People: Gary S. Kaplan, Partner

Photo of Gary S. Kaplan, Partner

Gary S. Kaplan

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5871
Fax: (312) 460-7871
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Mr. Kaplan is a partner engaged in a broad-based litigation and counseling practice in all areas of labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on the representation of employers in the air transportation industry. He also regularly represents clients in the manufacturing, construction, service, health care and insurance industries.

Mr. Kaplan’s areas of experience include the full range of issues in the following areas: National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act; federal and state equal employment laws; strikes and injunction proceedings; collective bargaining and contract administration; grievance arbitration; wrongful discharge litigation; and Section 301 litigation. He has argued cases before several U.S. Courts of Appeals, and has been on the brief in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Kaplan is a partner engaged in a broad-based litigation and counseling practice in all areas of labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on the representation of employers in the air transportation industry. He also regularly represents clients in the manufacturing, construction, service, health care and insurance industries.

Mr. Kaplan’s areas of experience include the full range of issues in the following areas: National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act; federal and state equal employment laws; strikes and injunction proceedings; collective bargaining and contract administration; grievance arbitration; wrongful discharge litigation; and Section 301 litigation. He has argued cases before several U.S. Courts of Appeals, and has been on the brief in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Education

  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude (1983)
    Executive Editor, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
  • B.A., Colgate University, cum laude with departmental honors (1978)

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York

Courts

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Sections on Litigation and Labor & Employment Law; Committee on Railway & Airline Labor Law)

Representative Engagements

  • Kuhn v. United Airlines (7th Cir. 2016) (unanimously affirming summary judgment dismissal of race and age case) 
  • Resource Utilization Arbitration (Arbitration 2015) (after three days of hearing spanning 14 months, arbitrator upheld carrier’s right under LOA to (1) redeploy pre-merger equipment nationally, and (2) cross-utilize and -assign employees without regard to pre-merger CBA restrictions or union jurisdictional claims)  
  • Emory v. United Airlines & ALPA; Caldwell v. United Airlines & ALPA (D.D.C., D.C. Cir., & U.S. S. Ct. (cert. denied), 2009-2014) (dismissal of various constitutional, statutory, and common law claims brought by pilots in wake of FTEPA change in age limit; argued vs. Prof. Jonathan Turley in D.C. Cir.)
  • Scope Grievance (2013) (on behalf of major carrier and after several hearing days, obtained complete arbitration victory upholding carrier’s right to transfer certain ramp work to supervisors as part of automation of ramp operations)
  • Upgrade Arbitration (Arbitration 2013) (on behalf of major carrier, obtained complete arbitration victory rejecting ALPA’s claimed entitlement to upgrade priority over premium passengers)
  • Commuters Grievance (Arbitration 2010) (on behalf of major carrier and after several hearing days, obtained complete arbitration victory that preserved carrier’s administration of  its dependability and disciplinary policies as applied to flight attendants who choose to live in a location different from the city where they are domiciled)
  • Line Station Arbitration (Arbitration 2010) (on behalf of major carrier and after several hearing days, obtained arbitration victory generally upholding carrier’s use of vendors to perform emergency on call maintenance at line stations)
  • FMLA Grievance (Arbitration 2008) (on behalf of major carrier and after several hearing days, obtained complete arbitration victory upholding carrier’s right to make certain unilateral modifications to family and medical leave policy that were key drivers of greater efficiency and productivity)
  • Counsel to major international airline regarding business combination opportunities (2005 -2010)
  • Outsourcing Dispute (Arbitration 2009) (on behalf of major carrier and after several hearing days spanning 13 months, obtained complete arbitration victory that preserved several hundred million dollars’ worth of outsourcing headroom)
  • Williamson et al. v. United et al. (S.D. Ind. 2003-08) (after drastically reducing the scope of this putative class action (by prevailing in arbitration following the carrier’s motion, and through other motion practice and limiting discovery, successfully settled case for a fraction of $22 million damages sought)
  • Pilot Age Discrimination Charges (various state agencies and EEOC districts around the US) (2008):  (dismissal of all -- approximately five dozen -- pilot age discrimination charges filed against large domestic carrier following 2007 passage of FTEPA)
  • TWU v. United Airlines (N.D. Ill. 2005) (dismissal of injunction action brought by union to prevent outsourcing of all the work performed by the craft or class) 
  • United Airlines and TWU (2005) (denial of grievance challenging outsourcing of all the work performed by the craft or class)
  • Vartanian v. United Airlines & AMFA (N.D. Cal. 2005) (dismissal of claims against United in hybrid breach-of-contract/DFR action)
  • United Airlines/AMFA Negotiations (2004-2005) (negotiation of two concessionary agreements with the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association)
  • AMFA v. United Airlines (N.D. Cal. 2004) (dismissal of action alleging refusal to bargain with and recognize union)
  • AMFA and United Airlines (NMB 2004) (accretion application)
  • United Airlines and AMFA (2004) (successfully represented company in potential $246 million CBA grievance arbitration over work assignments; grievance denied in its entirety)
  • McMillin v. Johnson (2004) (dismissal of former employee’s NY state court action alleging fraud and various other torts against supervisor)
  • United Airlines Age-60 Claims (2003-04) (EEOC closure, without liability or litigation, of potential age-discrimination pilot class action, and successfully arbitrated related CBA claims)
  • Sassman v. United Airlines et al. (USDOL, ARB 2003, S.D. Ind. 2005 et seq.) (dismissal of whistleblower claims)
  • Pohl v. United Airlines (USDOL & ARB 2003 et seq.) (dismissal of whistleblower claims)
  • DHL Worldwide Express (2003, NMB File No. CJ-6774, NLRB Case No. 29-RC-9837) (dispute over RLA coverage)
  • United Airlines and AMFA/IAM (2003, NMB Case No. R-6933) (representation of company in representation election involving competing unions and approximately 16,000 employees)
  • Sky Chefs and HEREIU (1999-2003) (representation of company in nationwide collective bargaining)
  • United Air Lines (2002, NMB Case No. R-6902) (successfully excluded Lead Engineers in representation dispute with IFPTE)
  • United Airlines and AFA (2002) (successfully represented company in $48 million interest arbitration case)
  • AFA v. United Airlines (2002) (defeated injunction sought by union challenging work rules)
  • Lekas v. United Airlines, 282 F.3d 296 (4th Cir. 2002) (affirming summary judgment dismissing suit to enforce arbitration award; establishing new law on statute of limitations issues)
  • Kozmer v. United Airlines (2002) (summary judgment dismissing ADA/disability claims in their entirety)
  • Wage Arbitration (2001) (successfully represented carrier in interest arbitration case; union originally sought $93 million)
  • United Air Lines (2000, NMB Case No. R-6710) (office clerical representation dispute with IAM resulting in no representation)
  • Linke v. United Airlines (2000) (summary judgment in suit to compel arbitration/enforce contract)
  • Guter v. United Airlines (2000) (summary judgment in D.D.C. suit to compel arbitration/enforce contract)
  • Rivers v. Sky Chefs (2000) (summary judgment in race discrimination case)
  • Sky Chefs (27 NMB 55 (1999), 15 NMB 397 (1988)) (seminal cases establishing standards for “derivative carrier” coverage under RLA)
  • Sky Chefs and various plaintiffs (1996-2000) (32-0 in 32 national origin/race discrimination lawsuits; obtained sanctions in several cases)
  • Yer Vang v. Caterair International, et al. (federal court, 1998) (summary judgment in race/national origin discrimination case)
  • Yer Vang v. Caterair International, et al., No. EM 96-11712 (Hennepin County, MN October 1997) (obtained defense jury verdict on discrimination and tort claims after six-day trial)
  • LSG Sky Chefs (SBA Arbitration) (upholding discharge for insubordination) (1998)
  • LSG Sky Chefs (SBA Arbitration) (failure-to-recall grievance) (1998)
  • Wisconsin & Calumet Railroad, Nos. CR-6594 & CR-6595 (Nat’l Med. Bd. 1996-97) (successfully represented carrier in representation proceedings)
  • Cheek v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 94-CV-5763 (N.D. Ill. 1995) (obtained summary judgment dismissing suit by former pilot to overturn arbitration award upholding discharge)
  • Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. v. BMWE, 94 C 2765 (N.D. Ill. 1994) (obtained TRO and preliminary injunction against threatened strike action by union over minor dispute)
  • Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. v. IAM, No. 94 C 563 (N.D. Ill. 1994) (obtained no-strike assurances from union after filing lawsuit for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief)
  • In re Application of Allied Pilots Association, No. C-6459 (NMB) (represented Simmons Airlines in proceeding in which APA sought NMB determination that the four Eagle carriers are “single carrier” for labor representation purposes) 
  • APFA Strike (1993) (on behalf of Simmons Airlines, prepared federal court sympathy strike injunction pleadings against TWU, ALPA, and AFA in connection with APFA strike against American; on behalf of American Airlines, prepared Illinois state court mass picketing and violence injunction pleadings; served as local counsel to American during negotiations and strike)
  • 1993 Sympathy Strike Actions (1993) (on behalf of Simmons Airlines, prepared federal court sympathy strike injunction pleadings against ALPA and TWU in connection with separate potential strikes by TWU and APA against Flagship Airlines)
  • Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. v. Brotherhood Locomotive Engineers, No. C-90-2452 (N.D. Cal. 1990) (TRO against sympathy strike and picketing activity by seven unions)
  • Berg, et al. v. United Air Lines, No. 88 C 9550 (N.D. Ill.) (successfully settled eight-plaintiff suit brought by pilots under Airline Deregulation Act to recover “lost” seniority and other benefits)
  • Jones v. United Air Lines, No. 1987CF2075 (Ill. Hum. Rts. Cmm’n) (prediscovery dismissal of race discrimination allegations)
  • ALPA, et al. v. UAL Corp., et al., 699 F. Supp. 1309 (N.D. Ill. 1988) aff’d in part, rev’d in part and remanded, 874 F.2d 439 (7th Cir. 1989), on remand, 717 F. Supp. 575 (N.D. Ill. 1989) (litigation brought by ALPA challenging provisions in IAM United collective bargaining agreement as unlawful under RLA and as poison pills designed to prevent pilot buyout) 
  • DeJean, et al. v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 88 CV 9474 (Colo. Dist. Ct. 1989), aff’d, No. 89CA1921 (Colo. Ct. App. 1991), aff’d, 839 P. 2d 1153  (Colo. S.Ct. 1992) (summary judgment, after limited discovery, dismissing on res judicata and release grounds state law damage claims by “Group of 500”)
  • IAM v. United Air Lines, et al., No. 89 0514 (D.D.C. 1989) (TRO and preliminary injunction enjoining any IAM sympathy strike or picketing activity at United and other “IAM airlines” arising from Eastern IAM strike)
  • Fisher v. Hertrich and United Air Lines, 680 F. Supp. 1250 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (summary judgment against state court claims brought by United pilot who was discharged for refusing to remove post strike yellow ribbon; case had previously been successfully removed from state court)
  • ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 86 C 3692 (N.D. Ill. 1987) (summary judgment dismissing RLA claims brought by 48 pilots who were hired as permanent replacements but who thereafter refused to report for scheduled classes)
  • Smith v. United Air Lines, No. 1983CF1970 (Ill. Hum. Rts. Comm.) (prediscovery dismissal of race discrimination allegations)
  • ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 86 C 4208 (N.D. Ill. 1986) (summary judgment dismissing RLA claims brought by five pilots allegedly discharged for their support of their ALPA strike; opinion later vacated as moot in ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., 853 F.2d 528 (7th Cir. 1988))
  • ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., 642 F. Supp. 838 (N.D. Ill. 1986) (denying, as RLA minor dispute, motion to hold United in contempt for violation of district court’s original order that United assign “Group of 500” to line pilot service; opinion later vacated as moot in ALPA v. UAL, 853 F.2d 528 (7th Cir. 1988))
  • ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., 637 F. Supp. 215 (N.D. Ill. 1986) (summary judgment dismissing, as RLA minor dispute, action to enjoin United’s use of nonunion pilots for maintenance ferry flights of L 1011 aircraft from Taipei to Hong Kong)
  • ALPA v. United Air Lines, Inc., 614 F. Supp. 1020, modified, 616 F. Supp. 849 (N.D. Ill. 1985), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 802 F.2d 886 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 107 S. Ct. 1605 (1987) (violation of RLA to allow pilots who worked during ALPA strike to “bid” for vacancies left by striking pilots; not violation of RLA to pay those pilots a guaranteed salary to induce them to work during strike; not violation of RLA to deny employment to “Group of 500” trainee pilots who refused to report to work on first day of strike; vacating district court’s injunction ordering United to place trainees on preferential rehiring list)

Publications

  • Senior Editor, THE RAILWAY LABOR ACT (BNA), First Edition (1995) to present