Alfred Gordon O'Connell

Managing Partner

As a partner with the firm, Al Gordon O'Connell has a varied labor and employment practice, handling matters before the courts, arbitrators, and a number of federal and state administrative agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), the Vermont Labor Relations Board, and the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations, Civil Service Commission, and Commission Against Discrimination. He also advises labor unions in collective bargaining and matters of contract administration, employee representation, and internal union affairs.

Prior to joining the firm, Al worked for five years as a trial attorney for the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, where he was named the General Counsel's national employee of the year in his first year with the agency. He has also worked as a legal writer and managing editor for a national legal publishing firm and has served as contributor and editor of a number of labor and employment publications, including the Union Contract Law Bulletin and Practical Dispute Resolution.

In addition to his practice of law, Al has also served as a part-time faculty member at the Boston University School of Law, where he has taught seminars in legal research and writing.

Major Cases

Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2327, AFL-CIO v. Consolidated Communications of Northern New England Co., LLC, 2019 WL 7546601 (D. Me. Aug. 23, 2019) (granting Union a rare "reverse Boys Markets" injunction prohibiting the company's sale of its Operator Services division pending conclusion of related arbitration proceedings)

Macy's Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 824 F.3d 557 (5th Cir. 2016), reh'g denied 844 F.3d 188 (5th Cir. 2016), cert. denied 137 S. Ct. 2765 (2017) (upholding right of cosmetics and fragrances employees in a department store to form their own bargaining unit separate from the rest of the sales force).

In re Election Petitions, 2016 VT 7 (2016) (Vermont Supreme Court reversed Labor Board decision and held that employees of State's Attorneys are eligible for collective bargaining)

In re New England Police Benevolent Association Petition for Election of Collective Bargaining Representative, 2015 VT 51 (2015) (Vermont Supreme Court upheld Labor Board decision enforcing the timelines in the Board's contract-bar doctrine)

Service Employees International Union, Local 509 v. Department of Mental Health, 469 Mass. 323 (2014) (won unanimous decision before the Supreme Judicial Court upholding union's direct standing to sue over state's failure to follow pre-contracting requirements)

Davidson v. Vermont State Employees' Association, 33 VLRB 75 (2014) (won Vermont Labor Relations Board decision confirming union's right to expel from union office a member who was involved in a rival union organizing campaign)

Northern New England Telephone Operations v. Local 2327, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 735 F.3d 15 (1st Cir. 2013) (won federal appeal confirming arbitration award limiting the right of FairPoint Communications to subcontract service rep jobs)

Dixon v. City of Malden, 464 Mass. 446 (2013) (won unanimous decision before the Supreme Judicial Court entitling employee to payment of unpaid vacation time despite the fact that the City voluntarily kept him on the payroll after his termination date)

Local 2322, IBEW v. Verizon New England, Inc., 464 F.3d 93 (1st Cir. 2006) (court upheld Union’s action in bringing arbitration matter back to the arbitrator for clarification)


Cornell University, B.S. in Consumer Economics

Boston University School of Law, J.D. cum laude


The Legal Bases for Obtaining and Enforcing Arbitral Subpoenas in the Labor Arbitration Context, Mass. Bar. Institute, May 2008

The Effects of the New Independent Contractor Statute on Other Statutory Schemes: A Welcome Convergence of Worker Protection, Mass. Bar Assoc. Section Review, Summer 2007

Unfair Labor Practices Bulletin, Contributor and Editor-in-Chief, (1996-1999)

Union Contract Law Bulletin, Contributor and Editor-in-Chief (1996-1999) 

Professional Affiliations

Massachusetts Bar Association

Vermont Bar Association

AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance

Bar and Court Admissions

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

State of Vermont

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

Speaking Engagements

The Post-COVID-19 Workforce and Reconciling Caregiver Responsibilities, 16th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, November 2022

Organizing Cannabis Workers and Representing Workers Who Use Cannabis, UFCW Attorneys’ Conference, August 2022

The Rise of the Collaborative Workspace, American Bar Assoc. 15th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, November 2021

As the Pendulum Swings: The Changing Landscape of Labor and Employment Law, Mass. Bar Assoc. 46th Annual Fuchs Conference, January 2020

Litigation Tips for Evidentiary Grievance Hearings, ULPs and Arbitrations, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont NEA Joint Legal Conference, September 2017

Issues of Social Media in the Workplace, United Steelworkers Caucus, National Inter-Union Gas Conference, September 2017


Federal Labor Relations Authority, Office of the General Counsel, National Employee of the Year, 2000

Community Organizations

Board of Directors (President), Boston Gay Men's Chorus


Boston office: 617.367.7200, ext. 213

617.367.4820 (fax)

Vermont office: 802.652.5124

802.652.5125 (fax)

Practice Areas

Provides full service representation to labor unions in the private sector and in the public sector on the federal, state, and local levels before labor relations agencies and arbitrators and in the courts. Represents federal, state, and local government employees in civil service and other employment matters in administrative and court proceedings. Represents individual employees in all manner of employment-related claims including discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour violations.

Staff Assistant
Claire Connelly