Perspectiva General

John M. Cerilli represents employers with respect to all aspects of labor and employment law. His traditional labor law practice focuses on:

  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • Labor arbitration
  • Labor contract administration
  • Collective bargaining
  • Strikes and picketing
  • Union organizing
  • Plant closings and mass layoffs
  • Corporate transactions

In his employment practice, John provides counseling and training on a wide range of employment matters, such as:

  • Hiring and firing
  • Personnel policies
  • Reductions-in-force
  • Workers' compensation
  • Discrimination

John regularly appears before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission and other governmental agencies. His clients include the following types of companies:

  • Electrical power
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical industry
  • Steel industry
  • Cultural and entertainment
  • Armored car and security
  • Airlines
  • Technology
  • Health care
  • Transportation
  • Oil, gas, and coal
  • Commercial real estate

John is a founding member of the firm's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, office and served as office managing shareholder of both the Pittsburgh and Mogantown, West Virginia, offices for the period of 2006-2016. He is co-chair of Littler’s Energy Practice Group, a core member of the firm's Traditional Labor Practice Group, a member of the firm’s Corporate Transactions Practice Group and a member of the firm's Technology Committee.

John regularly provides presentations for clients and local organizations on topics such as:

  • The Trump board: Impact of the changing of the guard at the NLRB
  • The NLRB’s new quickie election rules
  • Impact of the Obama board on handbooks and policies
  • Managing strikes and lockouts - contingency planning and what you need to know to comply with the law
  • Best practices for litigating labor arbitrations
  • Understanding why you lose labor arbitration so you can start winning
  • Labor law overview
  • The art of labor negotiations
  • Making discipline stick: Meeting the just cause requirements
  • Conducting effective investigations that will hold up at arbitration 
  • Strike training for supervisors
  • Best practices for effective management of the grievance-arbitration procedure
  • Preparing the workplace for a pandemic

Prior to joining Littler, John was a field examiner with the NLRB's Region Six office in Pittsburgh.

*Not licensed to practice law in West Virginia

Afiliaciones Profesionales y Comunitarias


Pennsylvania Bar Association


Labor and Employment and Workers' Compensation sections

Pennsylvania Bar Association


Allegheny County Bar Association


Labor and Employment and Workers' Compensation sections

Allegheny County Bar Association

Member, Board of Directors

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank


Former President, Board of Directors

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank



Named, The Best Lawyers in America©


Named, Lawyer of the Year

Employment Law - Management, Pittsburgh

The Best Lawyers in America©


Fellow, American Bar Foundation



American Bar Association


Recipient, Jefferson Award for Community Service


Awarded, AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating


News, Analysis & Press

Under Trump, Uncertainty Ahead for Labor Issues

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 5, 2016

Speaking Engagements

Labor Law Update: The Trump Board Impact of the Changing of the Guard at the NLRB and What it Means for Nonunion and Union Employers

Pittsburgh, PA

January 24, 2019

The Hottest Labor and Employment Developments of 2015

Pittsburgh, PA

November 4, 2015

The NLRB’s New Quickie Election Rules

ACC, Western Pennsylvania Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA

May 20, 2014

Emerging Labor Crisis: What You Need to Know About the NLRB's Ramped-Up Attacks on All Employers (Union and Non-Union Alike)

Pittsburgh, PA

December 4, 2013

Managing and Winning Labor Arbitrations

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

H1N1 Flu: Preparing the Workplace for a Pandemic

Pittsburgh, PA

October 14, 2009

A Brand New (Work) Day?

Pittsburgh, PA

January 9, 2009


  • J.D., Duquesne University, 1987
  • B.A., Pennsylvania State University, 1982Highest Distinction

Admisión de la barra



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania