With over 23 years of experience, Amy Moor Gaylord focuses her practice on traditional labor matters and employment litigation for both public and private sector employers with an emphasis on National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings, union organizing drives, NLRB-conducted elections, arbitration cases, contract negotiations, and employment discrimination matters. She has experience counseling clients in various industries, including higher education, not-for-profit, public safety (fire/rescue, police, 911 emergency dispatch centers), hospitality, and entertainment, among others.

Amy has served as lead negotiator in hundreds of collective bargaining negotiations in both the public and private sectors. She frequently represents employers in state and federal court, including class action and TRO/preliminary injunction proceedings, in arbitrations, and before administrative agencies. In addition, she counsels clients regarding union avoidance, workplace harassment, and compliance with a variety of employment-related statutes, including Title VII, the NLRA, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, and the FLSA. Amy previously worked as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Peoria, Illinois.

Amy’s depth of experience really comes to the fore in this detailed discussion of the ins and outs of labor law.


For more info on Amy go to:


T: +1 312 634 5700



Key Takeaways:

  • Trial by fire – the best way to learn to negotiate is to just do it… and to watch how others do it.
  • Preparation is key to a successful negotiation.
  • Put a strike plan in place – know how to keep the company running if a strike occurs.
  • Keep your clients’ end goals in mind when things get stressful.
  • Manage your own stress by making sure you don’t take things personally.
  • Work out smaller, non-economic items to build trust and get people used to saying ‘yes’.
  • Don’t start on a bad foot – make the first offers reasonable and considered.
  • Prepare clients for high demands – set expectations to avoid over-reactions at the table.
  • Some mistakes negotiators make are: not preparing properly, giving clients false hope, and not having the right people at the table.
  • Amy won’t hesitate to take her team out of the room if the other side are out of line.
  • The public sector is different from the private sector in that you have to answer to taxpayers…
  • As the lawyer you can be ‘the bad guy’ – at the end of a case, you walk away. Your clients don’t have the same privilege as they have to work with the other people at the table.
  • Impasse has a legal definition in labor law: Ask the opposing side where there is room for movement when stuck at an impasse.
  • Be observant and learn how to read people. Stop and listen.


What does a labor lawyer do?

A labor lawyer has many different areas of specialty…



How did you learn to negotiate?

Amy studied for an undergraduate in industrial labor relations and took classes in negotiation there. She now teaches her own class on labor negotiations



What did you learn from your own mentors?




How to deal with high stake negotiations?



How to manage your own stress levels?




Hardest cases you’ve had to negotiate?



Toughest issues to negotiate?

It depends on who’s at the table… 



How to expand the pie in a zero-sum situation?



Language issues?



Dealing with unrealistically high demands?



Common mistakes negotiators make?



Dealing with hot heads on the opposing side?



How to decide where to begin a negotiation?

Work backward…



Take it or leave it offers?

Amy is not afraid to file charges against a union if they are negotiating in bad faith.



Differences between public and private sector?



How does media involvement affect your work?

Stay neutral and factual when dealing with the media.



Facing anger and threats?



Union lawyers?



Dealing with impasse?



How has the pandemic changed the nature of your bargaining?

Learning to do negotiations virtually.



Job security and covid?



Differences under Biden and Trump?

Amy keeps it in the back of her mind that Biden is very union-friendly.



Economic strike vs unfair labor practice strike?



Female lawyers in this field?



How do we get more women in the field?

Support women to help fix gender imbalance.



As a labor lawyer, what advice do you have for other lawyers in different practices?



Contact info?

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