Overview

Private and public companies across the United States turn to us for advice on labor and employment, immigration and workers’ compensation issues; comprehensive preventive counseling and compliance services; and strategic, efficient defense in complex disputes. We focus on helping clients forge and maintain effective labor-management relations.

Our services cover the following key areas:

  • Employment counseling & preventive services
  • Employment litigation
  • Immigration issues
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claims
  • Traditional labor & union relations
  • Workers’ compensation

Whether companies call on us to serve as outside labor and employment counsel, immigration counsel or as an extension of their in-house human resources departments, we offer services according to our clients’ needs.

We advise employers on employee handbooks and policy development, train employees and provide guidance on all aspects of ever-changing employment regulations. Our lawyers counsel management teams on effective personnel management strategies in union and nonunion environments and provide training to help minimize the risk of litigation. We also counsel human resources professionals on strategies for hiring foreign nationals and federal requirements relating to employment eligibility verification (the I-9 process).

When litigation is unavoidable, clients trust us to secure courtroom victories. Our experienced trial lawyers provide representation in the full spectrum of employment litigation, from individual cases to multiparty claims and class action suits.

Having a motivated, content workforce is critical to the success of all companies. That is why our lawyers spend considerable time uncovering the root of the issue and providing solutions to not only address existing problems, but also implement policies and programs to prevent future legal pitfalls and costly litigation.

Experience
Representative Experience
Employment Litigation 
  • Defeated an attempt to certify a nationwide class of over 1,600 individuals in a wage-hour action pending in federal district court in Florida.
  • Tried a wrongful discharge/intentional tort case to a jury verdict. The defense verdict on the wrongful discharge claim and the intentional tort claim was later settled, resulting in a very favorable outcome for the company.
  • Obtained dismissal of a wage and hour collective action against an Ohio nonprofit organization that operates multiple group homes, where the plaintiff claimed that she and members of the class were misclassified as exempt employees.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a worldwide package delivery service in federal court in Kentucky, where the plaintiff challenged the employer’s company-wide policy of providing light duty only to employees who suffered job-related injuries, claiming that the policy violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large plastics manufacturer against a class of retirees, where the union claimed that the manufacturer violated collective bargaining agreements by requiring union retirees to pay a portion of medical insurance premiums for the first time.
  • Successfully defended a non-compete case in a two-day hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction in federal district court in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a national client in a non-compete case, which prevented both the former employee and her spouse, who was not employed by nor a party to any agreement with the client, from any competitive employment.
  • Obtained summary judgment from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in an age discrimination case for a national company. The plaintiff, let go during a reduction-in-force, was the most senior member of the department by more than 15 years.
  • Obtained summary judgment from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in an FMLA/pregnancy discrimination case for a national company. The plaintiff was terminated from her employment within days of returning to work from maternity leave. Successfully defended the appeal of this matter before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Other Matters
  • Aggressively defended two Fortune Global 500 companies against nine OSHA citation items resulting from a chemical release, eight of which were classified as “serious,” resulting in a successful settlement wherein OSHA agreed to vacate six of the “serious” items, reclassify one of the “serious” items to an “other than serious classification,” and reduce the total fine by more than 60%.
  • Successfully defended a chemical products manufacturer, resulting in the dismissal of unfair labor practice charges related to the termination of an employee and a company’s non-solicitation policy.
  • Redesigned the HR/employment complaint procedure for a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company employing 9,000 people. This project involved meeting with the HR team from all U.S. plants, designing a comprehensive employee complaint procedure to handle EEO, harassment, whistleblower, SOX, etc., complaints and conducting “train-the trainer” workshops.
  • Conducted a successful three-day labor arbitration for a warehousing client over the implementation and reasonableness of computerized order selector productivity standards.
  • Handled the longest Cincinnati-area strike in recent history, including picket line monitoring, injunctive relief for picket line violence and successful contempt hearings against the union.
  • Negotiated labor agreements for employers whose employees are represented by the UAW, IAM, Teamsters and the newly formed USW (Steelworkers, PACE, etc.).
  • Assisted a multi-state manufacturer with four OFCCP audits of its affirmative action plans, including hiring, promotion, termination and compensation analyses.
  • Counseled an Ohio-based manufacturer in the purchase and assimilation of a multi-state competitor, including substantial production-level RIFs, consolidation of both management teams, WARN compliance and drafting of state-law compliant releases.
  • Assisted a manufacturer with the purchase of a unionized operation and subsequent union negotiations over closure, severance, WARN and release-related issues.

We offer a broad range of services to meet your labor and employment needs, including client counseling and prevention, employment litigation, management-union relations, immigration and other services.

Client Counseling & Prevention

We advise employers on their employment policies and practices, including:

  • Affirmative action plans
  • Drug policies
  • Employment handbooks
  • Employment contracts
  • Family and medical leave
  • Federal and state investigations
  • Immigration issues
  • Independent contractor contracts
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Occupational safety and health issues
  • Plant closings
  • Privacy issues
  • Reductions-in-force
  • Return-to-work issues
  • Severance plans and releases
  • Sexual harassment training
  • Technology matters
  • Terminations
  • Trade/business secrets
  • Wage hour compliance
  • Workers’ compensation programs
Employment Litigation

We represent small and large employers in class actions and individual cases in state and federal courts, arbitrations and mediations. We have consciously chosen to integrate our counseling with our employment defense services; this strategy helps our clients to avoid future employment defense actions. Our areas of litigation experience include:

  • Age discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Implied and express contract
  • Non-compete defense and prosecution
  • Public policy torts
  • Race/national origin discrimination
  • Retaliation matters
  • Trade secret theft
  • Sexual and other harassment
  • Wrongful termination
Management-Union Relations

We provide traditional labor management-union services, including:

  • 301 actions
  • Defending unfair labor practice (ULP) charges
  • Developing strategies to meet union organizing campaigns
  • Grievance arbitrations
  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) issues
  • Negotiations and bargaining
  • Strike planning and injunctions
  • Supervisor training
  • Union avoidance
  • Union decertification
Immigration

Our Immigration services cover the full-scope of non-immigrant and immigrant classifications. Following is a sampling of the employment-based non-immigrant classifications that our corporate clients most often utilize:

  • Entertainers and athletes (P)
  • Exchange visitors (J)
  • Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O)
  • Intracompany transfers (L-1)
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (TN)
  • Professional/specialty workers (H-1B)
  • Traders and investors (E)

Additionally, we have seen many clients through the following processes:

  • Labor certifications
  • Naturalization
  • Permanent residence
Other Services

Thompson Hine's Workplace Audits and Training program offers audits and training programs that are interactive, customized and flexible.