Philip S. Mortensen


Philip S. Mortensen

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Philip S. Mortensen has been representing both private and public sector employers in labor and employment law matters for over thirty years. Prior to joining Barton, Phil was with Jackson Lewis and Kreitzman, Mortensen & Borden.

Phil’s Labor Law practice has concentrated in the areas of union avoidance, collective bargaining, National Labor Relations Board litigation and arbitration.

Phil’s Employment Law experience extends from drafting employee handbooks to working closely with managers and training supervisors to ensure compliance with all applicable laws such as equal employment opportunity laws and wage/hours laws. He has conducted many on-site, in-depth “Risk Review” meetings with management in order to make certain of employer’s compliance with Federal and State anti-discrimination laws, to identify potential risks and exposures, and to recommend appropriate and lawful action in order to rectify those potential vulnerabilities. In both administrative proceedings as well as related court litigation, Phil has represented and defended management in numerous employment discrimination actions.

Phil is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and The Florida Bar. He has authored various comments and articles regarding NLRB case law developments and recommended management approaches to Equal Employment Opportunity issues.

Industry Experience


Labor, Employment and Executive Compensation
  • Advisor Regarding Creation of Employee Handbooks
    • Has represented several employers in the creation and reviewing of their respective employee handbooks, advising on content and suggesting revisions based on various applicable employment laws.
  • Conducted Risk Analysis of Union Organizing
    • Represented a company with locations throughout the United States and worked with them to target offices which were most likely to be susceptible to union organizing attempts, conduct in-depth risk analyses at these locations, and develop a strategy to successfully maintain union-free status.
  • Defended Clients in Employee Classification Cases
    • Has successfully represented several employers accused of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” or “exempt employees” to avoid overtime pay.
  • Advised Entertainment Company on Child Labor and Overtime Laws
    • Prepared an in-depth survey of all state child labor laws affecting a large entertainment company with locations throughout the United States. In addition, Phil also prepared a survey of all relevant state overtime pay laws.
  • Counsel Regarding Compliance with Neutrality Agreements
    • Trained managers and supervisors of a nation-wide communications company—that had entered into a “neutrality” agreement with two unions—on how to comply with that agreement and still effectively manage the business.
  • Conducted Union-Avoidance Training Programs
    • Conducted union-avoidance training periodically for managers and supervisors of a large, nation-wide communications company.
  • Conducted Sexual Harassment Training Programs
    • Has conducted multiple comprehensive sexual harassment training programs for companies and their employees.
  • Advised on Pension Withdrawal Liability Assessment
    • Has represented multiple companies regarding pension withdrawal liability assessment when collective bargaining-based pension agreements expire, or the company goes bankrupt.
Regulatory Investigations and Enforcement
  • Represented Client in Investigation by Dept. of Labor
    • Represented a high-profile company in an investigation by the Department of Labor into the Company’s classification of many workers as “independent contractors.” Phil was successful in proving to the DOL that all such classified workers were, in fact, independent contractors and not employees.
  • Defended Employers Before the EEOC
    • Has represented employers before the EEOC and various state and local human rights agencies, successfully defending them against charges of sexual harassment, race discrimination, sex discrimination, age discrimination and disability discrimination.
  • Conducted Investigations into Sexual Harassment Claims
    • Has represented companies in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, including conducting thorough internal investigations. After the investigations, Phil has provided reports to top management, including conclusions and recommendations.
  • Guided Clients Through I-9 Audits by ICE
    • Has represented employers during I-9 audits conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
  • Represented Clients in Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Discharge Suits
    • Has represented multiple companies in both sexual harassment lawsuits and wrongful discharge suits.
Labor and Employment Disputes
  • Chief Spokesperson in Successful Labor Negotiations
    • Represented a major entertainment company by acting as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations throughout the nation. Over a 17-year period, Phil was successful in reducing the total number of collective bargaining agreements from over 60 to 0.
  • Combatted 100+ Union Organizing Drives
    • Represented another large communications company (with locations in 40 states) against over 100 union organizing drives over a 10-year period. In the only 2 locations where the union was successful, both were decertified within 2 years.
  • Defeated Six NLRB Petitions
    • Represented a company undergoing a state-wide union organizing attempt. Of the six NLRB petitions that progressed to a government supervised election in one year, all six elections were won by the Company.
  • Decertified 50+ Collective Bargaining Units
    • Represented a nation-wide communications company (with locations in all states and Puerto Rico) by coordinating and conducting labor negotiations, successfully obtaining consistent labor contracts that maintained maximum management rights and efficiencies. Over a 15-year period, Phil and his team oversaw the decertification of over 50 collective bargaining units.
  • Reduced Overall Costs of Labor in Negotiations
    • Represented a large entertainment company by acting as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations. Phil was able, in every negotiation, to reduce the overall costs of labor covered by the relevant collective bargaining agreements.
  • Defeated State-Wide Union Organizing Attempt
    • Represented a company undergoing a state-wide union organizing attempt in the mid-west. After 15 months, the union was not successful in gaining enough support in a single location to file an election petition with the NLRB and, eventually, they walked away.