Overview

Walter C. Hunter has extensive experience representing a variety of employers regarding employment law matters, including:

  • Collective bargaining agreements and negotiations
  • Labor arbitrations
  • Organizing drives
  • National Labor Relations Board matters
  • Discrimination claims
  • Wage and hour matters
  • Independent contractor challenges

He appears before the National Labor Relations Board, labor arbitrators, state and federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. He has specific expertise with the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Walter is well known for his expertise in higher education traditional labor law matters, and has testified in Washington before joint subcommittees of Congress as an expert on NLRB issues affecting higher education. Among his notable recent successes, Walter has represented a number of employers in successful negotiations of complex collective bargaining agreements, advised employers on their legal obligations in response to union organizing and successfully defended employers in sensitive labor arbitrations.  Among his litigation successes, Walter argued the case that paved the way for the construction of a major facility in Smithfield, Rhode Island, by convincing the state Supreme Court that contractors were not obligated to treat the project as a public work. He also successfully argued a case that overturned an injunction brought by a union against a supermarket company involving the transfer of a warehouse operation. He also supervised the employment litigation nationwide for a major retailer.

Walter provides compliance counseling in areas such as freedom from harassment and wage hour compliance and has helped to develop several comprehensive positive employee relations training programs for managers.

Walter's clients include:

  • Hospitals
  • Manufacturers
  • Banks
  • Universities
  • Steel companies
  • Nursing homes
  • Supermarket companies
  • Visiting nurses associations
  • Warehouse distribution operations

Co-chair of Littler Mendelson's Higher Education Practice Group, Walter came to Littler from Brown University, where he served as vice president of administration for eight years. Over the course of his tenure, he supervised the university's operations in:

  • Human resources
  • Labor relations
  • Facilities management
  • Real estate
  • Risk management
  • Public safety
  • Retail bookstore
  • Transportation management
  • Environmental health and safety
  • Insurance
  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Equal employment opportunity
  • Affirmative action

He also conducted or oversaw the university's complex labor union negotiations covering four different bargaining units and the response to the nationally-recognized effort by a large union to organize graduate students. Additionally, he orchestrated comprehensive improvements in human resources programs and administration and was a creative force behind enhancements to reward and recognition programs for staff. He also oversaw the sensitive process of arming campus police officers and introduced numerous innovative emergency preparedness enhancements in the aftermath of the September 11th and Virginia Tech tragedies.

Prior to joining Brown University, Walter was a partner at a law firm, where he practiced labor and employment law for 18 years.

Recognition

Named, America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Chambers USA

2014 and 2015

Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow

Publications & Press

Students or Employees?

In the News

September 13, 2012

NLRB Issues Affecting Institutions of Higher Education

House Subcommittees on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and Higher Education and Workforce Training

September 12, 2012

Speaking Engagements

Rhode Island Employment Law Update

Providence, RI

May 22, 2014

NLRB Developments Affecting Institutions of Higher Education

Congressional Testimony, Washington, DC

September 12, 2012

Faculty Evaluations: Adhering to Process and Institutional Policies

Workshop for Department & Division Chairs - The Council of Independent Colleges

May 2012

Faculty Hiring Practices: Adhering to Process and Institutional Policies

Workshop for Department & Division Chairs - The Council of Independent Colleges

May 2012

Social Media Grows Up: The Safe, Legal and Effective Business Use of Social Media

Annual Business Expo - Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Providence, RI

May 2012

Organized Labor Update

National Association of College and University Attorneys, Seattle, WA

March 2012

Labor Relations Developments at Community Colleges

The Community College Conference on Legal Issues, Orlando, FL

January 2012

Know When to Hold ’Em and to Fold ’Em: Handling Thorny Issues in Negotiations

Annual Meeting - National Association of College and University Attorneys, San Francisco, CA

June 2011

Social Media and Social Networking - Navigating the Legal Perils of a New Electronic Workplace

The Community College Conference on Legal Issues

January 2011

The New N.L.R.B. - Important Developments for Community Colleges

The Community College Conference on Legal Issues

January 2011

The New NLRB – Promises of a "More Dynamic" Reading of the NLRA

National Association of College and University Attorneys

June 2010

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1982
  • B.S., United States Military Academy at West Point, 1973

Bar Admission

Rhode Island

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts