Our experience includes these matters:

Union Relations

  • For more than 30 years, our attorneys have handled labor negotiations for Temple University. We served as counsel to Temple's chief negotiator in talks with unions representing 13 bargaining units, including the faculty. In 1987 and 1990, when the faculty struck, we helped Temple through particularly difficult negotiations by, among other things, obtaining an unprecedented back-to-work order, preserving the fall semester. In 2008 and 2009, Ballard Spahr served as the chief negotiator for Temple in its faculty negotiations.

  • Our attorneys were the first in DuPont history to serve as chief spokespersons for the company during union negotiations. We have represented DuPont in a series of unfair labor practice (ULP) proceedings before the NLRB across the Northeast. Appearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, we obtained an appellant court affirmance of a favorable NLRB decision arising out of a lengthy ULP trial we had handled for DuPont in Buffalo, New York.

  • For more than a decade, our lawyers have represented Valero Energy on labor and employment matters at its two East Coast refineries, including contract negotiations with the United Steelworkers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Independent Oil Workers’ Union. We have represented Valero on many labor arbitrations, ULP proceedings before the NLRB, and on a representation petition, and we continue to assist the company in day-to-day labor and employment matters.

  • We have represented Geisinger Health System in labor and employment matters for more than 10 years. We have served as its chief negotiator and have counseled the system in labor negotiations, ULP charges, and organizing campaigns. 

Wage and Hour Class Action Defense

  • We are defending a major telecommunications company sued as a joint employer in several jurisdictions for failing to pay overtime for all hours worked. We represent the company in Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in "opt-in" collective actions under the FLSA and class actions under various state wage and hour laws. We obtained summary judgment in Maryland finding our client is not a joint employer.

  • We are defending a large health system being sued by former employees claiming that they were hourly wage earners who did not receive overtime compensation for work performed during meal breaks.

  • We are defending the largest franchisee of a national pizza chain in a class action alleging that managers in its California restaurants were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid overtime in violation of California wage and hour laws. The California federal court approved a classwide settlement.

Discrimination Class Action Defense

  • We defended a large energy company being sued by a class of more than 2,000 employees claiming reverse discrimination and age discrimination. We successfully challenged class certification based on the absence of commonality and typicality and persuaded the plaintiffs to drop the collective action age claim.

  • We defended one of the nation's largest facilities management providers being sued by environmental services workers employed at an urban hospital. The plaintiffs alleged that they were unfairly disciplined based on race and subjected to a racially hostile work environment. The federal district court granted our motion to strike the class allegations, and The Third Circuit, which had not previously spoken on the subject, rejected the plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal of the district court’s denial of class certification.

  • We defended a nationwide supplier of food service personnel brought by kitchen workers employed in a prison's facilities. The workers alleged race discrimination with respect to hiring, pay, assignments, promotions, and discipline, as well as a racially hostile work environment. Consistent with the company's desire to keep the case out of the media, we steered the case into mediation and quickly achieved a favorable settlement.

  • We defended a major fast food chain sued in a class action lawsuit alleging sex discrimination in promotion brought in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The case was favorably settled by a consent decree negotiated by the parties and approved by the federal district court judge.

Labor and Employment Reorganization Implications

  • We advised a prominent Philadelphia-based health system on the labor implications as well as obligations under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) related to the closing of a unionized facility.

  • We represented a major petroleum company with structuring a large, national reduction in force, advising it on the selection processes for non-union and union represented workforces, the structure of severance agreements and releases, compliance with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), and federal WARN Act issues, as well as compliance with similar state laws.

  • We advised a nonprofit membership organization on a reduction in force as well as on structuring and implementing alternatives, including ongoing as well as periodic furloughs for exempt and non-exempt employees, pay and work day reductions, and voluntary termination programs.

  • We represented a prominent real estate firm in a number of reductions in force over two years, including advising it on OWBPA, structuring enforceable severance agreements with releases and their interaction with existing employment agreements, and how to structure the layoffs in a nondiscriminatory fashion to avoid age and other protected class discrimination claims.

  • We represented a large health system in the reorganization of two unionized hospitals, including advising it on labor implications and its obligations under WARN when layoffs resulted.

Public Sector

  • Since 1997, Ballard Spahr has represented SEPTA in its dealings with its largest union, the Transport Workers Union, Local 234, serving as primary counsel for the handling of grievance arbitrations. We have successfully defended unfair labor charges and also serve on the SEPTA teams negotiating with the Fraternal Order of Transit Police, as well as with Local 234.

  • In early 2008, Ballard Spahr was named the City of Philadelphia's chief labor counsel for negotiations with its municipal unions. We have served and continue to serve as the chief negotiator for negotiations with District Councils 33 and 47, as well as for interest arbitration proceedings with the police, fire, and deputy sheriffs unions.

  • We have represented and defended all sizes of municipalities throughout Pennsylvania in labor arbitrations involving discipline, discharge, pension and health benefits, and contract interpretation; cases involving the scope and application of a Deferred Option Retirement Plan (DROP), benefit calculations, the ability of a municipality to increase pension contributions unilaterally, and interpretation of surviving spouse benefits; and securing the proper contractual language in collective bargaining negotiations and Act 111 interest arbitrations.