Labor and Employment

Our Labor and Employment attorneys provide guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises.

Venable's labor and employment attorneys focus on employment counseling, litigation of employment disputes, and labor relations. Our labor and employment attorneys are not siloed into counseling or litigation roles, and can quickly turn from counseling on critical employment decisions to handling an unfair labor practice charge or litigating a wage and hour class action. We believe that every labor and employment attorney should be able to play the role of litigator, labor negotiator, and trusted advisor.

The employers we represent span industries – federal, state, and local government entities; healthcare and life sciences; entertainment; gaming; nonprofits; construction; independent schools, both public and private, and other educational institutions; private equity; retail; hospitality; food services; and manufacturing, to name a few.

We pride ourselves on minimizing risk and cost for our clients through effective staffing of matters. When a matter does call for a large team, however, Venable’s bench of more than 30 labor and employment attorneys provides support where needed.

Our wide-ranging experience includes the following areas.

Employment Counseling

We advise employers on high-level employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, disciplinary actions, leaves of absence, disability accommodations, overtime wage exemptions, and reductions in force; draft and negotiate employment agreements, including contracts with complex executive compensation issues and restrictive covenants; draft and revise employee handbooks and other employment policies; and draft and negotiate separation agreements.

Employment Litigation

We defend employers in federal courts, state courts, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings against single-plaintiff and class action claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage-and-hour violations, occupational health and safety violations, breaches of non-competition promises, and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Traditional Labor

We negotiate collective bargaining agreements; defend employers against unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board; defend employers in labor arbitrations arising from the discharge of union members, outside contracting, or an employer’s pension and health benefit fund obligations; and advise employers during union organization campaigns and petitions for union recognition

Workplace Investigations and Audits

We investigate allegations of harassment, discrimination, or other wrongdoing in the workplace; conduct wall-to-wall internal audits of employers’ overtime exemption and independent contractor classifications; and represent employers in connection with government subpoenas or Department of Labor audits.

Employee Training

We conduct training programs and seminars for supervisory and non-supervisory employees involving anti-harassment policies and procedures and workplace behavior training, the legal and practical issues during union organizing efforts and campaigns (supervisory employees only), internal complaint procedures, disciplinary decisions and related procedures, workplace violence, and the use of social media, email, and other media for communicating with your workforce and the world.


We have been actively involved in education and school law for more than 50 years, representing institutions – from independent and charter schools to universities and law schools – of all sizes, denominations, and philosophies. In addition to advising on all areas of traditional labor and employment law, we provide day-to-day counseling to boards, trustees, heads of school, general counsel, and other leaders on the creation and maintenance of positive and respectful environments.


  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers
    • Best Law Firms, Employment Law – Management (Tier 1), National, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Employment Law – Management (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Labor Law – Management (Tier 1), National, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Labor Law – Management (Tier 1), Washington, DC, 2011 – 2017
    • Best Law Firms, Labor Law – Management (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Labor & Employment (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Labor & Employment (Tier 1), National, 2011 – 2019
  • Chambers USA
    • Labor and Employment, Virginia, 2016
    • Labor and Employment, Maryland, 2004 – 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2006 – 2022 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)
  • Legal 500, Labor and Employment – Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Design, 2016 – 2022

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