People: Ronald J. Kramer, Partner

Photo of Ronald J. Kramer, Partner

Ronald J. Kramer

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5560
Fax: (312) 460-7560
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Ronald Kramer is a partner representing management in labor and employment law matters at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  He has been responsible for advising and representing private and public sector employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues, including but not limited to employment discrimination charges, investigations, settlements and lawsuits; employee benefits (ERISA) litigation matters including benefit claims and multiemployer withdrawal liability assessments; and traditional labor matters such as union organizing drives, unfair labor practice charges, collective bargaining, strikes, interest arbitration, grievance and arbitration matters.

Mr. Kramer has served as chief negotiator in collective bargaining negotiations for numerous clients in their negotiations with unions such as the Laborers, IUOE, IBEW, UNITE HERE, Painters, IAM, Teamsters, UFCW, IAFF, AFSCME, FOP, and MAP.

Mr. Kramer is a member of the firm's Health Care Reform Team. This cross-departmental team of lawyers was formed to focus on how health care reform will affect our clients. Mr. Kramer advises clients on the employment law and traditional labor impacts of health care reform.

Ronald Kramer is a partner representing management in labor and employment law matters at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  He has been responsible for advising and representing private and public sector employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues, including but not limited to employment discrimination charges, investigations, settlements and lawsuits; employee benefits (ERISA) litigation matters including benefit claims and multiemployer withdrawal liability assessments; and traditional labor matters such as union organizing drives, unfair labor practice charges, collective bargaining, strikes, interest arbitration, grievance and arbitration matters.

Mr. Kramer has served as chief negotiator in collective bargaining negotiations for numerous clients in their negotiations with unions such as the Laborers, IUOE, IBEW, UNITE HERE, Painters, IAM, Teamsters, UFCW, IAFF, AFSCME, FOP, and MAP.

Mr. Kramer is a member of the firm's Health Care Reform Team. This cross-departmental team of lawyers was formed to focus on how health care reform will affect our clients. Mr. Kramer advises clients on the employment law and traditional labor impacts of health care reform.

Education

  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (1992)
    with high honors
  • B.A., Michigan State University (1988)
    magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law
  • American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law (Chair)
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Representative Engagements

Selected ERISA Cases

  • Dolins v CNA, et al., 16-889 (N.D. Ill) (Represent plan, employer, third-party administrator in breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction class action in connection with 401(k) plan)
  • Ruppert v. Alliant Energy Cash Balance Pension Plan, Case No. 08-cv-127 (W.D. Wis.) (Represented plan in an ERISA cash balance class action)
  • George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., et al., Case Nos. 07-cv-1713, 08-cv-3799 (N.D. Ill.) (two class actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with 401(k) plan)
  • Berkowitz v. United Airlines Employee Welfare Benefit Plan, Case No. 08 C 4940 (N.D. Ill. November 10, 2009) (summary judgment in claim for medical benefits)
  • Thompson v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 602 F. Supp. 2d 943 (N.D. Ill. March 16, 2009) (motion to dismiss granted in case alleging failure to notify plaintiff of her continuing coverage rights, failure to provide requested plan information, and for breach of fiduciary duty)
  • Pronti v. CNA Financial Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87930 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 28, 2007) (summary judgment dismissing remaining benefits denial and misrepresentation counts of pension benefits complaint)
  • Stonich v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11830 (N.D. Ill. March 20, 2006) (dismissal of claim for benefits)
  • Pronti v. CNA Financial Corp., 34 EBC 1691 (N.D. NY 2005) (dismissing fiduciary duty and contract counts of complaint)
  • Vallone v. CNA Financial, 375 F.3d 623 (7th Cir. 2004) (affirming dismissal of ERISA complaint alleging wrongful elimination of retiree health insurance benefits)
  • Samman v. The Continental Insurance Company, Case No. CIV-2001-1058A (W.D. OK 2002) (dismissal of claim by disabled employee for health insurance benefits)

Selected Arbitration Cases

  • Lonza, Inc and USW Local 703 (2018, Harris) (upholding discharge of employee for bullying)
  • Republic Services and IBT Local 728 (2015, Durham) (upholding discharge of employee for misconduct)
  • Village of Willows Springs and ICOPS, (2015 Kenis, Arb.)(upholding discharge of police officer for misconduct)
  • Republic Services and IBT Local 984 (2014 Gombert, Arb.) (denying grievance contesting employer’s right to temporarily transfer an employee)
  • Chemetall and USW Local 2659 (2014, Daniel) (denying union recall claim)
  • Village of Schiller Park and FOP Labor Council (2012 Hill, Arb.) (denying grievance over the reassignment of officer from detectives to patrol)
  • University of Illinois Chicago and FOP Labor Council (2010 Perkovich, Arb.) (denying grievance over the scheduling of officers)
  • City of Evanston and Teamsters Local 700 (2010, McAlpin, Arb.) (denying grievance over denial of compensatory time)
  • City of Evanston and Teamsters Local 714 (2010, Meyers, Arb.) (upholding discharge of police officer for misconduct)
  • W Hotel and UNITE HERE Local 1 (2005, Nathan, Arb.) (upholding discharge of employee for removal of food)
  • Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Freeport) and USWA Local 745, (2006, Symonette, Arb.) (denying seniority calculation grievance)
  • Village of Channahon and MAP, (2005, Goldstein, Arb.) (denying travel time pay grievance)
  • City of Evanston and AFSCME, (2005, Krinsky, Arb.) (denying holiday standby pay grievance)
  • Addison and Metropolitan Alliance of Police (2004, Cox, Arb.) (sustaining denial of pay increase of unsatisfactory police officer)
  • Comcast and IBEW, (2004, Heinsz, Arb) (sustaining discharge of employees for time card falsification)
  • Comcast and IBEW, (2003, Anderson, Arb.) (sustaining discharge for falsification)
  • Goodyear and Local No. 7, Nat’l Conf. Firemen And Oilers, (2002, Wolff, Arb.) (wage reopener interest arbitration)
  • Tootsie Roll Indus. and BCTGM, (2001, Symonette) (denying overtime grievance)
  • Morton Int’l and OCAW, (1998, Carey, Arb.) (sustaining suspension)

 

Selected Labor Cases

  • Village of Wilmette, 20 PERI ¶ 131 (ILRB ALJ 2004) (dismissal of alleged unilateral change to health insurance)
  • Village of Bensenville, S-CA-00-197 (ILRB 2003) (dismissal of alleged discriminatory discharge of eight officers)
  • Tootsie Roll Indus., 13 UC 361 (NLRB H.O. 2001) (supervisor excluded from unit)
  • City of Streator, 18 PERI ¶ 2005 (ILRB ALJ 2001) (exclusion of confidential employees in representation petition)
  • Village of Lombard, 15 PERI ¶ 2007 (ILRB Ex. Dir. 1999) (declaratory ruling regarding whether overtime and paramedic decertification were mandatory)
  • Howmet Corp. and I.A.M.A.W., Dist. 15, 22-RC-11371 (NLRB ALJ 1997) (representation hearing regarding unit appropriateness and team leader status)

Selected Other Cases

  • Carter v. Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., Case No. 03-2208 (D. Kan. 2004) (summary judgment in racial harassment, ADEA and FMLA case)
  • Navarro v. United States, Case No. 01C3249 (N.D. Ill. 2003) (federal tort claim verdict of $350,000 in favor of client)
  • Carl v. Parmely & City of Metropolis, Case No. 99-4162 (S.D. Ill. 2001) (summary judgment in sexual harassment case)
  • Hutchinson v. AAR, 2000 U.S. App. Lexis 27164 (6th Cir. 2000) (summary judgment and successful on appeal in multi-plaintiff age and sex discrimination case under Michigan civil rights law)
  • Kusak v. Ameritech, 80 F.3d 199 (7th Cir. 1996) (reversal of jury verdict in age discrimination case)

Presentations

  • Speaker, “Why is this so hard? Addressing and possibly resolving complex grievances,” National Public Employer Labor Relations Association Annual Conference (April 16, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Prepare for Change:  2018 and Beyond at the NLRB,” Breakfast Briefing, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (February 22, 2018)
  • Speaker, “What's Next After the ACA? What Every Public Agency Should Know for 2017,” National Public Employer Labor Relations Association Annual Conference (April 25, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Winning that Contract Arbitration, Preferably Before it Starts,” Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association Annual Conference (Oct. 25, 2016)
  • Speaker, "Public Sector and the FLSA: New Compensation Regulations and Implications," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 28, 2016)
  • Speaker, "Withdrawal Liability Update And Discussion of New PBGC Rulemaking," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (April 20, 2016)
  • Speaker, Health Care Reform: How It Will Impact the Hospitality Industry, American Hotel and Lodging Association Webinar (2010)
  • Speaker, High “C’s” Ahead:  Public Employer Collective Bargaining, Contractual and Constitutional Hurdles in Concessionary Bargaining, American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law Spring Conference, Hot Topics (2010)
  • Speaker, New and Pending Labor and Employment Legislation Affecting State and Local Governmental Employers, American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law Webinar (2009)
  • Speaker, Confronting New Union Organizing Tactics, Illinois Chamber of Commerce (2008)
  • Speaker, Tomorrow’s Challenge is Here Today:  The Employee Free Choice Act, Addison, IL Chamber of Commerce (2008)
  • Speaker, Retirement Benefits and the PPA, Illinois Chamber of Commerce (2007)
  • Trainer, Interviewing and Hiring, Keeping Your Recruitment Strategies Legal, North East Multi-Regional Training (October 2004)
  • Speaker, Wright and Grievance Procedures from an Employer’s Perspective, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 12th National Labor-Management Conference (2004)
  • Trainer, Conducting Employment Disciplinary Investigations, Illinois Institute for Continuing Education (2003 and 2004)
  • Speaker at numerous conferences regarding labor issues, including the Illinois City Managers Association Annual Conference, the Illinois and Nevada Public Employer Labor Relations Association Annual Conferences, the Illinois Association of Fire Chiefs Annual Conference, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association Annual Symposium, and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference.

Publications