Labor Law

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On behalf of public and private employers, our labor law teams handle diverse matters in the area of labor relations. BGS services cover the entire range of labor law – from the beginning of unionization efforts through collective bargaining and de-certification.

We advise employers on achieving and maintaining healthy workplaces that are the most effective union avoidance tool.

We advise and represent employers on their rights and responsibilities when union organizers are targeting their employees including:

  • representation campaigns
  • bargaining unit determination hearings
  • election contests including unfair election practice charges and hearings

In the event that the employees choose to be represented by a union, we are experienced negotiators for collective bargaining agreements, including first contracts.

We also train and counsel employers who choose to do their own negotiations on what are mandatory or permissive subjects of bargaining and what are management rights that should not be given away at the negotiation table.

We represent and counsel employers who are in mediation as part of the collective bargaining process.

We are experienced at drafting union contracts to reflect the agreement of the parties. In the event that negotiations are not successful, we are also experienced at strike planning and interest arbitration.

For those employers with represented employee groups who are interested in or seeking to decertify a union, we counsel employers on their role in this process.

We provide counsel on avoiding unfair labor practices and represent employers who are charged with unfair labor practices.

Our firm also provides counsel and representation on union contract administration matters. This includes advising and representing employers on contract interpretation matters, discipline and termination issues and any resulting grievances over contract interpretation or discipline.

We also provide counsel and representation to public employers on the special labor laws and rules that apply to local government.  Scott Lepak from our firm is the author of a treatise on the Minnesota Public Sector Labor Law.  We serve as the general labor/employment counsel to many cities, counties and other political subdivisions in Minnesota.

Because of the significant overlap on labor and employment laws, we provide our clients with advice and representation on the many intricacies of employment law. Please see our web site detailing our employment related services. Our team providing services to our labor clients is strong, skilled and experienced.

Significant reported appellate court and National Labor Relations Board labor/employment cases:

Negotiating drug and alcohol testing programs:

Law Enforcement Labor Services v. County of Sherburne, 695 N.W.2d 630 (Minn. App. 2005).

Negotiating retiree health insurance benefits:

Law Enforcement Labor Services v. County of Mower, 483 N.W.2d 696, 15 Employee Benefits Cas. 1291 (Minn. 1992).

Law Enforcement Labor Services v. County of Mower, 469 N.W.2d 496, 141 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2069, 13 Employee Benefits Cas. 2366 (Minn. App. 1991).

Employment discrimination cases:

Sigurdson v. Isanti County, 448 N.W.2d 62, 51 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1181 (Minn. 1989).

State by Cooper v. Mower County Social Services, 434 N.W.2d 494, 69 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 517 (Minn. App. 1989).

State by Cooper v. Mower County Social Services, 428 N.W.2d 491 (Minn. App. 1988).

National Labor Relations Case:

St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center and AFSCME Council 14 and State of Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, 291 NLRB No. 114 (Nov. 21, 1988).

BGS Staff

Attorneys

* Hoeft, James D.
* Lepak, Scott M.
* Schaps, David R.

Paralegal

* Gibbs-Hicke, Marne