Howard L. Mocerf practices in the area of management employment and labor law, concentrating on representation and unfair labor practice matters under the National Labor Relations Act, collective bargaining, labor arbitration, employment discrimination, wage-hour, OSHA, trade secrets and non-compete agreements and other federal and state statutory and common law employment law areas. He has managed dozens of employer union election campaigns. He also assists clients in writing and developing employee handbooks, affirmative action plans, harassment policies, substance abuse policies, family and medical leave policies, social media, e-mail and Internet use policies and other employment policies.
Mr. Mocerf is also on the American Arbitration Association panel of arbitrators for employment disputes.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Mocerf was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. A former chairman of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program Liaison Group of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, he is admitted to practice in Illinois, Kentucky and the District of Columbia. Mr. Mocerf is a 1971 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Law and a graduate of Washington & Lee University.
- Successful management of dozens of union avoidance campaigns for local and national clients engaged in a broad range of businesses. For example, managed a campaign in which a Teamster local union in Chicago, which was seeking to organize one location of a national business, which was defeated in an NLRB election by a ratio of 6 to 1.
- NLRB v. A.M. Steigerwald Co. Inc., 631 F.2d 733 (7th Cir.). NLRB litigation and appeal of NLRB refusal to bargain order to challenge underlying NLRB certification of representative based on the NLRB's exclusion of the determinative votes in an NLRB election of three voters alleged to be ineligible as statutory supervisors.
- Amalgamated Service and Allied Industries Joint Board, ACTWU v. NLRB, 815 F. 2d 225 (2nd Cir.). NLRB litigation and appeal of NLRB refusal to bargain order to challenge underlying NLRB certification of representative based on conduct by the union's observers during the NLRB election.
- Counsel to a national entertainment company in its defense against the EEOC's attempt to obtain temporary injunctive relief in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division on behalf of the client's corporate vice president of human resources pending trial on the merits of the vice president's claim that he had been discharged for leading a protected protest against the company's alleged discriminatory practices. The court denied the EEOC's motion to require the client to reinstate the employee pending trial on the underlying merits of his discharge claim.
- Counsel to textile manufacturer in a bench trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in a suit brought by a former employee alleging that he had been constructively discharged and discriminated against in the terms and conditions of his employment because of his race. The court entered judgment for the employer.
- Member of trial team that obtained jury verdict after two week jury trial for a large regional bank in a suit brought by a former senior officer who alleged that he had been discharged from employment because of his race.
- Vocca v. Playboy Hotel of Chicago. Inc., 686 F. 2d 605 (7th Cir.). Action by plaintiff to recover attorneys' fees in ADEA case, and appeal of district court's denial of fees. Denial of fees affirmed on appeal.
- Halas v. Consumer Services, Inc., 16 F. 3d 161 (7th Cir.). Dismissal of ADEA action for plaintiff's failure to comply with discovery, and appeal of dismissal. Dismissal affirmed on appeal.
- Mathis v. Southwest Partners d/b/a/ William Buick, 1998 WL 774827 (N.D. Ill., ED.). Dismissal of multiple claim employment discrimination suits due to plaintiff's misrepresentations on his forma pauperis petition, which resulted in his obtaining court appointed counsel. Affirmed by the 7th Circuit, unpublished.
- Gomolka v. Quotesmith.com, 2005 WL 264850 (N.D. Ill., E.D.). Summary judgment for defendant in an ADEA case.
- Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, 2006 WL 644467 (N.D. Ill., E.D.). Summary judgment for defendant in ADEA case; affirmed 476 F.3d 487, 2007 WL 416984 (7th Cir.).
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a vocational services organization in a suit alleging that the organization, in concert with the Illinois State Police, had engaged in racial discrimination because the police had refused to grant the plaintiff access to state police headquarters for vocational training due to his criminal record. Davis v. Jewish Vocational Service and Illinois State Police, 2010 U.S. Dist LEXIS 26789 (N.D. Ill.); appeal dismissed, unpublished Seventh Circuit decision.
- As counsel for a national linen service in a U.S. Labor Department investigation obtained opinion from the Department's Chicago Area Wage-Hour Administrator that a route supervisor at one location of the employer's was an "executive employee" who was exempt from the payment of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, the opinion letter served to prevent efforts to obtain non-exempt status by or on behalf of such employees at the employer's other locations around the country.
- Cannella v. Anodyne Corporation, 1996 WL 680242 (N.D. Ill., E.D.). Trial of FLSA overtime suit.
- Consumer Plastics Corporation and United Paper Workers International Union Litchfield Local No. 473, 88 LA 208. Discharge of four employees for smoking marijuana on company premises based on testimony of undercover agents.
- Obtained an arbitration decision that dismissed, on procedural grounds, a grievance that a union had filed against a nursing home on behalf of an employee/union steward that the nursing home had discharged. SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana and Sherwin Manor Nursing Center, FMCS No. 101014-50394-A.
- Counsel to a national distributor of electronic equipment in obtaining injunctive relief in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against the client's former marketing director for violating the Illinois Trade Secrets Act. Prior to the employee's resignation, he had e-mailed confidential marketing information to his home computer and from there to his new employer, a competitor. The competitor settled. The court ordered the information to be returned, enjoined the employee from working for 16 competitors for a year and ordered him to pay a substantial part of the client's legal fees and costs.
- Chady v. Solomon Schechter Day Schools, 269 Ill App.3d 31 (1st Dist. Appellate Court). Suit by former teacher for breach of contract. Issue on appeal was whether teacher could obtain equitable remedy of reinstatement. Reinstatement denied.
- Zimmerman Brush v. Illinois Fair Employment Practices Commission, 82 Ill. 2d 99. Original writ of prohibition in the Illinois Supreme Court seeking to prohibit state fair employment practices agency from proceeding where the agency failed to adhere to an alleged mandatory time limit. The Illinois Supreme Court granted the writ. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed, 455 U.S. 422, after other counsel took over the matter.
- Connell Construction Company v. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 100, 421 U.S. 616, involving the application of the anti-trust laws to site work subcontracting agreements in the construction industry.
- Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, 417 U.S. 188, involving whether a neutral seniority system violates the Equal Pay Act if it has the effect of perpetuating pre-Act pay disparities between former male and female departments.
- Linden Lumber Division, Sumner & Co. v. NLRB, 419 U.S. 301, involving whether employers are free under the NLRA to reject unions' proffers of evidence of majority status and require unions to file petitions for NLRB representation elections.
- Atlas Roofing Co. v. OSHRC, 430 U.S. 442, involving whether the administrative trial procedures of the OSH Act unconstitutionally deny employers the right to trial by jury.
- NLRB v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 421 U.S. 132, involving whether NLRB General Counsel appeals and advice memoranda may be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Franks v. Bowman Transportation Company, 424 U.S. 747, involving whether a neutral seniority system violates Title VII if it has the effect of perpetuating pre-Act discrimination.
National Labor Relations Act Litigation and Representation
Employment Discrimination Litigation
State Court Matters Litigation
Amicus Curia Appellate Litigation
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- Supreme Court of Kentucky
- University of Louisville School of Law, J.D., 1971
- Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association panel member for employment disputes, Certified 2010
- National Labor Relations Board, Cincinnati, Ohio
Attorney, 1971- 1973
- Private Practice, 1973-present
- American Bar Association
-Labor and Employment Law Section
- Illinois State Bar Association
- The District of Columbia Bar
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry
--OFCCP Liaison Group, 1985
Honors / Awards
- Listed in Illinois SuperLawyers, 2007-2013
- Recipient: 2009 Group Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service awarded by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
- Elected by peers as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in management labor and employment law, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Board of Directors, Anixter Center, 2001-2006
- Board of Directors, Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, 1990-1998
- First Vice President, 1997-1998
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago
- JUF/IEF Annual Campaign, Lawyers Division, 1996-present
- Vanguard Committee, 1999
- Anti-Defamation League Tribute to Tom Balanoff, President Local 73, SEIU, 1998
- Little City Foundation
- National Basketball Association Players Awards Dinner, Committee Member, 1993-1997
- Co-author, "Union Unfair Labor Practices," Chapter 10, Labor Law Handbook, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013 Ed.
- Columnist, Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer magazine, 2012-2013
- "Looking into Labor: NLRB Appointments Face Scrutiny," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, April 2013
- "Looking into Labor: D.C. Circuit Puts Brakes on NLRB," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, February 2013
- "7th Circuit Reverses its Position," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, November 2012
- "Solomon's Interpretation of Section 7," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, September 2012
- "Handling Employees' Criminal Backgrounds," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, July 2012
- "The Future of Class-Action Waivers," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, May 2012
- "NLRB Stacked To Pursue Agenda," Looking into Labor column, Chicago Lawyer, March 2012
- "Tough New Amendment to Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act," Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 99, April 2011
- Author, "Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Amended to Expand Coverage, Increase Penalties and Toughen Enforcement," Duane Morris Alert, August 13, 2010
- Contributor, Multilaw, How to Hire and Fire in 76 Jurisdictions (Kluwer Law International, 2005)
- Contributing Editor, The Illinois Chamber of Commerce Guide to Labor and Employment Law (2nd Edition).
- Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law (BNA, 1st Edition)
- "Strikes: Legal or Illegal," Professional Practice Report, Lake County Contractors/Development Association, April, 1999
- "Multi-Employer Bargaining: Clearing Up some Misconceptions," Professional Practice Report, Lake County Contractors/Development Association, February, 1998
- "The Employment Law Minefield," Professional Practice Report, Lake County Contractors/Development Association, December, 1997
- "After 'Boston Harbor': Is the Future What It Used to Be?" Professional Practice Report, Lake County Contractors/Development Association, December, 1996
- Co-Author, "Labor/Employment Compliance Audits," The Docket, Lake County, Illinois Bar Association, March 1995
- Panelist, "Are You Ready? NLRB Micro-units and Quickie Elections," Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2012, Chicago, June 12, 2012
- Panelist, "What Will the U.S. Department of Labor Do with All That New Money? Are You a Target? - Wage and Hour Issues," Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2010, Chicago, May 4, 2010