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Bargaining, negotiating, and litigating have become second nature to Bradley Kafka. For more than 33 years, Brad has concentrated his practice in labor and employment law. Leading the firm’s St. Louis Labor and Employment practice, he represents management in every aspect of labor and employment law, including:

  • Federal and state court litigation
  • ERISA litigation including claims by multi-employer pension and welfare plans
  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Defense of union organizing campaigns
  • Defense of discrimination claims
  • Non-competition and non-solicitation disputes
  • Drafting restrictive covenants including non-competition, non-solicitation, and nondisclosure agreements
  • Drafting employee handbooks and employment policies

Brad successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the United Steel Workers, the Teamsters, and the Oil and Chemical workers, for separate manufacturing employers in which employees were required, for the first time, to make substantial contributions toward health care premiums. He has also defended publicly traded companies in disputes over funding deficiencies and withdrawal liability with multi-employer pension plans. He has defended employers in federal and state court cases involving claims under Title VIII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act. He has frequently advised employers about, and litigated cases involving, noncompetition, nondisclosure, and confidentiality agreements.

Brad is a frequent lecturer on labor, employment, and multi-employer pension plan topics before business groups and trade associations.

  • Currently litigating a dispute involving numerous employers and a multi-employer pension fund regarding the scope of the Building and Construction Industry Exemption contained in Employee Retirement Income Security Act § 4203(b). This case may establish precedent as to the proof and standards applicable to the Building and Construction Industry Exemption.
  • Obtained a declaratory judgment and an injunction on behalf of a client in a case involving conflicting claims of work jurisdiction. Along with numerous employers and unions, the client was signatory to a project labor agreement. This case set the parameters for resolving jurisdictional disputes under the project labor agreement and other similar agreements involving the same large owner.
  • Negotiated a provision in a collective bargaining agreement to eliminate the employer’s participation in a multi-employer defined benefit plan and to instead place the bargaining members in the employer’s defined contribution plan. The negotiation also involved withdrawal from the multi-employer pension plan and negotiation of withdrawal liability. The collective bargaining agreement provision was negotiated without a strike.
  • On behalf of a group of contractors, litigated a case in which the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations used an incorrect formula for establishing the prevailing wage. Successfully litigated the case in Circuit Court and in the Missouri Court of Appeals – Western District. Established a methodology for how the prevailing wage is determined in Missouri.
  • Litigated an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case in which a multi-employer pension fund claimed the client was obligated to pay contributions on behalf of employees of other local unions who traveled into the area despite the client having already made such contributions to the pension funds of those traveling employees. Established precedent regarding reciprocity agreements among fringe benefit funds.
  • On behalf of a business client in the software industry, successfully obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against a major corporation for misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Defeated an effort to certify a class of employers in Madison County, Ill. The plaintiffs had alleged violations of state overtime laws. When the class was not certified, the plaintiff dismissed its lawsuit against the client.
  • Defended a consolidated case filed by two employees who had been terminated by a subsidiary of a large publically traded company. The employees each alleged that they had been terminated due to their disabilities. Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the client and against the plaintiff employees on all counts.
  • On behalf of a private, family owned business, enforced an agreement containing non-competition and non-solicitation provisions that established new law in Missouri.
  • Obtained an injunction against a construction industry union that was picketing six separate worksites of a large construction employer. The injunction forced cessation of picketing and allowed the contractor to resume working at its projects.
  • On behalf of a client that had sold its business to another unrelated entity, obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit by a multi-employer pension plan in which the plan attempted to assess withdrawal liability against the client.
  • Drafted an employee handbook for an employer that operates in all 50 states. The handbook contained variations appropriate for each state in which the employer operates.
  • Drafted and helped implement an Affirmative Action Plan for an employer that entered into contracts with the federal government, several state governments, and many local governmental entities.
  • After a lengthy hearing in federal court, obtained an injunction in favor of employer and against a union that had insisted that it would only sign a pattern collective bargaining agreement formulated by its international union. After this successful result, the union ended its strike against the employer and was required to negotiate the terms of the bargaining agreement.
Publication and Presentations IconPublications & Presentations
Columbia University Law School
Guest lecturer in Labor Law class.
May 5, 2014
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