Labor & Employment Law

Andie L. Stone

Charles A. Dunnagan

Sarah E. Josephson

Susan Greenlee Sonneborn

Jeannie G. Sleeper

JDO: At the Forefront of Labor and Employment Law for More Than 30 Years

Evolving employment laws make the work environment ever more complex, and employment claims have become commonplace. At the same time, employers and managers are asked to do more with less. It’s more critical than ever to maintain good relations between employers and employee in the workplace, and to anticipate and resolve employment disputes promptly and judiciously.

JDO has stood at the forefront of labor and employment law in Alaska for more than 30 years. We were founded on the principle of providing cutting edge labor relations representation to Alaska’s unions.

Along the way we have also developed a sophisticated and successful employment practice – known for resolving disputes and winning cases efficiently, and handling groundbreaking matters that set precedent. That’s why both employers and labor unions trust JDO to help them protect the bottom line and maintain a well-functioning workplace.

Employment Law – Proactively Preventing Disputes; Vigorously Defending Them When Necessary

Employers want lawyers who can prevent problems in the workplace, and solve them effectively when they can’t be avoided. We work closely with employers to establish and implement policies that create a better workplace environment and minimize disputes. Simultaneously we help them identify potential problems and respond quickly and effectively to day-to-day issues – before they get out of control.

We also advise employers about all aspects of hiring and firing, compensation, and compliance with state and federal laws – including wage and hour matters, FMLA and ADA.

When litigation is unavoidable, we bring our clients the experience and resources to mobilize quickly and win cases cost-effectively. Our seasoned employment litigators don’t just stay on top of trends and developments in employment law, they help set them through their involvement in precedent setting cases.

We defend employers against defamation, whistleblower and discrimination claims. We also regularly defend employers against other employment-related lawsuits including breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and wage and hour claims.

We also represent plaintiffs in employment matters. By representing both employers and employees, we believe that we can bring a broadened perspective and greater practical insight to all of our labor and employment clients.

Among the employment matters we’ve handled:

  • Obtaining a defense verdict following trial for a school district in a case involving assertions of wrongful termination, defamation, breach of contract and invasion of privacy related to alleged rumors regarding a former employee’s HIV-positive diagnosis.
  • Handling the appeal in which the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed a decision to terminate an employee who was improperly involved sexually with a student.
  • Obtaining a jury verdict in excess of $750,000 for a former airline pilot who had suffered gender discrimination.
  • Representing a city in a whistleblower action filed by a former employee.
  • Defending a city against employment and overtime claims alleged by five former police officers.
  • Obtaining a significant settlement on behalf of a class of employees of an auto parts store in a overtime wage dispute.

Labor Relations – General Counsel to Unions

When it comes to labor relations, nobody in Alaska has more experience than JDO. Bill Jermain and Charles Dunnagan founded the firm 30 years ago to serve Alaska’s unions with the highest quality labor relations practice. Today we serve as general counsel to most of the state’s labor unions.

From the United Transportation Workers, the Alaska Ironworkers and the Alaska United Food and Commercial Workers, to the Anchorage Firefighters Union; we handle the full range of labor relations and legal needs for each union. This includes collective bargaining, employee rights and grievances, and the negotiation and settling of compensation and benefits issues. We also routinely represent clients before the NLRB and the Alaska Labor Relations Agency.

Whether we are counseling clients through the collective bargaining process, or helping them resolve disputes, our goal remains the same – facilitating a positive workplace, high employee morale and strong labor relations.