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George E. O'Brien represents and counsels employers on a wide variety of labor matters, including:

  • Collective bargaining
  • Unfair labor practice proceedings
  • Labor representation cases and elections
  • Grievances
  • Injunction proceedings
  • Arbitrations
  • Mediation
  • Union relationships
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Breach of contract
  • Discrimination claims
  • Jury trials

He appears in state and federal courts and represents management before the National Labor Relations Board and other administrative agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, and the Connecticut Board of Mediation and Arbitration. He has handled claims arising under:

  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • The Connecticut Municipal Employee Relations Act
  • State and Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws
  • State and Federal Wage & Hour Laws

George recently argued at the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to have the court invalidate a controversial ruling of the National Labor Relations Board restricting the rights of employers to regulate employee conduct that is offensive to customers.

George tried the first federal court case in Connecticut involving a claim of sexual orientation discrimination, obtaining a defendant's judgment for a major insurance company. He represented a large Connecticut municipality in connection with the privatization of the town golf course, defeating union attempts to obtain a court injunction against the transaction. On behalf of a regional transportation company, he obtained a precedent-setting decision by the National Labor Relations Board defeating a union's successorship claim, and on behalf of an acute care hospital in New York he obtained multi-million dollar contract concessions from a registered nurses' union.

He won a defendant's verdict on behalf of a Connecticut acute care hospital in a jury trial involving discrimination and retaliation claims based on race and national origin. He has negotiated severance agreements with departing high-ranking officials for numerous major employers in Connecticut, and represented a Massachusetts acute care hospital in an NLRB representation case and election in which the union was soundly defeated.

George's clients include:

  • Hospitals
  • Manufacturers
  • Physician Practices
  • Colleges and Universities

The office managing shareholder and a founding member of Littler Mendelson's New Haven office, George is a core team member of the firm's Health Care Industry Practice Group and a member of the Good Business Practices Committee. Prior to working at Littler, he was a partner in a major Connecticut general practice firm, where he chaired its labor and employment practice. He was the law clerk for Chief Judge T. Emmet Clarie of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut after serving as editor-in-chief of the Connecticut Law Review while in law school.

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

  • Member, Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Section - Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member, Executive Committee, Federal Practice Section - Connecticut Bar Association, 2005-2011
  • Former chair, Annual Meeting Program - Connecticut Bar Association
  • Former chair, Human Rights and Opportunities Committee - Connecticut Bar Association
  • Former chair, NLRB Liaison Committee - Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Directors - Long Wharf Theatre, 2005-2011
  • Secretary, Board of Trustees - Long Wharf Theatre, 2009-2011
  • Member, Board of Directors - Friends of New Haven Legal Services, 2006-present
  • Member, New Haven Inn of Court
  • Former co-chair, Special Masters Panel - United States District Court, District of Connecticut
  • Former president, Alumni Association - University of Connecticut School of Law
  • Former member, Board of Directors - Whitney Center
  • Former member, Board of Directors - Gateway Community College Foundation
  • Former chair, Board of Directors - St. Mary's High School
  • Former member, Strategic Planning Committee - St. Thomas More Chapel

RECOGNITION

  • Named, The Best Lawyers in America©, 2001-2015 (for more information on the selection process click here)
    • Lawyer of the Year, Labor Law - Management, New Haven, 2015  (for more information on the selection process click here)
    • Lawyer of the Year, Management - Employment Law, New Haven, 2014 (for more information on the selection process click here)
    • Lawyer of the Year, Litigation - Labor & Employment, New Haven, 2013 (for more information on the selection process click here)
  • Named, America's Leading Lawyers for Business - Chambers USA, 2003-2014
  • Named, Super Lawyer - Connecticut, Super Lawyers, 2006-2014 (for more information on the selection process click here)
  • Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating - Healthcare

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESS

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS