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What every HR professional needs to understand now about labor law and unions.

  • 6 May 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Live Webinar


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Look Save the Date for our May 6th Program
time 9:00-10:30am

What every HR professional needs to understand now about labor law and unions.

Never before has it been so important to understand federal labor law and the reality of union organizing and representation.  The new administration in Washington is taking steps to revitalize union organizing and tilt the playing field in unions’ favor.  HR professionals need to know the basic legal principles, the nature of the risk, and how to steer clear of unfair labor practices.  

Join Andrew Prescott, an experienced labor lawyer with Nixon Peabody, and Bill Schmiedeknecht, a Lifespan Human Resources professional seasoned in all things union. They will provide important legal and practical knowledge at a critical time.       

Submitted for HRCI credits


Andrew Prescott

Andrew Prescott (he/him) represents employers nationally and in various industries, including insurance, banking, shipping and distribution, manufacturing, hospitality, and health care in diverse employment and labor law matters. He counsels clients on compliance and risk avoidance in situations involving disciplinary actions, leaves of absence, reasonable accommodation, wage and hour, and employee concerted activity, as well as employment disputes in mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Additionally, Andrew advises employers dealing with union organizing, handles National Labor Relations Board and grievance arbitration proceedings, and negotiates collective bargaining agreements. Andrew is the leader of Nixon Peabody’s Labor Relations team and has served as the firm’s Providence office managing partner and loss prevention partner. He is a member and secretary of the WeMakeRI Board of Directors. Andrew’s current pro bono legal work includes providing legal counsel to two Boston-based bisexual resource and advocacy organizations, and representation of an individual seeking permanent resident status through the federal immigration court in Boston. Additionally, he is a member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association.

Bill Schmiedeknecht M.S, 
Lifespan, VP HR Business Partnerships and Labor Relations

Bill began his career in the United States Army as a non-commissioned officer. He had leadership roles in manufacturing and retail organizations before landing his first dedicated Human Resource role in 1998.  Bill started his HR career working as a contract recruiter preparing for the year 2000(Y2K).  Shortly thereafter he was promoted to HR Manger and has worked in increasingly more responsible roles since.  He has served as the SVP of HR and Administration at Bradford Soap, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of HR at UMASS Medical School, and for the last five years he has served on the Executive Team at Lifespan as their VP HR Business Partnerships and Labor Relations.

Lifespan currently has approximately 17,000 employees and two large bargaining units totaling roughly 5500 members.  Bill is known for his collaborative approach with organized labor, leveraging the partnership to achieve business outcomes. Bill led negotiations in 2018 and 2019 reaching 5-year Agreements with both unions. 

Bill attended the University of Rhode Island for both his undergraduate and graduate work.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master of Science in Human Resources and Labor Relations.  Bill is a Trustee of the IBT Health Insurance Fund and a former adjunct professor for the Business School at Bryant University. 


Looking for another RI SHRM Event?

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June 3rd - The State of Employee Well-being 2021 and Beyond
June 10th -
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visit our website for details on all RI SHRM programs

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