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Blog Posts (398)

  • Congress Invokes Railway Labor Act & Commerce Clause to Prevent Potential Railway Strike

    On November 30, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to avert a nationwide freight rail strike. Following prior negotiations and a tentative agreement that came to fruition in September 2022, rail workers and their companies had until December 9 to finalize the agreement before they pledged to strike. Economic experts and government officials were concerned that a strike so close to the holidays would exacerbate inflation and supply chain issues as rail is still used extensively in this country, and President Biden called on Congress to act. Three days later, on December 2, 2022, the U.S. Senate approved the measure, and President Biden signed the bill the same day. The law now makes a strike illegal. The House also approved a separate measure to add seven days of paid sick leave to the contract (as opposed to one). The Senate, however, did not have enough votes to approve that measure. While labor relations in the private sector are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), labor relations in the railroad industry are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). The RLA includes mandatory dispute resolution procedures that preclude strikes over union disputes, while the NLRA allows workers in the private sector to strike. Congressional authority to act under the RLA is derived from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that Congress has the power “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes[.]” Indeed, in 1917, nearly 10 years before the RLA was passed, the Supreme Court in Wilson v. New determined that that Congressional authority over railway carriers in interstate commerce fell within its power to regulate commerce. Ultimately, if negotiation efforts between railway employees and management wane, Congress may intervene and take action and impose a contractual agreement under which both sides must operate. Since the RLA was enacted in 1926, Congress has acted 18 times in railway labor negotiations and each time the Legislation was passed to prevent a strike. If you have any questions regarding this article, or if you have any other Labor & Employment Law concerns, please contact the Underberg & Kessler attorney who regularly handles your legal matters or Ericka Elliott, the author of this piece, here or at (585) 258-2830.

  • EEOC Offers Latest Advice on Propriety of Employer COVID Testing

    As the COVID pandemic wanes, the EEOC has repeatedly updated its guidance on COVID testing by an employer. In its latest version from earlier this month, the EEOC advised that viral testing should be more limited and based on a business necessity analysis. This analysis will include current pandemic circumstances and individual workplace circumstances. Then, the viral testing must be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” Specifically, the EEOC offered seven factors to analyze the “business necessity” conclusion: How an employee in the workplace with COVID would affect operations; How much such an employee would have contact with fellow employees and/or others (particularly those at high risk) in the workplace; The possible severity of illness from, and ease of transmission of, the current variant; How likely those with current booster shots are likely to have breakthrough cases; How quick and reliable different types of viral COVID tests are; What percentage of employees are vaccinated and boosted; and The community transmission level. The EEOC also weighed in on applicant testing and is far more encouraging towards it. For on-site applicants during the pre-offer period, COVID screening tests (viral test, temperature check, etc.) are permissible as long as all in that category are tested. Similarly, COVID screening after a conditional job offer is made is also acceptable if done for everyone in the same position. Given how unique each employment situation is and how rapidly the law is still changing about COVID, it is best to review testing policies with experienced employment law counsel. If you have any questions regarding this article, or if you have any other Labor & Employment Law concerns, please contact the Underberg & Kessler attorney who regularly handles your legal matters or Paul F. Keneally, the author of this piece, here or at (585) 258-2882.

  • Knab Recognized as a Power 20 in Litigation

    Underberg & Kessler LLP is proud to share that our Managing Partner, Thomas F. Knab, was chosen to be on The Daily Record's Power 20 list for Litigation in 2022! "The people on this list help their clients resolve complex legal matters that often have dire consequences for their financial well-being, whether the client is a business or an individual. These attorneys have also advocated for their clients during a time of unprecedented disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and more. They have had to navigate new rules from federal and state government and the court system and have had to embrace new ways of practicing law." For more on this recognition, client HERE.

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  • LEGAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Careers | Underberg & Kessler LLP

    LEGAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT This Position Reports to Our Rochester, NY Law Office We have an immediate opening for an administrative assistant. Our Firm provides legal services for clients that include municipalities, businesses, national retailers, financial institutions, and individuals. Qualified candidates must possess exceptional attention to detail and accuracy, be able to provide excellent client service, and have prior experience working in a law firm or other professional services organization. This high-energy, detail-oriented individual must also possess strong organizational skills as he or she will be responsible for performing tasks to assist attorneys and team members effectively and efficiently. Responsibilities include but are not limited to maintaining files, calendaring, preparing, revising, and proofreading litigation and real estate documents (e.g., affidavits, agreements, briefs, motion papers, etc.) for filing. Working knowledge of real estate transactions, mortgage banking, and/or title report preparation is a plus in order to provide back-up support as needed. We look to hire bright individuals who are team players with a strong work ethic, sound judgment, and who take ownership of their projects. The Firm is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer a collaborative and collegial environment, and a competitive salary and benefits package. If you are unable to submit your application due to a disability, please contact Karen Marr, Operations Manager, at kmarr@underbergkessler.com to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process. Apply

  • MORTGAGE LENDING PARALEGAL Careers | Underberg & Kessler LLP

    MORTGAGE LENDING PARALEGAL This Position Reports to Our Rochester, NY Law Office We are a growing mid-sized law firm, and we are seeking a Paralegal for our Residential Real Estate Mortgage Lending Practice Group in Rochester, NY. Our ideal candidate must be detail-oriented with a minimum of three years of experience working on residential mortgage transactions with the demonstrated ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment. Working knowledge of residential document generation programs and/or title report preparation is a plus. We look to hire bright individuals who are motivated self-starters and team players with a strong work ethic, enthusiasm for providing excellent client service, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Some firms look for employees who live and breathe the law. But at Underberg & Kessler, we look for people with a variety of interests and a rich knowledge base. We believe that well-rounded individuals are of greater benefit to our clients because they bring more depth and understanding to the job. In a familial, yet professional, atmosphere, our commitment to clients extends from the partnership, to the associates, to the support staff. The Firm is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Firm offers a collaborative and collegial environment, a competitive salary, and benefits package that includes, but is not limited to, medical, dental and vision plans, 401K, disability and life insurance, and paid vacation. To learn more about our Firm, please visit other pages of our website. If you are unable to submit your application due to a disability, please contact Karen Marr, Operations Manager, at kmarr@underbergkessler.com to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process. Apply

  • LITIGATION ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY Careers | Underberg & Kessler LLP

    LITIGATION ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY This Position Reports to Our Rochester, NY Law Office We are a growing mid-sized law firm seeking a Litigation Associate for our Rochester, NY office. Our litigation practice team members handle commercial and general civil litigation matters and have experience representing clients in court, arbitration, and mediation. Qualified candidates must be admitted to practice in New York State with a minimum of three years of experience representing public and private clients in litigated matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Labor and employment law experience is a plus. We look to hire bright individuals who are team players with a strong work ethic, excellent written and verbal communication skills, sound judgment, and who take ownership of their projects. The Firm is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer a collaborative and collegial environment, a competitive salary, and benefits package that includes, but is not limited to, medical, dental and vision plans, 401K, disability and life insurance, and paid vacation. To learn more about our Firm, please visit other pages of our website. If you are unable to submit your application due to a disability, please contact Karen Marr, Operations Manager, at kmarr@underbergkessler.com to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process. Apply

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