James S.Urban (Jim)


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Jim Urban has represented and counseled employers in complex employment and labor disputes for 25 years. His trial experience includes cases before federal and state court juries, arbitration tribunals, and Department of Labor administrative law judges. He has helped employers successfully defend against employment discrimination and whistleblower claims, as well as against allegations that a collective bargaining agreement was breached. He also has secured injunctive relief in state courts to enjoin unlawful picket line activity during labor strikes.

Twice in the past three years, The Best Lawyers in America has honored Jim as Lawyer of the Year in Pittsburgh for his work in labor and employment litigation and traditional labor matters. The Legal 500 also recognized him for his effectiveness in labor-management disputes. Jim currently is defending a leading logistics provider against class action allegations that its facially neutral background check policy has a disparate impact on certain minority job applicants. He also has extensive experience defending employers who are accused of failing to pay overtime wages, having represented energy producers, retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, banks, and pharmaceutical companies in such class actions.

Jim previously taught trial advocacy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law for seven years and frequently speaks at CLE seminars regarding issues that are important to employers, such as use of independent contractors, proper classification of employees, defense of joint employer allegations, and navigating pay-equity audits. He gave several well-received seminars regarding managing layoffs and furloughs during the pandemic.


  • Spark Networks obtains chapter 15 recognition of first-ever cross-border restructuring under German StaRUGJones Day represented Spark Networks SE in the first-ever cross-border restructuring under the recently enacted German restructuring law ("StaRUG") and chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code involving over $100 million of funded debt issued by a U.S.-based credit fund and guaranteed by other German and U.S. entities.
  • Archaea Energy acquired by bp for approximately $4.1 billionJones Day represented the management team and co-founders of Archaea Energy Inc., an industry-leading renewable natural gas ("RNG") company, in connection with Archaea’s acquisition by bp plc.
  • Coalition of railroads achieve successful results in national collective bargainingJones Day was counsel for the U.S. railroad industry in one of the largest and most consequential labor matters of 2022, helping to avoid threatened work stoppages by 100,000 workers that would have gravely imperilled the U.S. economy and drew the personal attention of President Biden.
  • Fortune 20 company obtains vacatur of $70 million arbitration awardJones Day wins vacatur of a $70+ million arbitration award that purported to bar our client, a Fortune 20 company, from allowing customers to self-install certain equipment in their own homes, and instead required that union employees perform all installations regardless of whether the customer wanted that or not.
  • Penn State prevails in whistleblower action brought by former team physicianJones Day successfully defended The Pennsylvania State University, its head football coach, and two athletic department administrators in a whistleblower action brought by a former team physician.
  • Penn State defends wrongful discharge action brought by former head athletic trainerJones Day is defending The Pennsylvania State University and two athletic department administrators in a wrongful discharge action brought by the university's former head athletic trainer, who resigned to accept a position at another school following a reduction in his role and compensation.
  • Penn State defends lawsuit brought by former student-athlete relating to alleged hazing by teammatesJones Day is defending The Pennsylvania State University and its head football coach in an action brought by a former football student-athlete who alleges that his freshman teammates hazed and harassed him.
  • Halliburton successfully defends against claims in ERISA class actionJones Day obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of its client, Halliburton Company, of a complaint filed by a putative class that alleged that pension benefits were incorrectly calculated in a frozen pension plan, maintained by Halliburton, relating to a divested joint venture.
  • CSXIT wins summary judgment on former employee's discrimination and retaliation claimsJones Day obtained summary judgment on behalf of CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. ("CSXIT") on all claims brought by the plaintiff regarding his termination.
  • Lennox International secures dismissal of workplace discrimination lawsuitOn behalf of Lennox International, Inc., Jones Day secured sanctions in the amount of $4,900 against the plaintiff’s counsel, who subsequently voluntarily dismissed a claim of disability discrimination that had been asserted against Lennox by a former sales representative.
  • Global payroll company defeats putative class action suit over payroll transaction feesJones Day obtained dismissal of a putative class action case of first impression involving the legality of using pay cards to pay employees for a global payroll company.
  • Verizon obtains injunctive relief against unlawful union activity during seven-week strikeJones Day assisted Verizon Communications, Inc. during a seven-week strike (April 13-May 31, 2016) by members of the Communications Workers of America ("CWA") by obtaining injunctive relief from courts in New York State and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and advising daily on strike misconduct and other related issues throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
  • McDonald's obtains voluntary dismissal from employee of McDonald's franchisee alleging discrimination and retaliationJones Day secured the voluntary dismissal with prejudice of all claims against McDonald’s Corporation in a lawsuit filed by a former mid-manager of a McDonald’s franchisee, who alleged that both the franchisee and McDonald's, as joint employers, discriminated and retaliated against him in violation of Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA, and Pennsylvania common law.
  • Rosebud Mining acquires mining assets of AMFIREJones Day advised Rosebud Mining Company in the acquisition of substantially all of the mining assets of AMFIRE Mining Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
  • Kansas City Southern Railway wins dismissal of breach of contract and FRSA actionJones Day successfully obtained a dismissal on behalf of Kansas City Southern Railway Company ("KCSR") in a breach of contract and Federal Railroad Safety Act ("FRSA") lawsuit brought by an employee in federal court in Texas.
  • U.S. Steel wins Supreme Court donning and doffing caseOn January 27, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in favor of Jones Day client U.S. Steel Corporation when it ruled that the time workers spent donning and doffing work clothes was not compensable.
  • CBS obtains summary judgment in age discrimination caseJones Day defended CBS Corporation against claims of age discrimination brought by former employees who lost their jobs during the 1990s as part of corporate downsizing and restructuring.
  • U.S. Steel prevails in "donning & doffing" FLSA case filed by United Steelworkers local unionJones Day provided defense to U.S. Steel Corporation in a collective action in which plaintiffs seek to represent all non-exempt production and maintenance employees at Clairton Works and claim that U. S. Steel has failed to pay them overtime compensation for time spent donning and doffing protective clothing and traveling to and from their worksites.
  • U.S. Steel wins summary judgment in putative nationwide FLSA collective action of "donning & doffing"Jones Day defended United States Steel Corporation in a putative nationwide collective action in which plaintiffs seek to represent all non-exempt production and maintenance employees at U.S. Steel's facilities.
  • National City Bank of Pennsylvania wins favorable verdict in contract breach lawsuitA Pennsylvania civil jury returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client National City Bank of Pennsylvania in a contract breach lawsuit in which the adult children of a deceased depositor, acting as co-administrators of their mother's estate, alleged that National City permitted their uncle (who was the depositor's brother) to divert in excess of $100,000.00 to himself from their mother's accounts without appropriate authorization.
    • April 9, 2020
      Workforce-Management Considerations in a COVID World
    • February 3, 2016
      Breakfast with the Wage & Hour Division
    • February 27, 2015
      2015 Speaker Series: Drilling Down: Wage and Hour Claims in the Energy Industry
    • July 15, 2014
      2014 Speaker Series: Affordable Care Act Update: The Employer Mandate
    • May 1-2, 2014
      Jones Day 2014 Railway Labor Act Symposium
    • March 28, 2014
      2014 Speaker Series: Veterans and Reservists in the Workforce
    • June 20, 2013
      The Affordable Care Act: Current Implementation Issues for Employers
    • January 25, 2013
      The Business of Practicing Law II, Case and Practice Management, Duquesne University School of Law Capstone Program
    • December 19, 2012
      Social Media: The NLRB's Focus on the Lawfulness of Employer Social Media Policies in Both Union and Nonunion Settings
    • July 26, 2012
      2012 Speaker Series
      Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act: What's Next for Employers?
    • May 22, 2012
      2012 Speaker Series
      Internal Wage-and-Hours Compliance Audits: Reap the Benefits Before It's Too Late
    • January 24, 2012
      2012 Speaker Series
      Social Media and Its Impact on the Workplace
    • October 20, 2011
      The New Pro-Labor Enforcement Regime at the National Labor Relations Board and Effective Prevention Strategies for Minimizing Employment Law Liability
    • June 28, 2011
      2011 Speaker Series
      Labor and Employment: The EEOC's Renewed Focus on Systemic Discrimination