Government Relations

Today, perhaps more than ever, the employer community faces significant challenges from Congress and the new Administration, as well as from state and local governments. At this critical time, the Jackson Lewis Government Relations Practice Group - comprised of highly accomplished labor and employment lawyers with extensive lobbying and "Washington practice" expertise - is uniquely positioned to advocate for fair and appropriate policy-making in the employment law area at the legislative, regulatory, and judicial levels.

Over the past decade, our attorneys have filed amicus curiae briefs on many occasions to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to other Federal and state courts and the National Labor Relations Board; have filed comments during rule-making to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Government Services Administration, and the National Labor Relations Board; have testified on numerous occasions before U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives committees and subcommittees; have lobbied extensively – and successfully – in defense of employer and employee rights in the employment area; and have been active on policy-making issues before the American Bar Association's House of Delegates.

Among the many issues on which Jackson Lewis attorneys have taken a prominent leadership role are the rights of employers and employees to engage in arbitration of employment disputes, the rights of employers to make fully informed hiring decisions by conducting criminal-records checks, and secret-ballot elections regarding union representation.

Our Government Relations Practice Group, led by Mark de Bernardo, Garen Dodge, and Aloysius Hogan, can assist clients with all of the following:

  • Articulating the employer community's positions forcefully and effectively on Capitol Hill;
     
  • Ensuring that Senators and Representatives defending employer and employee rights against pro-employee and pro-union special-interest groups, and supporting balance in our employment and labor laws, receive the legal and technical support and resources critically necessary to their efforts;
     
  • Gaining access to Government officials on Capitol Hill, in the Administration, at general-interest trade associations and other business organizations, and with other policy groups and natural allies on labor and employment issues;
     
  • Influencing major court decisions on employment and labor issues by filing amicus curiae briefs;
     
  • Ensuring that employer views are considered during formal rule-makings by Federal regulatory agencies; and
     
  • Supporting positive initiatives, and opposing and/or improving initiatives that would inappropriately restrict employers.

Jackson Lewis Government Relations Practice Group attorneys have founded and currently serve as leaders of The Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving employer and employee rights in drug- and alcohol-abuse-prevention programs, and to positively influencing the national debate on these issues.

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Diversity

Jackson Lewis is committed to promoting an inclusive culture where diversity is valued by everyone.  We are proud of our role as a leader in educating and training employers in the laws of equal opportunity and affirmative action, as well as best practices for corporate diversity programs and initiatives.  We share our clients’ goals to emphasize diversity, integrity, and respect for the contribution of every employee. We understand the importance of having a workforce that reflects the various communities in which we work, and upon which we can rely to creatively develop preventive strategies and positive solutions for our clients.  Jackson Lewis seeks to recruit, hire, retain, develop, and advance a diverse team of employees who share our passion for representing management in all aspects of workplace law, and strives to consistently act under the following guiding principles:

 

  • Encourage a better understanding of how diverse individual experiences and backgrounds can strengthen the firm and its productivity through a continuing firm-wide communication and educational process
  • Strive to help every employee realize his or her professional potential within the firm
  • Treat every person with dignity and respect
  • Promote understanding and acceptance of individual differences
  • Respect our employees’ needs to have a work/life balance

 

The firm has a standing Diversity Committee divided into sub-committees, both to ensure all vital areas are addressed, and to provide leadership opportunities for female and minority attorneys.  The Diversity Committee is Chaired by Senior Partner Weldon H. Latham, and consists of the Co-Chairs of five Attorney Resource Groups (ARGs), discussed below.  Joan Ackerstein, a member of the firm’s Management Committee, serves as Management Committee Liaison to the Diversity Committee, and Partner, Michael Hatcher, serves as the firm’s Diversity Manager.  The ARGs address mentoring, business development, pro bono activities and recruiting.  Our Diversity Committee coordinates the activities of our ARGs, which include African American; Asian American; Hispanic; Women; and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender attorneys.  Each of the ARGs meets periodically to discuss business development opportunities, client service initiatives, and other professional issues. 

 

The following groups act under the guidance of the Diversity Committee:

 

African-American Attorney Resource Group

Co-Chaired by LeRoy Watkins (Morristown office) and Dev Sukhdeo (Miami office)

A resource for Jackson Lewis attorneys looking to build and maintain business relationships with HR professionals, corporate counsel and community organizations. 

 

  • Regular meetings and informal network that helps foster a positive and supportive forum in which issues unique to attorneys of color are addressed
  • Attorneys sponsor and participate in Minority Corporate Counsel Association and National Association of African Americans in Human Resources events, are active members of the National Bar Association and National Employment Law Conference

Asian American Attorney Resource Group

Co-Chaired by Tanya Bovee (Hartford office) and Nicky Jatana (Los Angeles office)

Primary goal is to increase the firm’s visibility among Asian Pacific American and other minority attorneys.

 

  • Proactive recruitment efforts at the law school level to encourage candidates of different backgrounds to apply for positions with the firm
  • Mentoring and assisting Jackson Lewis attorneys in their training and development
  • Introducing and communicating the capabilities of the firm to in-house counsel, human resource professionals, and other key decision-makers within the Asian Pacific American business community and beyond
  • Facilitating a variety of management education programs and presentations on employment, labor, benefits and immigration law topics
  • Supporting and participating in a number of professional organizations, including the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the North American South Asian Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Hispanic Attorney Resource Group 

Co-Chaired by James Botana (Chicago office) and Pedro Torres-Diaz (Miami office)

Holds regular meetings to foster communication and teamwork among the group’s members in connection with our efforts to develop as lawyers and expand our business.

 

  • Committed to  increasing the firm’s visibility among Hispanic-American and other minority attorneys, as well as mentoring the firm’s attorneys to assist in their training and development
  • Has developed and maintained its Spanish Language Legal Services to enhance the firm’s reputation and service level to existing and prospective clients in need of such services 
  • Attorneys participate in Minority Corporate Counsel Association and Hispanic National Bar Association events at both the national and local level

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Attorney Resource Group

Co-Chaired by Michelle Phillips (White Plains office) and Pedro Forment (Miami office)

A consortium of attorneys and staff committed to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the workplace, our LGBT ARG provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas, current legal trends, and information on LGBT issues that are then shared internally and externally to promote an inclusive work environment in which respect and tolerance are the pillars of our firm culture.

 

  • Reaches out to LGBT and diversity professionals to build and maintain business relationships with corporate counsel, human resource professionals, chief executive officers and trade, non-profit, and professional organizations
  • Routinely provides speakers for a variety of management education-focused presentations, including the avoidance of sexual orientation and gender identity harassment and discrimination, diversity initiatives, domestic partner and marriage benefits and emerging same-sex legal developments
  • Participates in/supports a number of organizations and events, including the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York, Society for Human Resource Management Diversity Conference, Echelon Magazine, Professionals in Human Resources Association, the National Lesbian & Gay Law Association and the Lavender Law Conference

Women's Attorney Resource Group

Co-Chaired by Susan Corcoran (White Plains office), Peggy Strange (Hartford office) and Samantha Hoffman (Orange County office)

Committed to involving Jackson Lewis attorneys in opportunities for business development by and for women.  Our firm has been a leader in this area, demonstrated most notably by its annual employment law conferences for women in-house counsel and human resource executives. 

 

  • Holds regular teleconferences to foster new and sustained marketing initiatives and share successes from around the firm
  • Assists the firm to attract and retain professional and support staff and to create new business opportunities firm wide through fostering the development of rainmaking and leadership skills among Jackson Lewis attorneys
  • Expands the scope and breadth of opportunities for all Jackson Lewis attorneys and facilitates participation by providing mentoring and sharing resources specific to this aspect of our business development efforts
  • Committed to enhancing the firm’s reputation among women’s legal and professional groups through active participation and leadership in such organizations
  • Includes membership in women’s bar associations, local chambers of commerce, and women’s business organizations