Collective Bargaining

Venable's Labor and Employment team provides clients with a broad range of experience in collective bargaining matters through every stage of the process. We have served as lead negotiators in many high-profile labor negotiations throughout the country.

Our experience includes many positive settlements that have achieved our clients' objectives. We have also bargained to impasse, engaged in interest arbitration, and dealt with strikes and strike-related unfair labor practice issues before both the National Labor Relations Board and many public sector employee relations boards.

Experienced Counsel That Avoids Conflicts and Achieves Results

Companies and public agencies today must work diligently to stay ahead of the curve in order to avoid conflicts and litigation resulting from union organizing and collective bargaining. We put decades of experience and an unparalleled track record to work for our clients so they may develop effective, proactive strategies to minimize risks and avoid litigation.

Practice Focus

  • Arbitrations
  • Audits
  • 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
  • Litigation
  • NLRB, union campaigns, and ULPs
  • OSHA
  • Personnel policies
  • Trade secrets / non-competes
  • Wage and overtime claims
  • WARN Act compliance
  • Whistleblower

Industry Focus

  • California
  • Colleges and universities
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Entertainment/media
  • Financial services
  • Government contracting
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Independent schools
  • Information technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofits / trade associations
  • Public employers
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation


Private Sector

  • Negotiated multiple agreements with AFTRA and NABET on behalf of network affiliated broadcast and cable TV stations
  • Negotiated agreements with UNITE HERE on behalf of food service operations, hotels, and gaming employers
  • Negotiated multiple agreements on behalf of healthcare institutions, including hospitals and long-term care nursing facilities, with multiple unions, including SEIU, District 1199, and UFCW
  • Negotiated agreements with IUOE and other construction unions on behalf of construction and maintenance firms and condominium associations
  • Negotiated shutdown agreements with UAW and Teamsters on behalf of various manufacturing facilities
  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreements with various unions in the theatrical and entertainment industry
  • Served as principal advisor in a collective bargaining that resulted in a replacement agreement and special drug formulary for one of the nation's largest coal mining companies, thereby reducing prescription drug costs for employers
  • Represented a large petroleum company in labor arbitrations, collective bargaining support, and NLRB proceedings
  • Negotiated multiple agreements, including concession contracts, on behalf of a major symphony orchestra
  • Bargained to impasse with UFCW, Teamsters, HERE, and other unions on behalf of a variety of different employers

Public Sector

  • Acted as lead negotiators on behalf of dozens of local, state, and federal government agencies dealing with many different public sector unions, including AFSCME, ATU, FOP, IAFF, OPEIU, SEIU, Teamsters, AFT, NEA, and UFCW. Negotiated bargaining agreements covering every conceivable type of public employee, including teachers, police, firemen, office clericals, healthcare workers, parks and recreation, water and sewer, transportation, and public housing
  • Served as chief negotiators and strategists for more than a decade for a major metropolitan area transit authority, including bus and rail transit operations, maintenance personnel, transit police, and office clericals
  • Represented other agencies, including water, power, housing, and sewer authorities
  • Represented federal government agencies in connection with union organizing and collective bargaining, and defense against class action discrimination claims
  • Serves as labor consultant to the state university system. Advises the chancellor regarding the proper interpretation of and compliance with the state higher education collective bargaining law and serves as chief negotiator for a seven-member coalition of state university institutions, which bargains with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) regarding economic and other core terms and conditions of employment of the non-exempt employees at the member institutions
  • Represented many county boards of education in negotiations, grievance handling, and arbitration of employee disputes
  • Negotiated changes to pension and retirement plans and advised on all manner of pension, health, and welfare issues for many state and local government agencies
  • Negotiated first agreement and successor agreements for a large county public library system


  • Chambers USA
    • Labor and Employment, Virginia, 2016
    • Labor and Employment, Maryland, 2004 – 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2019 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)