Traditional Labor Relations & Collective Bargaining
Our Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group counsels public and private sector employers on all labor relations matters, from strategies for countering union organizing drives to negotiating collective bargaining agreements and everything in between. Our experienced staff works exclusively with employers in collective bargaining and labor contract administration, including grievance arbitration and unfair labor practice complaint proceedings. For more information about our labor litigation services, please click here.
In addition to litigating representation issues before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), we often work with clients to develop lawful and effective methods of countering union organizing drives. These strategies may include, depending on the situation, educating employees about their total compensation packages in relation to the current market, distributing literature to counter the union’s talking points or holding captive audience meetings. Our goal is to tailor a strategy that fits our clients’ corporate culture and leads to the desired result. The desired result may not always be keeping the union out, but may be redefining the proposed bargaining unit to one that fits the clients’ business objectives more favorably.
We have acted as chief spokesperson for management in collective bargaining with countless unions and have effectively provided behind-the-scenes counsel to those employers who choose to handle their own collective bargaining. We routinely provide the following services:
- Critiquing union proposals
- Drafting employer proposals
- Acting as spokesperson at the bargaining table or advising behind the scenes
- Developing a strategy to ensure the negotiated agreement meets business needs
- Managing communications with employees and the media
- Providing experienced representation at mediation/conciliation
- Providing legal representation at related labor board hearings
Public Sector Representation
Our practice group represents counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, technical colleges, utilities, sewerage districts and other municipalities in all aspects of labor relations and employment law. We have extensive experience in the development of post-Act 10 employee handbooks and in negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements, as well as advising public entities with respect to non-union employment issues.
Our practice group regularly provides counsel to public administrators on employee rights issues and assists in developing strategies for effective management and employment policy implementation in the public setting.
In addition to such public-sector labor and employment issues, we provide advice with respect to Wisconsin’s open meetings law, public records issues, conflict of interest matters and liability of public officials.
Corporate Due Diligence
Because of our extensive experience in labor matters, we are also adept at identifying potential labor issues in corporate transactions. Whether addressing the impact of a deal on existing collective bargaining obligations to the seller or buyer or the potential impact of participating in a multi-employer pension plan, our attorneys have a keen sense for addressing these potential deal breakers and providing a practical perspective from either the buyer or seller side of a potential transaction.