Natale V. DiNatale

(he/him/his)

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Natale DiNatale is a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group and is the chair of the firm’s Labor Relations Group, which is both nationally and regionally ranked in U.S. NewsBest Lawyers "Best Law Firms" in the area of Labor Law - Management. He counsels employers on all facets of employment law and has devoted his practice almost exclusively to management-side labor relations in the private sector. He has worked with employers in numerous industries, including health care (acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and home care service providers), manufacturing, higher education, data, cultural, arts, utility, and building services.

    Natale has been ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the State of Connecticut in the area of Labor & Employment since 2020. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Employment Law - Management since 2014 and in the area of Labor Law - Management since 2021.

    Collective Bargaining

    Natale represents employers in collective bargaining; he has negotiated initial and successor contracts with various unions in a range of industries. He assists employers with complex issues arising in contract negotiations, including strikes, lockouts, management rights, contracting, benefits, and the termination and modification of retirement and benefit plans. Natale prioritizes learning about an employer's operations so that their labor relations strategies coincide with operational objectives. Natale’s efforts on behalf of employers have resulted in clients saving millions of dollars through changes to pension plans, health insurance benefits, overtime language, and management rights provisions.

    Labor Litigation

    Natale handles a range of labor-related disputes in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in state and federal courts. He has handled numerous petitions before the NLRB, including representation petitions, decertification petitions, deauthorization petitions and unit clarification petitions. He also represents clients in unfair labor practice proceedings, grievance resolution, and arbitration, where he has achieved positive results for employers in both termination and contract interpretation cases.

    Labor and Employment Counseling

    Natale advises clients on a host of labor and employment issues, including union avoidance, union election campaigns, successor employer issues, joint employer issues, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other state and federal labor and employment laws. He also counsels clients on labor and employment issues arising in mergers, acquisitions, affiliations, and bankruptcy.

    Workplace Investigations

    As an Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder, Natale is a trained workplace investigator, and regularly manages and provides advice regarding workplace investigations involving all types of employment-related issues, including those occurring in union workplaces.

    Natale has been a contributing editor to The Developing Labor Law for over a decade. Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Natale was associated with a Bridgeport-based labor and employment law firm. Before that, he clerked for the Honorable Francis X. Hennessy of the Connecticut Appellate Court.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Represented health care company with union-represented employees through acquisition and successfully negotiated the unit’s integration with the acquiring entities operations, policies and benefits.

      • Successfully negotiated a successor contract on behalf of a client, resulting in the client saving over $3 million from changes to health insurance benefits, shift differentials and the termination of a defined benefit retirement plan.

      • Successfully negotiated termination of defined benefit pension plans on behalf of numerous employers in the healthcare industry. 

      • Advised client on a successful union decertification campaign.

      • Counseled multiple clients on union campaigns, resulting in unions’ withdrawal of representation petitions or rejection of union representation. 

      • Prevailed in an arbitration proceeding over the termination of a union delegate with over 30 years of seniority.

      • Through arbitration concerning management rights language, secured an employer’s ability to achieve significant reduction in overtime costs.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association

      American Bar Association

      Massachusetts Bar Association
      Chair, Health Law Section Council (2022 - 2023)
      Vice Chair, Health Law Section Council (2020 - 2022)

      Association of Workplace Investigators
      Certificate Holder (2019 - Present)

      Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
      CT Valley Chapter, Steering Committee (2021 - Present)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the State of Connecticut in the area of Labor & Employment from 2020 to 2022

      Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Employment Law - Management since 2014 and in the area of Labor Law - Management for 2021 and 2022.

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Unions Are Adding Some Heat in the Kitchen For Food & Beverage Employers," co-authored with Kayla N. West, published in Modern Restaurant Management (7/25/2022)
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      "Undergraduate Student Workers as Union Employees," co-authored with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, published in University Business (5/19/2022)

      "Getting Into the Weeds of Connecticut’s New Marijuana Law and Its Impact on the Workplace," co-authored with Kayla N. West and Abby M. Warren, published in the Winter 2021 edition of the CCIA’s online magazine, Connstruction. (12/1/2021)
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      "7 Policies in Your Employee Handbook that Need Review Soon," co-authored with Kayla N. West, published in Human Resource Executive (6/25/2021)

      "NLRB still refining test for adjunct faculty unionization," co-authored with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, published in University Business (6/8/2021)

      "The big-ticket question: Can (or should) employers require the COVID-19 vaccine of employees in the workplace?" co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson, Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Abby M. Warren, Kayla N. West and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, published in ISHN (Industrial Safety & Hygiene News) (5/12/2021)

      "Taking A Shot At Answering Employers’ COVID-19 Vaccination Questions: Best Practices For Managing The COVID-19 Vaccine In The Workplace," co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson, Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Abby M. Warren, Kayla N. West and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, published in the Massachusetts Bar Association MBA Section Review newsletter (March/April 2021)

      "Unions Will Gain Strength with NLRB Changes," co-authored with Kayla N. West, published in Industry Week (3/5/2021)
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      "One Shot to Get It Right: Navigating the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Workplace," co-authored with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Abby M. Warren, Kayla N. West, Stephen W. Aronson and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, published in Construction Executive (1/6/2021)

      The Developing Labor Law, Contributing Editor

      "The Aftermath of Torosyan," published in CBA Labor and Employment Law Quarterly, vol. 4, issue 2

      "Chaos in the Aftermath of the Panama Invasion: S.A. vs. United States," published in 8 Emory International Law Review

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Are College Athletes Students or Employees? A Review of the Current Legal Landscape Surrounding the Student-Athlete Debate," co-presented with Kathleen E. Dion, at the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges’ 2022 Annual Member Forum, “Partnering for Progress” (11/21/2022)
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      "Union Organizing Is on the Rise: What Does it Mean, Why Does it Happen & What Steps Can You Take?" co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, for members of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance (9/16/2022)
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      "Union Organizing Is Rising Significantly: Are Your Supervisors Ready?" co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, a Robinson+Cole-hosted webinar (6/14/2022)
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      "No Secrets in NYC and Beyond! What Employers Need to Know About U.S. Wage Disclosure Laws," co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson (3/11/2022)
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      "Education Roundtable: Are Undergraduate Students Also Employees? New NLRB General Counsel May Have Opened the Door to Work-Study Students and College Athletes Joining Labor Unions," co-presented with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz (1/27/2022)
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      "Are Undergraduate Students Also Employees? New NLRB General Counsel Open the Door to Work-Study Students and College Athletes Joining Labor Unions," a Robinson+Cole-hosted Education Roundtable (1/27/2022)
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      "Safety Roundtable - Employer COVID Rules: How to Keep Up and What Comes Next," co-presented with Jonathan H. Schaefer and Rachel V. Kushel, sponsored by the Connecticut Construction Industries Association's Safety Committee (1/11/2022)
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      "NLRB's General Counsel Seeks to Allow Athletes to Form a Union and Require Universities to Bargain," co-presented with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, at the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges’ “Partnering for Progress” Annual Member Forum (11/22/2021)
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      "Massachusetts Bar Association's 2021 Health Law Conference," co-presented with Kathryn M. Rattigan, Conor O. Duffy and Abby M. Warren, presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association's Health Law Section Council (9/24/2021)
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      "What Construction Employers Need to Know About the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana," co-presented with Abby M. Warren, as part of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association's (CCIA) Ethics and Compliance Summit (7/15/2021)

      "Non-Union Today, Union Tomorrow: Labor Law Developments Likely to Impact Higher Education," co-presented with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz and Kayla N. West (5/4/2021)
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      "The PRO Act—Key Elements and Potential Impact on Employers," co-presented with Kayla N. West, an R+C-hosted webinar (3/18/21)
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      "Special Issues in Healthcare Workplace Investigations," co-presented with Abby M. Warren, during the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Health Law Section 2020 Health Law Conference. (12/4/2020)
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      "Part II: Connecticut’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act: A Conversation with Andrea Barton Reeves," co-presented with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, as moderators during an R+C-hosted webinar. (10/21/2020)
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      "Managing Labor Relations in a Remote Work Environment," during the Connecticut Valley LERA's (Labor and Employment Relations Association) webinar. (10/2/2020)
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      "COVID-19: Non-Union Workers Breathe Life into Labor Movement," co-presented with Matthew T. Miklave, a webinar program hosted by Robinson+Cole. (5/1/2020)
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      "Has Confidentiality Returned to Workplace Investigations?" co-presented with Abby M. Warren, as an Association of Workplace Investigator's webinar. (3/24/2020)
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      "Connecticut's Paid Family and Medical Leave Act: Today & Tomorrow," co-presented with Alexander Friedman (10/15/2019)
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      "High-Risk Workplace Investigations," program chair for CLE seminar presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association in Boston, Massachusetts (1/8/2019)
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      "Getting Your Health Care Entity Ready for a Purchase or Sale Transaction: Steps for Success," co-presented with Leslie J. Levinson, Richard M. Fil, Virginia E. McGarrity and Brian D. Nichols, webinar (2/27/2018)
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      "Higher Education Roundtable," guest speaker, Spring 2015; Quinnipiac University, guest lecturer, Spring 2016.

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • July 26, 2022

        Natale DiNatale and Kayla West Co-Author Modern Restaurant Management Article on Unions in Food & Beverage Industry

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      • June 13, 2022

        Natale DiNatale to Lead Massachusetts Bar Association Health Law Section Council

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      • May 23, 2022

        Natale DiNatale and Emily Zaklukiewicz Co-Author University Business Article on Undergraduate Students Organizing Around the Country

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      • December 15, 2021

        Labor and Employment Lawyers Write on Workplace Implications of Connecticut’s New Marijuana Law

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      • June 28, 2021

        Natale DiNatale and Kayla West Author Human Resource Executive Article on Employee Handbook Considerations

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      • June 9, 2021

        Natale DiNatale and Emily Zaklukiewicz Author University Business Article on Adjunct Faculty Unionization

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      • May 14, 2021

        Labor and Employment Group Lawyers Author ISHN Article on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement in the Workplace

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      • April 9, 2021

        Labor and Employment Group Lawyers Author MBA Article on Managing COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace

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      • March 9, 2021

        Natale DiNatale and Kayla West Author Industry Week Article on Union Progress Under Biden Administration

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      • January 15, 2021

        Labor and Employment Group Lawyers Author Construction Executive Article on COVID-19 Vaccine in the Workplace

      • July 20, 2020

        Natale DiNatale Appointed Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association Health Law Section Council

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      • May 28, 2019

        Firm Attorneys Host AWI New England Local Circle Meeting in Boston

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      • March 23, 2019

        Firm Attorneys Host Inaugural Meeting of AWI’s New England Local Circle

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      • January 11, 2019

        Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson and Natale DiNatale Present Workplace Investigations CLE Program

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      • August 20, 2018

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

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      • July 19, 2018

        Natale DiNatale and Kathryn Rattigan Appointed to the Massachusetts Bar Association Health Law Section Council

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      • February 28, 2018

        Natale DiNatale, Les Levinson, Virginia McGarrity, and Brian Nichols Present Health Law Webinar

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      • June 6, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors George W. Crawford Black Bar Association's 2016 Annual Dinner

      R+C News Releases

      • August 18, 2022

        74 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2023

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      • June 1, 2022

        2022 Chambers USA Recognizes 19 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 10 Practice Areas

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      • August 19, 2021

        65 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022

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      • May 24, 2021

        Chambers USA Recognizes 19 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 10 Practice Areas

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      • August 20, 2020

        61 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

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      • April 23, 2020

        Chambers USA Recognizes 20 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 11 Practice Areas in CT, PA, and RI and Nationwide

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      • August 15, 2019

        57 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • August 19, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • May 31, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Expands Labor & Employment Practice with Addition of Three New Attorneys

    • Legal Updates/Newsletters

      Legal Updates/Newsletters

      "Important Considerations for Connecticut Employers in Anticipation of Election Day" co-authored with Kayla N. West, Sapna K. Jain and Stephen W. Aronson (10/25/2022)

      "Unions Are Adding Some Heat in the Kitchen for Food & Beverage Employers" co-authored with Kayla N. West (6/21/2022)

      "Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers Now Invalid and Unenforceable for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims" co-authored with Kayla N. West and Stephen W. Aronson (3/7/2022)

      "Considerations for Employers Thinking about COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates" co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson, Kayla N. West and Jean E. Tomasco (9/1/2021)

      "2021 Labor and Employment-Related Legislation from the Connecticut General Assembly" co-authored with Kayla N. West, Jean E. Tomasco and Stephen W. Aronson (6/24/2021)

      "The College Athlete Right to Organize Act – Labor Unions Enter the Pay-for-Play Debate" co-authored with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz (6/2/2021)

      "Status of Noncompete Agreements in 2021: Consider Alternatives to Protect Your Business Interests" co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson, Jean E. Tomasco, Abby M. Warren, Kayla N. West and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz (3/17/2021)

      "U.S. House Passed the PRO Act: How It Could Affect the Future of Labor Law" co-authored with Kayla N. West (3/10/2021)

      "NLRB General Counsel: Pandemic Not a Reason to Bypass the National Labor Relations Act" co-authored with Matthew T. Miklave (9/22/2020)

      "Regulating Political Speech and Expression in the 2020 Workplace" co-authored with Abby M. Warren and Emily A. Zaklukiewicz (9/11/2020)

      "NLRB Draws a Line: Polite Picket Lines, Civil Social Media and Courteous Complaining" (8/24/2020)

      "Remember the Duty to Bargain When Planning Coronavirus Response!" co-authored with Emily A. Zaklukiewicz, Alexander Friedman and Matthew T. Miklave (3/30/2020)

      "General Counsel's New Standard on Intermittent Strikes, Another Untenable Position for Employers" (October 10, 2016)