Labour & Employment

The attorneys in Hodgson Russ’s Labour & Employment Practise have extensive experience counselling public, private, union, and non-union clients in matters involving a wide range of labour and employment laws. We generally represent management exclusively.

We assist CEOs, CFOs, human resources professionals, employee benefits managers, and corporate counsel from companies headquartered across the United States and around the world with legal issues relating to managing employees and union relations. Hodgson Russ represents clients in a wide range of industries, including broadcast media, financial institutions, food service, health care providers, manufacturers, municipalities, retailers, school districts, service providers, technology companies, and a wide range of other businesses.

Hodgson Russ labour and employment attorneys focus on preventive steps first. Avoidance of litigation and human resource problems is the most efficient method of minimizing the risk of costly employment disputes. However, should a dispute occur, Hodgson Russ attorneys are well prepared to assist clients in resolving disputes with current and former employees and the unions that represent them. Keeping our clients’ fiscal, operational, and public relations needs in mind, our attorneys strive first to diffuse problematic situations without formal litigation in the United States, often using mediation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Mediation Program, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the State Employment Relations Board. In cases where it is impossible to arrive at a resolution short of litigation, Hodgson Russ attorneys aggressively seek favourable results before arbitrators, administrative agencies, and the courts.

Our Labour & Employment Practise provides ongoing education and information to clients concerning changes in laws and regulations, and we regularly present conferences and on-site training sessions for executives, managers, and supervisors, to help in preventing situations that might result in litigation.

Our attorneys practise before all United States government agencies and courts that adjudicate employment and labour matters, including:

  • All courts in New York State
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Federal District Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • Public Employment Relations Board
  • Workers’ Compensation Board and Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
  • State fair employment practises agencies
  • S. Department of Labor

Hodgson Russ has been awarded prestigious “Best Law Firms” Metropolitan Tier 1 rankings by Best Lawyers/U.S. News & World Report in the Labor Law – Management and Employment Law – Management categories.

Employment Law

Hodgson Russ’s labour and employment law practise, which has grown in scope for more than 50 years, includes extensive capabilities in matters in the United States involving the National Labor Relations Act, the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as numerous civil rights laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law, the Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment laws, and other laws regulating an employer’s relationship with its employees.

Hodgson Russ attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in state and federal courts as well as alternative dispute resolution forums, such as mediation and arbitration, and regularly represent clients in contested proceedings, including administrative hearings, trials, motions, and appeals.

Hodgson Russ attorneys provide counsel to employers on issues including:

  • Employment discrimination avoidance
  • Pre-employment applications, employment contracts, restrictive covenants, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, employment contracts, and employee handbooks
  • Affirmative action and OFCCP compliance reviews for federal contractors
  • Effective, defensible programs for drug testing, family leave, attendance improvement, supervisor training, occupational safety and health, employee benefits, workforce reduction, and sexual and other unlawful harassment avoidance
  • Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance compliance
  • Federal and state wage and hour laws

Hodgson Russ defends employers in adversarial proceedings by:

  • Representing employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state fair employment practises agencies
  • Investigating charges and complaints
  • Providing counsel and representation in court proceedings
  • Representing employers in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and state labour agencies
  • Handling hearings and appeals before other federal and state administrative agencies
  • Providing counsel on handling grievances, including drafting grievance answers
  • Providing representation during arbitration through witness preparation and evidence gathering, preparation of pre-hearing statements, presentation of employer’s case at hearings, and writing post-hearing briefs
  • Providing representation in audits of wage and hour and other employment practises by state and federal agencies

Labour Law

Hodgson Russ labour attorneys assist clients in managing union relationships. We also help clients who want to maintain union-free status by:

  • Providing counsel on labour practises to identify weaknesses before problems are encountered
  • Counselling and training supervisors and managers
  • Providing advice on responses to union-organizing campaigns
  • Providing advice on bargaining unit issues and employer campaigns in NLRB representation elections

Hodgson Russ attorneys help clients deal with unions that represent their employees by:

  • Recommending strategic plans for negotiations
  • Serving as spokespersons at the bargaining table
  • Analyzing cost and consequences of proposals
  • Working with mediators and other neutrals
  • Drafting proposals, counterproposals, and final contract language
  • Analyzing collective bargaining agreements
  • Counselling on strike or lockout strategies
  • Advising on documentation of incidents (affidavits, investigations)
  • Instituting legal proceedings when necessary, including actions for temporary restraining orders and preliminary or permanent injunctions
  • Defending unfair labour practise and improper practise charges
  • Assisting in filing charges where appropriate


Labour & Employment Attorneys
Lura Bechtel
Lura Bechtel
Phone: 416.595.2693
Joseph L. Braccio
Phone: 716.848.1436
Peter Godfrey
Phone: 716.848.1246


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