Kenneth L. Wagner

Kenneth L. Wagner

Partner

With some 20 years of experience, Kenneth L. Wagner is widely recognized by union leaders and individual employee executives as a highly capable attorney for labor and employment work before federal and state courts, administrative agencies and arbitration tribunals.

Ken regularly provides advice to union leaders in a wide variety of private and public sector industries; much of his work on behalf of unions has focused on a variety of traditional labor law matters — arbitration, cases before the NLRB and PERB, section 301 and duty of fair representation litigation, and collective bargaining.

Ken also has a successful practice counseling and representing individual employees and senior executives in employment and severance agreement negotiations, employment law matters and disputes over compensation and termination issues.

In his spare time, Ken—a transplanted New Orleanian—enjoys his family, sports, cooking, running, travel, and politics.

Significant Representations

  • Successfully defended construction industry union against member’s federal court lawsuit alleging disparate impact age discrimination; defense verdict was issued following three-day trial.
  • Successfully defended local and international unions in complicated federal court litigation against multiple claims of race and gender discrimination brought by employees of large manufacturing plant; summary judgment granted by district court and upheld by circuit court of appeals.

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  • Represented and advised statewide and local police unions in multiple contract negotiations and related interest arbitration proceedings.
  • Represented truck drivers union in NLRB proceeding and related federal court litigation challenging employer’s attempt to shut down facility and re-open under different name; negotiated comprehensive settlement agreement on behalf of union and affected employees.
  • Represented unions in scores of grievance arbitration proceedings challenging employers’ action in disciplinary and discharge matters and a wide variety of contract interpretation disputes.
  • Represented senior executive in state-court litigation and successful settlement negotiations in connection with employment contract dispute with former employer.
  • Has extensive experience reviewing employment separation agreements, and providing advice and representation to individual employees, including highly compensated executives and professionals.
  • Successfully defended former executive director of non-profit human services agency against sexual harassment claims brought in state court by former subordinate.

Publications

  • Our Deal Trumps My Bargaining Rights Only if I Said So: The Board’s Reaffirmation of Its Waiver Doctrine in Unilateral Change Cases, 25 ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law 1, Fall 2009

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  • The Developing Labor Law, 5th Edition, 2006, Editor
  • The Developing Labor Law, 4th Edition, 2001, Associate Editor
  • The Developing Labor Law, Cumulative Supplement, Editor-in-Chief, 2004-2005, Associate Editor, 1998-2003, 2007-2010, and Contributing Editor, 1995-1997
  • “No” Means “No” When a Party “Really” Says So: The NLRB’s Continued Adherence to the Clear and Unmistakable Waiver Doctrine in Unilateral Change Cases, 13 The Labor Lawyer 325, Fall 1997

Speaking Engagements

  • May 14, 2010, NLRB Region 3/NYSBA/Cornell University-ILR Conference, Depew, NY, “Recent Developments on Critical Labor Relations Issues Before the NLRB — Unilateral Changes: Clear and Unmistakable Waiver or Contract Coverage?”

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  • March 3, 2009, DLL Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, CA, “Our Deal Trumps My Bargaining Rights Only if I Said So: The Board’s Reaffirmation of Its Waiver Doctrine in Unilateral Change Cases”
  • May 20, 2005, PERB/Cornell University-ILR Conference, Tarrytown, NY, “Reaching a Settlement Without Interest Arbitration — A Perspective from the Union Side”
  • May 9, 2003, NLRB Region 3/NYSBA/Cornell University-ILR Conference, Depew, NY, “The NLRB and the National Labor Relations Act: Recent Developments in the Law”
  • February 18, 2003, DLL Midwinter Meeting, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, “What Should the Bargaining Rights of a Discriminatory Successor Employer Be?”
  • January 17, 2002, CNY Chapter, IRRA, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY, “Arbitration Skills Workshop”
  • March 23, 2000, CNY Chapter, IRRA, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY, “Technology and Emerging Topics in Labor Law”
  • January 5, 2000, Onondaga County Bar Association, Syracuse, NY “An Introduction to Certain Aspects of the National Labor Relations Act”
  • February 3, 1997, DLL Midwinter Meeting, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, “‘No’ Means ‘No’ When a Party ‘Really’ Says So: The NLRB’s Continued Adherence to the Clear and Unmistakable Waiver Doctrine in Unilateral Change Cases”
  • November 14, 1996, New York State Bar Association Program, Albany, NY, “Labor and Employment Law for the Corporate Counselor and General Practitioner: Basics of Employee Compensation”
  • May 25, 1993, Cornel University, NYS School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ithaca, NY, “Employee Participation Programs after Electromation, Inc., 309 NLRB 990 (1992)”

Affiliations

Onondaga County Bar Association; New York State Bar Association (Member, Labor and Employment Law Section); American Bar Association (Member: Labor and Employment Law Section; Committee on the Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act); Co-Chair: ABA Developing Labor Law Committee, 2003-2006, Midwinter Meeting Program, 2000-2003; Member, Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association; Member, Board of Directors, Legal Services of Central New York, 1997-2002 (President, 2000-2002); Member, Central New York Chapter, Labor and Employment Research Association; Member, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee; Member, Syracuse University Journal of International Law & Commerce, 1988-1989