Joel R. Hlavaty Photo

Joel R. Hlavaty

Partner | Management Committee

Overview

Joel focuses his practice on the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment litigation. He routinely advises employers on all aspects of their relationships with employees, as well as with respect to matters concerning litigation prevention and human resources management, and he regularly defends them in federal and state courts of all jurisdictions on claims arising under the various federal and state labor and employment laws. Joel additionally represents employers with respect to complaints and charges filed with the EEOC and OCRC, NLRB, and SERB, and with OSHA and the DOL, as well as with health care and ERISA issues and complaints, and collective bargaining issues and strike disputes. Joel is also a frequent presenter at seminars and management training programs on a wide variety of topics.

 

Practices

    • Successfully obtained judgment for numerous clients in the defense of harassment, discrimination, wrongful discharge and related claims brought under federal and state law in courts across the country.
    • Successfully prosecuted, defended, and resolved numerous matters for clients involving non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants.
    • Successfully resolved numerous matters for clients prior to extended litigation or trial.
    • Resolved a multitude of matters for parties when acting as a mediator.
    • Represented employers in several different industries in collective bargaining negotiations with a variety of unions.
    • Represented an international manufacturer of rail components in an OSHA investigation conducted of a US plant following the death of an employee and successfully negotiated an amicable resolution with the Area Director.
    • Successfully represented a global manufacturer of rubber-engineered products during an investigation at one of its facilities regarding combustible dust.
    • Represented a global manufacturer of diverse products during an investigation at a metal fabricating plant in Pennsylvania and successfully negotiated a reduced fine during an informal conference with the local Area Director.
    • Clerk for the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder.
  • Education

    • University of Akron School of Law J.D., with Honors, 1983
    • John Carroll University B.A., with Honors, 1977

    Admissions

    • Supreme Court the U.S.
    • Supreme Court of Ohio
    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Southern District of Ohio and Eastern District of Michigan
  • Professional Affiliations

    • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section—Member
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section—Member
    • Federal Bar Association, Labor and Employment and Civil Rights Sections—Member
    • Former Cuyahoga Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section—Chair
    • ALFA International—Co-Chair, EPL & Professional Liability Practice Group Seminar (2018); Steering Committee, Labor & Employment; Chair, Eastern Great Lakes Regional Practice Group (2016)

    Community Involvement

    • United Way of Cleveland Allocation Committee—Committee Member
    • Salvation Army—Board Member
    • Leadership Medina County (Class of 2014)
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio—Mediator (pro bono)
    • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—Mediator (pro bono)
    • Ohio Department of Education—Referee Panel

    Firm Involvement

    • Management Committee —Frantz Ward LLP
    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Former Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2010-2018)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Employment Law-Management; Labor Law-Management; and Litigation-Labor and Employment (2010-2018)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • "Hiring/Recruiting," National Business Institute's Human Resource Law: What You Need to Know Now, Cleveland, OH (October 2018)
    • “FMLA Complications: Intermittent Leave, Termination and More,” National Business Institute’s “Advanced Employment Law: What You Need To Know” Cleveland, OH (August 2018)
    • "Employment Contracts: When and Why to Use," Northeast Ohio Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (June 2018)
    • "Stomping Out Violence in the Workplace," Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2018)
    • “Employee Handbooks—The Key Ingredients,” HR Academy Ohio Chamber, Webinar (November 2017)
    • "Hot Topics in NEO Workplaces: Medical Marijuana; LGBT Issues; and Myths/Realities," ERC "Ask the Expert. Cleveland, OH (September 2017)
    • "Navigating the Ever Changing Terrain of Labor and Employment Laws," ALFA International, Truckee, CA (July 2017)
    • “Employment Law Training,” St. Louis, MO (May 2017)
    • “Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My! Legal Developments in the Courts, the Legislature and the Agencies,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2017)
    • “If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me: The Challenges of Cyber-Security in the Electronic Workplace,” Moderator, ALFA International – International Client Seminar, Aventura, FL (March 2017)
    • “Successful Hiring Practices and Employee Handbooks,” National Business Institute, Fairlawn, OH (November 2016)
    • "Employment Law, Unlawful Workplace Discrimination and Harassment," Corporate Supervisor Training, Mentor, OH (September 2016)
    • “Labor and Employment Issues You May Encounter,” Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel Medical Marijuana in Ohio Seminar, Cleveland, OH (August 2016)
    • "Deciphering FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation Issues," National Business Institute, Fairlawn, OH (August 2016)
    • “Recent Developments in Whistleblower Retaliation Claims,” ALFA International—Insurance Law, Labor and Employment , and Professional Liability Practice Groups Seminar, New York, NY (June 2016)
    • “Taming the Effects of Technology in the Workplace,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (April 2016)
    • “The Work Force: Managing The LGBT Work Force,” ALFA International—International Client Seminar, Palm Springs, CA (March 2016)
    • “The Triangular Relationship of Carriers, Insureds, and Defense Counsel: Defending an EPL Claim, Litigation Guidelines and Billing, Settlement and Agendas, Coverage Issues, Cost Effective Ways to Work Together, Minimizing Ethical Issues, and More,“ American Conference Institute Employment Practices Liability Insurance Conference, New York, NY (January 2015)
    • “FMLA and Other Leave Issues,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (December 2015)
    • “Retaliation and Whistleblowing Claims: Underwriting Coverage, Managing Risks Through Employment Policies, Reporting Processes for Employee Complaints & Internal Investigations, Litigating Retaliation Lawsuits, and Reporting Safety Violations to the NLRB and OSHA,” American Conference Institute Employment Practices Liability Insurance Conference, New York, NY (July 2015)
    • “Electronic Workplace Issues: Privacy, BYOD, Data Security and Social Media Usage,” ALFA International 2015 Labor and Employment Practice Group Seminar, Park City, UT (July 2015)
    • “The Fair Labor Standards Act Clarified,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (May 2015)
    • Employee Classification—Ensuring Correct Status,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (May 2015)
    • “Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2015)
    • “Workplace Trends—What is Hot and What is Not,” ALFA International 2015 Client Seminar, Scottsdale, AZ (March 2015)
    • “Hiring and Terminating Employees in the Current Economy,” Sterling Education Services, Cleveland, OH (November 2014)
    • “Sexual, Racial and Other Harassment in the Workplace,” Sterling Education Services, Cleveland, OH (November 2014)
    • “Workers’ Compensation Leave and Interactions with Other Laws," National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (September 2014)
    • “Hiring Documents and Personnel Records,” Lorman Education Services, Cleveland, OH (August 2014)
    • “The Pre-Hiring Process,” Sterling Education Services, Akron, OH (July 2014)
    • “Overview of Confidentiality, Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements,” Sterling Education Services, Akron, OH (July 2014)
    • “Issues in Representing Employers and Individual Defendants in Employment Litigation: Recognizing and Resolving Legal, Business and Perceived Conflicts,” ALFA International 2014 Insurance and Professional Liability Practice Groups Seminar, New York, NY (June 2014)
    • “Recruitment and Hiring Documents and Personnel Records,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (May 2014) and Akron, OH (May 2014)
    • “Called Up from the Minors: The Potential Protected Classes That Should Be On Your Radar,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2014)
    • “Real World FMLA Issues,” Lorman Education Services, Cleveland, OH (March 2014)
    • “Mediating an Employment Case,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (March 2014)
    • “Managing Difficult Employees in a Public and Politically-Charged Environment,” ALFA International 2014 Client Seminar, Miami Beach, FL (March 2014)
    • “The Termination Process,” Sterling Education Services, Cleveland, OH (November 2013)
    • “Managing Leave & Attendance Issues,” ALFA International 2013 Labor and Employment Practice Group Seminar, Half Moon Bay, CA (October 2013)
    • “Hiring Documents and Personnel Records,” Lorman Education Services, Cleveland, OH (August 2013)
    • “Handling Discrimination Claims and New Laws and Interpretations in Employment Discrimination,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (July 2013)
    • “Covering All The Bases: Practical Tactics to Avoid Sexual Harassment, Cyber-Bullying, and Violence Among Your Employees,” ALFA International Eastern Great Lakes Regional Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (June 2013)
    • “Problem Employees: Minimizing Risk With Your Most Difficult To Manage Employees,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2013)
    • “Managing Conflicts Between General Counsel and Executives: Issues and Strategies in Dealing with Legal, Business and Political Conflicts,” ALFA International 2013 International Client Seminar, Palm Springs, CA (March 2013)
    • “Elements of Employment Law Claims, Filing Your Case With the EEOC or Other State Agency, and Tips For Successful Mediation,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (September 2012)
    • “Hiring Documents and Personnel Records,” Lorman Education Services, Cleveland, OH (August 2012)
    • “Diversity Initiatives: What is Legal,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2012)
    • “Whistleblower Claims: What Happens When Your Employee Appears On 60 Minutes,” ALFA International 2012 International Client Seminar, Scottsdale, AZ (March 2012)
    • “Hiring Documents and Personnel Records,” Lorman Education Services, Cleveland, OH (August 2011)
    • “OSHA Fundamentals and Employer Rights, and Recordkeeping Requirements for Injuries and Incidents,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, OH (July 2011)
    • Numerous presentations prior thereto.
    • Various manager, supervisor and employee training programs for clients.