Christian Antkowiak
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Christian Antkowiak

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Pittsburgh, PA
 
 
 

Christian is nationally sought after for his experience in aggressively defending multi-state class and collective actions impacting business of all sizes. In addition to representing Fortune 200 clients with sophisticated in-house legal teams, Christian also serves small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country as their de facto general counsel.

Clients see Christian as an essential business partner. He is committed to understanding his client’s business as an insider who can anticipate problems and provide value-added solutions. He is attentive to business needs, aspirations and the concerns that keep even the most sophisticated management teams up at night. As a result, his representation is proactive not reactive, creating opportunities for clients to better grow their business.

How Christian Helps Clients

Energy Sector
Christian is widely considered a “go to” lawyer for employment litigation in the energy industry. Since the inception of the shale oil and gas revolution Christian has handled dozens of employment claims for established and emerging businesses, ranging from single plaintiff discrimination defense to multi-million dollar class actions. He has entered his appearance on behalf of numerous exploration and production companies, along with service companies, of varying size. Representative cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Conley v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 17-1391 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Adams v. EQT Corp., Case No. 17-853 (W.D. Pa.)
  • McLaughlin vs. Seneca Resources Corporation, Case No. 17-255 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Gandy v. RWLS, LLC, Case No. 17-558 (D. N.M.)
  • Stewart v. Anchor Drilling Fluids USA, LLC, Case No. 16-1372 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Robinson v. RWLS, LLC, Case No. 16-201 (W.D. Tx.)

Americans With Disabilities Act Litigation
The past several years have seen a cottage industry develop around the prosecution of claims arising under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. These cases have involved disputes over the accessibility of commercial websites, access barriers in retail center parking lots, the accessibility of point of sale terminals and automated teller machines. In addition to defending more traditional employment-based ADA discrimination claims, Christian has entered his appearance in numerous high profile cases for well-known companies involving Title III public accommodation issues. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Mageno v. World Kitchen, Case. No. 18-1150 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Suchenko, et. al., vs. Holdings Acquisition (Rivers Casino), Case No. 18-562 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Gniewkowski, et. al., vs. HCA Holdings Inc., (Hospital Corporation of America), Case No. 16-1898 (W.D. Pa.)
  • Jahoda v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, Case No. 14-01278 (W.D. Pa.)

Single-Plaintiff Litigation
According to recent studies, employers are more likely to have an Employment Practices Liability claim than a general liability or property loss claim. Indeed, 75% of all litigation against corporations today involves employment law disputes.

In addition to his class and collective action practice, Christian regularly defends employers in single-plaintiff actions. Recent examples include the defense of a claim of religious discrimination in employment (Reeder v. Walmart Stores, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-01177), the alleged interference with rights arising under the Family Medical Leave Act (Opatt v. DISH Network, Case No. 17-cv-00549), and alleged racial profiling against a major U.S. airline (Lee v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., Case No. 12-01033 (W.D. Pa.)).

Christian has also briefed and won cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, including a precedent-setting appeal involving an employer’s right to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of bankruptcy under Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code (Rea v. Federated, Case No. 10-1440 (3d Cir.)).

General Practice
Christian devotes significant time behind the scenes positioning his clients for success – oftentimes counseling on best practices that mitigate business risk. Christian provides human resource support in the form of virtual and onsite management training. He also assists human resource professionals in drafting employment and separation agreements as well as restrictive covenant and non-disclosure agreements.

For clients dealing with unionized workforces, Christian advises with regard to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) processes, assists in the negotiation of labor agreements and arbitrates contract disputes. In fact, 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 the popular press and business publications on trends in labor and employment law.