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Calfee’s Labor and Employment attorneys support clients by providing day-to-day employment counseling, defending administrative complaints and representing clients in litigation concerning state and federal discrimination laws, the National Labor Relations Act, the Family & Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and workers’ compensation claims.

Additionally, our team provides aggressive, cost-effective defense of claims of wrongful discharge and violations of individual employment rights, and we litigate cases involving noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

Calfee’s Labor and Employment attorneys represent publicly and privately held corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, including unionized and non-union employers as well as public-sector entities. 

In the union setting, Calfee attorneys represent management in grievances, arbitrations, and collective bargaining negotiations. They also provide advice to clients in the context of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions, including potential effects of labor agreements, severance programs, and state and federal plant closing/mass layoff laws. With the continuing challenges presented by the increasing number and complexities of laws affecting the workplace, Calfee’s attorneys provide timely guidance and counsel as to the constantly changing laws affecting the workplace.

Calfee’s Labor and Employment attorneys are committed to addressing workplace-related concerns and disputes that often arise on a moment’s notice. We provide immediate guidance as to the termination of employment, alleged sexual and other discriminatory harassment, drugs/alcohol in the workplace, OSHA investigations, and other HR concerns. Working with human resources professionals, our practitioners assist clients in avoiding potential liabilities and in maintaining working environments committed to mutual respect and appreciation of individual contributions.


Chambers USA Leading Law Firm Rankings

Since 2019, Calfee has been recognized as a Leading Law Firm for Labor and Employment by Chambers USA, most recently in Band 3 in Ohio (2023).

Chambers USA researchers note that the practice is known to be "proficient in the handling of a wide range of labor and employment matters. Areas of strength for the firm include the representation of management in collective bargaining negotiations with unions, defending clients against claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, and day-to-day employment counseling. Calfee's expertise also stretches to the enforcement of post-employment agreements." 

Clients interviewed by Chambers USA said, "The Calfee team has a high level of knowledge. Calfee is consistently responsive, thorough, and knowledgeable. The attorneys we work with at Calfee are able to quickly distill and interpret the relevant information pertaining to a matter, cut past the emotional and subjective factors, and focus on the law. The firm is very thorough and concentrates on the details; they are experts in the law and how it applies to the issues while understanding the business needs. The group is accessible and calls you back very quickly. They are a pleasure to work with and every one of them knows their stuff. They are spot-on technically, on top of everything and always provide good solid counsel. We are extremely satisfied with the work Calfee has done for us. The group is thorough, creative, and responsive."

Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2024 "Best Law Firms" rankings in the following areas:

  • Employment Law – Management (Regional Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Labor Law – Management (Regional Tier 2 Cleveland)

Benchmark Litigation Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion by Benchmark Litigation 2024 as a Highly Recommended Law Firm in Dispute Resolution in Ohio. Additionally, 14 of Calfee's Litigation partners have been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as "Litigation Stars" in the U.S. (National), Midwest, and Ohio and as “40 & Under" and "Future Stars" Honorees.




Labor and Employment Relations

  • Represented employers in lengthy strikes that resulted in the union returning to work with contract terms less favorable than the employer’s final pre-strike offers; in each case, the employer successfully maintained operations during the strike.
  • Prepared comprehensive employee handbooks and developed workplace policies incorporating recent changes in the law.
  • Prepared employment agreements for highly compensated executives involving complex compensation schemes and changes in control provisions.
  • Prepared separation agreements by which employees were separated from employment with the release of all claims against the employer while assuring compliance with the requirements of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
  • Represented employer in unfair labor practice investigation, including hearings regarding subcontracting of work, resulting in total victory when the court of appeals denied enforcement of National Labor Relations Board order.
  • Counseled clients acquiring the assets of unionized corporations concerning their rights to negotiate terms and conditions of employment consistent with company-wide compensation and benefits schemes.
  • Conducted numerous in-house training seminars for management concerning compliance with all state and federal labor statutes and regulations, union avoidance, sexual harassment, the Family & Medical Leave Act, and other laws governing the workplace. 
  • Prepared employment agreements including nondisclosure, noncompete and nonsolicitation covenants, as well as assignment of inventions complying with federal and state law. 

Discrimination and Workplace-Related Litigation

  • Prepared comprehensive position statements to the EEOC, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and many other state civil rights agencies defending against claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.
  • Obtained summary judgment in both federal and state court cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, thereby avoiding the time and expense of trial.
  • Successfully mediated many claims of workplace discrimination using various Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures. 
  • Obtained reimbursement of legal fees for a client forced to defend against a frivolous claim of national origin discrimination. 
  • Compelled voluntary dismissal of claims of sexual harassment filed against the company and supervisor. 


  • Successfully defended union’s challenges to terminations and other disciplinary actions with Arbitrators denying grievances after full hearings.
  • Won arbitrations challenging work assignments, policy implementation, subcontracting of work, and new classification rates. 
  • Have obtained TRO, preliminary and permanent injunctions barring former employees from disregarding noncompete and other restrictive covenants, causing the employee to resign from or be terminated by a competitor. 
  • Filed Declaratory Judgment actions to challenge overbroad or otherwise defective restrictive covenant agreements to allow clients to hire competitors’ employees.
  • Successfully negotiated noncompete disputes to achieve client’s goals while avoiding protracted, expensive litigation. 



Employment Counseling

  • Employment at-will
  • Personnel policies and employee handbooks
  • Employment agreements
  • Discipline, discharge and other personnel actions
  • Mergers, acquisitions, divestitures
  • Workforce restructurings, downsizings, force reductions
  • Post-employment covenants
  • Employment law compliance training

Workplace Discrimination

  • Title VII and state discrimination laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Sexual and other workplace harassment
  • EEOC and state agency proceedings
  • Discrimination and “wrongful discharge” litigation
  • Affirmative action plans, programs and compliance

Labor Management

  • Union avoidance and defense
  • Employee relations counseling
  • Collective bargaining agreement negotiation
  • Proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board
  • Grievance counseling and arbitration
  • Strike contingency planning/security operations
  • Strike injunction litigation
  • Ohio Public Employers’ Collective Bargaining Act
  • Union decertification/deauthorization

Employment Laws

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (wage/hour)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • “Whistleblower” Acts
  • Federal mass layoff/plant closing laws (WARN Act)
  • Trade secret laws
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
  • Drug testing
  • Immigration Reform & Control Act


News & Events




Practice Contacts

Calfee's Labor and Employment practice is "proficient in the handling of a wide range of labor and employment matters. Areas of strength for the firm include the representation of management in collective bargaining negotiations with unions, defending clients against claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, and day-to-day employment counseling. Expertise also stretches to the enforcement of post-employment agreements."

Researcher comments, Chambers USA

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