Thomas J. Cole, Jr. is managing partner of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. Mr. Cole served as vice chair of the firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the firm’s Associates Committee.
Prior to becoming managing partner, Mr. Cole represented management in all manner of labor and employment matters. He defended employers against claims of employment discrimination and regularly counsels employers concerning employment policies and contracts as well wage and hour issues. He also helped employers deal with union organizational campaigns and issues related to collective bargaining agreements.
Mr. Cole defends claims involving race, gender and national origin discrimination and claims of sexual and racial harassment. He counsels employers on employment policies such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, employee handbooks and contracts, negotiated separations and investigations of employee misconduct.
Representative examples of Mr. Cole’s work, include the following:
- obtained summary judgment on behalf of employer in multi-plaintiff ERISA action
- obtained complete dismissal of discrimination and harassment claims against college professor and college
- obtained arbitration award in employer’s favor where union sought to set aside a significant relocation of employer’s operations saving over a million dollars
- successful settlement of significant DOL wage and hour audits on behalf of clients in retail, technology and manufacturing
- negotiation and drafting of employment and separation agreements
- drafting and enforcement of restrictive covenant agreements
- advice and counseling large scale reductions in force, including WARN Act issues
- advised large organizations in marketing and professional services with respect to the wage and hour issues associated with an overhaul of their compensation systems
- successful negotiation of collective bargaining agreements in manufacturing facilities involving Teamsters and Steelworkers
- obtained arbitration award on behalf of employer against substantial severance and bonus claims by a former executive
- obtained trial verdict rejecting all but one of former sales executive’s claims for substantial commissions
- obtained a broad order, including an award of penalties, against a Philadelphia electrical union on behalf of a local contractor
- successful representation of retailers, manufacturers, and transportation companies in defeating attempts by certain unions to organize employees
- conducted nationwide harassment training for a manufacturer of pharmaceutical devices.
Mr. Cole writes and speaks frequently on a wide range of labor and employment issues. He has given seminars on a variety of topics including the drafting of employment releases, employment and labor issues involved in corporate transactions, equal pay, positive employee relations, and managing in a unionized environment. He has been a featured presenter at the PBI’s annual Employment Law Institute. Mr. Cole is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.