Morris L. Hawk

Partner Morris Hawk represents privately-owned and publicly-held corporations in matters involving labor and employment law, workers’ compensation, commercial litigation, construction and gaming law.


  • Ohio University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1990
  • Case Western Reserve University, J.D. 1995
  • Contributing Editor, Law Review

Press, Publications and Presentations

Representative Matters

Labor Law -

Successfully defend private and public employers in labor arbitrations involving numerous issues, including discharge, seniority rights, subcontracting, implementation of reasonable work rules and incentive wage rate disputes.

Successfully represented Fortune 100 company before the National Labor Relations Board against union unfair labor practice charge alleging that company’s lockout of employees was unlawful and that company bargained in bad faith.

Successfully represented major Cleveland bulk produce distributor in fact-intensive representation hearing over definition of bargaining unit, ultimately resulting in successful decertification election.

Served as lead and second chair in collective bargaining negotiations for private and public employers.

Assisted municipality in collective bargaining negotiations, achieving significant concessions relating to health care costs and wages across all bargaining units.

Assisted nursing home in implementing bargaining strategy to achieve concessions in wages, benefits and work rules to reduce expenditures and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Extensive experience in union avoidance campaigns, including successful campaigns for major tire manufacturer, major Cleveland bulk produce distributor, ink manufacturer and parking lot company.

Successfully defended a major tire manufacturer company in a subpoena enforcement action brought by the National Labor Relations Board in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prevailed at summary judgment for various clients on hybrid Section 301/breach of duty of fair representation claims.

Employment Law -

Obtained dismissal of racial harassment claim brought against Cleveland manufacturer.

Obtained dismissal of sexual harassment claim brought against national construction contractor.

Obtained injunctive relief enforcing non-competition agreements on behalf of a major Cleveland bulk food distributor and a construction company.

Extensive experience in conducting internal investigations of claims of discrimination, including sexual harassment, retaliation, and age discrimination.

Conducted pre-suit investigation and analysis of FLSA collective action claim for Fortune 500 company.

Prepared numerous position statements in response to EEOC and OCRC charges that resulted in “no probable cause” determinations for clients.

Achieved favorable administrative resolution of a Department of Labor investigation of potential wage and hour violations for a Cleveland restaurant chain.

Achieved favorable settlement of Department of Labor investigation of potential violations regarding employment of H1B workers for computer software company.

Significant experience representing clients in OSHA compliance and enforcement matters, including representation of Fortune 500 telecommunications company in OSHA litigation over training for utility pole-climbing, representation of manufacturer in OSHA investigation and litigation concerning punch press machines.

Conduct training sessions for HR representatives and front-line supervisors on proper evaluation of employee performance, documentation of substandard performance, and legal obligations regarding employee sick leave.

Provide advice to numerous clients, including a major tire manufacturer, a nursing home, and an ink manufacturer regarding the intersecting obligations of the ADA, the FMLA, and Ohio’s workers’ compensation law.


Represented major Cleveland bulk food distributor that withdrew from multiemployer pension plan in dispute over the proper calculation of its withdrawal liability, resulting in a $7 million reduction in liability.

Counseled administrative committee of pension plan on complex issues regarding potential breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA arising from purchase of unregistered securities by plan participants and appropriate remedial measures to achieve compliance with relevant securities law.

Commercial Law -

Represented gaming-related vendor before the Ohio Casino Control Commission, achieving favorable changes to regulations governing industry prior to final adoption of regulations by working closely with the Commission culminating in successful application for licensure (the first to file in Ohio) and pending delivery of product (the first to ship).

Extensive class action litigation experience, particularly involving claims against employers alleging unlawful reductions in retiree medical benefits.

Successfully defended a general contractor against a copyright infringement claim in an arbitration proceeding.

Professional Associations

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Ohio State Bar Association

Bar Admissions

State of Ohio
United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth and Eighth Circuits