W. Eric Baisden maintains a national labor and employment practice which includes representing employers in all areas of employment and labor relations, as well as related employment litigation, in federal and state trial and appellate courts in 39 states.
Eric has significant first chair experience in protecting employers from unfair competition, litigating the enforceability of restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements, including obtaining and opposing TROs and preliminary injunctions. Eric also litigates claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, including ADA, age, race, pregnancy, gender and sexual harassment and intentional torts. He litigates cases under ERISA, including preemption, benefit denials, retaliation, and multi-employer pension fund issues, and claims to enforce or construe executive compensation and change of control agreements in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions. His experience also includes legal proceedings regulating picketing and other organizational conduct of non employee union organizers and pickets and strike contingency planning, including TRO and preliminary injunction hearings regulating strike activities and striker misconduct.
Eric defends employers in administrative proceedings before the Department of Labor, including numerous wage and hour audits, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including several fatal accident and egregious penalty cases. He represents employers before the National Labor Relations Board and its Division of Advice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state administrative agencies in connection with charges of discrimination. He also regularly represents experts in arbitration hearings dealing with contract interpretation issues, discipline, wrongful discharge and discrimination.
Eric regularly counsels both union and non union employers on wage and hour compliance, representation elections, contract negotiations, third party avoidance, discipline, leaves and terminations. He advises clients on the implementation of personnel practices, including drafting and revising employee guides, applications, training materials, harassment policies, ADA compliance, drug testing policies and in house investigations of drug use, and large scale reductions in force. Additionally, Eric is experienced in training client personnel in the implementation and application of personnel policies, third party avoidance and internal investigations.
He advises employers on employment eligibility and I-9 compliance, counseling the company and providing training to the human resource professionals on best practices to ensure that the company complies with employment eligibility verification requirements while avoiding immigration discrimination violations. He also is experienced conducting I-9 self-audits and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on-site audits.
Eric maintains offices in both Cleveland and Columbus.
- Successfully represented a poultry processor in two UFCW organizing campaigns. The company won a representation election and resolved all objections and ULPs. Implemented an aggressive communication strategy which prevented a second petition from being filed, despite almost three years of organizational activity. Also successfully upheld the termination of three union organizers for separate instances of misconduct.
- Successfully represented a snack-food manufacturer in an FLSA classification audit; as a result the company was able to uphold classifications of exempt personnel and avoid paying any fines. Successfully represented the company in union organizing campaign resulting in withdrawal of election petition prior to election.
- Currently representing a national construction employer with operations in 35 states in several FLSA audits involving classifications, lunch periods and O.T. classifications. Obtained preliminary injunctions in New Hampshire and Ohio enforcing non-compete agreements on behalf of the employer.
- Obtained preliminary injunctions in Colorado and Ohio on behalf of a national medical supply company enforcing non-compete agreements and protecting trade secrets; both causes are still pending for damages claims.
- Successfully represented trucking industry client in strike; obtained preliminary injunction regulating picketing conduct and assisted in successfully obtaining concessions in wages and benefits.
- Successfully represented a building supplier with 17 facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in obtaining wage and benefits concessions from union employees to match non-union workforce; no probable cause determinations in refusal to bargain ULP resulting in successful implementation of last best offer; resolved strike of union facility and served as pattern for agreement with remaining unionized facilities.