Mark Konkel is chair of Kelley Drye's Labor and Employment practice group. Mark is committed to protecting and maximizing the interests of employers of all sizes, from the major multinational to the startup. Whether Mark is helping his clients with seasoned, focused legal counsel on complex employment issues or defending them in employment and labor litigation, he is dedicated to helping his clients drive their business goals forward and realize the full potential of their workforce.
Mark provides strategic advice on employment and labor law compliance, best practices and policies in human resources management, discrimination law, employee privacy, protection of intellectual property, restrictive covenants, and business expansions and reductions. He has helped many companies develop, refine and implement HR processes and strategies. Mark leads companies through sensitive internal and government investigations and provides frequent training. He also serves as lead labor and employment law counsel in mergers, acquisitions, sales and purchases for companies in the hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and transportation industries.
Mark believes the best result is to avoid employment and labor-related conflict altogether. When disputes do arise, Mark vigorously defends companies in employment, labor and commercial disputes in court, arbitration, mediation and before governmental agencies. He has a superior track record in litigation and arbitrations involving discrimination, labor, commercial claims, employee privacy, restrictive covenants and trade secrets, employment agreements and wage-and-hour laws. Mark’s proactive communication style keeps his clients informed and prepared throughout the dispute resolution process so that time, resources and employee relations challenges are minimized.
With broad experience in helping companies navigate the challenges and opportunities of organized labor, Mark works closely with leaders across industry sectors to develop and drive company-wide strategies for unionized workforces. He routinely handles major collective bargaining, unfair labor practice disputes and labor arbitrations, as well as responses to union organizing and public relations campaigns. Mark advocates employer positions before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the National Mediation Board (NMB) on issues pertaining to unfair labor practice charges, as well as advises on union organizing and elections.
A frequent speaker, writer and television commentator, Mark currently serves as co-editor of Kelley Drye’s Labor Days
blog, as contributing editor to The Developing Labor Law,
and as editor of the Employment Law Strategist
. He is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Labor & Employment Sections of the American Bar Association and New York Bar Association.
Mark also serves as the firm’s in-house employment counsel.
Defeated the conditional certification of a collective action pursuing federal wage-and-hour claims in a FLSA case against a global drug development company.
Won injunctions in four related cases from New York to California to protect a large multinational chemical manufacturer from unfair competition.
Defeated the conditional certification of a large class of plaintiffs pursuing wage-and-hour claims against a prominent luxury retailer.
Guided a large, multinational manufacturer through multiple acquisitions and sales involving an exhaustive review and overhaul of contract compliance programs, managing employee reductions, and protecting intellectual property through the negotiation of IP agreements and litigation.
Won a complete summary judgement in favor of a health care institution against claims of disability discrimination and interference with medical leave rights.
Developed and implemented a company-wide talent acquisition, retention and reward program, and provided training in labor and privacy compliance for one of the world’s largest insurers.
Successfully mediated and prevented threatened labor actions at a U.S. airline.
Won a complete summary judgment for a manufacturer in complex federal litigation, avoiding liabilities in excess of $4.7 million.
Won a federal appeal before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of alleged race discrimination against an airline after securing early dismissal of the claim in a federal trial court, prior to any discovery.
Served as lead adviser in guiding a national and a regional airline through major union organizing efforts to successful conclusions.
Won the dismissal of multiple federal and state employment claims alleging national origin and disability discrimination against a nationwide security company.
Won a four-month labor arbitration covering more than seventy educational employers in New York City and involving mass layoffs and complex successor liability issues.
Won the early dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit filed against a large social services agency in New York, also defeating U.S. government efforts to continue the litigation.
Assisted the national airline of a Pacific island nation in evaluating proposed labor legislation and successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement for the pilots of the airline.