Douglas Darch


Baker & McKenzie LLP

Mr. Darch is a member of the Global Automotive Steering Committee and the former Employment Compensation & Labor Practice Group Chair for the Chicago office. He represents and counsels management in the areas of Labor and Employment Law. His practice has a particular emphasis on union relations, corporate transactions, International Framework Agreements, labor management restructuring, Taft-Hartley benefit plan modification, corporate campaigns, leave and absenteeism management, and labor and employment litigation including appellate advocacy. Mr. Darch has represented employers in such highly publicized cases as Kyles v. JK Guardian, the Title VII employment testers case; Dubuque Packing, the case establishing the duty to bargain over work relocations under the National Labor Relations Act; and Esmark v. NLRB, which was at the time, the largest corporate restructuring of a publicly held employer.

Mr. Darch has participated in over 150 hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), labor arbitrators, in the federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies. His experience includes representation in such matters as Title VII, sexual harassment, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), handicap/disability discrimination (ADA), employment-at-will, absenteeism and leave management, retaliatory discharge, race and national origin discrimination, family leave (FMLA), wage and hour (FLSA and state law), Section 301, pre-emption, veterans status, COBRA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), state common law claims, discharge arbitrations, and executive employment agreements. Mr. Darch is an experienced appellate court advocate.

His clients include manufacturers, health care and service employers. These employers value strategic planning to meet corporate objectives while avoiding the costs of litigation where possible. He has provided counseling in workforce reductions, severance plans, developing personnel policies, employee handbooks, workplace investigations, maintaining a union-free environment, preparing for and conducting collective bargaining, workforce interruption contingency planning, and corporate/social responsibility. Mr. Darch also has extensive National Labor Relations Board (union) election campaign experience and collective bargaining experience. Before attending law school, Mr. Darch served in the US Navy.