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Airline and Railway

Few industries feel the burden of today’s laws and regulations more keenly than our nation’s airlines and railroads. Ogletree Deakins’ Airline and Railway Industry Group attorneys understand the unique challenges of these complex businesses. With extensive experience representing airlines both here and abroad, as well as passenger and freight railroad companies, our attorneys have a broad array of strategies to handle a wide variety of industry-specific labor, employment, and regulatory matters. Whether dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employment litigation or a looming strike, Ogletree Deakins offers clients knowledgeable, high-quality representation on airline and railroad challenges.

Labor Relations

Ogletree Deakins has considerable experience with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the Railway Labor Act (RLA), and all other labor issues faced by carriers. Ogletree Deakins’ Airline and Railway Industry Group’s experienced practitioners include a former airline vice president of labor relations. Specific areas of experience include:

  • all aspects of representation disputes at the NMB, including eligibility issues, single carrier issues, and interference charges;
  • representation during organizing campaigns and elections;
  • contract negotiations and mediation with the NMB;
  • grievance arbitration before public law boards and system boards;
  • major/minor dispute litigation;
  • litigation to enforce or vacate arbitration awards;
  • litigation under Section 2 Third and Section 2 Fourth of the RLA; and
  • whistleblower claims under Section 20109 (rail) and AIR21 (air).


Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys represent carriers before the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and Transportation Security Administration. Our attorneys provide experienced counsel to guide carriers through the complex regulatory system in the United States, handling matters such as:

  • civil penalties;
  • drug and alcohol testing;
  • regulation of dangerous goods;
  • HIMS programs;
  • LOI responses; and
  • ALJ proceedings and agency conferences.

Employment Law and Litigation

Ogletree Deakins’ employment lawyers are experienced in all aspects of employment law, from advice and counsel to complex class action employment litigation.
Our litigation practice includes deep experience with myriad laws governing the workplace, from Title VII to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and includes practitioners who have tried numerous employment cases in the airline and railroad industries.
Our employment practice also includes day-to-day preventative counseling, management training, and policy and procedure review. Ogletree Deakins also has a broad network of attorneys who provide proactive compliance initiatives on wage and hour issues, including payroll, timekeeping, and compensation audits.

Employee Benefits and ERISA

Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest teams of employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers in the United States. Our highly-trained employee benefits practitioners advise airline and railroad clients on both general and industry-specific benefits issues, including the full array of retirement plans and welfare plans sponsored by employers in all sectors, as well as the Affordable Care Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and other federal statutes.

Workplace Safety

Ogletree Deakins’ Occupational Safety and Health attorneys engage in a nationwide practice that includes the representation of airline and railroad clients in all aspects of workplace safety and health, such as:

  • investigation of workplace accidents;
  • handling of OSHA inspections and safety whistleblower complaints;
  • negotiation and resolution and/or litigation and trial of OSHA citations;
  • advice and counsel on compliance and best practices; and
  • conducting safety and health audits.

Our attorneys understand the specific and unique health and safety issues that can arise in the airline and railroad industries.


Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for airlines and railroads seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees. Our immigration practice group consists of experienced and dedicated immigration lawyers who work with domestic and international corporations and businesses in developing appropriate strategies to facilitate the international transfer of skilled employees. Our full-service immigration practice also assists clients in planning for the immigration impact of mergers and acquisitions, as well as providing guidance with regard to I-9 compliance and related anti-discrimination provisions.

Attorneys for this Practice Group

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