Mr. Cohen has counselled management and represented employers in all aspects of labor law, employment law and litigation exclusively since 1988. Before joining Ogletree Deakins, he had been a founding principal of a respected local boutique for more than 16 years. A large part of his practice involves the assistance of human resource professionals with the administration of workplace policies and procedures with an emphasis on litigation avoidance, wage and hour compliance, workplace violence prevention, affirmative action, union negotiations and contract administration, arbitration and union elections. Mr. Cohen has extensive experience litigating in state and federal court, before the National Labor Relations Board and MERC. He regularly defends class and collective actions, enforces restrictive covenants, negotiates collective bargaining agreements, and defends labor grievances through arbitration.
Mr. Cohen has obtained numerous trial court, administrative and arbitration victories for his clients, consulted with businesses in dozens of union election campaigns, including campaigns on behalf of Michigan State District Courts, has negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements, and has been lead consultant on several large strikes, including a regional strike on behalf of a large bread company and a national strike on behalf of a uniform and linen company. Several of his cases have resulted in published appellate or trial court opinions or “unpublished” opinions available on-line:
- Sustained dismissal of a hybrid 301 brought by the Teamsters because action did not breach the labor agreement. 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 528 (6th Cir. App.)
- Preserved the availability of the miscellaneous federal overtime exemptions for Michigan employers in a 34 plaintiff collective action. Alexander v. Perfection Bakeries, Inc., 267 Mich. App. 161(2005). Mr. Cohen later assisted with the drafting of Michigan legislation to amend the Michigan Minimum Wage Law to address and correct the legislative oversight at issue in the case.
- Dismissed a union’s putative class action alleging bid-rigging and failure to comply with prevailing wage requirements of Michigan’s competitive bidding statute because such claims were pre-empted. SEIU Local 3 v Knight Facilities Mgt. 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8967.
- Dismissed an age discrimination claim by car salesman whose numbers failed to meet dealership expectations. Coppenhaver v. Jack Cauley Chevrolet and General Motors Corp., 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 78543.
- Dismissed an ADA claim because plaintiff was not a qualified individual with a disability where she claimed a respiratory condition and chemical reaction to chemicals used by her to clean. Horn v. Knight Facilities Mgt., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170807
Mr. Cohen has written and lectured extensively on various employment and labor law issues. He has spoken to Congressional staff members through the American Bar Association on the topic of Federal employment and labor legislation, and has addressed the ABA National Meetings on the FMLA and its interplay with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Cohen has conducted a number of management training courses for public and private sector organizations including the American Bar Association, the American Society of Industrial Security, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and the Council on Education in Management.