As a member of the Airline Group, Blake primarily helps airline clients resolve disputes against union representatives, and defends against discharge and contract grievances and employment related charges. Blake also works closely with airline clients to resolve matters related to representation disputes before the National Mediation Board (NMB). Blake conducts union election campaigns for all crafts or classes.
In counseling clients through wage and hour issues, Blake provides audits analyzing each employee's proper classification and the client's pay practices, and recommending steps to ensure compliance, minimize liability exposure, and mitigate any impact on employee morale. Blake also defends employers involved in FLSA collective actions and employment discrimination lawsuits.
- Blake has handled numerous representation disputes before the NMB involving various airline employee groups including:
- Flight attendants
- Mechanics and related employees
- Fleet and passenger service employees
- Blake successfully represented a large airline client before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, establishing an important precedent regarding an employee's high burden of proof in associational discrimination cases brought under the ADA;
- Blake represented an airline client before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on a complex matter related to a preliminary injunction;
- Blake successfully represented an airline client defend against a complex lawsuit involving a living wage ordinance brought against it by a municipality;
- Blake successfully represented multiple air carriers before the NMB, securing dismissals barring the unions from attempting to represent the same employees for one year.
Recent Publications and Presentations
- Author: Georgia Employment Law Letter, HR Hero, February 1, 2013
- Author: "NMB Clarifies Run-Off Election Rule," FordHarrison Airline Management Update Newsletter, August 8, 2012
- Author: "Court Invalidates Ambush Election Rule; Board Suspends Implementation," FordHarrison Legal Alert, May 16, 2012
- Presenter: "RLA Election Issues & The NMB's Recent Treatment of Allegations of Carrier Interference," May 2012, FordHarrison Airline Labor & Employment Law Symposium
- Author: "Grievance Procedures – The Carrier's Perspective," ALI-ABA Course of Study, Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law, June 2011
- Presenter: "Applying the Administrative Exemption: Know When to Use It and When to Lose It," FordHarrison webinar, February 2011