Employment & Labor

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Overview

Kirkland offers a full range of employment and labor law services, as well as a national reputation as preeminent trial lawyers that has been won over the past three decades. Our lawyers are experienced in litigation before federal and state courts and a variety of administrative agencies, and regularly counsel clients in connection with the increasing number of federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the employment relationship. Kirkland has also been active in legislative efforts pertaining to employment and labor law issues. In addition, the Firm's employment law practice interacts with other important areas of Firm practice, such as mergers and acquisitions, health and safety, government contracts, employee benefits (ERISA), and restructuring.

Kirkland's experience and capabilities in employment and labor law are reviewed in summary form below.

Substantive Practice Areas

Kirkland lawyers are currently engaged in a wide range of employment and labor law matters on behalf of a variety of employers. These matters include the following substantive practice areas:

  • Labor Management Relations, including union avoidance, decertification, union election campaigns, contract negotiations, unfair labor practices, lockouts, strike contingency planning and injunctions, damage suits for illegal strikes, labor contract administration, arbitration, and employee participation committees;

  • Employment Termination, including layoffs and reductions-in-force, wrongful discharge and employment-at-will litigation, work relocation, and plant closings (including WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) advance notice compliance);

  • Employment Policies Development and Litigation, including wage and hour issues, drug and alcohol testing, no-smoking programs, AIDS and communicable diseases, disabilities, family and medical leave, and disciplinary and grievance procedures;

  • Employment Contracts, and Confidentiality and Noncompete Agreements;

  • Immigration Enforcement and Compliance, including business visas, permanent residency and citizenship applications and procedures, and deportation litigation;

  • Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Compliance;

  • Legislative Matters, Legislation Analyses, and Preparation and Delivery of Expert Testimony; and

  • Wage and Hour, Service Contract Act, and Prevailing Wage Standards, including overtime, FLSA exemptions, conciliation, and remedial actions.

Litigation and Counseling

Kirkland's employment and labor law lawyers have broad employment litigation and counseling experience. We advise clients and litigate issues arising under the NLRA, RLA, Title VII, ADEA, Executive Order 11246, FLSA, OSHA, ADA, FMLA, WARN, IRCA and state and local employment agencies. In addition, Kirkland lawyers regularly practice before administrative agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour, OSHA, INS and the PBGC.

Kirkland has successfully represented numerous clients in a long list of employment and labor law cases before courts and juries throughout the United States.

Legislative Efforts

Kirkland lawyers were active in management organizations during the legislative process leading up to passage of WARN and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and are counseling business clients on WARN plant closing and layoff and ADA compliance issues. Current legislative activities of Firm lawyers include civil rights, striker replacements, employee committees (TEAM Act), OSHA reform and whistle blowers. 

Representative Employment and Labor Law Clients

Kirkland has represented numerous clients in a variety of employment and labor law matters. These representations have included NLRB unfair labor practice proceedings involving successorship, bargaining impasses and strikes, secondary boycotts and picketing, striker reinstatement, employee terminations and hiring practices, plant closings, and work relocation; federal court litigation on illegal strikes and injunctions, including a multimillion-dollar verdict against a national union; federal grand jury proceedings; wrongful discharge, race, age, and sex discrimination litigation; acquisitions and sales, including due diligence investigations and employment planning and compliance issues; Wage and Hour and OSHA litigation; arbitrations over terminations and work relocation; RICO litigation; labor negotiations, and strike and lockout planning; unemployment compensation litigation; pension withdrawal liability litigation against the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund; union organizing drives; and appellate representations in the federal circuit courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States.

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