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Christian Antkowiak

Christian Antkowiak


Labor, Employment, Benefits & Immigration Section Co-Chair

Pittsburgh, PA

How Christian Helps Clients

Christian co-chairs Buchanan’s Labor, Employment, Benefits and Immigration (LEBI) section, which is widely recognized as one of the largest and most respected within full-service law firms. With more than 70 practice-specific lawyers nationwide, the group has a proven reputation for providing progressive, industry-leading legal, business, regulatory and government relations advice to clients throughout the country and internationally.

Christian also co-chairs the Employment Law Practice Group of Legalink, a non-exclusive, international legal network of 68 independent business orientated law firms with members from the majority of the world’s main commercial centers.  In partnership with his Legalink colleagues, he delivers top quality multi-jurisdictional legal services to clients throughout the world.

The Best Lawyers in America® – a peer reviewed publication recognizing only the top 5% of lawyers in private practice – has selected Christian for inclusion in each of its editions since 2020 under the Employment Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor and Employment categories.  Importantly, he was just recognized by that group as the 2024 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law – Management, in Pittsburgh.

Christian devotes a significant portion of his time to the aggressive representation of clients in trial and appellate courts at the federal and state level, and in arbitrations and other dispute resolution proceedings. His litigation practice covers a wide range of practice areas, including but not limited to the following:

  • Class and collective actions, involving Title III public accommodation and wage and hour issues, with recent appearances at oral argument before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and upcoming arguments before the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
  • Defense of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, with ongoing litigation in states such as Florida, Texas, New York, and California.
  • Defense of agency enforcement actions and investigations, including those involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Enforcement and defense of restrictive covenants, trade secret and other confidential information protection, with ongoing litigation for clients in the sports betting and steel services industries.

Outside of the courtroom, Christian knows that identifying and eliminating potential risks can help avert litigation. He advises clients nationally and internationally on policy development and implementation, as well as best practices in managing employees. His extensive labor and employment practice includes but is not limited to:

  • Employment and other forms of compensation agreements, employee misconduct and whistleblower activity, Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance, leave laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act, and matters that intersect with intellectual property law, such as noncompete agreements and trade secrecy programs.
  • Conducting workplace trainings and investigations as well as audits of clients’ pay practices for purposes of compliance with state and federal equal pay and wage and hour laws.

Christian is also experienced in traditional labor relations, having successfully negotiated significant and highly contentious collective bargaining agreements, advising clients on union organizing, and trying labor arbitrations throughout the country. Notably, Christian was involved in litigating the first representation case to be held in Region 16 following the Board’s changes to representation-case procedures known as the “quickie election” rules.

Christian is a frequent lecturer on various employment topics at conferences across the country, a contributing author to nationally renowned publications such as the American Bar Association Fair Labor Standards Act treatise and is regularly quoted in popular press and business publications on trends in labor and employment law.

What Clients Can Expect

Christian’s significant litigation experience is one of the reasons he is well-positioned to provide sophisticated and creative counsel to regional, national and international clients on a full range of issues. Christian knows that employers face unprecedent workplace regulation and risk, and that managing employees has become more difficult over time. He knows that employers are looking for outside counsel that are highly responsive, and provide time-sensitive, common-sense advice and counsel. Clients value his considered and realistic approach, clear communication and responsiveness – knowing that if risk mitigation fails, both he and team of nationally renowned lawyers of Buchanan, will be their fiercest advocates in the courtroom.