W. Chris Harrison

Shareholder Memphis

W. Chris Harrison has represented and advised management for over twenty years.  His practice includes all aspects of labor and employment law, including litigation, arbitrations, non-compete agreements, collective bargaining, union representation issues, grievances and labor arbitrations, unfair labor practices, employment discrimination, retaliation, AIR 21 and whistleblower claims, administrative law claims and airline regulatory matters. Prior to joining the firm, Chris served as in-house counsel at Pinnacle Airlines Corp., rising to become its Vice-President of Labor Relations and Associate General Counsel, where he oversaw all labor relations, employment and regulatory matters for three airlines and over 9,000 employees.  Chris is also a Senior Editor of The Railway Labor Act by BNA books, the authoritative treatise on the RLA.


Experience

  • Lead counsel in numerous federal and state court employment discrimination cases, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, FMLA, retaliation, wrongful termination and related state law claims.
  • Lead counsel in numerous mediations and private arbitrations of employment matters, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, FMLA, non-compete agreements and wrongful termination claims.
  • Lead counsel in numerous union grievance arbitrations, including discipline, contract interpretation and interest arbitrations. 
  • Lead counsel in federal and state Railway Labor Act and Airline Deregulation Act litigation, including issues involving major/minor disputes, bad faith and pre-emption of claims. 
  • Lead counsel in NLRB litigation before the Board involving claims of unfair labor practices. 
  • Lead counsel in numerous administrative law cases involving whistleblower claims and claims of USERRA military issues.  
  • Lead counsel in many agency proceedings before the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation involving civil penalties, drug and alcohol testing, safety claims, flight operations, inflight, maintenance, dispatchers and aviation security. 
  • Chief spokesperson and first chair negotiator in numerous collective bargaining negotiations, including pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers, and fleet and passenger service employees.  Also first chair negotiator in multiple Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Section 1113 concessionary negotiations. 
  • Oversee and conduct comprehensive audits of employment policies and practices. 
  • Conducted countless training sessions for management, including union avoidance, improving management/labor relations, union campaigns, handling grievances and arbitrations, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, FMLA, harassment, retaliation, AIR21 whistleblowing, employee investigations, how to conduct disciplinary meetings, Sarbanes-Oxley, Conflicts of Interest, Compliance and Ethics. 
  • Advised airlines and airline service providers regarding FAA drug and alcohol programs, TSA security, the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) and many other federal laws and regulations.  

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • ABA Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee

Speeches:

  • American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law, Railway & Airline Labor Law Committee Midwinter 2015 Meeting - ''Non-Tradional Forms of Self-Help'' - New Orleans - January 2015
  • Society for Human Resource Managment Half Day Legal Seminar - ''The Case for a Robust Compliance and Ethics Program'' - Memphis - March 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - ''Employment Law Update for 2013'' - Memphis - November 2013

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

January 2006 - The Conference Board Executive Action Series - "Are You In or Out? In-House vs. Outside Counsel"
Fall 2004 - Builder's Edge Magazine - "LegalLines"

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