Anthony B. Byergo

Office Managing Shareholder Seattle

Mr. Byergo is the managing shareholder of the Seattle office and chair of the firm's national collective bargaining practice subgroup.  He has more than 25 years of experience representing and advising management in labor and employment matters, and has been honored by publications such as Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, and Super Lawyers

Mr. Byergo handles a full range of traditional labor relations matters, including collective bargaining and strike preparation, representation campaigns, corporate campaigns,  and labor arbitration and unfair labor practice proceedings.  His practice is national in scope and he has handled representation and unfair labor practice matters arising in two-thirds of NLRB’s Regional Offices.  His experience includes representing management in over 200 labor arbitrations, covering issues ranging from strike and bargaining disputes, to subcontracting and mass layoffs, to discipline and discharge cases.  He has served as chief negotiator for management in scores of collective bargaining negotiations, and successfully advised management in union representation campaigns covering as many as 1800 employees in locations from Alaska to the Virgin Islands. 

Mr. Byergo is also a senior trial lawyer and maintains an active employment litigation docket.  Recent successes include obtaining defense verdicts in jury trials alleging sex, race, disability and retaliation claims; appellate decisions affirming summary judgment in sex harassment, disability, ERISA and USERRA claims; and summary judgment in a variety of race, sex, age, and disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims under Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA.  He also has extensive experience successfully representing employers in executive termination, non-compete and unfair competition disputes.

Mr. Byergo began his legal career in Chicago, and then served in lead labor relations and legal roles for a national retailer and a national telecommunications company.  He previously practiced in our firm’s Kansas City office which he helped open in 2005, and continues to be available to serve a select group of clients in the region.


Experience

Mr. Byergo has a long track record of success in representing leading employers at the bargaining table, and advising them behind the scenes in bargaining, labor strategy, and union avoidance matters.  Many of these engagements are confidential.  However, among leading employers that he has recently represented at the bargaining table are:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (international animal health pharmaceutical and biological manufacturer)
  • EaglePicher Technologies (leading manufacturer of mobile power solutions for aviation and defense applications)
  • GE Transportation (the rail engine operating division of General Electric)
  • Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department and Board of Police Commissioners
  • Watco Companies (a national operator of shortline railroads and ancillary businesses)

Additionally, during his career, Mr. Byergo has achieved the dismissal of well over 100 unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board.  Some representative and recent cases, include the following:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (UFCW), 350 NLRB 678 (2007) (NLRB decision finding that employer lawfully locked out employees and did not violate Section 8(a)(5) in connection with offering employees opportunity to return to work)
  • Sprint Communications (CWA), 343 NLRB 987 (2004) (NLRB affirms ALJ decision finding no violation of Section 8(a)(5) duty to bargain in case arising from information requests and administration of grievance process)
  • EaglePicher Technologies Inc. (Steelworkers), Numerous Charges (2015-2016) (Regional Director dismissal or withdrawal of numerous Section 8(a)(3) and (5) charges)
  • Altura Communication Solutions (IBEW) (2015), Case No. 13-CA-088235 (withdrawal after investigation of Section 8(a)(3) discrimination charge relating to elimination of position)
  • YRC Freight, Inc. (Teamsters), Case No. 14-CA-108376 (2013) (Regional Director dismissal of Section 8(a)(5) duty to bargain charges relating to restructuring of operations)
  • GE Transportation Remanufacturing Services (IBEW), (2012), Case No. 17-CA-091619 (Regional Director dismissal of numerous Section 8(a)(1) and (5) charges relating to full contract negotiations)
  • Altura Communication Solutions (IBEW), (2012), Case No. 13-CA-088235 (withdrawal after investigation of Section 8(a)(5) duty to bargain charges relating to full contract negotiations)
  • Starbucks Coffee Company (SWU), (2011), Case No. 17-CA-063783 (Regional Director dismissal of Section 8(a)(3) termination charge)
  • Sara Lee Bakery Group, Inc. (Teamsters), (2011), Case No. 18-CA-19548 (Regional Director dismissal of Section 8(a)(5) duty to bargain charges relating to restructuring and elimination of routes)
  • Starbucks Coffee Company (Individual), (2010), Case No. 17-CA-24894 (Regional Director dismissal of Section 8(a)(3) discipline charge)
  • The Boeing Company (Machinists), Case No. 17-CA-24761 (2010) (Regional Director dismissal of Section 8(a)(5) duty to bargain charges relating to full contract negotiations)

He has had similar success in labor arbitration matters involving discipline and discharge matters, contract interpretation disputes, and interest arbitration, including the following recent cases:

  • MV Transportation and ATU Local 1637 (2016) (interest arbitration award resolving wages and other issues for metropolitan transit system contractor)
  • GBW Railcar Services and Steelworkers Local 9523 (2015) (upholding termination of 38 year employee and local union vice president for sabotage)
  • CertainTeed Corporation and Teamsters Local 41 (2015) (upholding discharge of 16 year manufacturing employee for angry outburst toward management)
  • Earthgrains Baking Companies, Inc. and Teamsters Local 245 (2015) (upholding company restructuring of operations and elimination of six transport driver positions)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and UFCW Local 2 (St. Joseph) (2014) (upholding company subcontracting of maintenance work)
  • Watco Mechanical Services and Steelworkers Local 1157L (2014) (finding grievance procedurally inarbitrable and upholding discharge of 13 year mechanical shop employee)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and UFCW Local 6 (Ft. Dodge) (2013) (upholding company subcontracting of painting work)
  • Mondelēz International, Inc. and Teamster Local 823 (2013) (upholding discharge of route sales driver for conduct towards customers and co-workers)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and UFCW Local 6 (Ft. Dodge)(2013) (upholding company subcontracting of maintenance work)
  • Earthgrains Baking Companies, Inc., and Teamsters Local 955 (2012) (upholding discharge of 9 year route sales representative for continuing performance issues)
  • City of Mt. Vernon and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council (2012) (upholding discharge of police officer for falsification of police reports)
  • Earthgrains Baking Companies, Inc., and Teamsters Local 215 (2012) (denying union grievance seeking additional vacation pay on retirement)
  • Sara Lee Foods and IOUE Local 101-S (2011) (upholding company subcontracting of maintenance work)
  • Altura Communication Solutions and IBEW Local 21 (2011) (upholding company restructuring of operations and elimination of logistics positions)

In addition to his traditional labor experience, Mr. Byergo has been lead counsel in numerous jury trials, including the following recent matters:

  • Wright v. GE Engine Services, LLC, Case No. 1516-CV09894 (Jackson County (Mo.), 2016) (full defense verdict on sex harassment, sex discrimination, and retaliation claims under the MHRA)
  • Fritzler v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Case No. 6:15-cv-01193-JTM (D. Kan. 2016) (full defense verdict on disability and retaliation claims brought under the ADA and FMLA).
  • Lopez v. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., Case No. 10BU-CV04665 (Buchanan County (Mo.), 2011) (full defense verdict on claims of sex discrimination and retaliation under the MHRA).
  • LaFaver v. Tire Kingdom, Inc., Case No. ED 96316 (St. Louis County (Mo.), 2010) (two plaintiff sex harassment and retaliation case brought against national tire chain in which one plaintiff obtained only nominal damages on one claim and a defense verdict was obtained on all other claims; appellate court affirmed significant reduction in attorneys fee award at 350 S.W.3d 862 (2011)).
  • Hughes v. Rainbow Stores, Case No. 05-4425-CV-WAK (W.D. Mo. 2007) (full defense verdict in Section 1981 customer race discrimination case).   
  • Wilkins v. Kmart Corporation, Case No. 07-3208 (D. Kan. 2007) (full defense verdict on claims of workers compensation retaliation; affirmed on appeal 298 Fed. Appx. 723 (2008)).

He has also handled numerous cases in front of federal and state courts of appeal, including the following recent matters:

  • Denn v. CSL Plasma, Inc., 816 F.3d 1027(8th Cir. 2016) (affirming summary judgment for national plasma collection company in sex discrimination and retaliation suit brought under MHRA)
  • Smith v. Morton International, Inc., 449 Fed. Appx. 739 (10th Cir. 2011) (affirming summary judgment for national salt manufacturer employer in ADA disability discrimination action)
  • Carrera v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 449 Fed. Appx. 753 (10th Cir. 2011) (affirming summary judgment for national employer in Title VII sex harassment claim brought by meat packing plant employee)
  • Crews v. City of Mt. Vernon, 567 F.3d 860 (7th Cir. 2009) (affirming summary judgment for city employer in USERRA interference and retaliation claim brought by city police officer)
  • Cole v. UAW and DaimlerChrysler Corporation, 533 F.3d 932 (8th Cir. 2008) (affirming summary judgment for national automobile manufacturer against 119 former employees seeking enhanced retirement incentives in suit brought under Section 301 of the LMRA)

And in many matters, he has been able to obtain summary judgment on behalf of our clients, including the following representative matters:

  • Clark v. YRC Freight, 2016 Westlaw 918047 (W.D. Mo. 2016) (granting summary judgment to national LTL carrier in race discrimination case brought by two former drivers)
  • Lopez v. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., 2015 Westlaw 5016699 (Buchanan Cty (Mo), 2015) (granting summary judgment to animal health pharmaceutical company in failure to hire retaliation suit brought under MHRA)
  • Hoss v. Art Institutes International-Kansas City, Inc., 2014 Westlaw 3845134 (D. Kan. 2014) (granting summary judgment for national educational employer in Title VII sex harassment and retaliation case brought by admissions employee)
  • Carter v. CSL Plasma Inc., 63 F. Supp. 3d 1034 (W.D. Mo., 2014) (granting summary judgment to national plasma collection employer in sex discrimination and retaliation suit brought under MHRA)
  • International Association of Machinists, Lodge 70  v. The Boeing Company, 814 F.Supp.2d 1150 (D. Kan. 2011) (granting summary judgment to international aerospace manufacturer in union’s suit to compel arbitration of grievance under Section 301 of LMRA)
  • Allied Sales Drivers and Warehousemen, Local No. 289, IBT v. Sara Lee Bakery Group, 2011 Westlaw 1457631 (D. Minn. 2011) (granting summary judgment to national fresh bakery company in union’s suit to compel arbitration of grievance under Section 301 of LMRA)
  • AZ Automotive Corp. v. United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Worker International Union, 2010 Westlaw 1946628 (D. Kan. 2010) (granting summary judgment to auto parts manufacturer in company’s declaratory judgment action to prevent arbitration of grievance under Section 301 of LMRA)
  • LaBrue v. GAB Robins North America, Inc., 2009 Westlaw 2355785 (D.Kan. 2009) (granting summary judgment to employer in ADA disability discrimination case brought by former claims adjuster)
  • Anderson v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 529 F. Supp. 2d 1270 (D. Kan. 2008) (granting summary judgment to national railway in age discrimination case brought under ADEA and KAAD brought by former manager)
  • Nichols v. Hendrick Corporation, 2008 Westlaw 920600 (D. Kan. 2008) (granting summary to auto dealership employer in ERISA denial of benefits claim)
  • Helms v. Express Pharmacy Services, 2007 Westlaw 541599 (W.D.Mo. 2007) (granting summary judgment to employer in sex and disability discrimination and Equal Pay Act case)
  • Welsch, Flatness, & Lutz v. Allied North America, Case No. 06CC-003782 (St. Louis County (Mo., 2007) (granting judgment to client and individual defendants in non-compete suit)
  • Coleman v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 2006 Westlaw 681113 (D. Kan. 2006) (granting summary judgment to national railway in race harassment, discrimination and retaliation case brought by current employee)

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Labor & Employment Section; Committee on Practice and Procedure Before the NLRB; Committee on the Development of the Law Under the NLRA)
  • Management Co-Chair (Region X - Missouri/Kansas) - ABA Committee on Practice and Procedure Before the NLRB
  • Northwestern Law Alumni Club of Seattle, Board Member
  • Chapter Editor, "How to Take a Case Before the NLRB" (Chapter 22) (BNA (Supp.), 2011)
  • Chapter Editor, "The Developing Labor Law" (Chapter 8) (BNA (Supp.), 2014)

Speeches:

  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Case Valuation Workshop'' - La Quinta - November 10, 2018
  • Restaurant Law Center Legal Summit (National Restaurant Ass’n) - ''The Fight for $15: Five Years Later'' - Chicago - October 25, 2018
  • American Bar Association, Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA (Mid-Winter Meeting) - ''Ten Dual Commandments: Ethics in Collective Bargaining'' - San Juan - March 02, 2018
  • General Electric PRL Training - ''NLRB Update: The Trump Board, Changes, Made, Changes Ahead … and Many Things Still the Same'' - Point Clear - January 24, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Not Your Father's Labor Law Environment Seminar - ''Bargaining to Protect the Business'' - Las Vegas - December 08, 2017
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''When the Hammer Falls: Big Verdicts of the Last Year and How to Avoid Them'' - Boca Raton - November 09, 2017
  • Restaurant Law Center Legal Summit (National Restaurant Ass’n) - ''Keeping the EEOC Out of Your Restaurants: Recent Trends and Cases'' - Chicago - October 27, 2017
  • Papa John's Operators Conference (PAPACON) - ''Rush Delivery: The Impact of the NLRB's New Expedited Election Rules'' - Orlando - April 2015
  • Not Your Father's NLRB - ''The Real Secret to Success: Positive Employee Relations'' - Chicago - March 2015
  • Not Your Father's NLRB - ''Who’s Eligible to Vote? Understanding How the NLRB Makes Bargaining Unit Decisions'' - Chicago - March 2015
  • General Electric PRL Training - ''Are You Ready for the Ambush? The NLRB's New Election Rules & Beyond'' - Point Clear - February 25, 2015
  • HR Southwest (Texas SHRM State Conference) - ''Legal Exchange (NLRB Developments)'' - Ft. Worth - October 06, 2014
  • Iowa SHRM State Conference - ''The Transformation of Union Organizing - The Impact of New Rules, New Technology, and New Tactics'' - Cedar Rapids - October 02, 2014
  • Not Your Father’s NLRB - ''Where’s the Fire? The NLRB’s Proposed ‘Ambush Election’ Rules'' - Washington, D.C. - June 5 - June 6, 2014
  • Not Your Father’s NLRB - ''How Low Can They Go? The NLRB’s View of Bargaining Unit'' - Washington, D.C. - June 5 - June 6, 2014
  • Arkansas SHRM State Conference - ''Do They Really have a Brain? Social Media and Anti-Social Behavior'' - Fort Smith - April 09, 2014
  • Kansas SHRM State Conference - ''Social Media & Anti-Social Behavior: One More Thing for HR to Deal With'' - Topeka - February 19, 2014
  • Iowa SHRM State Conference - ''Social Media & Anti-Social Behavior: One More Thing for HR to Deal With'' - Coralville - October 05, 2013
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC Sports & Entertainment Committee) - ''The Role of Decertification in NFL and NBA Collective Bargaining'' - Los Angeles - February 13, 2013
  • American Bar Association, Committee on the Development of the Law Under the NLRA (Mid-Winter Meeting) - ''Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, Nothing Remains Quite the Same: Is Deferral Dead or Simply Redesigned? Or Is Being Torn Between Two Forums Just Breaking All the Rules?'' - Key West - February 28, 2012

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

April 28, 2017 - SHRM Online - "May Day Protesters May Be Covered by Law"
August 10, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Minding Employee Behavior Off the Clock and Off the Premises"
May 14, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Strike Calls for Raise in Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour"

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