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





Colleges and universities



Entertainment / media

Financial services

Government contracting



Independent schools

Information technology


Nonprofits / trade associations

Public employers





Hospitality - Labor and Employment Law

Venable attorneys have broad experience representing national and international hotels, restaurants, gaming establishments, and catering employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. Our lawyers regularly advise and represent clients in connection with matters before the National Labor Relations Board, union negotiations and organizing, labor strikes, picketing, and corporate campaigns. We also counsel and litigate on behalf of hospitality clients concerning compliance under state and federal wage-and-hour laws and discrimination statutes, including class action defense.

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

Venable can assist your organization by providing knowledgeable counsel on all aspects of workplace hiring and firing, particularly with regards to immigration/I-9 compliance, wrongful discharge, employment discrimination and harassment claims, affirmative action, employee handbooks, non-competes, trade secrets, and OSHA compliance. In addition, our attorneys can advise your organization concerning compliance with employee benefits laws such as ERISA, including defense of withdrawal liability claims.

Our goal is to work with you to understand and structure your business risks, educate your managers and develop systems and processes to help you manage critical human resources.

Listed below are representative engagements that Venable has handled as labor and employment counsel on behalf of hotels, restaurants, gaming and catering companies:

Traditional labor law matters:

  • trained hotel managers on the do’s and don’ts of employer conduct during a union organizing campaign
  • advised and negotiated with unions regarding hotel shutdowns
  • defended against union pressure tactics related to collective bargaining, including court injunctions and NLRB unfair labor practice charges
  • successfully defeated a union’s organizing campaign at a national hotel employer before the NLRB
  • bargained with numerous unions over area contracts and project labor agreements

Employment litigation matters:

  • defended a national restaurant chain in a discrimination class action filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • defeated class certification of a nationwide discrimination class action for a national food service provider
  • defended hotel and restaurant employers against individual and class action wage-and-hour suits under federal and state law
  • challenged OSHA citations on behalf of national hotels and restaurants
  • represented restaurant and hotel chains in arbitrations and lawsuits arising from employee terminations
  • litigated sexual harassment claims asserted against hospitality employers

Advice and counseling matters:

  • created new tip pooling and tip sharing programs for caterers and restaurant chains in order to comply with state and federal wage-and-hour laws
  • counseled hotel and restaurant employers on how to respond to governmental inquiries regarding access accommodations for disabled patrons
  • advised hotel how to comply with government contract affirmative action and OFCCP requirements
  • drafted employee non-compete and trade secret agreements
  • trained hospitality managers on hot topics in labor and employment law, including the “Card Check” bill, wage-and-hour class actions, and employee harassment claims
  • counseled national hospitality employers on how to implement company-wide layoffs
  • drafted voluntary and involuntary severance agreements related to a national hotel’s reduction-in-force
  • advised and negotiated on behalf of a national hospitality employer for multi-employer plans under the Pension Plan Protection Act
  • counseled employers regarding how to reduce their exposure to withdrawal liability
  • audited hotels’ and restaurants’ I-9 (employment authorization) forms and trained managers on employment authorization practices to avoid fines and penalties under the immigration laws
  • advised hospitality clients regarding the classification of their independent contractors

Mergers & acquisitions:

  • advised national hotels regarding labor, employment, and employee benefits issues pertaining to contemplated corporate transactions
  • conducted due diligence of potential labor, employment, and employee benefit liabilities for corporate purchasers

With decades of relevant experience, Venable attorneys recognize the importance of paying attention to every aspect of the employer-employee relationship in the hospitality industry. Our 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.