Firm Philosophies


Firm Philosophy: To resolve problems promptly and litigate effectively.

Arnold and Kadjan, LLP, is one of the oldest and largest union labor law firms in Illinois, concentrating exclusively in representing organized labor in the field of labor, employment law, and employee benefits as well as personal injury and workers compensation.

Established in 1962, the firm currently provides a full range of labor relations services to clients representing a cross section of private and public sector unions.

We represent clients in litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, before arbitrators and government agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, Wage and Hour Division of the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state employment commissions, civil rights agencies and departments of labor, both state and federal. In addition, we have been special counsel to the Illinois Department of Labor in enforcement actions under the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

At Arnold and Kadjan,LLP, we handle collective bargaining negotiations, and grievances, arbitrations and appeal. We also provide counsel to represent and offer a comprehensive range of services relating to employee benefit plans including subrogation and collection actions.

We represent labor organizations in all aspects of the collective bargaining process, including preparation, negotiations, and the drafting of collective bargaining agreements. Our objective is to safeguard labor’s rights and negotiate contracts at competitive wage and benefit levels consistent with their goals. We have acknowledged expertise in union contract negotiations and have negotiated labor agreements covering units as small as a handful of employees and as large as 10,000 employees industry wide.

Practical Approach to Complex Problems

At Arnold and Kadjan, we stress the importance of resolving employee related problems before they reach litigation, though our aggressive litigation staff is fully prepared to litigate if necessary. Labor-management relations today are characterized by many complexities and potential costs, primarily because recent changes in laws and court decisions have expanded the rights of employees. Regulatory agencies and courts protect these rights on both the state and federal levels, while unions seek to represent employees and press their rights through contractual as well as governmental mechanisms. At the same time, labor is confronted by increasingly complex issues in the workplace. The impact of employee benefit plans, including the cost of health care and other fringe benefits, increase the need for sophisticated counsel with practical labor experience.

As a result of the increased exposure to liability which unions and benefit funds face, we place the greatest priority on preventive, practical and creative approaches to improved employee relations. If litigation is required or appropriate, we emphasize similar practical and creative, yet aggressive, approaches.

Arnold and Kadjan, LLP’s philosophy can be summed up in two basic principles: 1) Our chief objective is to work closely with our clients to achieve practical and cost-effective methods to improve their relations with employers. Thus, we are not merely lawyers who provide technical legal answers; we are employee relations experts who use the law and our experience to provide practical advice to the best advantage of our clients. 2) No client is too small, too large, or too unique to merit our full attention and the best service possible.

Pragmatic Approach

Pragmatic programs: providing more than just the answers to legal problems.

Employee relations law is unique in several respects. The person on the “other side of the fence” often is a non-lawyer, a manager, a rank-and-file employee, an employee committee, or a union representative, and is less familiar with, or even suspicious of, legal terminology and procedures. Clients, as business people with employee-related problems for which they want realistic solutions, are not interested in just being “quoted the law” or told they have a problem; they want practical advice and assistance.

We communicate with businesspersons, union representatives and employees in their language; we relate to them in a manner that merits their respect. In every case that comes to our attention, we provide not only a legal answer but also practical recommendations and solutions for future action. We have found that for every employee relations question and answer, there are many supplemental questions to answer. Not only must the proper course of action be decided upon, but also a plan for implementation must be developed, with measurable results. In other words, we help labor clients put our advice into action.