O’Melveny Worldwide

Charles J. Mahoney


Charles Mahoney is a counsel in O’Melveny’s New York office and focuses his practice on labor and employment matters. He represents employers from sectors across the economy, including aviation, financial services, sports, technology, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Charles is involved in the pro bono community as well. His practice in this area includes representing military veterans seeking disability benefits and filing an amicus brief on behalf of higher education institutions to protect their DACA students.

  • Successfully dismissed paid sick leave class action brought against airline on labor law preemption grounds. See Winkler v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 1:23-cv-01208 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 2, 2023)
  • Obtained summary judgement on behalf of an airline in an action brought by a flight attendant alleging a hostile work environment and retaliation and discrimination based on religion and national origin. Shah v. American Airlines, Inc., 2022 WL 3098087 (D.N.J. August 4, 2022), aff’d, 2023 WL 2945901 (3d Cir. April 14, 2023).
  • Prevailed on summary judgement motion in nationwide class action brought by pilots who took military leave during their employment and alleged their airline employer violated USERRA by not allowing then to accrue sick leave and vacation while on military leave. Synoracki v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 2022 WL 1746777 (W.D. Wash. May 31, 2022).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in litigation challenging an airline’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate on the grounds that it presented a minor dispute preempted by the Railway Labor Act. See Stephens v. Am. Airlines, Inc., No. 17, 21-cv-06934, 2022 WL 1115048 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2022).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in a proposed class action brought against an airline under the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act on the grounds that the claims were preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act. See Kislov v. Am. Airlines, Inc., No. 17 C 9080, 2022 WL 846840 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 22, 2022).
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss based on Railway Labor Act preemption on behalf of an airline in a proposed class action brought by a retired flight attendant alleging the airline impermissibly changed her travel privileges. See Wynn v. American Airlines, Inc., 2020 WL 1934994 (E.D. Missouri, April 22, 2020).
  • Obtained Third Circuit order decertifying Rule 23 state wage and hour class action of airline employees. Ferreras v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 946 F.3d 178 (3d Cir. 2019).
  • Obtained summary judgement on all claims in purported class action filed by a pilot against an airline alleging the airline violated USERRA in the manner it provided sick time, vacation time, and operations-based bonuses to pilots who took military leaves of absence from American. Hoefert v. American Airlines, No. 4-18-cv-00466-P, (ECF No. 126) (N.D. Tex. Jan 9, 2020).
  • Represented an airline in litigation against the union representing its mechanics to stop a work slowdown causing flight delays and cancellations and prevailed in obtaining a temporary restraining order, a modified temporary restraining order, and a permanent injunction following a trial on the merits. See Am. Airlines, Inc. v. Transp. Workers Union of Am., AFL-CIO, Case No. 4:19-CV-414-A, 2019 WL 3774501 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 12, 2019).
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of Atlas Air and Polar Air against their pilots union to stop an illegal work slowdown. Atlas Air, Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, No. 17-1953 (RDM), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196472 (D.D.C. Nov. 30, 2017).
  • Successfully compelled arbitration of dispute over contractual provisions governing the negotiation for new pilot contract. Atlas Air, Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, No. 1:17-cv-00903-KB (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 13, 2018).
  • Achieved victory in two arbitrations brought by carriers against their unions and successfully compelled compliance with arbitration awards in federal court. Atlas Air, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division, No. 19-CV-1948 (CRC), 2020 WL 1536308, at *1 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2020).


Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Colorado and Southern District of New York


  • Columbia University, J.D., 2016
  • New York University, B.A., English and Economics, 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2024); Transport: Aviation and Air Travel - Litigation and Regulation (2023); and for Labor-Management Relations (2022)