Richard I. Thomas is a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, and is Managing Partner of the firm’s Pittsburgh office. He has a solid track record of excellent results in representing management in traditional labor matters and the full range of employment law, including federal, state, and administrative litigation. Mr. Thomas’ practice also includes occupational safety and health law.
With more than 35 years of experience, Mr. Thomas has represented employers as spokesperson in hundreds of single and multi-employer labor negotiations, in more than 1,000 labor and interest arbitrations, and has counseled management in the public and private sectors on day-to-day labor contract administration. As a trial attorney, Mr. Thomas has successfully tried numerous jury and non-jury cases in federal and state courts, and before administrative judges of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and other agencies. He has been an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and has testified in state and federal courts as an expert on labor, employment and corporate transactional matters. Mr. Thomas is well known in the heavy and highway and building construction, steel, metals, and related industries and he is Pepper’s representative as a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
Mr. Thomas served as director for two terms and was chairperson of the Pennsylvania IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Account) Board by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He also serves as a director on various corporate and charitable boards. Mr. Thomas is a sustaining Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and he is certified mediator through the Federal Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. He is a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute as well as The Associated General Contractors of America, where he serves on the association’s Open Shop Committee and the Union Contractors Committee. Mr. Thomas is active in military veterans’ affairs and a member of the Upper St. Clair Veterans Park Board.
Before joining Pepper, Mr. Thomas was executive member and head of the Corporate Litigation and Labor and Employment Groups at Burns, White & Hickton in Pittsburgh. Before that, he was a partner and chairman of the employment law practice at Thorp, Reed & Armstrong in Pittsburgh, where he practiced for 25 years.
Mr. Thomas is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College (A.B., 1965) and Duquesne University School Law (J.D., 1972). He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, as well as before multiple Federal Circuit Courts.