Todd A. Dawson

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7652
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Todd Dawson concentrates his practice in the labor relations, wage and hour, and class litigation areas. He assists employers in all phases of labor relations, with a particular focus on the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, strike preparation and assistance, and the defense and prosecution of unfair labor practices. In the wage and hour arena, Todd has handled class and collective actions ranging from several hundred putative class members to several thousand. Todd has also handled class actions involving plant closings, changes in retiree healthcare benefits and various state law issues. With a passion for negotiating and reaching mutual resolutions, Todd collaborates with his clients to understand all facets of their businesses and address their individual inner workings and needs.

Todd is listed in The Best Lawyers in America©. He is a regular contributor to BakerHostetler's Employment Class Action blog, offering commentary on recent class action decisions and trends affecting employers.

Select Experience

  • Experienced in assisting clients with preparing for and defending against union organizing efforts under the National Labor Relations Board's "ambush" and "micro-unit" election rules, including litigation over supervisory status, appropriate unit considerations and alleged campaign violations.
  • Represented a Tier One auto supplier in association with union negotiations at a plant of approximately 500 workers, including negotiation of significant concessions in wages, health insurance and pension benefits, necessitated by industry conditions.
  • Assisted a client in the negotiation of a plant shutdown and the relocation of bargaining unit work following an impasse in collective bargaining negotiations and a lockout of employees. Successfully argued before the National Labor Relations Board for pre-complaint dismissal of multiple unfair labor practice charges filed by the union.
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Experience

  • Experienced in assisting clients with preparing for and defending against union organizing efforts under the National Labor Relations Board's "ambush" and "micro-unit" election rules, including litigation over supervisory status, appropriate unit considerations and alleged campaign violations.
  • Represented a Tier One auto supplier in association with union negotiations at a plant of approximately 500 workers, including negotiation of significant concessions in wages, health insurance and pension benefits, necessitated by industry conditions.
  • Assisted a client in the negotiation of a plant shutdown and the relocation of bargaining unit work following an impasse in collective bargaining negotiations and a lockout of employees. Successfully argued before the National Labor Relations Board for pre-complaint dismissal of multiple unfair labor practice charges filed by the union.
  • Successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that implemented a two-tiered wage scale, a new health insurance structure and the freezing of a defined benefit pension plan following client acquisition of a unionized facility.
  • Won a trial court verdict in a class action involving approximately 800 potential class members alleging unlawful termination of their collectively bargained retiree health insurance under Sixth Circuit Yard-Man precedent. Affirmed on appeal before the Sixth Circuit.
  • Obtained dismissal of a class litigation involving approximately 1,000 potential class members alleging unlawful implementation of caps on employer contributions toward retiree health insurance premiums. Affirmed on appeal before the Sixth Circuit.
  • Successfully argued a case of first impression before the Sixth Circuit in which the appellate court held that retirees can be required to arbitrate disputes over collectively bargained retiree health insurance.
  • Represented a client in the negotiation of a plant closing agreement caused by a global reorganization that closely followed (but did not result from) the unionization of employees. A favorable closing agreement was reached without the filing of unfair labor practice charges.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Legal 500 United States (2017, 2020)
    • Recommended in Labor and Employment - Labor-management relations
  • Acritas Star (2016)
  • BTI Client Service All-Star (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2013 to Present)
    • Ohio: Labor Law – Management
    • Ohio: Litigation – Labor and Employment

Memberships

  • American Bar Association: Labor Law Committee 
    • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Subcommittee: Contributing author to the FLSA Midwinter Report
    • National Labor Relations Act Development Subcommittee
  • Ohio State Bar Association: Labor Law Committee

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1999
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1998
  • B.A., Political Science, Youngstown State University, 1994

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Law Spotlight
BREAKING: OSHA's Vaccine Mandate and Unionized Employer Bargaining Obligations
By Todd A. Dawson, Christian R. White
September 10, 2021
President Biden has just announced that he is tasking OSHA with implementing a new emergency rule mandating that employers with at least 100 employees either require their workforce to be vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Caution Signs Ahead: New NLRB General Counsel Memo Offers a Surprising (and Alarming) Road Map of Plans and Priorities
By Todd A. Dawson
August 23, 2021
New National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo appears ready and willing to help deliver on President Joe Biden’s promise to be “the most pro-union president [we’ve] ever seen.” Abruzzo issued a recent...
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Employment Law Spotlight
A Brave, New World? Recent NLRB Rulings Concerning Mail Ballot Elections May Be The Beginning Of A New Era In Board Elections
By Todd A. Dawson, Carlos A. Torrejon
August 16, 2021
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, unions and employers alike have had to adjust to a “new normal” of mail ballot NLRB elections. Under normal circumstances, the NLRB’s preferred and standard method for conducting...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Will the Supreme Court's Decision Overturning California Union Access Regulation Be a Bonanza for Nonagricultural Employers?
By Todd A. Dawson, Christian R. White
July 13, 2021
In a significant victory for California agricultural employers, the Supreme Court recently held that California’s regulation requiring agricultural companies to permit union organizers on their property was an unconstitutional taking of...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Ninth Circuit Fires Warning Shot, USERRA May Require Paid Military Leave
By Todd A. Dawson
February 11, 2021
In a case that it characterized as one of first impression in the federal courts of appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held last week that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38...
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