Donald J.Munro (Don)

Partner

Washington + 1.202.879.3922

Don Munro is one of the country's leading transportation industry lawyers, representing clients in high-stakes labor, employment, and regulatory matters. His experience encompasses collective bargaining, wage and hour, employee safety, discrimination, wrongful discharge, restrictive covenants, Family and Medical Leave Act and sick leave, health and welfare plans, contract disputes, executive compensation, whistleblowers, and disputes involving federal preemption of state law. Don is a nationally known authority on the Railway Labor Act and serves as the primary outside counsel for the National Railway Labor Conference. His clients also include all of the Class I railroads in the United States, as well as major and regional airlines, airline service providers, and commuter railroads.

For 20 years, Don has successfully defended transportation companies in court and before various federal agencies and arbitration panels, including the National Mediation Board, the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and presidential emergency boards. He has briefed and argued more than 30 cases in the U.S. courts of appeal across the country. He is a frequent speaker at airline and railroad labor law conferences and served as the co-chair of the ABA Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee from 2013 to 2016. Don is also a senior editor of The Railway Labor Act treatise.

Don maintains a substantial pro bono practice, providing advice to charities and nonprofits in various employment matters. He also taught employment law for many years as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University School of Law.

Experience

  • Freight railroads obtain injunction requiring conductors' union to bargainJones Day has secured a permanent injunction on behalf of the nation's major freight railroads against the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division ("SMART-TD"), requiring the union to immediately begin bargaining with the railroads over train crew staffing.
  • CSX wins summary judgment on FMLA putative class claims and defeats disability discrimination claimsIn a putative class action lawsuit, Jones Day client CSX Transportation, Inc. obtained summary judgment on claims alleging that the company's attendance policy and method of accounting for FMLA leave were unlawful.
  • Massachusetts Railroad Group obtains court ruling that federal law preempts Massachusetts' paid sick leave lawOn June 23, 2017, the First Circuit ruled in favor of a coalition of railroads represented by Jones Day, holding that the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act ("RUIA") partially preempts Massachusetts' paid sick leave law, the Earned Sick Time Law ("ESTL").
  • ABM prevails in jurisdictional matter involving RLA and NLRA precedentsJones Day successfully represented ABM Onsite Services - West, Inc. before the D.C. Circuit, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), and the National Mediation Board ("NMB") in a matter involving which federal labor law applied to its employees at the Portland, Oregon airport.
  • WMATA engages advisors for executive boardJones Day is serving as the strategic executive advisor to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's General Manager/Chief Executive Officer and its Board of Directors in connection with its efforts to evaluate its finances, operations, and governance.
  • KCSR and Tex-Mex secure preliminary injunction barring union from striking over new interchange proceduresJones Day secured a preliminary injunction on behalf of The Kansas City Southern Railway Company ("KCSR") and The Texas Mexican Railway Company ("Tex-Mex") barring the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen from striking over the carriers’ implementation of new interchange procedures in Laredo, Texas.
  • BNSF, Union Pacific defeat putative class action claims under Washington State's rest-break lawOn behalf of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company, Jones Day secured the dismissal of putative class action claims that had been brought against the railroads under Washington State’s rest-break law.
  • Rail carriers prevail in collective bargaining interest arbitrationIn 2018, Jones Day represented the National Carriers' Conference Committee -- a bargaining coalition comprising all of the nation's major freight railroads -- in a major arbitration to set the terms of labor agreements with two labor unions.
  • BNSF and Union Pacific win judgment in California rest period litigationJones Day obtained judgment in favor of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company in two putative class actions brought on behalf of employees alleging violations of California rest period laws.
  • Horizon Air victorious in wage rate interest arbitrationJones Day successfully represented Horizon Air Industries, Inc. in a wage rate interest arbitration involving their mechanics, represented by the Teamsters union.
  • Coalition of railroads wins ruling rejecting Massachusetts law on paid sick leaveOn July 13, 2016, a federal district court in Massachusetts issued a ruling in favor of our clients, a coalition of railroads, holding that the new Massachusetts "Earned Sick Time" statute is preempted by federal law.
  • BNSF obtains ruling by Ninth Circuit affirming victory in dispute with union over freight serviceThe Ninth Circuit upheld Jones Day's successful defense of BNSF Railway Company against a union attempt to enjoin implementation of new rail freight service.
  • Union Pacific obtains complete dismissal of employment class actionOn behalf of Union Pacific Railroad Company, Jones Day obtained dismissal of a class action lawsuit alleging that Union Pacific had violated California Labor Code Section 604, which limits the hours worked by train dispatchers.
  • BNSF wins dismissal of "corruption" challenge to arbitration awardJones Day represented BNSF Railway Company in litigation against the United Transportation Union and former employee Richard D. Kite, regarding a challenge to an arbitration award under the Railway Labor Act.
  • APCA files amicus brief in Northwestern University case regarding potential unionization of college athletesIn Northwestern University, Jones Day is representing Association for Protection of Collegiate Athletes as the National Labor Relations Board is deciding whether college athletes should be deemed employees of their university, in which case they would be entitled to unionize.
  • WUSA-TV obtains affirmation of summary judgment from U.S. Court of Appeals in collective bargaining agreement hiatus caseOn April 11, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of Jones Day client WUSA-TV (which is owned by The Detroit Free Press), upholding the dismissal of the union’s complaint in this collective bargaining agreement hiatus case.
  • BNSF obtains summary judgment in gender discrimination and retaliation caseOn September 4, 2012, Jones Day achieved a summary judgment victory on behalf of client BNSF Railway Company in a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit by a former locomotive engineer challenging her dismissal from service.
  • BNSF earns dismissal in Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower complaintJones Day represented BNSF Railway Company in a Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower complaint filed by an employee who was disciplined for violating company rules. 
  • National Railway Labor Conference goes before Presidential Emergency Board resulting in major victory for rail industryJones Day was retained by the National Railway Labor Conference in connection with national multi-employer collective bargaining on behalf of over 30 freight railroads, including the four largest railroads in the United States: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, and CSX Transportation.
  • Watco sustains dismissal of rail worker overtime claim in 10th CircuitJones Day successfully defended Watco Companies, a corporate parent of several short-line railroad companies, against a proposed class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act seeking overtime pay on behalf of railroad workers.
  • The following represents experience prior to joining Jones Day.

    Represented BNSF Railway in case involving whether dispute over transaction between private and public entities is major or minor under the Railway Labor Act. BMWED v. BNSF Railway, No. 08-2232 (10th Cir.).

    Represented Kansas City Southern Railway in case involving whether dispute over assignment of work is major or minor under the Railway Labor Act. Sheet Metal Workers Int’l Assoc. v. Kansas City Southern Railway, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104376, 187 LRRM 2637 (W.D. Mo. 2009).

    Represented BNSF Railway in challenge to direct observation rules for employee drug testing in transportation industry. BNSF Railway, et al. v. Department of Transportation, 566 F.3d 200 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    Represented BNSF Railway in petition to vacate arbitration award. BNSF Railway v. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, 550 F.3d 418 (5th Cir. 2008).

    Represented Union Pacific Railroad in opposing constitutional due process challenge to railroad’s policies regarding engineer certification and training. Daniels v. Union Pacific Railroad, 530 F.3d 936 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

    Represented Longview Switching Company in challenge to trackage rights agreement under Railway Labor Act and ICC Termination Act. United Transportation Union v. Longview Switching Co., et al., 528 F.3d 674 (9th Cir. 2008).

    Represented Union Pacific Railroad in Title VII gender discrimination challenge to lack of coverage of contraception in group health plan. Standridge v. Union Pacific Railroad, 479 F.3d 936 (8th Cir. 2007).

    Represented major Class I rail carriers in case involving whether the Family and Medical Leave Act authorizes substitution of paid leave provided under collective bargaining agreements. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, et al. v. CSX Transportation, Inc., et al., 478 F.3d 814 (7th Cir. 2007).

    Represented BNSF Railway in defending against EEOC charge alleging age discrimination in connection with voluntary early retirement programs. EEOC v. BNSF, No. 2:06-cv-2069 (D. Kan.).

    Represented Union Pacific in connection with interference charge arising from representation election campaign by the American Train Dispatcher Association. American Train Dispatcher Association v. Union Pacific, 34 NMB 21 (2006).

    Represented BNSF Railway in age discrimination case involving job protection benefits arising from railroad merger. Larson v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry., et al., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10886 (N.D. Ill. June 20, 2006).

    Represented Union Pacific in challenge to employee discipline under FELA. Stinchfield v. Union Pacific, No. 2:06-CV-2405 (E.D. Cal. 2006).

    Represented BNSF Railway in “duty of fair representation” case. Seelye v. BNSF et al., No. 1:05-cv-00130 (D. N.D.)

    Represented major Class I rail carriers in obtaining injunction against strikes by engineers’ union over implementation of remote control locomotive technology. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry., et al. v. BLET, 367 F.3d 675 (7th Cir. 2004).

    Represented BNSF Railway in dispute over whether railroad safety standards and discipline policies violated the Railway Labor Act, the Price Anderson Act, or other federal law. Bauer v. BNSF Railway, No. 5:03-cv-04110 (N.D. Iowa).

    Represented major Class I rail carriers in obtaining permanent injunction requiring union to provide 10 day notice in advance of strikes. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry., et al. v. BMWE, 286 F.3d 803 (5th Cir. 2002).

    Represented major Class I rail carriers in litigation over whether railroad industry has statutory right to bargain on a multi-employer basis. General Committee of Adjustment v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry., et al., 295 F.3d 1337 (D.C. Cir. 2002).

    Speaking Engagements

    • May 1-2, 2014
      Jones Day 2014 Railway Labor Act Symposium
    • March 14, 2014
      The Affordable Care Act: How Will It Change Health Care for Railroad and Airline Employees? American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee Midwinter Meeting
    • May 9-10, 2013
      Jones Day 2013 Railway Labor Act Symposium
    • April 9, 2013
      2013 Government Contractor Labor & Employment Discussion Group
    • June 7 - 8, 2012
      Jones Day 2012 Railway Labor Act Symposium
    • April 13, 2011
      Executive Roundtable Series - Labor and Employment: What Should Employers Expect in 2011?
    • April 12, 2011
      Jones Day Railway Labor Act Symposium
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