For 25 years, Rodney Bean has provided practical, no-nonsense advice to help employers develop labor and human resources strategies that comply with the law and make good sense.
“The reason I went to law school was so that I could do this work,” Rodney says. “My Dad was a railroad carman and the smartest guy I ever met, and I learned a ton about the basics of good labor relations from him. I try hard to apply those lessons every day.”
Those early lessons provide the foundation of Rodney’s approach to the labor and employment issues he handles in his practice. “The companies I work with know better than to take a scorched earth approach to their labor and employment problems,” he says. “They might be arbitrating against an employee today, but tomorrow, they’ll be back on the same team working side-by-side. We know how and when to be strategically aggressive without blowing up critical relationships.”
Rodney spends much of his time counseling and training employers on most aspects of federal and state employment law. He embraces the more complex areas of employment law that many practitioners shun, such as wage and hour law and ERISA litigation.
He also has significant litigation and arbitration experience, having represented employers in countless cases before state and federal trial courts and administrative agencies, tried more than 50 labor arbitrations, and argued more than 30 cases before state and federal appellate courts.
“Much of my work comes from employers whose industries are highly regulated, like natural gas or health care,” Rodney says. “For several years, I’ve sat on the board of a large regional health care system, so I’m not only aware of the pressures borne by employers in heavily regulated industries, but I’ve also felt them myself.”
But Rodney says one of the greatest things about being a labor and employment lawyer is that he can help almost any employer, no matter what kind of work they do. “If you have employees, we can help you,” he says. “That means there’s always something new to learn, and that keeps me going every day.”
When he is outside the office and on leave from his annual war against the dandelions in his lawn, Rodney hones his skills as a small-time indie music producer and live sound engineer. Inspired by his two daughters, both of whom study voice performance, he also is taking a class about the history of opera, an interest he developed over the last couple years which he says is now “on the verge of requiring treatment.”
1993-1994 Law Clerk, The Honorable Charles H. Haden II, U.S. District Court
1992-1993 Assistant Attorney General, State of West Virginia