Working Hard for Hard-Working People Since 1906
Phone: (503) 227-4600
Fax: (503) 248-6800
Cell: (503) 984-0845
New York Bar: 1983
Oregon State Bar: 1983
Oregon Federal Bar: 1984
New York University School of Law (J.D., 1981)
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Philosophy (Teaching Fellowship; Doctoral Candidate 1977-78)
Area of study: Philosophy of Science, Mathematical logic
Courses taught: Introductory Logic, Philosophy and Public Issues
Princeton University (B.A., cum laude, 1977)
Major: Philosophy of Mathematics. Special degree certificate in History and Philosophy of Science.Ê Honors Thesis on Intuitionist Mathematics
Metropolitan Public Defenders
Staff Attorney: Felony and misdemeanor cases, civil commitments, juvenile delinquency and dependency, and criminal appeals.
LaBarre & Associates
Associate Attorney: complex litigation, class actions, securities litigation, personal injury
Hon. Gus. J. Solomon, U.S. District Judge
District of Oregon
Law Clerk: District Court cases in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California, and appellate cases for the the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
HANK J. KAPLAN was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in North Bergen, New Jersey. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1977 with a degree in Philosophy of Science, did graduate work in philosophy at University of Pittsburgh, and then entered New York University School of Law, where he received his law degree in 1981. After serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Gus Solomon, Mr. Kaplan was admitted to both the Oregon and New York State Bar Associations in 1983. His practice includes public and private sector labor law, collective bargaining, employment litigation, individual employment contracts, wage litigation, employment benefits litigation, and workplace technology and privacy issues.
Labor & Employment Law -- Negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, interest arbitration, grievance arbitration, jury trials, mediation, administrative hearings, and participation in public employee benefits boards. Litigation experience include contract cases, FLSA, unfair labor practice charges, medical insurance, disability benefits, unemployment, pension, leave, wage & hour, USERRA rights, probate, ERISA, discrimination, workers compensation, just cause discipline and discharge, and others. Clients include state-wide unions representing police, fire, and other public safety employees, transportation workers, teachers, classified employees, nurses, pulp and paper workers, airline pilots, security guards, long shore workers, and others. Speaking and lecturing experience includes presentations to Public Employee Relations Conference, and numerous conferences and training sessions sponsored by Oregon Education Association and Labor Education and Resource Center.
Labor Law: Pension Benefits
The City of Portland Fire and Police Retirement Fund had a rule which provided that when an alternate payee (such as an ex-spouse) died before the retiree, the alternate payee’s payments would revert to the retiree. The Board of the pension fund eliminated the reversion benefit, and the union filed a grievance over the change, asserting that the change violated the maintenance-of-benefits clause in the union contract. The City refused to arbitrate. Hank filed an unfair labor practice charge to compel the City to arbitrate and then represented the union in the subsequent arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the union, and ordered the City to reinstate the benefit. The arbitrator held that pension benefits are a mandatory subject of bargaining and that the contract obligated the City to maintain the pension benefits in the contract, regardless of whether the pension fund paid for those benefits.
Pension and Wage Law
The City of Portland pension fund overpaid more than 900 fire and police retirees a total of approximately $3 million over a 14-year span. Upon discovering the error, the pension board decided to recoup the overpayments from the retirees’ future pension payments, without the consent of the retirees. On behalf of the retirees, Hank Kaplan filed a class action lawsuit seeking to stop the City’s recoupment of overpayments. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of the retirees, and held that the City’s attempt to recoup overpayments without consent or due process was a violation of State Law.
Labor Law: Discipline
A corrections deputy was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants near his home. The arrest was without incident, and resulted in a diversion agreement instead of a conviction. The employer imposed a long suspension as the “minimum” discipline available under its guidelines, and the deputy’s union grieved the discipline. Hank Kaplan, representing the union, established that the employer’s past practice was to impose a single-day minimum for similar offenses, and the arbitrator agreed. The discipline was changed to one day, and the deputy was made whole for the difference.
Labor Law: Collective Bargaining and Strike Support
Security officers unit under ILWU contract issued a 10-day strike notice during the 30-day cooling-off period following final offers. The employer filed unfair labor practice charges and a petition to declare the strike unlawful with the Employment Relations Board, and a petition for an injunction against the strike in the Multnomah County Circuit Court, providing less than one day notice to the Union. After a full evidentiary hearing on the request for an injunction, the Circuit Court denied the employer’s request for an injunction. Hank Kaplan acted as lead negotiator and lead counsel on the Circuit Court case. Following the denial of the injunction, the employer changed its bargaining stance and the contract was settled without a need for a strike.
Wage & Hour Law
FLSA action Approximately 80 Paramedics, Dispatchers, and EMTs filed claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act for wages for training time required to maintain EMT certifications. Hank Kaplan represented the employee class, pursued the case in Federal Court and won a ruling that the employer was in violation of the FLSA and owed two years of back wages for training time.
Wage & Hour Law
FLSA action Arson Investigators in the Fire Bureau sought overtime for hours worked in excess of standard work week for law enforcement officers, not fire suppression employees. Hank Kaplan brought action in federal court resulted in settlement requiring retroactive and prospective payments to these employees as law enforcement agents.
A 1500-member Nursing unit on strike against OHSU where the employer sought to induce striking nurses to cross picket line by offering benefits never offered at the bargaining table. Hank Kaplan, representing the Union, brought unfair labor practice charges against the hospital to prohibit the illegal inducement. The State Employment Relations Board issued expedited ruling prohibiting the practice, and awarded the largest monetary remedy in its history against the employer.
A transit supervisor was demoted to a bus-operator position due to alleged fraternization with his girlfriend on the job. Hank represented the Union in grievance proceedings against the employer and showed that there was no violation of any clearly expressed company rules. The Arbitrator reinstated grievant with back pay and no discipline at all.
An employee suffering from anxiety disorder was refused the right to return to work by his employer, because he could not work in a locked facility without a key, even though employer had positions available in facilities which would not require exposure to that situation. Hank filed a disability discrimination lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the employee. The employer settled the case before trial, agreeing to give the employee a large portion of money and other relief he was asking the federal court to award.
County Correctional employees returning from military service overseas were denied credit for lost pension benefits. The state Public Employee Retirement System administrative rules did not permit recognition of military service time as creditable service time calculating retirement benefits. Hank filed a claim with the U.S. Dept. of Labor for violation of benefits required by federal USERRA statutes. The Department of Labor issued findings that required the State to reform its administrative rules to comply with federal law.
Private-sector Local union affiliate put into trusteeship by its International Union sought to secede from the International Union and join a competitor, without proper authorization of membership. Hank brought suit in federal court to enforce trusteeship and enjoin the subversion of member dues to another union. The Local leadership resigned and agreed to cooperate with transferring operations of the local union to the trusteeship, ensuring orderly transition of representation of its members.
Attorney Hank Kaplan, representing several hundred retirees covered by the Fire Police Disability and Retirement Fund, sued the City of Portland for miscalculation of pension benefits based upon a misapplication of the City Charter. The City denied that a form of pay known as Apparatus Operator Premium should be included in the Charter definition of First Class Fire Fighter pay, and challenged the City’s failure to include longevity pay in the pension calculations for certain fire fighters. Following the initial lawsuit, an administrative law judge examined the bargaining history and City Charter language, and ruled in the retirees favor on both issues, restoring approximately $2 million in lost pension benefits. The City appealed the ruling, and a Multnomah County circuit court judge affirmed the decision.
Other Complex Litigation
Hank has served as member of our firms litigation teams for both the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) litigation and the Bill Sizemore litigation.