Morris L. Hawk

Of Counsel
Cleveland
1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
P 216.615.4841
F 216.623.0134
P 216.615.4841 | F 216.623.0134



Overview

Mr. Hawk focuses his practice on helping employers successfully navigate all legal aspects of the employment relationship.  He advises employers on complying with federal and state employment laws and employee benefits law.  He represents employers in traditional labor relations law before the National Labor Relations Board; in collective bargaining (including arbitration); and in union avoidance.  Mr. Hawk also represents employers in workers compensation matters throughout Ohio.

In addition to his employment practice, Mr. Hawk represents owners, general contractors and subcontractors in construction litigation, including payment and delay damages claims, mechanic’s liens, and defending claims of defective workmanship.  Mr. Hawk also has experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation and has represented gaming-related vendors before the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Mr. Hawk represents two major retailers in defending premises liability claims in Ohio.
 

Experience

Employment Law Compliance:

  • Counseling employers on all aspects of employment law, including ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, the WARN Act, COBRA, Title VII and immigration compliance matters.
  • Assisting national employers in day-to-day employment matters and compliance with federal and state employment laws (including California and New York).
  • Prepared numerous employee handbooks and updated employment policies (including state-specific policies).   
  • Conducted training sessions for HR representatives and front-line supervisors on proper evaluation of employee performance, documentation of substandard performance, legal obligations regarding employee sick leave, social media policies, among other topics.  

Employee Benefits:

  • Advising on and drafting deferred compensation agreements to ensure Section 409A  compliance for private sector employers and Section 457(b) compliance for non-profits.  
  • Counseling employers on compliance issues regarding qualified and non-qualified pension plans; health and welfare plans; 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
  • Advising employers on numerous compliance issues under the ACA, including obtaining 90% reduction in ESRP penalty for employer after submission of position statement to IRS.
  • Advising employers on multi-employer plan issues, including plan terminations, withdrawal liability, critical status matters.
  • Drafting summary plan descriptions, plan amendments, material modifications and other notice requirements.   
  • Serving as Benefits Counsel (seller-side and buyer-side) on numerous transactions.  

Employment Litigation:

  • Successfully represented major produce distributor in litigation and resolution of collective action wage and hour case involving alleged overtime violations in compensation of truck drivers.
  • Prevailed at summary judgment on behalf of clients on a broad range of employment claims, including ADA, FMLA, ADEA, Title VII, state discrimination claims, and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy claims.
  • Prepared numerous position statements in response to EEOC and OCRC charges that resulted in “no probable clause” determinations for clients.
  • Extensive experience in conducting internal investigations of claims of discrimination, including sexual harassment, retaliation, and age discrimination claims.
  • Achieved favorable resolutions for clients investigated by the Department of Labor for potential wage and hour violations.
  • Successful pre-suit representation of employer against purported class action FCRA violations resulting in withdrawal of claims by class action law firm.
  • Represents employers in administrative hearings before the Industrial Commission of Ohio and in common pleas courts throughout Ohio and counsels employers on day-to-day claims administration.  

Traditional Labor Relations

  • Represented employers before the National Labor Relations Board and in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal involving numerous issues, including discriminatory discharge, no-solicitation policies, social media policies, unlawful surveillance, and the duty to bargain.
  • Counseled private and public employers on numerous traditional labor law issues, including bargaining unit accretion, successorship, duty to bargain, single employer/alter ego issues.
  • Extensive experience in union avoidance campaigns.

Construction

  • Currently representing general contractor with payment and delay damages claims against owner in multi-project litigation.
  • Successfully resolved claims by contractors against subcontractors for negligent performance. 
  • Achieved pre-suit settlement on behalf of a real estate developer against the federal government in a lease dispute.

Premises Liability

  • Achieved summary judgment for retail client in case where plaintiff alleged injury arising from falling peg hook.
  • Successfully resolved numerous premises liability claims on favorable terms for clients.
Services

Industries

Education

  1. Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D.
    • Case Western Reserve University Law Review, Associate Editor & Contributing Editor
  2. Ohio University, B.A.
    • summa cum laude

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  2. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  3. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  4. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Insights

  1. Alerts
    Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana? (Aug 16, 2019)
    NLRB Proposes New Election Rules Un-Blocking Charges and Protecting Employee Rights After Voluntary Recognition (Aug 14, 2019)
    Ohio House Passes HB 80, Includes PTSD Expansion (Jun 7, 2019)
    Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Submits Dividend Proposal (May 21, 2019)
    Attention Employers: EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data is Due September 30, 2019 (Apr 30, 2019)
  2. Firm News
    Roetzel Welcomes Four Labor and Employment Attorneys to Growing Cleveland and Columbus Offices (Aug 7, 2018)

Overview

Mr. Hawk focuses his practice on helping employers successfully navigate all legal aspects of the employment relationship.  He advises employers on complying with federal and state employment laws and employee benefits law.  He represents employers in traditional labor relations law before the National Labor Relations Board; in collective bargaining (including arbitration); and in union avoidance.  Mr. Hawk also represents employers in workers compensation matters throughout Ohio.

In addition to his employment practice, Mr. Hawk represents owners, general contractors and subcontractors in construction litigation, including payment and delay damages claims, mechanic’s liens, and defending claims of defective workmanship.  Mr. Hawk also has experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation and has represented gaming-related vendors before the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Mr. Hawk represents two major retailers in defending premises liability claims in Ohio.
 

Experience

Employment Law Compliance:

  • Counseling employers on all aspects of employment law, including ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, the WARN Act, COBRA, Title VII and immigration compliance matters.
  • Assisting national employers in day-to-day employment matters and compliance with federal and state employment laws (including California and New York).
  • Prepared numerous employee handbooks and updated employment policies (including state-specific policies).   
  • Conducted training sessions for HR representatives and front-line supervisors on proper evaluation of employee performance, documentation of substandard performance, legal obligations regarding employee sick leave, social media policies, among other topics.  

Employee Benefits:

  • Advising on and drafting deferred compensation agreements to ensure Section 409A  compliance for private sector employers and Section 457(b) compliance for non-profits.  
  • Counseling employers on compliance issues regarding qualified and non-qualified pension plans; health and welfare plans; 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
  • Advising employers on numerous compliance issues under the ACA, including obtaining 90% reduction in ESRP penalty for employer after submission of position statement to IRS.
  • Advising employers on multi-employer plan issues, including plan terminations, withdrawal liability, critical status matters.
  • Drafting summary plan descriptions, plan amendments, material modifications and other notice requirements.   
  • Serving as Benefits Counsel (seller-side and buyer-side) on numerous transactions.  

Employment Litigation:

  • Successfully represented major produce distributor in litigation and resolution of collective action wage and hour case involving alleged overtime violations in compensation of truck drivers.
  • Prevailed at summary judgment on behalf of clients on a broad range of employment claims, including ADA, FMLA, ADEA, Title VII, state discrimination claims, and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy claims.
  • Prepared numerous position statements in response to EEOC and OCRC charges that resulted in “no probable clause” determinations for clients.
  • Extensive experience in conducting internal investigations of claims of discrimination, including sexual harassment, retaliation, and age discrimination claims.
  • Achieved favorable resolutions for clients investigated by the Department of Labor for potential wage and hour violations.
  • Successful pre-suit representation of employer against purported class action FCRA violations resulting in withdrawal of claims by class action law firm.
  • Represents employers in administrative hearings before the Industrial Commission of Ohio and in common pleas courts throughout Ohio and counsels employers on day-to-day claims administration.  

Traditional Labor Relations

  • Represented employers before the National Labor Relations Board and in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal involving numerous issues, including discriminatory discharge, no-solicitation policies, social media policies, unlawful surveillance, and the duty to bargain.
  • Counseled private and public employers on numerous traditional labor law issues, including bargaining unit accretion, successorship, duty to bargain, single employer/alter ego issues.
  • Extensive experience in union avoidance campaigns.

Construction

  • Currently representing general contractor with payment and delay damages claims against owner in multi-project litigation.
  • Successfully resolved claims by contractors against subcontractors for negligent performance. 
  • Achieved pre-suit settlement on behalf of a real estate developer against the federal government in a lease dispute.

Premises Liability

  • Achieved summary judgment for retail client in case where plaintiff alleged injury arising from falling peg hook.
  • Successfully resolved numerous premises liability claims on favorable terms for clients.

Education

  1. Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D.
    • Case Western Reserve University Law Review, Associate Editor & Contributing Editor
  2. Ohio University, B.A.
    • summa cum laude

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  2. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  3. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  4. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Insights

  1. Alerts
    Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana? (Aug 16, 2019)
    NLRB Proposes New Election Rules Un-Blocking Charges and Protecting Employee Rights After Voluntary Recognition (Aug 14, 2019)
    Ohio House Passes HB 80, Includes PTSD Expansion (Jun 7, 2019)
    Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Submits Dividend Proposal (May 21, 2019)
    Attention Employers: EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data is Due September 30, 2019 (Apr 30, 2019)
  2. Firm News
    Roetzel Welcomes Four Labor and Employment Attorneys to Growing Cleveland and Columbus Offices (Aug 7, 2018)