Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


Labor Relations and Union Avoidance Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Although the percentage of America's private workforce that is unionized is at an all-time low, the labor movement remains a powerful and organized force that wields enormous influence over the nation and its employers, organized or otherwise. Almost every business strategy or decision has the potential to be affected by labor issues. And if our client’s workforce is targeted by a labor union for an organizing campaign, then the potential effect on its business can be staggering.

For more than half a century, Hill Farrer has represented management in its dealings with organized employees and their union representatives, helping management push back against some of the world's most powerful labor organizations. Many of Hill Farrer’s labor attorneys began their legal careers at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and a number of have been recognized by Labor Relations Institute as being among “The Top 100 Labor Attorneys in America.”

Hill Farrer represents and advises clients with both union and non-union workforces in the health care, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, construction, retail and service industries. The firm’s attorneys have wide-ranging experience in matters arising in representation and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and California’s Agricultural Relations Board, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, federal and state court litigation, and other administrative agencies. We assist unionized clients with matters involving collective bargaining, grievance handling, arbitration hearings, strikes, boycotts and corporate campaigns. The firm’s attorneys also have extensive experience and have developed effective legal strategies to help employers in a wide range of industries prevent, avoid and defeat union organizing efforts. Although the actual experience of many other law firms in this traditional area of labor law has diminished over time, our attorneys have substantial and recent experience in this practice area, and are successfully representing clients in union-related matters right now.

Hill Farrer’s labor attorneys take a strategic approach to every engagement:

  • counseling businesses on union avoidance strategies
  • managing labor representation elections, including union decertification;
  • negotiating union contracts and collective bargaining agreements;
  • preparing strike responses;
  • arbitrating grievances;
  • dealing with issues pertaining to public sector labor relations acts, including the federal Railway Labor Act (RLA); and
  • managing the effective response to corporate campaigns and union campaigns.

Hill Farrer labor attorneys have represented employers before hundreds of NLRB and state labor relations agency hearings and arbitrations, and have regularly defended and pursued clients' labor interests in the federal courts. We advise employers who have no experience with unions, as well as employers who have decades-old, mature bargaining relationships. Whether an employer is confronted with mass picketing outside its facility or has just learned that a union is trying to organize its employees, Hill Farrer has the depth of experience to guide management to advantageous, legal and practical solutions.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Immediate Amendments to California’s New Sick Leave Law
, July 31, 2015
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 304 on Monday July 13, 2015, amending the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The Amendment went into effect immediately and changes key provisions of the law regarding calculation of the rate of pay, method of accrual of paid leave, and...

New “Quickie” NLRB Election Regulations on Union Representation Go Into Effect April 14, 2015
, June 01, 2015
On March 31, 2015, President Obama vetoed a congressional resolution which sought to overturn new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules, calling for expedited elections as to whether an employer’s employees will be represented by a labor union. Congress had criticized the new NLRB rules...