 2020

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Rich Tilghman and John Ruskusky, and associate Henry Caldwell contributed this article, based on their recent blog post, on the rise in putative class actions in Illinois by employees against entities that employ biometric technology.

Pandemic Pay Issues for Wage and Hour Lawyers to Watch

Law360 | September 24, 2020

This article on notable pandemic-related wage and hour issues quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Jade Butman on whether employers would be on the hook for the time that workers spend adhering to building safety protocols.

3 Tips Now That DOL's Joint Employer Rule Is Struck Down

Law360 | September 16, 2020

This article, which examines last week’s Southern District of New York judgment striking down the U.S. Department of Labor’s joint employment rule, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Jade Butman on the complexities of multiple layers for employment law compliance with respect to the National Labor Relations Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and FLSA.

What Employers Can Learn from New NLRB Virus Advice

Law360 | September 09, 2020

Labor & Employment deputy group leader and Chicago partner Brian Alcala contributed this article on the National Labor Relations Board’s recent guidance on COVID-19-related labor law violations against employers in these uncertain times.

New NLRB test makes employee discipline easier

Daily Record | August 12, 2020

This article on a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board extensively quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Stephanie Caffera for her related outlook and the application of protected concerted activity on social media.

Labor board OKs discipline against new union employees

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | July 16, 2020

Chicago Labor & Employment partner Frank Saibert contributed this article analyzing a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling to overturn a decision allowing newly recognized unions an opportunity to negotiate over certain disciplinary action taken against employees that occurred before the parties finalized their initial labor contract.

Rhode Island High Court Upholds Medical Pot Patient's Firing

Law360 | June 01, 2020

Rhode Island’s high court affirmed that NP client W.B. Mason did not violate employment laws in firing a supply driver who refused a drug test. The article mentions Providence office managing partner Andrew Prescott, of the Labor & Employment group, for representing the office supply company.

Labor board allows ban on discussion of bias investigation

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | May 14, 2020

Chicago Labor and Employment partner Frank Saibert contributed this article analyzing a National Labor Relations Board decision which found that, under appropriate circumstances, employers can prohibit employees from discussing certain internal company investigations without violating the National Labor Relations Act.

Are you an essential worker? Says who? And what if you don’t think your job is worth the coronavirus risk?

Chicago Tribune | March 25, 2020

Labor and Employment deputy practice group leader Brian Alcala in Chicago talks about the advice he is giving employers whose employees feel unsafe reporting for work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Labor board fails to see pretext in union member’s termination

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | August 28, 2019

Chicago Labor and Employment partner Frank Saibert authored this article about a National Labor Relations Board case related to a union member who was fired by her employer, Electrolux.

Storms on the horizon after high court’s Dynamex ruling

Los Angeles Daily Journal | July 10, 2019

Partner Ben Kim, counsel Alicia Anderson and associate Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan, all of the Labor and Employment group in Los Angeles, co-wrote this contributed article. The authors analyze the impact of a California Supreme Court ruling that drivers for Dynamex, a package delivery company, are employees rather than independent contractors.

NLRB memo shows push to deflate Fat Cat and Scabby

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | July 08, 2019

Chicago Labor & Employment partner Frank Saibert wrote this contributed article analyzing an ongoing matter before the National Labor Relations Board concerning the ability of organized labor to use large inflatable animals as part of their worksite picketing activities.

NLRB reins in employee protections

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | May 29, 2019

Chicago Labor and Employment partner Frank Saibert wrote this article analyzing a case before the National Labor Relations Board, which has taken a newly restrictive view on what constitutes “protected concerted activity” in the workplace.

Scabby, Fat Cat find town signage ban lawful

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | March 13, 2019

Chicago Labor & Employment partner Frank Saibert wrote this contributed article analyzing a Seventh Circuit decision that allowed a Wisconsin town to invoke its signage ban to exterminate a giant inflatable balloon rat displayed by a local labor union.

Contacts

Tara E. Daub

Partner
Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment

tdaub@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 516-832-7613

Michael R. Lindsay

Partner

mlindsay@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 213-629-6000

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
  • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
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