Kenneth J. Yerkes

Kenneth J. Yerkes Employment lawyer Barnes Thornburg
Organization Profile
Professional Biography

Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department for two decades, Ken Yerkes has spent over 30 years successfully fighting for his clients' rights and business objectives at the bargaining table, in arbitration and federal and state court, as well as in plants across the country through proactive training, counseling and union avoidance campaigns.

Ken's ability to transform complex scenarios into workable strategies has earned him not only his clients' trust, but also acclaim as one of the country’s recognized leaders in labor and employment law. He is a fellow in both The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America and has also been interviewed, quoted and/or featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inside Counsel Magazine, Corporate Counsel Magazine and Law360.

Ken’s unwavering drive to serve as a comprehensive resource to his clients has allowed him to design a practice that balances litigation, counseling and traditional labor matters. With respect to collective bargaining, Ken's experience runs the gamut from first contract negotiations to pattern bargaining, mid-term contract modifications, decision bargaining, effects bargaining, plant closing agreements, managing strikes, and successfully implementing lockouts without union charges resulting in a complaint. He has bargained with and run union avoidance campaigns against virtually every union in the country, and regularly trains employers on best practices for remaining union free.

  • More Legal and Business Bylines From Kenneth J. Yerkes

Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor and Employment Practice Group has been named a Go-To Thought Leader in the field of employment law by the National Law Review. Throughout the year, Barnes’ Employment Group has tirelessly covered the changing landscape of US labor law as it pertains to the coronavirus pandemic, publishing articles on topics such as OSHA Vaccine-or-Test Mandate, California COVID Paid Sick Leave, and Minnesota Frontline Worker Bonuses. Contributing authors include (but are not limited to): John F. Kuenstler, Timothy Y. Wong, and Kenneth J. Yerkes.


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