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NLRB and other unfair labor practices representation

Whether a workforce is unionized or not, the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) broad interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) can have a direct affect on employee involvement committees, disciplinary investigations and pay procedures. Porter Wright works with businesses to help limit risks under the NLRA and represent their interests before the NLRB.

We represent businesses in all areas of NLRB jurisdiction, including union representation issues, unfair labor practice charges, injunction and representation hearings, and litigation in administrative trials before administrative law judges of the NLRB. We pursue claims against unions and their representatives when our clients have been subjected to illegal secondary boycotts or criminal activity. We work with both union and non-union employers to ensure their work rules comply with current NLRB standards.

Collective bargaining and arbitrations
If a workforce is unionized, effective management of the collective bargaining process is critically important to the company’s success. Our attorneys represent management clients in the collective bargaining process and often serve as management’s chief spokesperson at the bargaining table. We advise companies throughout contract negotiations and help them respond to issues raised during collective bargaining, such as allegations of refusal to provide documents or to bargain.

If faced with unlawful tactics such as picketing or handbills, we help with relief such as state-court lawsuits for injunctions or monetary damages. If facing strike activity, we advise on strike preparation, including security arrangements and temporary or permanent replacement workers. We help our clients through the arbitration process if there has been an allegation of violation of a collective bargaining agreement. Our team has extensive experience representing management clients in interest and grievance arbitration procedures, including counseling on contract interpretation to assure a defensible position, assisting with selection of arbitrators and representing our client at the arbitration hearing.

Union avoidance
The best way to protect against union interference is to proactively address workplace issues. Porter Wright works with clients to maintain positive relationships with their employees, in ways that are consistent with their corporate culture and business objectives, so they can deflect union arguments and maintain credibility with employees.

We represent businesses in all aspects of the union organizing process, from advice and manager training designed to prevent organizing, to representation during election campaigns. If a company becomes involved in a union-organizing drive, we can assist with a management communication plan, monitor union activities for misconduct and handle NLRB matters related to bargaining-unit scope, supervisory designations and unfair labor practice charges.

If employee satisfaction with a union wanes, we can guide leadership through the information gathering and strategic phases of union decertification.