James P. Thomas is a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Pittsburgh office. He concentrates his practice on labor and employment law.
Mr. Thomas represents employers in traditional labor and employment-related litigation, jury and non jury, in federal and state courts and in proceedings before various administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He has successfully defended employers in all types of discrimination and harassment claims, as well as wage and hour claims, claims under the National Labor Relations Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and wrongful discharge and common law claims.
Mr. Thomas also counsels clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. His labor practice includes serving as employer spokesperson in collective bargaining, advising employers in connection with efforts to maintain a union-free environment, advising companies in their collective bargaining strategies and tactics, and the administration of their collective bargaining agreements, including employee discipline and termination issues. He has been the employer’s advocate in multiple labor-arbitration cases, and he also counsels clients in all aspects of the employment process, including wage and hour issues, employee communications, independent contractor compliance, employment contracts and handbooks, non-compete issues, personnel policies, drug and alcohol policies, terminations and severance agreements.
Mr. Thomas’ practice includes advising and defending employers on OSHA matters. His OSHA practice includes counseling management on safety and health issues; representing employers in negotiations with OSHA over citations and penalties; litigating OSHA complaints before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission; and investigating, defending and litigating employee claims of retaliation under OSHA.