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San Francisco, CA 94111


Chris Hollinger


Chris Hollinger is a partner in O’Melveny's San Francisco office and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice.  His practice includes all aspects of traditional labor and employment labor law, including wrongful termination, wage/hour matters, and employment discrimination.

Illustrative Professional Experience

Traditional Labor Law

Chris has an extensive background in all phases of the representation of airlines under the federal Railway Labor Act.  This includes:  providing practical and legal guidance in response to union organizing campaigns; representing airlines before the National Mediation Board; “at the table” participation in collective bargaining negotiations and providing “behind the scenes” advice regarding collective bargaining strategy and contract language; providing practical and legal advice in preparation for traditional strikes, as well as unconventional “CHAOS” activity; representing airlines in federal court litigation under the Railway Labor Act; and handling contractual and disciplinary arbitrations.  Chris also has provided similar advice to clients in the healthcare and public transportation sectors.  Chris has handled a variety of traditional labor law matters such as: 

  • Represented a major U.S. domestic airline for the past 11 years.  Examples of his work include:  the defense in federal court litigation under the Railway Labor Act of the airline’s non-payment of profit sharing to union-represented employees; and the defense in federal court litigation of the airline’s subcontracting of bargaining unit work prior to a union representation election, including successful challenges to a union’s standing to assert claims on behalf of individual employees
  • Conducted the negotiation (from start to finish) of an air cargo company’s initial collective bargaining agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association
  • Represented an arm of a major U.S. airline in a federal court class action lawsuit challenging the validity of the airlines collective bargaining agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association.  The case, which was dismissed by the trial court, involved a novel issue concerning an airline’s right to negotiate a single collective bargaining agreement applicable to multiple airlines within the same transportation system
  • Represented a metropolitan transportation authority in “at the table” collective bargaining negotiations with the Amalgamated Transit Union, and in various arbitrations involving the subcontracting of bargaining unit work
  • Represented a hospital in “at the table” collective bargaining negotiations with the Service Employees International Union
  • Successfully defended a major U.S. airlines (along with our entire Railway Labor Act practice group) in a federal-court lawsuit and subsequent arbitration involving a union’s challenge to the airline’s opening of a Paris flight attendant base

Employment Law

In addition to traditional labor law matters, Chris’ practice emphasizes both day-to-day counseling and litigation defense in all areas of employment law, including breach of contract, common-law wrongful termination, discrimination claims under state and federal statutes, and wage/hour issues.  Chris’ employment law experience includes:

  • Successfully defended a major U.S. domestic airline in a nationwide class action lawsuit under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act and state statutory and common law, filed by several hundred employee who were displaced from their jobs after the airline subcontracted airport ground handling work to another carrier.  The case involved novel issues concerning the application of the “single employer” doctrine to airline alliance agreements
  • Represented a major U.S. domestic airline in a nationwide class action lawsuit involving claims under the Arizona wage statute based on the carrier’s non-payment of profit sharing and merit increases to its union-represented fleet service workers

Professional Activities

Law Clerk, Honorable Charles Levin, Michigan Supreme Court
Admitted to Practice, US District Court, Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California; US Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Co-Author, Numerous articles for the American Law Institute-American Bar Association seminar on Railway and Airline Labor Law
Editor-in-Chief, "The Railway Labor Act, Third Edition," BNA Books (2012)
Member, Senior Editorial Board, The Railway Labor Act
Chairman, O'Melveny & Myers LLP's Community Legal Services Committee (2003)
Board of Directors, California Women's Law Center

University of Chicago, J.D., 1989

Dartmouth College, B.A., 1986: summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa