Labor & Employment Attorney
Argonne National Laboratory - Chicago, IL

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To represent, counsel, and advise Laboratory management on all matters involving labor and employment law and certain matters involving miscellaneous general law. To protect the interests of the Laboratory and the University from potential legal cost exposure stemming from labor disputes and employment-related adverse claims. POSITION OVERVIEW Argonne needs an effective Labor and Employment lawyer with a solid grounding in employee benefits and ERISA matters. Both law firm training and experience in a corporate law department is desired. Reporting to the GC, the Senior Attorney will be a key member of the legal team. RESPONSIBILITIES Specific responsibilities of the Senior Attorney will include:
  • Providing comprehensive legal counsel and expertise in employment law matters including ? but not limited to ? discrimination, terminations and reductions in force;
  • Providing comprehensive legal counsel and expertise in labor law matters, as the Lab has 6 union contracts and 450 union members (approximately 15% of the work force);
  • Providing assistance to the Lab?s benefits accountant regarding ERISA matters and effectively managing the Lab?s outside ERISA counsel;
  • Assisting the GC on special projects involving retirement plan changes;
  • Providing legal advice to the Benefits Committee regarding retirement plan restatements and the Lab?s transition to a single recordkeeper;
  • Drafting alternative general release and waiver for use by the Lab in reductions in force and assisting with getting DOE approval for these alternatives;
  • Outlining risk and providing risk assessment in the benefits, labor and employment areas so that the Lab?s business leaders can make appropriate decisions; and
  • Building relationships in order to deal effectively with all levels of Argonne ? from lab employees to senior management to graduate students ? and the Department of Energy and University of Chicago, the entities that manage Argonne.

  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience

    Comprehensive knowledge of labor relations law and skills in negotiation are required. Comprehensive skill in interpersonal relations is required to effect compromises, to function under time constraints and pressure, to recognize problems and make sound legal judgments.

    Considerable knowledge is required of general labor relations in the Chicago six-county area, laws and regulations in EEO and affirmative action, and laws pertaining to employee benefit plans. Considerable skill is required in legal draftsmanship, ability to perform legal research, advocacy and trial ability, oral and written communications, and ability to deal effectively with people and problems, and to manage and influence committees.

    Some knowledge of general law and Federal Procurement Laws and Regulations is required.

    This position requires a Juris Doctor agree and a license to practice law in Illinois.

    Minimum Education/Experience Requirements
    The successful candidate will be a seasoned lawyer with at least 10 years of experience. Specific experience and qualifications desired include:
  • A J.D. from an excellent, accredited law school;
  • An undergraduate degree in the sciences would be beneficial;
  • Intellectual curiosity, specifically in the work being performed at Argonne;
  • A progressive attitude and a creative legal mind;
  • The ability to balance initiative with judgment;
  • Flexibility;
  • Experience with government agencies, specifically the Department of Energy or Department of Defense would be a plus;
  • Deep expertise in general employment law, including but not limited to discrimination, reductions in force and whistleblower issues;
  • Deep expertise in labor law;
  • A solid grounding in ERISA and employee benefits matters;
  • Experience in actively managing a variety of outside counsel;
  • Good time-management skills to be responsive to the Lab?s needs;
  • The ability to work effectively on multiple projects simultaneously;
  • The ability to work efficiently within certain time constraints and under pressure to achieve desired goals;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills to be knowledgeable and persuasive and inspire confidence in colleagues at all levels of Argonne;
  • The ability to be successful working with the tools currently in place, the willingness to roll up sleeves, but the vision and desire to grow with the Lab; and
  • Security clearance as required by the Lab.

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