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David J. Pryzbylski

  • 11 South Meridian Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

Recently recognized as one of the top under-40 labor lawyers in the nation by Law360, David J. Pryzbylski’s interest in labor relations began early in high school, having grown up next to several of the largest steel mills in the world. Today, David is a Partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Labor & Employment Department. Building on his interest in labor relations, he concentrates a large portion of his practice on assisting employers with traditional labor matters, including collective bargaining; work stoppages; arbitrations; union avoidance training and strategies; union representation elections; unfair labor practice charges; contract administration; and various other labor relations issues.

David has helped companies secure favorable outcomes with labor issues around the country, and he has experience with numerous labor unions: the Steelworkers, Teamsters, Laborers, Sheet Metal Workers, CWA, UFCW, UAW, IBEW, BTCGM, GMP, and the Trades (e.g., Carpenters, Pipefitters, etc.).

Traditional Labor Matters – David’s representative experience includes:

  • Assisted a global manufacturing company successfully implement and manage a six-month lockout of more than 200 employees during collective bargaining negotiations in Pennsylvania that resulted in the union accepting company proposals that significantly addressed business needs, including the elimination of retiree health benefits.
  • Was counsel of record for a national grocery chain in an injunction action filed in Indiana federal court by a union seeking to force the company to rescind changes to its healthcare plan.
  • Successfully defended a national manufacturer in a NLRB action in Maryland where the union sought to prevent the closure of a site that was not performing up to company expectations.
  • Negotiated a plant shutdown agreement that included vacating a long-standing collective bargaining agreement at a steel mill on behalf of a private investment group based in Miami.
  • Assisted numerous companies around the U.S., ranging in size from dozens to thousands of employees, remain union-free in the face of union organizing efforts. His successes on the union avoidance front have occurred in New York, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan, West Virginia, and Indiana.

To maintain a well-rounded practice and offer a full range of labor and employment services to his clients, David also defends employers in employment litigation matters alleging wrongful discharge; discrimination; retaliation; harassment; wage-related claims; breach of contract; and claims regarding the classification of workers as independent contractors under various state and federal laws. In addition, David has defended clients in class actions and high stakes qui tam actions – often initiated by current or former disgruntled employees – brought under the False Claims Act by government agencies and the Department of Justice.

Litigation Matters – David’s representative experience includes:

  • Served as lead defense counsel in a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act in New Hampshire seeking more than $3.5 million in damages.
  • Secured a favorable summary judgment ruling for Roche Diagnostics Corporation in the Eastern District of New York on an age discrimination claim and then successfully argued for more than $6,000 in costs being awarded to the company, including e-discovery costs.
  • Successfully secured dismissal of a race discrimination and retaliation complaint filed against Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indiana federal court based on a plaintiff’s failure to disclose the lawsuit in his contemporaneous bankruptcy proceedings. The case was dismissed before discovery, saving the company significant litigation costs.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a national warranty company in a wage-payment suit where an employee alleged he was entitled to over $100,000 more than what he was actually paid under the terms of a revised bonus plan. The court’s ruling precluded the formation of a class action by other employees affected by the revised bonus plan terms.
  • Successfully appealed a California Employment Development Department determination that a national manufacturer had misclassified nearly 100 workers as independent contractors, which resulted in a nearly $1 million tax assessment being vacated.

David also assists employers with proactive counseling, both in the employment and labor context. This portion of his practice involves reviewing and drafting employment policies; conducting training on issues spanning the labor and employment spectrum; and otherwise advising clients when daily, complex employee-relations issues arise.

In recognition for his employer-defense work, David has been recognized as one of the top 5 under-40 labor lawyers in the U.S. by Law360; honored in Chambers USA since 2015; honored with the "Leadership In Law: Up and Coming Lawyer" award by The Indiana Lawyer in 2015; named on the “Rising Stars” list by Super Lawyers since 2012; and named on The Best Lawyers in America list in the 2018 edition.

David earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from the Indiana University School of Law in 2008. While in law school, David became a member of the Order of the Barristers in recognition of his distinction during the school’s moot court competition; served as an editor on the Indiana Law Review; was a Dean’s Tutorial Fellow; and received a pro bono award for work he did in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

David earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Wabash College in 2005, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. While attending Wabash College, David served as the president of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, served as a class representative on the Student Senate, and won the David W. Peck Award, an honor that recognizes the most outstanding pre-law student in the class. He also studied in France on two separate occasions and remains conversationally fluent in French.