Resolving complex labor and employment disputes is the foundation of Derek Barella’s practice. He counsels clients on federal and state labor and employment laws, and frequently defends claims in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as before arbitrators and administrative agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, and U.S. Department of Labor.
With deep experience in traditional labor matters, Derek advises clients on collective bargaining relationships, including developing and implementing bargaining strategies, labor dispute contingency planning, maintenance of operations during labor disputes, responding to corporate campaigns, audits of union-sponsored health and welfare plans, unfair labor practice litigation, labor contract administration, and labor issues associated with the acquisition or divesture of corporate assets.
Clients with and without unionized workforces turn to Derek for help on employee engagement initiatives, organizing risk assessments, and implementing successful campaigns related to union certification and decertification elections. He represents clients across a broad range of industries, including health care, manufacturing, law enforcement, logistics and distribution, business consulting, retail, publishing, and financial services.
Beyond traditional labor matters, Derek’s litigation experience includes defending claims involving civil rights and equal employment opportunity, wrongful discharge, wage payment and collection, and ERISA benefits, including class action claims for alleged vested retiree benefits.
Derek also has considerable experience prosecuting and defending actions involving the enforcement of contractual restrictive covenants, as well as claims for unfair competition, employee raiding, and the protection of trade secrets.
- Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D., 1994
- Ball State University Miller College of Business, B.S., 1991
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law
- Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law (2004-Present)
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