Michael J.Rybicki


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In today's "eat or be eaten" business environment, Michael is constantly searching for innovative approaches to successfully resolve increasingly difficult and complex labor relations issues.

More About Michael

Against a business background of constant and fast-paced change in the working environment, employees see little in the way of job security, not much in the way of wage increases, and constantly escalating health care expenses. Supervisors and managers too often don't have time to or know-how to effectively provide positive feedback to, or handle negative feedback from employees. Employers need a trusted advisor to help them find strategic solutions to the real-life labor challenges that can result from these issues.

Whether at the bargaining table or in the boardroom, clients turn to Michael for a full range of labor-related support, including contract negotiations and grievance administration, union avoidance and vulnerabilities audits, and representation before the National Labor Relations Board; and various other labor-related matters, such as acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, downsizing, and other business initiatives. He also develops and assists with the administration of a wide range of employment programs, including social media and harassment policies.

Michael has frequently acted in the role of chief outside labor strategist and chief labor negotiator, and has devoted a substantial part of his practice to assisting management in formulating and achieving innovative and cost-effective approaches and results both at and away from the bargaining table.

Michael is recognized as one of the most experienced labor-relations practitioners in the newspaper industry and has represented numerous media companies with respect to virtually every employment and labor relations issue that has arisen in the industry. He has represented media companies in hundreds of negotiations with all of the major unions, including The NewsGuild and the Teamsters. These negotiations have involved the full range of industry-critical issues, such as union jurisdiction, operational flexibilities, productivity improvements, and profitability and economic viability. Michael has also worked extensively on projects involving the outsourcing or insourcing of production operations and logistics. He has devoted a substantial part of his practice to assisting management in formulating and achieving innovative and cost-effective approaches and results.

Michael has extensively advised clients, both within and outside of the industry, with respect to union avoidance issues. He has conducted extensive “union vulnerabilities” audits, making recommendations grounded in his decades of experience with respect to how to minimize the risks of unionization and encourage non-union status. This has included working closely with employees to develop policies that promote a union-free environment.

Regardless of industry, Michael brings to every client relationship four decades of experience representing employers in a wide range of labor-related services, dealing with issues flowing from changing business models and radically changing technologies. Based upon his many years of experience, exposure to many different matters, and an understanding of the challenges facing employers today, Michael is able to craft innovative solutions to meet clients' needs.

Michael enjoys his work at Seyfarth a great deal, as it allows him to help clients and colleagues overcome increasingly complex issues in a challenging environment in a manner that is as fair and respectful as possible to everyone, including the clients' employees.

  • MA, University of Illinois
  • JD, University of Illinois College of Law
  • BA, Benedictine University
  • Illinois