Rodney L. Bean
Member
(304) 598-8140
Office: Morgantown
Energy
Business
Employment
Litigation
Attorney
J.D. West Virginia University
B.A. West Virginia University
Licensure: WV
See Education

Biography

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.”  

Speaking Engagements

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS (2015-Present)

“The Impact of #metoo on HR” – Tri-State Society of Human Resources Managers, June 25, 2019, Morgantown, West Virginia

“Labor Arbitration Case Study” – 2019 Joint Threat Assessment Training, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 19, 2019

2019 Employment Law Update for West Virginia Employers” – North Central West Virginia Human Resources Association, June 12, 2019, Fairmont, West Virginia

“Same Stuff, Different Day: How Workplace Law Has Adapted to Social Media” – Tri-State Society of Human Resources Managers, October 9, 2018, Morgantown, West Virginia

“2018 Employment Law Update for West Virginia Health Care Employers” – West Virginia Medical Group Management Association, September 21, 2018, Roanoke, West Virginia

“2018 Employment Law Update for West Virginia Health Care Employers” – West Virginia Health Care Human Resources Association, September 14, 2018, Flatwoods, West Virginia

“Current Issues in West Virginia Employment Law” – Leadership West Virginia, July 27, 2018, Wheeling, West Virginia

“2018 Employment Law Update for West Virginia Employers” – North Central West Virginia Society of Human Resources Manager, June 13, 2018, Morgantown, West Virginia

“Wage and Hour Nightmares” – 2017 West Virginia Society of Human Resources Managers Annual Conference, November 2, 2017, Bridgeport, West Virginia

“2017 Employment Law Update for West Virginia Healthcare Employers” – West Virginia Health Care Human Resources Association, September 14, 2017, Flatwoods, West Virginia

“Employment Law Update” – North Central West Virginia Society of Human Resources Managers, June 14, 2017, Morgantown, West Virginia

“The Simplest Route to Complexity: Understanding the FLSA Overtime Revisions” – West Virginia Healthcare Financial Management Association, September 29, 2016, Morgantown, West Virginia

“Employment Law Update for West Virginia Healthcare Employers” – West Virginia Health Care Human Resources Association, September 15, 2016, Flatwoods, West Virginia

“What the Heck Just Happened to Employment Law?” – North Central West Virginia Society of Human Resources Managers, June 8, 2016, Morgantown, West Virginia

“From Welcome to Good Riddance: Spotting Employment Law Issues in the Non-Profit Workplace” – West Virginia University School of Social Work Professional & Community Education Workshop, April 8, 2016, Clarksburg, West Virginia

“2015 Labor & Employment Law Update” – West Virginia Health Care Human Resources Association, September 18, 2015, Flatwoods, West Virginia

"2015 West Virginia Legislative Update – Employment Law” – North Central West Virginia Society of Human Resources Managers, June 10, 2015, Morgantown, West Virginia

PUBLICATIONS (2015-Present)

“New Law Clarifies Contractors’ Duty To Pay Subcontractors’ Wage Claims” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, May, 2019

“Whatever Happened to Those New Overtime Rules? DOL Takes Another Look” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, October, 2018

“Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Guns in Employer Parking Lots” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, April, 2018

"Will New Medical Marijuana Law Affect Your Zero-Tolerance Policies?” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, October, 2017

“Unions’ Challenge of Right-to-Work Law Countered on Two Fronts” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, April, 2017

“Texas Federal Judge Blocks Department of Labor’s New Overtime Rules” – Steptoe & Johnson Client Alert, November 23, 2016

“Hospital Policy Requiring Employees to Get Flu Vaccine Gets Cold Reception from EEOC” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, October, 2016

“New DOL Rules Will Cut Dramatically the Number of Overtime-Exempt Workers” – Steptoe & Johnson Client Alert, May 16, 2016

“Labels, Rhetoric Often Unhelpful in Explaining Right-to-Work Laws” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, March, 2016

“West Virginia Legislature Passes Right-to-Work Bill; Governor Promises Veto – Human Resources News – HRHero.com, February 8, 2016

“Prevailing Wage Mess Leaves Contractors with Few Answers” – West Virginia Employment Law Letter, August, 2015

“By Hiking Salary Level for FLSA Exemptions Instead of Revising Complex “Duties Tests,” DOL Takes the Simplest Route to Regulatory Simplification” – Steptoe & Johnson Employment Essentials Labor & Employment Blog, July 30, 2015

“U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Proposed Overtime Regulations” – The National Law Review, July 1, 2015

MEDIA (2015-Present)

“Scalia Announcement Signals No Change in Direction for DOL” – Tammy Binford, HR Management and Compliance, July 19, 2019

“DOL Readies for Another Try on New Overtime Rule” – Tammy Binford, HR Daily Advisor, October 22, 2018

“Labor Department Regulation Set to Impact West Virginians” – Wilson Harvey, Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, May 22, 2016

“Attorneys React to DOL’s Final Overtime Exemptions Rule” – Emily Kokoll, Law 360 (Employment Law Edition), May 19, 2016

“Attorneys React to DOL Misclassification Guidance” – Mark Lebetkin, Law 360 (Employment Law Edition), July 16, 2015

“Across Shale Plays, Overtime Lawsuits Are on the Rise” – Anya Litvak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 14, 2015

Key Experience

Tried to decision more than 50 labor arbitration cases, including dozens of discharge and discipline cases, contract interpretation issues, work jurisdiction claims, and most other common grievances arising under collective bargaining agreements
Defended more than 30 cases before state and federal appellate courts involving a variety of labor and employment and other civil issues including allegations of wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, ERISA violation, wage and hour violation, and many others
Provide day-to-day labor and employment counseling and advice to public and private employers throughout the region

Memberships & Awards

Professional
Rated AV for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability (highest rating available) by Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers® 2020 Morgantown, WV Labor Law - Management, Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers’ 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law – Management, Morgantown, West Virginia
Best Lawyers’ 2013 Lawyer of the Year for Appellate Practice, Morgantown, West Virginia
Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (yearly since 2007)
The Best Lawyers in America® (yearly since 2008)
West Virginia Super Lawyers (yearly since 2007)
“Service Above Self” Award – Morgantown Rotary Club, 2003 & 2004

Work Experience

1994 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
1993-1994 Law Clerk, The Honorable Charles H. Haden II, U.S. District Court
1992-1993 Assistant Attorney General, State of West Virginia