Charles S. Birenbaum serves as the firm’s Chair of Northern California. Chuck is an experienced labor and employment attorney who focuses his practice on traditional labor and employment law matters, and has wide-ranging experience litigating in state and federal courts as well as various administrative agencies. He has testified on proposed legislation impacting entire industries before state legislative committees, and has interfaced and negotiated with labor organizations, politicians, regulators, and industry leaders to resolve complex issues for his clients in the health care, energy, construction and other industries.
Chuck is an experienced trial lawyer, having tried race harassment class actions, noncompetition trials, unfair labor practice hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, and multiple arbitrations. His appellate work includes decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit under the National Labor Relations Act, Labor Management Relations Act, and the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act.
In the area of traditional labor law, Chuck has a broad array of experience in collective bargaining, union organizing and trust fund litigation for employers in the construction, energy, health care, manufacturing, and service industries. He has first chaired collective bargaining for all bargaining units at a health care system; first chaired collective bargaining over a bargaining unit of registered nurses at a dialysis provider; first chaired collective bargaining for construction agreements covering billions of dollars of heavy infrastructure development; and first chaired collective bargaining for a steel manufacturer and fabricator.
Chuck has been honored by numerous organizations for his labor and employment practice. In 2013 alone, Chambers USA Guide listed him for his work in labor and employment law, Human Resources Executive magazine named him one of the nation’s top 100 most powerful labor attorneys, and The Daily Journal singled him out as one of California’s top 75 labor attorneys.
Awards & Recognition
•Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Labor & Employment Law, 2007-2015
•Listed, Chambers USA Guide, Labor & Employment Law, 2013-2014
•Listed, Human Resources Executive magazine, The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Lawyers - Top 100, 2013-2014
•Listed, The Daily Journal, Top 75 Labor Attorneys in California, 2013-2014
•Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2014
•Team Member, a Law360 Employment Practice Group of the Year, 2013
Associated News & Events
Greenberg Traurig's Charles Birenbaum and Todd Wozniak to Speak on ERISA Litigation at ACI's 8th National Forum
Greenberg Traurig Labor & Employment Practice Receives Multiple Recognitions
23 Greenberg Traurig California Attorneys Recognized in the 2015 Best Lawyers in America
Greenberg Traurig’s Charles Birenbaum and Mark Kemple among California’s Leading Labor & Employment Lawyers
15 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Included in 2014 Edition of Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
Charles Birenbaum Named to ‘Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys’ List
Four Greenberg Traurig Shareholders Recognized by Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon
Greenberg Traurig Attorneys, Practices Included in 2014 Chambers USA Guide
Greenberg Traurig’s Charles S. Birenbaum Nominated to the Board of the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco
Greenberg Traurig Adds Prominent Attorney Charles S. Birenbaum as its Chair of Northern California
Recent NLRB Decision Limits Employer's Ability to Restrict Off-Duty Employee Access to its Property
Articles, Publications, & Lectures
Chuck has published articles addressing a variety of labor and employment issues in both the public and private sectors, and regularly lectures at seminars, workshops and continuing education programs.
•Author, To Excel as an Associate, Be a Whole Person, Daily Journal, November 25, 2014
•Author, The Evolution of Construction Union Greenmail: Legal and Political Developments, Adverse Consequences and Combat Tips, Employee Relations Law Journal, Aspen Vol. 35, No. 4, Spring 2010
•Speaker, The Affordable Care Act, Health Care Reform and New Claims and Defenses in Workforce Realignment Litigation, American Conference Institute's 8th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, New York, NY, October 2014
•Speaker, Navigating Law Firm/Law Practice Dynamics, Bar Association of San Francisco’s The Legal Ethics Committee, San Francisco, CA, August 2014
•Moderator, The General Counsel as a Strategic Business Partner, Corporate Counsel Leadership Forum, Argyle's Executive Forum, NY, October 2011
•Moderator, Ethical Considerations for Companies and Candidates Before, During and After Job Search, Hard-To-Find CLE Credits Program, Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Santa Clara, CA/Burlingame, CA, January 2010 and January 2011
•Speaker, Employee Fraud and Conducting Effective Internal Investigations, All Hands Meeting, Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel, Santa Clara, CA, December 2009
•Speaker, Impact of the Stimulus Package on California's Power Market, 5th Annual California Power Market Forum, Platts, San Francisco, CA, November 2009
•Moderator, Ethical Issues When In-House Counsel Change Companies, Hard-To-Find CLE Credits Program, Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, San Francisco, CA, January 2009
Areas of Concentration
•Labor and employment class actions
•Traditional labor law
•Employment law advice, counseling and training
•Unfair competition, restrictive covenants and trade secrets