Labor Relations & Disputes

Featured Publication:

3 Decisions A Biden NLRB Will Likely Overturn [Law360]

Daniel Johns authored an article about the Biden administration's intent to promote and seek passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.


Cozen O’Connor represents a broad spectrum of private and public sector employers in labor relations and disputes. For our unionized clients, we handle unfair labor practice proceedings and grievance arbitrations; negotiate individual and multi-employer collective bargaining agreements; prepare for and respond to picket lines, strikes, lockouts, and other economic campaigns; and work with employers during union election campaigns. We also help employers avoid unionization through positive employee relations and regain nonunion status when employees indicate they no longer wish to be union-represented. We are experienced labor litigators, appearing frequently before federal, state, and appellate courts; federal agencies and departments (such as the EEOC, NLRB, DOL, IRS, OSHA, and ICE); state agencies and departments; and arbitration panels.

For our unionized clients, our labor practice is committed to fostering constructive management-labor relations over the long term. Our focus is on protecting our clients’ interests, with a recognition that a working relationship with union counterparts is often a desired goal.

Cozen O’Connor’s traditional labor attorneys demonstrate a real commitment to understanding and supporting their clients’ business goals. We think not only about the technical legal matters, but also about how labor issues connect in a practical sense to business operations and strategy. Our attorneys manage labor relations with a clear eye toward the bottom line.



  • Defend clients in unfair labor practice proceedings and handle grievance arbitrations
  • Negotiate individual and multi-employer collective bargaining agreements
  • Prepare for and respond to picketing, strikes, lockouts and other economic tactics
  • Work with employers to avoid unionization through positive employee relations or to regain nonunion status when employees no longer wish to be union-represented
  • Advise clients on the labor relations consequences of business events, including mergers, spin-offs, acquisitions, and bankruptcies
  • Represent employers in significant labor-related litigations, mediations, and arbitrations



3 Decisions A Biden NLRB Will Likely Overturn [Law360]

April 26, 2021

Daniel Johns authored an article about the Biden administration's intent to promote and seek passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

First and Ten: Will College Athletes Be the Next Wave of Unionization? [Labor & Employment Alert]

March 28, 2014

Everyone recognizes that college athletics are big business for the schools, but do they exploit the student athletes under the guise of amateurism? Thanks to a new decision out of the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board, we will likely find out if scholarship athletes will be treated as employees with the right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. On March 26, 2014, the NLRB regional director concluded that the scholarship recipients on the Northwestern University football team are employees and ordered an election to determine if they desire union representation.

Supreme Court Holds That Items of Protective Clothing Are ‘Clothes’ For Purposes of the FLSA [Labor & Employment Alert]

January 28, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday released its much-anticipated decision in the case of Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, and held that Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — which allows parties to a collective bargaining agreement to decide for themselves through negotiations whether “time spent in changing clothes … at the beginning or end of each workday” is compensable — applies to articles of protective clothing such as flame-retardant jackets, pants, hoods, snoods, wristlets, leggings, hardhats, work gloves and steel-toed boots.

Leaving the Door Open to Departing Employees [The Legal Intelligencer]

July 02, 2013

Remember that group of employees laid off a few months ago? One has applied for a new job opening and was not rehired. Now that employee is claiming that the company has engaged in unlawful, discriminatory action in failing to rehire her. This scenario is all too real. Indeed, Gonzalez v. Molded Acoustical Products of Easton, 118 FEP Cases 877 (E.D. Pa. 2013), a recent case out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, should remind employers of the risk exposure associated with hiring for positions that were previously impacted by reductions-in-force.

Circuit Court Ruling that NLRB Recess Appointments were Constitutionally Invalid Calls into Question Enforceability of 2012 NLRB Decisions [Labor & Employment Alert]

January 28, 2013

On Friday, January 25, 2013, in Noel Canning v. NLRB, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were constitutionally invalid, throwing into question the enforceability of all NLRB decisions issued by the Board since January 2012. The petitioner in the case argued that a February 8, 2012 NLRB order was invalid because three members of the five-member Board (Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn and Richard F. Griffin) were improperly appointed as recess appointments.

NLRB Overrules Anheuser-Busch: Witness Statements Now Subject to Disclosure [Labor & Employment Alert]

January 08, 2013

Last year, we notified you that the National Labor Relations Board will now consider a general employer rule requiring confidentiality during an internal investigation into an employee complaint to be an unfair labor practice. The Board has now taken things even further.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

Labor and Employment Law Update

June 14, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

Critical Employment Law Issues for 2015

November 05, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

2018 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Ranks Cozen O’Connor

February 01, 2018

In the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms, Cozen O’Connor is ranked nationally in 17 practice areas and regionally in 64 practice areas.

Cozen O'Connor ranked in 2017 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"

November 23, 2016

Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.

Sixty-Two Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 15, 2016

Sixty-two Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 13 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.


Thomas S. Giotto

Co-Chair, Labor & Employment Department

(412) 620-6550

Joseph E. Tilson

Co-Chair, Labor & Employment Department

(312) 474-7880


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