Working with employers to achieve their objectives and to navigate the complexities of the employer-employee relationship, Ruder Ware attorneys provide intuitive, effective solutions and informed counsel to both private sector and public sector employers. Three of our attorneys have contributed to a book published by the State Bar of Wisconsin entitled Public Sector Labor Relations in Wisconsin. This book is currently the only comprehensive treatise covering all aspects of public sector labor relations in Wisconsin.
With decades of experience working on all issues involving employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act as well as state labor laws such as the Wisconsin Municipal Employment Relations Act, our representation covers an employer’s workforce of all sizes, unionized and union-free. Our attorneys have served as chief spokesperson in collective bargaining with a number of unions across the state of Wisconsin and in numerous other states, in addition to guiding nonunion clients on maintaining their union-free status.
Below is a sampling of services provided to union employers:
- Contract Negotiations and Litigation. Representation of employers in union contract negotiations and arbitration of contract disputes.
- Union Election Campaigns. Representation of employers in all aspects related to union election petitions and provide counsel and advice regarding development and implementation of campaign strategy to defeat union organizing attempts.
- Union Decertification. Our attorneys have extensive experience working with employers to keep their workplace union-free. In addition, we’ve worked to decertify unions after the employees have become dissatisfied with unionization.
- Collective Bargaining. Acting as chief spokesperson or as counsel for employers handling their own bargaining, our attorneys regularly negotiate the terms and conditions of employment as part of the collective bargaining process under the guidelines of the National Labor Relations Act.
- Review of Current Collective Bargaining Agreements. Our attorneys work alongside clients at every stage of the bargaining agreement process. Prior to the bargaining commencement, our attorneys work with clients to draft and submit proposals to employee organizations.
- Developing Bargaining Support Data. Utilizing our in-house research center, we prepare comparative economic data to support an employer’s position in collective bargaining, mediation, and interest arbitration. As part of the process, our attorneys prepare and verify costs associated with bargaining unit proposals and settlements.
- Impasse Resolution Procedures. We represent public sector employers in utilizing the impasse (i.e., mediation and arbitration) procedures set forth under Sections 111.70 and 111.77 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
- Contract Administration.
- Multiemployer Plan Matters. We advise employees with their obligations to multiemployer pension plans, including withdrawal liability issues.
- Grievance and Contract Interpretation. Our attorneys prepare and draft initial legal opinions on grievance matters and briefs submitted to an arbitrator in support of our client’s position for grievance arbitration hearings.
- Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and State and Federal Courts. We represent clients before the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and in state and federal courts in matters such as unit determination, declaratory rulings, and prohibited practice complaints.
- Family Medical Leave Compliance/Discrimination/Unemployment Compensation/Workers’ Compensation. Our attorneys review policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts and counsel employers on legislative compliance. In addition, our attorneys represent employers involved in litigation with the Department of Workforce Development, Department of Labor, and state and federal courts and administrative agencies with respect to compliance with the state Family and Medical Leave Act and discrimination, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation matters.
- Union Election Campaigns. Our attorneys review union election petitions and consult with the employer regarding eligibility for union representation and union election campaigns.
Recent Achievements in Labor Law:
- Represented numerous clients in union contract negotiations and grievance arbitrations.
- Represented several employers who successfully decertified unions representing their employees.
- Successfully negotiated new labor agreements with two unions for a major healthcare provider as a precondition to the purchase of a healthcare facility in another state.
As part of a full-service law firm, our attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, the largest Wisconsin law firm headquartered north of Madison, also provides legal counsel in Business Transactions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Trusts & Estates.