Employment & Labor Litigation


As an employer, you know that human capital is one of the most valuable resources and biggest expenses for your organization. Ulmer & Berne recognizes this reality and combines this understanding with one of the strongest and most comprehensive employment practices available to best serve organizations.

With more than 15 attorneys representing private and public organizations across the U.S., we provide a full spectrum of employment and labor services from proactive counseling to the defense of the most complex litigation matters, including claims involving allegations of wrongful termination and FLSA, OSHA, and ERISA non-compliance.

Ulmer & Berne’s employment and labor lawyers counsel clients in the panoply of employment and labor challenges to businesses and organizations. We have substantial experience providing guidance in or solutions to such matters as:

As any client knows, however, the time to seek counsel in employment and labor matters is before problems occur, when policies and procedures need to be developed and implemented; that is the most cost-effective time to address employment needs. Knowing that a proactive approach is best, Ulmer & Berne attorneys counsel clients on employee handbook and policy development, train personnel and conduct compliance audits, and guide employers through the labyrinth of public policy regulations which can change frequently. An employer that is unaware or unfamiliar with emerging requirements needs the up-to-date knowledge, understanding, and expertise that our attorneys provide.

When disputes arise, the extensive experience of Ulmer & Berne’s employment and labor attorneys in trying and defending claims at all administrative and judicial levels and venues enables us to partner with our clients in resolving these disputes in the clients’ best interest. We regularly represent our clients before state and federal agencies and in state and federal courts, including many federal Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Ohio. In addition, we regularly represent clients before the National Labor Relations Board, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the Ohio State Employment Relations Board. More importantly, however, is that Ulmer & Berne attorneys are regularly retained to handle complex, often novel legal situations that employers face including class actions.

In the most recent edition of The Business Journal, Ulmer Partner Stephanie Harley is quoted regarding employee handbooks and best practices for employers in order to protect themselves and their employees. To read the full article, click here.

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing has been recognized by The National Law Journal (NLJ) in its inaugural Equality Trailblazers list. This new list highlights the accomplishments of those who have made significant strides in the fight for gender and LGBTQ equality. “I...

Ulmer attorney Yvette Simpson has accepted a correspondence position with ABC. This comes after a number of guest appearances on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Simpson, serving as Chief Executive of Democracy for America and formerly a Cincinnati City Council Member, will appear weekly on This Week, offering opinions and...

by Stephanie E. Harley Many transgender individuals across the United States go to work every day, unsure of whether they will lose their jobs because of their gender identity and/or expression. While a minority of states and localities offer employment protections for transgender individuals, the vast majority do not. As a...

Ulmer Partner Stephanie Dutchess Trudeau has been named to BTI Consulting Group’s Client Service All-Stars 2019, a list of top-tier attorneys identified for delivering the absolute best client service. The All-Stars represent the epitome of client service and demonstrate an unrelenting pursuit to find what best fulfills clients’ needs. In-house counsel and clients...

Appointment bolsters the firm’s successful diversity and inclusion initiatives Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Timothy J. Downing has been appointed as the firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer. His appointment to this role provides added momentum to Ulmer’s successful diversity and inclusion initiatives and reflects the firm’s commitment to...

As we kick off the New Year, William D. Edwards, Partner and Chair of Ulmer’s Employment & Labor Practice Group, examines the landscape of employment and labor law and shares three things to look for on the employment law horizon. 1. The Influence of the #MeToo Movement Will Continue into 2019...

Representative Experience

  • Won attempted class action age discrimination case by obtaining summary judgment in favor of employer, an international telecommunications company, which ruling was affirmed on appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment in sex and age discrimination case against client, an international telecommunications company. Summary judgment affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a financial services industry client accused of breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA for failing to provide spousal death benefit coverage to employee. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal by the Tenth District Court of Appeals.
  • Won summary judgment for a national food service company in U.S. District Court, S.D. Ohio on a sexual harassment claim. The court found that the client had successfully established the affirmative defense to a claim of supervisor sexual harassment.
  • Obtained dismissal of this case alleging sexual harassment against a national paint manufacturer. The client’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure was upheld and enforced.
  • Won summary judgment on a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed against a manufacturing company and several managers in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Successfully moved to compel discovery and for summary judgment, thereby obtaining dismissal of the case filed in the U.S. District Court, N.D. Ohio against a manufacturing company. The claims included age and disability discrimination based on a workforce reduction.
  • Successfully defended a securities company against a race discrimination claim at trial. Also successful in persuading the Court of Appeals to overturn a large jury verdict on a promissory estoppel claim.
  • Defended a healthcare services firm, its president and its vice president in an employment case filed by a former employee alleging breach of public policy, breach of contract, retaliation and wrongful discharge. Won case on summary judgment, and the decision was upheld on appeal.
  • Represented a manufacturer of steel buildings which was cited for serious violations of the overhead crane standard resulting from a fatal accident at its Missouri plant. Litigated the case and had violations vacated on the grounds that the cited standards were inapplicable to the facts.
  • Represented a Cleveland-based steel manufacturer which was cited for failing to remove secondary lifting devices from its overhead cranes while performing the required testing of the upper limit switch. The company determined that compliance with OSHA’s interpretation of the standard would result in an annual productivity loss of over a million dollars. Successfully defended the company’s position throughout the litigation including the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.