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)
    • Recommended in 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 Class Action Blog
Third Circuit Opinion Involving Uber Only Adds More Questions to the Dispute Over the Scope of the FAA Section 1 Residual Clause
September 13, 2019
Recent decisions have cast doubt on the enforcement of arbitration clauses in the context of the interstate transportation of goods, but will those limitations extend to the transportation of passengers? And what if the movement does not...
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Employment Class Action Blog
CA Supreme Court Rules That Employees Cannot Recover Unpaid Wages Through PAGA
By Joseph S. Persoff
September 12, 2019
California’s Supreme Court has cut off an area of significant potential exposure for California employers by ruling that employees cannot recover unpaid wages on behalf of themselves and other aggrieved employees through California’s...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Ninth Circuit Reverses Itself and Finds That at Least Some ERISA Claims Can Be Compelled to Arbitration
By Gregory V. Mersol
August 23, 2019
But Do You Really Want To In All Cases? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) was the largest statute ever passed by Congress at the time it was enacted and has only grown further since then. In the 44 years that...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Tennessee District Court Refuses Conditional Certification of Class of Assistant Managers
By Gregory V. Mersol
August 21, 2019
In collective actions under the FLSA, courts typically apply a lower standard to the first “conditional certification” stage. In some cases, that might be warranted, but in many instances courts will undertake an unduly lenient review and...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Ohio Supreme Court Addresses Waiver of the Right to Arbitrate in the Putative Class Action Context
By John B. Lewis
August 19, 2019
In Gembarski v. PartsSource, Inc. (Slip Opinion No. 2019-Ohio-3231, decided Aug. 14, 2019), the Supreme Court of Ohio clarified the standards for waiver of the right to arbitrate in the class action context where only unnamed putative...
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