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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 1997
  • Western District of Washington, 2000
  • Eastern District of Washington, 2010

Peter G. Finch

Peter Finch is a labor and employment attorney who joined the firm after almost 15 years with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). At Davis Wright Tremaine, Peter represents private and public sector employers in labor negotiations, arbitrations, and proceedings before administrative agencies. Peter counsels employers across a broad spectrum of industries regarding union avoidance and how to effectively respond to organizing campaigns. Peter also helps employers comply with local ordinances and state and federal laws related to minimum wage and labor standards and benefits.

Peter’s diverse experience with the NLRB and defense of employers gives him a unique perspective for addressing federal labor law issues, including unlawful picketing, strike misconduct, and unions’ bad faith in contract negotiation. Peter is also committed to helping employers avoid and mount defenses to alleged unfair labor practices, including allegations of bad faith bargaining, retaliatory discharges, and maintaining overbroad rules and policies.

In his practice, Peter advises employers in the health care, manufacturing, service, utilities, and retail industries through all phases of collective bargaining, including:
  • Negotiating first contracts; as well as successor agreements and mid-term adjustments that protect employer flexibility and reflect a realistic interpretation of the labor market for that particular industry
  • Effectively communicating and affecting change within the context of a collective bargaining relationship and adjusting  operations and staffing in dynamic economic conditions
  • Interpreting and enforcing contracts
  • Arbitrating grievances arising out of terminations, discipline, and contract interpretation matters

Practice Highlights
  • Assist non-union employers with policy drafting and enforcement to avoid violations of National Labor Relations Act, federal statutes, and state law.
  • Provide positive management training and support for union and non-union employers to assist them in navigating complex and arcane labor laws when responding to union organizing activity or other concerted actions, such as strikes, corporate campaigns, and efforts to impact employer operations through local legislation.
  • Advise and represent union and non-union employers in transactions to acquire and/or merge with facilities or operations that have unionized workforces to 1) avoid premature bargaining obligations while 2) maintaining flexibility with regard to hiring and setting employees’ terms and conditions of employment.
  • Advise and counsel employers subject to local ordinances that drastically alter their employees’ terms and conditions by, for example, granting independent contractors collective bargaining rights, setting minimum labor standards unique to a discrete set of employers in a specific geographic area, or establishing minimum wages and benefits for workers operating in a particular jurisdiction only part of their working time.
  • Represent employers in representation hearings and related matters before the National Labor Relations Board to navigate that agency’s “quickie” election rules, including: hearings to protect the integrity of technical and skilled maintenance units at an acute care facility, negotiations for appropriate bargaining units in a variety of industries; and investigations and hearings related to objections to election conduct.

Representative Experience

Defense of large telecommunications company

Successfully defended telecommunications employer charged with firing line worker as retaliation for protected concerted activity. Although DWT was retained after complaint issued, our defense led the regional director to withdraw and dismiss the complaint prior to trial, dispatching liability that could have exceeded $300,000.

Unfair labor practices charges for large hospital

Obtained full dismissals for an acute care hospital employer in a variety of ULPs related to terminations that former employees alleged were for union or protected concerted activity.

Defense of hospital

Successfully defended a renowned hospital, showing that contract language, past practice, and bargaining history established “clear and unmistakable waiver” of union’s right to bargain over, or otherwise restrict, employer’s ability to unilaterally change employees’ health care benefits.

Defense of health care provider

Defended large health care provider in a case proving that, as a successor employer, it had the right to set employees’ initial terms and conditions of employment, and unilaterally change shifts for unit employees across departments.

Agency charges for large shipping company

Served as part of a coordinating counsel team for a nationwide shipping company, addressing discrimination, retaliation, and failure to accommodate charges filed by current and former employees with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and related state and municipal agencies, as well as working with district counsel to ensure consistency for litigation.

Additional Qualifications

  • Field Attorney, NLRB, 1997-2001, 2007-2012
  • Staff Attorney, NLRB Office of the General Counsel, Division of Advice, 2001-2007

Professional & Community Activities

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association, 2013 PCLELC Planning Committee
  • Board of Directors; Governance Committee Chair – King County Library System Foundation
  • Former Member, Board of Directors; Former Chair, Finance Committee – Youth Theatre Northwest
  • Board of Directors (President); Coach – Mercer Island Women's Lacrosse Club, 2008-2014
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