Frank Birchfield

Shareholder New York City

Frank provides a comprehensive array of services to employers in traditional labor relations law and employment law compliance and litigation. His traditional labor practice includes extensive experience in bargaining union contracts, handling ULP litigation and representation hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, conducting grievance arbitrations, and opposing union organizing campaigns. Frank works with large and small employers, including complex multi-employer organizations, across a variety of industries such as health care, waste management, financial services, building engineering and maintenance, hospitality, media, automotive, and shipping and transportation. These relationships have allowed Frank to bargain dozens of contracts as the employer’s chief negotiator, handle hundreds of NLRB proceedings and labor arbitrations, and counsel management through union organizing from pre-petition workforce analysis all the way through appellate challenges to union elections. Throughout his career, Frank has also advised employers targeted by union corporate campaigns, including the coordination of the employer’s response to non-traditional union pressure involving media relations, political affairs, regulatory compliance, and shareholder communications.

Frank’s employment practice is based on his two decades of experience counseling employers and litigating on their behalf in response to discrimination and harassment complaints, wage and hour issues, and common law claims relating to wrongful discharge and employment contracts. In addition to handling employment litigation for employers, Frank conducts sexual harassment training and investigations, wage and hour compliance audits, and OSHA workplace reviews, as well as providing ongoing counseling on a day-to-day basis regarding nearly every aspect of management’s relationship with employees and government enforcement personnel.

Frank also works extensively with employers in New York and New Jersey to analyze, draft, and litigate the enforceability of restrictive covenants such as non-competition/non-solicitation clauses and trade secret and confidentiality protections.


Experience

Examples of Frank’s work include:

  • Recording a record of five wins out of six elections held during the first year following the implementation of the NLRB’s ambush election rules.
  • Assisting an industrial employer in preventing union recognition at new facilities in New York despite an “after-acquired facilities” clause in a New Jersey union contract.
  • Representing an employer in suing a large employer association and international union for conspiring to force the member-employer to accept a bargaining unit of the union’s members.
  • Using restrictive covenants to obtain an emergency restraining order for a professional services employer against two employees who resigned with misappropriated employer data to set up a competing company, ultimately stopping the unlawful competition, identifying additional employees who assisted in the theft, and putting the unlawful competitor out of business.
  • Representing multiple franchise employers in resolving wage and hour investigations by the New York Attorney General’s Office and the New York Department of Labor.
  • Bargaining contracts for a large healthcare system with interlocking bargaining units of service employees and nurses, which resolved contentious relationships with two unions and initiated a decade of labor peace.
  • As lead labor counsel for a large employer, coordinating the defense of ULP litigation involving a dozen facilities targeted by complex allegations of single employer status and a discriminatory lockout, in addition to overseeing response to 50+ related ULP charges.
  • Functioning as a healthcare system’s acting in-house labor and employment counsel for six months, providing legal compliance advice for a workforce of 10,000 employees.
  • Achieving a complete defense verdict as co-counsel in a federal jury trial involving novel wage and hour claims relating to the status of systems administrators as exempt, salaried personnel.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a New York hospital system against a 30-year physician’s age discrimination claims.
  • Acting as the lead attorney in a high-profile gender discrimination claim involving the termination of a prominent California news anchorwoman, resulting in a defense verdict after trial

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association

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