$16.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Labor & Workers
Trump's New Pick Alexander Acosta Worked For Union Busting Law firm in Chicago
Alexander Acosta Worked As A Lawyer for A Chicago Union Busting Law Firm
Trump's New Pick Alexander Acosta Worked For Union Busting Law firm in Chicago
Acosta is the only son of Cuban immigrants. He is a native of Miami, Florida, where he attended the Gulliver Schools. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Following law school, Acosta served as a law clerk to Samuel Alito, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, from 1994 to 1995. Acosta then worked at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where he specialized in employment and labor issues. While in Washington, Acosta taught classes on employment law, disability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason University School of Law.
From 1998 to 2000 Acosta was a senior fellow at the socially conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. 
On December 31, 2013 Acosta became the new chairman of U.S. Century Bank, the largest domestically owned Hispanic community bank in Florida and one of the 15 largest Hispanic community banks in the nation. He spearheaded the effort to establish the J.M. degree in banking compliance, BSA and anti-money-laundering at FIU Law. Acosta also serves as Chairman
Trump's New Pick Worked For Union Busting Lawfirm in Chicago
" • Labor Management Relations, including union avoidance, decertification, union election campaigns, contract negotiations, unfair labor practices, lockouts, strike contingency planning and injunctions, damage suits for illegal strikes, labor contract administration, arbitration, and employee participation committees;"
Employment and Law
Kirkland offers a full range of employment and labor law services, as well as a national reputation as preeminent trial lawyers that has been won over the past three decades. Our lawyers are experienced in litigation before federal and state courts and a variety of administrative agencies, and regularly counsel clients in connection with the increasing number of federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the employment relationship. Kirkland has also been active in legislative efforts pertaining to employment and labor law issues. In addition, the Firm's employment law practice interacts with other important areas of Firm practice, such as mergers and acquisitions, health and safety, government contracts, employee benefits (ERISA), and restructuring.
Kirkland's experience and capabilities in employment and labor law are reviewed in summary form below.
Substantive Practice Areas
Kirkland lawyers are currently engaged in a wide range of employment and labor law matters on behalf of a variety of employers. These matters include the following substantive practice areas:
• Labor Management Relations, including union avoidance, decertification, union election campaigns, contract negotiations, unfair labor practices, lockouts, strike contingency planning and injunctions, damage suits for illegal strikes, labor contract administration, arbitration, and employee participation committees;
• Employment Termination, including layoffs and reductions-in-force, wrongful discharge and employment-at-will litigation, work relocation, and plant closings (including WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) advance notice compliance);
• Employment Policies Development and Litigation, including wage and hour issues, drug and alcohol testing, no-smoking programs, AIDS and communicable diseases, disabilities, family and medical leave, and disciplinary and grievance procedures;
• Employment Contracts, and Confidentiality and Noncompete Agreements;
• Immigration Enforcement and Compliance, including business visas, permanent residency and citizenship applications and procedures, and deportation litigation;
• Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Compliance;
• Legislative Matters, Legislation Analyses, and Preparation and Delivery of Expert Testimony; and
• Wage and Hour, Service Contract Act, and Prevailing Wage Standards, including overtime, FLSA exemptions, conciliation, and remedial actions.
Litigation and Counseling
Kirkland's employment and labor law lawyers have broad employment litigation and counseling experience. We advise clients and litigate issues arising under the NLRA, RLA, Title VII, ADEA, Executive Order 11246, FLSA, OSHA, ADA, FMLA, WARN, IRCA and state and local employment agencies. In addition, Kirkland lawyers regularly practice before administrative agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour, OSHA, INS and the PBGC.
Kirkland has successfully represented numerous clients in a long list of employment and labor law cases before courts and juries throughout the United States.
Kirkland lawyers were active in management organizations during the legislative process leading up to passage of WARN and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and are counseling business clients on WARN plant closing and layoff and ADA compliance issues. Current legislative activities of Firm lawyers include civil rights, striker replacements, employee committees (TEAM Act), OSHA reform and whistle blowers.
Representative Employment and Labor Law Clients
Kirkland has represented numerous clients in a variety of employment and labor law matters. These representations have included NLRB unfair labor practice proceedings involving successorship, bargaining impasses and strikes, secondary boycotts and picketing, striker reinstatement, employee terminations and hiring practices, plant closings, and work relocation; federal court litigation on illegal strikes and injunctions, including a multimillion-dollar verdict against a national union; federal grand jury proceedings; wrongful discharge, race, age, and sex discrimination litigation; acquisitions and sales, including due diligence investigations and employment planning and compliance issues; Wage and Hour and OSHA litigation; arbitrations over terminations and work relocation; RICO litigation; labor negotiations, and strike and lockout planning; unemployment compensation litigation; pension withdrawal liability litigation against the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund; union organizing drives; and appellate representations in the federal circuit courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Trump's New Pick Alex Acosta For DOL Secretary Was Involved In Racist Suppression of Voting By Bush Administration "Alex Acosta’s résumé is glimmering. It’s exactly who you want if you’re out to sabotage the Department of Labor."
Does New Labor Secretary Nominee Alex Acosta Have the Perfect Résumé to Sabotage a Federal Agency?
StoryFebruary 17, 2017
Guest Alan Pyke, editor with ThinkProgress.
AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to President Trump’s new nominee to head the Labor Department. His first pick, fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder, withdrew on Wednesday, after massive protests for months, and it became clear that he lacked support from the key Republicans ahead of his confirmation hearing, that was supposed to be held yesterday. President Trump announced his second choice at his news conference on Thursday.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I just wanted to begin by mentioning that the nominee for secretary of the Department of Labor will be Mr. Alex Acosta. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School, was a great student,former clerk for Justice Samuel Alito. And he has had a tremendous career.
AMY GOODMAN: Alex Acosta is a longtime Republican attorney. He served eight months as a member of the National Labor Relations Board under President George W. Bush. He’s drawn scrutiny for his time as division leader at George W. Bush’s Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he oversaw a senior official who hired conservative lawyers who actively opposed to the division’s mission, including the prosecution of voting rights violations and police abuse. In 2004, Acosta played a key role in Bush’s final push to win the state of Ohio by backing Republican election officials accused of seeking to suppress voter turnout among blacks and Latinos. Acosta is currently dean of Florida International University’s School of Law.
For more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by ThinkProgress editor Alan Pyke. His latest article is headlined "Who is Alex Acosta?: Trump’s back-up Labor Secretary has skeletons in his closet, too."
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Alan. What are those skeletons? Talk about Alex Acosta’s record.
ALAN PYKE: I think the fundamental problem for Acosta is likely to be his tenure at the top of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice under George W. Bush. This is a man with a long record of public service, going back to the mid-1990s. But there’s this key period, from about 2003 to about 2005, during which Bush officials were intentionally sabotaging this key agency within the DOJ. This is the group that prosecutes voting rights cases, that upholds elections integrity, that conducts police oversight and enforces employment law, anti-discrimination law. Basically, every civil rights case that the federal government brings or investigates comes to the CRD.
There was a man named Bradley Schlozman, who worked underneath Acosta, who went out of his way, quite intentionally, to skew their hiring for a period of years to ensure that they would hire people he viewed as, quote-unquote, "real Americans." And for your viewers who remember the Bush years, that was the dividing line thrown down ideologically between authentic, conservative Americans and, I don’t know, somehow fake, liberal-leaning Americans. So the Civil Rights Division was permanently sabotaged by a couple of years of intentional misconduct. And Acosta wasn’t directly involved, but he was overseeing the guy conducting that sabotage, and had every reason to know about it. And there’s an inspector general’s report from 2008 on their investigation into the scandal that holds Acosta pretty directly accountable.
AMY GOODMAN: So, talk about what happened in 2004 in Ohio. And what is Alex Acosta’s connection to that?
ALAN PYKE: So, there’s a bunch of different ways that you can try to suppress the vote, right? And one of the most popular among Republicans is a tactic called vote caging, where you generate a list of people who you suspect are Democratic voters, and you send letters to their most recent address. And if the letters aren’t returned, then you tell the Board of Elections, "This person is no longer registered at the correct address, and you should strike them from the rolls." And then, when they show up on Election Day, they’re told they’re not registered to vote, and they can’t vote.
So the Ohio Republican Party attempted to cage—I think it’s something like 25,000 or 35,000 primarily black voters in the state of Ohio in the closing weeks of the 2004 election. And it ended up in court, as these things usually do. It was not a court case that involved the federal government. The DOJ was not involved. Alex Acosta had not been asked by the judge to weigh in in any way. But he nonetheless sent a letter, personally, to the judge in the case four days before Election Day, urging him to accept the Republican counsel’s logic and to uphold their voter suppression scheme. So, it’s regarded by career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division as a wildly inappropriate use of his office. One of them, one of his colleagues at the time, called it outrageous, in press reports, about what happened.
And that 2004 letter has dogged him throughout his subsequent career. At one point, in 2014, he was a finalist to become the dean of the University of Florida’s law school, which would be a promotion from his current gig atFIU Law. And he was removed from the finalist pool in part because law faculty at the University of Florida strenuously objected to his application, to his candidacy. And one of the things they pointed to was that 2004 letter.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what this nomination means for the Department of Labor?
ALAN PYKE: Sure. I think there’s some poetry here, in the sense that the outgoing secretary of labor, Tom Perez, was also a career lawyer and a career public servant. And when he came in at the Civil Rights Division, which was his first job under President Obama, he had to clean up the mess that Alex Acosta and Bradley Schlozman and George W. Bush had made of the Civil Rights Division. There are a couple of famous moments from 2009 and 2010 where Perez and Holder had to go to the Civil Rights Division staff and tell them, "Look, you’re open for business again. This is once again an agency of the federal government that’s going to do its job." That’s how dark and how deep the damage was from the Bush years. And now we’ve got another career attorney coming in to run the Department of Labor, sort of in the reverse pattern of Perez’s own career arc within the Obama administration.
And I think it’s noteworthy that there is such a contrast between Andy Puzder, Donald Trump’s original nominee, fast-food CEO with a brash outward demeanor and a negative reputation, and lots of oppo research kept coming out and coming out and coming out. Puzder fits the Trump brand. Alex Acosta is a much more sort of buttoned-up, professional type of guy. His reputation is for a highly competent management. He’s got two decades of public service behind him. And if you’re a progressive or a liberal or a Democrat, that’s probably almost more worrying than the idea of Andy Puzder running the Department of Labor, because Acosta’s record is as someone who can very competently execute the agenda of his boss inside of a complex federal bureaucracy. So, if you want to find somebody who can sabotage a federal agency and turn it against its whole purpose, Alex Acosta’s résumé is glimmering. It’s exactly who you want if you’re out to sabotage the Department of Labor.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Alan Pyke, I want to thank you for being with us, editor with ThinkProgress. His latestarticle, "Who is Alex Acosta?: Trump’s back-up Labor Secretary has skeletons in his closet, too."