Construction - Labor and Employment Law

Venable represents a large number of construction contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, developers, and trade associations in all aspects of labor and employment law. Venable's extensive experience in this area includes advising and representing our construction industry clients before the National Labor Relations Board, and union negotiations, organizing, strikes, picketing, project agreements, and corporate campaigns. Venable also counsels and litigates on behalf of construction clients dealing with compliance under prevailing wage laws such as the Davis-Bacon Act, as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime and work hours standards, including class action defense.

Venable regularly handles all aspects of workplace hiring and firing in the construction industry, with special experience in salting, immigration I-9 compliance, wrongful discharge, employment discrimination and harassment claims, affirmative action, employee handbooks, non-competes, trade secrets, and OSHA compliance. Finally, Venable attorneys advise and defend construction employers in their compliance with employee benefits laws such as ERISA, including defense of withdrawal liability claims. Clients tell Chambers and Partners that "Venable has a very credible core of labor and employment lawyers."

As part of our service to construction industry clients, Venable provides on-site training on a range of labor and employment issues facing construction managers. We have also produced a range of helpful guides, manuals, and articles on labor and employment issues for the construction industry, including:

  • Operating a Dual Shop
  • Coping With COMET
  • Open Competition vs. Union-Only Construction
  • Compliance Guide to the ADA
  • How to Comply With the Davis-Bacon Act
  • Model Employee Handbook

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 counseling and litigation
  • 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

Experience
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Recent Venable activities for specific construction contractors:

  • Trained construction managers on hot topics in labor law, including the "Card Check" bill, immigration enforcement, union picketing and organizing tactics, wage and hour class actions, and employee harassment claims
  • Audited contractors' I-9 (employment authorization) forms and trained managers in how to avoid fines and penalties under the immigration laws
  • Appeared before the NLRB in opposing union organizing campaigns
  • Defended contractors' compliance with both state and federal prevailing wage laws against investigations by U.S. and state departments of labor
  • Counseled contractors deciding whether to terminate employees, and how to minimize the risk of litigation
  • Defended other contractors' employee termination decisions in labor arbitrations, discrimination complaints, and lawsuits in state and federal courts
  • Negotiated with numerous unions over area contracts and/or project labor agreements
  • Defended against union pressure tactics relating to such bargaining, including court injunctions and NLRB unfair labor practice charges
  • Counseled employers and trust funds on ERISA compliance and withdrawal liability engaged in litigation on these issues
  • Advised apprenticeship training programs on federal and state regulatory compliance, with appearances before federal regulators and state apprenticeship councils
  • Defended contractors against OSHA citations
  • Conducted harassment training and defended against harassment claims on behalf of construction industry employers
  • Counseled and defended construction firms against individual and class action suits for underpayment of wages
  • Helped contractors comply with government contract affirmative action requirements and defend against OFCCP investigations
  • Drafted and enforced employee non-compete and trade secret agreements

Venable lawyers have played a prominent role in precedent-setting litigation over such union tactics as salting, job targeting, corporate campaigns, and union-only project labor agreements, including the following:

  • BE&K Construction Co. v. NLRB (U.S. 2002) (lead counsel at U.S. Supreme Court in successful challenge to NLRB policy under First Amendment)
  • Chamber of Commerce v. Brown (U.S. 2008) (amicus brief to Supreme Court in preemption challenge to California's forced labor neutrality law)
  • American Steel Erectors v. Ironworkers Local 7 (1st Cir. 2008) (amicus brief challenging union "job targeting" under antitrust laws)
  • Sheet Metal Workers v. NLRB (Oil Capitol Sheet Metal) (D.C. Cir. 2008) (representing employer in review of dramatic changes in NLRB "salting" policies)
  • Abhe & Svoboda, Inc. v. Chao (D.C. Cir. 2008) (challenge to Department of Labor enforcement of Davis-Bacon Act)

Recognition
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  • Highly ranked in Chambers USA