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 Class Action Blog
Who Is ‘Engaged in Commerce’ Under FAA Section 1? Not Food Delivery Drivers
August 7, 2020
Certain Grubhub Inc. delivery drivers brought two putative collective and class actions asserting that they were misclassified as independent contractors, resulting in both federal and state wage and hour violations. The drivers – who...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Arbitrator’s Joke Not Sufficient to Vacate Award in Putative Antitrust Class Action
August 5, 2020
A poor joke and unsubstantiated hero worship were insufficient to overturn an arbitrator’s award in favor of Travis Kalanick and Uber Technologies Inc., according to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. In an Aug. 3 memorandum and order...
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Employment Class Action Blog
D.C. District Court Refuses to Issue Preliminary Injunction Against Alleged Retaliation in Sex Discrimination Class Action
By Gregory V. Mersol
July 29, 2020
In the 1991 movie “Silence of the Lambs” and the book on which it was based, FBI trainee Clarice Starling is tasked with working with the now-infamous Hannibal Lector to find a serial killer. That movie won a Best Actress Oscar for Jodie...
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Employment Class Action Blog
New Jersey Supreme Court Requires Delivery Drivers to Arbitrate Regardless of FAA Transportation Workers Exemption
By John B. Lewis
July 16, 2020
As we noted in our June 10, 2019 blog post, many have questioned whether state arbitration laws could be applied when some transportation workers are held to be exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) based on Section 1 of that act...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Ninth Circuit Finds No Right of Contribution or Indemnity Under the FLSA
By Gregory V. Mersol
July 6, 2020
Joint or single employer liability has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, where a company is held responsible for the employment obligations of a sufficiently interrelated contractor or corporate entity. Our sister blog, the...
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