Patrick W. McGovern is a Partner in the Firm's Newark, NJ office. He is Chair of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation/ERISA Practice and Co-Chair of the Hotels & Restaurants Industry Group as well as a member of the Employment Law & Litigation, Energy & Utility Law, Labor Law, Immigration Law and Wage and Hour Compliance Practice Groups. Mr. McGovern represents management in labor, employment, employee benefits and immigration matters, advising on compliance regarding all aspects of employer-employee relationships, including union-free and union avoidance strategies; drug testing policies; wage and hour laws and immigration law as well as labor and employment and benefits issues that arise during mergers, acquisitions, facility closings, business expansion, workforce reductions and merger integrations.
Mr. McGovern represents management in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, including proceedings involving representation, decertification, unit clarification and unfair labor practices as well as labor arbitrations, collective bargaining and project labor agreement negotiations. He appears in state and federal court and before regulatory agencies in matters arising under fair employment practices laws, labor laws, wage and hour laws and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Before joining the firm, Mr. McGovern was in-house counsel at Allied Corp., AlliedSignal Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. He was at Honeywell for 20 years where one of his senior level posts was Associate General Counsel-Human Resources, where he specialized in labor and employment matters. Prior to this, Mr. McGovern was an attorney in the Manhattan office of Kelley, Drye & Warren, an international law firm.
Mr. McGovern has written numerous articles including: “Banks Must Comply with New Affirmative Action Rules,” New Jersey Banker, Summer 2014; “Expect No Change in OFCCP’s Aggressive Agenda Despite Election Year,” New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Quarterly, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2012; “Rigorous Changes Coming Down the Pipeline for Federal Contractors,” Client Alert, October 2012; “Understand GINA’s New Prohibitions on Misuse of Genetic Info,” HR Specialist, February 2010; “N.J. Supreme Court: Strikers May Be Entitled to Unemployment,” HR Specialist, April 2009 ;“New Jersey Cracks Down on Employers that Misclassify Employees,” HR Specialist, October 2007; and “New Jersey Law on Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace,” Institute of Business Law.
His presentations included: “Affordable Care Act in a Time of Transition,” New Jersey League of Municipalities 2016 Annual Convention, November 17, 2016; “A Management Perspective on the Supreme Court Decision in Penn Plaza v. Pyett,” New Jersey Labor and Employment Relations Association, December 10, 2012; “Where the FMLA, the FLA, the ADA and the NLRA Interact,” Client Briefing, May 15, 2012; “All aTwitter About Social Media,” American Arbitration Association University, April 3, 2012; “Avoiding the Wage-and-Hour Trap and Surviving a Wage-Hour Audit…and Avoiding Something Worse,” New Jersey Business & Industry Association, February 24, 2012; “The Proposed U.S. Department of Labor Rule to Modify the Definition of ‘Persuader Activities’ under the Labor Management Relations Disclosure Act,” New York Labor and Employment Relations Association, October 19, 2011; “Preempting a Corporate Campaign At Your Hospital,” Presentation to Hospital Law Institute, Hospital and Health Systems and Labor and Employment Practice Groups, February 14, 2008; and “Labor and Employment Law Issues Arising from Use of Independent Contractors,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, 2008.
- Counseled management teams regarding complex plant and operations closings, relocations and downsizings at unionized and non-union locations.
- Successfully represented management in union representation and decertification campaigns and proceedings before the NLRB.
- Defended employers in judicial proceedings under ERISA seeking pension, health insurance, severance pay and pension withdrawal liability.
- Represented employers in the hospitality, transportation, manufacturing, energy, and service industries in court and before the New Jersey State Department of Labor regarding claims of on-call pay and overtime compensation.
- Successfully defended employers against claims filed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs under Executive Order 11246, including discriminatory compensation practices, failure to track applicants correctly and failure to satisfy outreach requirements.
- Counseled management regarding termination and wind-down of 401(k) plans and final distribution of plan assets.
- Successfully represented plan sponsors regarding correction of plant operational errors, including those discovered during U.S. Department of Labor audits.
- Represented employers in prevailing wage litigation before the New Jersey Department of Labor and New York City Comptroller’s Office.
- Successfully advised management teams on the negotiation of project labor agreements in Essex, Bergen and Gloucester counties in New Jersey and in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester County in New York.
- Assisted organizations in bringing benefits policies and plans into compliance with employment-at-will guidelines, wage and hour laws, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and other state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
- Provided just-in-time training to managers, supervisors and human resources professionals regarding positive employee relations, maintaining a union-free workplace, managing in a union environment, violence in the workplace and basics of employee benefits laws.
- Counseled management regarding compliance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines that apply to non-qualified executive compensation arrangements.
- Advised business and nonprofits with immigration and non-immigration applications (including H, TN, O, P, E, L visas) and review, audits and self-audits of the I-9 compliance process.
- New Jersey Super Lawyer, New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine, 2009-2017
- Six Sigma Green Belt