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American Bar Association


Employment & Labor Relations Committee


It is the Employment & Labor Relations Committee’s goal to be your primary “go to” nationwide resource/ network for all things related to labor and employment litigation.  If you handle any of the following kinds of litigation (including litigation in the courts, administrative agencies and arbitrations), or just want to learn more about how to handle such claims, please join our robust group!

  • employment discrimination and harassment claims
  • retaliation and whistleblower claims
  • wage and hour claims
  • breach of employment contract claims
  • restrictive covenant litigation
  • employment torts
  • unfair labor practice claims
  • union negotiation issues
  • e-discovery in employment claims
  • any other types of claims involving employees.

Join this Committee


Welcome New Cochair Nikki Odom!

We are excited to announce the new leadership for the 2015–16 bar year, starting September 1, 2015. Welcome to our new cochair, Nikki Odom, who has served in many different capacities in the ABA Section of Litigation. Teresa Rider Bult will continue to work beside Nikki as cochair of our fine group. A huge thanks goes out to outgoing committee chair, Brian Koji, for helping the committee for the last three years with his expertise and commitment. Brian will continue working with the Section on the Roundtable Committee and will continue to contribute to the E&L Committee’s newsletter and LinkedIn team.

Why Get Involved?

On the fence about jumping in and joining the E&LR committee or getting involved in subcommittee leadership? Don’t be! Our committee offers the ideal platform to provide you resources on a national scope. Our membership includes many plaintiffs’ attorneys, defense attorneys, in-house lawyers, government officials, and members of the judiciary – throughout the United States and into Canada. Not only does membership allow you to utilize the committee resources (such as newsletter and website content and our LinkedIn page), the personal relationships that are developed through socializing at ABA meetings, participation in our subcommittee events and teleconferences, and work on the many publications are invaluable benefits of membership.

How to Get Involved?

The way to take advantage of membership and our national network and platform is to get involved! We have a number of active subcommittees, such as the Newsletter, Programming, and Website Subcommittees, and are always in need of those who want to roll up their sleeves and help. Newsletter and Website Committees are a great way to write and get your selected content online and get to know the other subcommittee chairs. Programming is again, a great way to come up with creative ideas for ABA conferences and other programming, and build relationships with committee members and potential speakers. We are especially excited about our new Book subcommittee, which will be led by Kevin J. O'Connor. If you would like to become involved in one of the existing sub-committees or have ideas for creating a new subcommittee, please contact Nikki Odom or Teresa Bult.

Click here for the “job descriptions” for the subcommittee chairs, so you can see what you might be getting into!

Join the Discussion at the E&L's LinkedIn Page

The committee's LinkedIn Group—with over 6,700 members and counting—has developed into a great forum for debate and discussion about the latest developments in employment and labor law, all sparked by members' original posts and/or links to their own blogs. If you are a member of the committee, then join the LinkedIn group and participate in the discussion.

Employment & Labor Relations Law: Winter 2016 Newsletter

The latest edition of the Employment & Labor Relations Law e-newsletter is now available.

Monthly Committee Conference Call

The committee's monthly calls are typically held at 2:30 p.m. ET on the third Wednesday of each month. To join the monthly conference call, dial (866) 625-1271 and enter passcode 6301788249. Shoot Nikki Odom or Teresa Bult an email ahead of time so they know you’ll be joining!

Seeking Contributors

As always, the committee welcomes article ideas and updates on legal developments for both its website and newsletter. For website submissions, please contact Kindall James. For newsletter submissions, ideas, and information, please contact our newsletter editor, Dahlia Dorman.

Message from the Chairs

Employment Law continues to be an intriguing area of law that is nuanced and constantly changing. And yet it is one of the most entertaining areas of law out there. Just think about the fact that in 2015, we employment lawyers have to have discussions about (and let’s all admit—had plenty of opportunities to joke about) the medical and recreational use of marijuana and e-cigarettes and the impact on all that smokin’ and joviality in the workplace, juxtaposed against navigating the crazy number of city and state sick-leave laws, and balanced out with trying to get our arms around the Affordable Care Act. As if that wasn’t enough, we have our clients biting their nails about the proposed changes to the FLSA regulations and how they will affect exempt salaried positions. And what about data privacy? Who isn’t concerned about that? How do we possibility protect not only our employees, but our consumers against their data being mined and revealed in an Ashley Madison-type expose? (Well, hopefully none of us are in the same business as Ashley Madison, but you get my drift). All these topics are fairly new, and yet we still have to grapple with the age-old issues of how the Supreme Court (and now other courts) are treating pregnant women and religions of all types, and how our accommodation obligations have changed. And we haven’t even mentioned same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in the context of employee rights and benefits. Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure if you have heard, but at the moment, you CAN hire unpaid interns in certain circumstances (says the Second Circuit), but who knows what the next circuit will say?

All that to say, there is plenty of work and interesting dialogue that can abound on these topics, which makes me very glad I am an employment lawyer. Who else gets to spend their day talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll and get paid for it? We hope that you’ll find our committee and this website (as well as our LinkedIn page) a helpful resource as you navigate through these crazy issues for your clients. The ABA Section of Litigation is the leading voice for litigators in the nation, and we are proud to be a part of it. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions you may have on how the committee can continue to best serve you, our membership, and the employment-and-labor-relations legal communities.

Warmest Regards,

Nikki Odom
Teresa Rider Bult
Cochairs, Employment & Labor Relations Committee



Our active subcommittees include:

  • Programs
  • Newsletter
  • Sound Advice
  • Listserv
  • Membership
  • Website/News & Developments
  • Books


Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:

Navigant Partners

Jeremy Guinta

Los Angeles, CA

Sonya Kwon

Los Angeles, CA


Employment and Labor Relations Leadership

Cochairs Practice Points/Web Editor

Teresa Rider Bult

Nashville, TN

Nikki Odom

Chicago, IL

Kindall James

Houston, TX

Newsletter Editors

Dahlia R. Dorman

Albuquerque, NM

Carla Dorsi

New York, NY

Christina O. Alabi

Chicago, IL