More than 30 attorneys focused on labor and employment

Highly ranked in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America





Class actions

Collective bargaining

Diversity / affirmative action

EEO / harassment claims

Employee benefits

Employment agreements

Employment disputes

ERISA compliance

Financial services wage compliance

Government contracts

Healthcare cost reduction

Intellectual property litigation

Immigration sanctions

Labor cost reductions in mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and healthcare


NLRB, Union campaigns and ULPs

OSHA counseling and litigation

Personnel policies

Trade secrets / non-competes

Wage and overtime claims

WARN Act compliance





Career colleges

Public and private institutions

Research institutions

Vocational schools


Labor and Employment Law on Behalf of Colleges and Universities

Managing the employees of a college or university offers a unique set of challenges that require focused knowledge and skill to handle effectively. That is why employers in this industry routinely seek the advice and counsel of the lawyers at Venable, who offer decades of experience representing higher education institutions in a number of employment-related issues.

Our experience in this industry is broad, and includes the handling of NLRB representation cases, union negotiations, arbitrations, equal employment advice and litigation, tenure disputes and grievances, wrongful discharge litigation, DOE investigations, faculty and staff handbook reviews, FERPA and HIPAA compliance, affirmative action plans, employee benefits advice and OSHA investigations.

Clients tell Chambers and Partners that, "Venable has a very credible core of labor and employment lawyers."

Listed below are specific examples of matters we have handled on behalf of higher education institutions:

Venable attorneys successfully represented in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia a local university and its medical school against claims of national origin discrimination, Title VII retaliation and breach of contract filed by a medical resident dismissed from a residency program.

Venable currently serves as Labor Consultant to the University System of Maryland (USM). In that capacity, Venable advises the Chancellor as to the proper interpretation of and compliance with the State Higher Education Collective Bargaining Law. We also serve as Chief Negotiator for a seven member coalition of USM institutions which bargains with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as to economic and other core terms and conditions of employment of the non-Exempt employees at the member institutions.

Venable attorneys won a jury verdict in defense of a prominent Washington-area law school against a former professor who claimed sex and race discrimination and harassment. Venable also defended the case on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which ruled in favor of the University.

As Labor Counsel and General Counsel to a four-year coed University in Northern Virginia, Venable attorneys negotiated settlement of a longstanding faculty union dispute at the NLRB. As a result of restructuring the University's faculty governance in accordance with the Supreme Court's Yeshiva guidelines for managerial employees, the faculty union was voluntarily decertified.

Venable regularly advises and represents colleges and universities on all aspects of faculty governance and staff employee relations, including rank and tenure grievances, discrimination claims, personnel policies, employee benefits, and student matters.

Venable has successfully defended its college and university clients in administrative agencies and the courts against both employee and student discrimination claims

Our college and university clients are secure in the knowledge that the legal advice they receive comes from attorneys who are concerned with every aspect of the employer-employee relationship in the higher education industry. Our decades of experience across a wide range of industries and practice areas can help you control your labor costs, avoid workplace disputes, and defend yourself when litigation arises.