Labor and Employment Law

Skadden represents clients across the spectrum of labor and employment matters, including allegations of wrongful termination, employment discrimination and noncompetition violations. We also have extensive experience in matters arising in representation proceedings, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, litigation in state and federal courts, and administrative proceedings before such government agencies as the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state human rights agencies, and the federal and state Departments of Labor. In addition, the firm advises employers on compliance issues under various labor and employment laws, helping clients to conform their workplace practices and procedures to current law. Our attorneys also provide assistance on issues relating to our firm's general corporate representations. We ranked in the top tier for labor law by U.S. News — Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2017. Our attorneys frequently speak on numerous topics related to labor and employment. We also publish numerous articles and author a column that appears regularly in the New York Law Journal on labor and employment law topics.

Labor Relations

  • Experience with unions. Skadden advises and represents clients in dealing with unions from the initial contacts during an organizing campaign to the litigation of unfair labor practices, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and the processing of grievances and arbitrations. 
  • Experience in the health care industry. The firm has advised in the privatization of public hospitals and in negotiating affiliation agreements between hospitals. 

Workplace Employee Policies and Procedures

Advise clients on the myriad of laws applicable to the workplace today, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and anti-discrimination laws. 

  • Draft employment policies, including policies relating to sexual harassment, and provide guidance on their application to specific employee circumstances. 
  • Assist clients in identifying and avoiding employment-related problems before they occur, including through use of internal employment audits. 
  • Advise on affirmative action programs and procedures to enhance equal employment opportunities.

  • Assist in investigations and litigation of sexual harassment charges, including those against employees in executive positions.

Employment, Consultant and Severance Agreements

Skadden drafts employment, consulting and severance agreements. In addition, we are experienced in enforcing non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants, including drafting demand letters to former employees and their future employers. We also represent clients seeking to recover sensitive documents and prevent corporate raiding of staff and customers.


Our attorneys in the labor and employment area litigate in federal and state courts on the full range of labor and employment law matters, including complex class action litigation. Our attorneys also appear in employment arbitration proceedings, as well as in administrative proceedings before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. They work on complaint and compliance proceedings involving various divisions of the U.S. Department of Labor including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA"), the Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs as well as state agencies such as the office of the attorney general and the civil rights division.

Recently, the firm has represented employers in litigation and claims involving pattern and practice discrimination, civil rights violations, wage and hour collective actions, enforcement of restrictive covenants, accommodations under disabilities laws and wrongful discharge. Our attorneys also represent employers in complex federal and state OSHA matters, including fatality cases. Their trial experience is in jury and non-jury trials and in jurisdictions nationwide.

Corporate Transactions

Skadden, Arps assists in structuring the employment aspects of transactions such as procedures for hiring and terminating employees, the negotiation of new collective bargaining agreements and the assumption of existing agreements. We also handle the labor aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, including renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and advise regarding wage payment claims.

Immigration Law

Skadden advises clients on immigration matters and has filed visa applications on behalf of major U.S. and non-U.S. companies.