David M. Buday is a Member of Miller Johnson and has been practicing law since 1989. His practice is focused on representing employers and management in a wide range of labor and employment matters. While his labor and employment practice covers a wide range of industries, Mr. Buday is chair of Miller Johnson’s Employment – Health Care Practice Group. He also serves on the firm’s management committee.
Mr. Buday provides day-to-day counsel to company owners, corporate executives and human resource professionals on a wide variety of employment issues. Because concern over compliance is always one of the greatest fears employers have, he takes a proactive approach to compliance with the applicable federal and state laws. These include:
- Hiring practices
- Wage and hour law (Fair Labor Standards Act)
- Workforce reduction (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act)
- Difficult employee issues – His advises clients on the challenges that arise related to attendance, substance abuse testing, disability and work leaves including military. He is knowledgeable about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
- Harassment and discrimination .
Mr. Buday has represented clients in more than one hundred cases in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). All matters have been dismissed or withdrawn and in none of the cases has the client paid any money to resolve the cases nor have those agencies taken the matter to a formal complaint.
Mr. Buday has worked with businesses on a full spectrum of labor relations including helping clients maintain their union-free status, collective bargaining, arbitrating cases before the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and independent arbitrators, and handling unfair labor practice matters before the National Labor Relations Board. He has extensive experience with major unions is familiar with their representatives including United Auto Workers (UAW), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), United Steelworkers of America (USWA), Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
He has built his reputation in labor relations on trust and understands that simply pounding a table and saying no is not effective labor relations. Because he represents both unionized employers as well as non-union employers, he is able to use that knowledge to his clients’ advantage. For example, he counseled a West Michigan hospital during a large construction project and for the first time bidding was open to all contractors -- both union and non-union -- on a merit-based system. He helped the hospital manage picketing and other threats by organized labor. The project was completed without any delays or disruptions.
Health Care Industry
Mr. Buday works closely with hospitals and health systems in addressing the vital need for good staff relations in a changing and challenging environment. In addition, he also represents medical providers, nursing facilities, and diagnostic centers. He counsels health care clients on the full-range of employment matters including those already addressed. He is able to meet their needs for guidance on issues such as wage and hour, discharge documentation and ADA/FMLA which take on a higher level of complexity in health care organizations. Mr. Buday understands the interplay between employment laws and laws that are unique to health care facilities such as the Whistleblowers Protection provisions. He advises clients on how to manage professional practices in regards to Peer Review Privilege and licensing reporting requirements especially with respect to employee incompetence and substance abuse. This allows health care organizations to focus on their mission of providing excellent patient care and services to achieve positive outcomes. Some examples of illustrative cases are:
- He represented a hospital in more than 20 discharge arbitrations over the last five years and in all but three of those cases, discharges were upheld. The other three individuals were brought back to work without back pay.
- He represented a West Michigan hospital in an arbitration involving a nurse who had worked for the hospital for more than 20 years and was discharged for incompetence. The hospital won the case and the discharge was upheld.
- He bargained contracts with unions representing both operations and professional staff at a Southwest Michigan hospital. The successful outcome included a performance bonus which is unusual in the health care industry.
- He successfully bargained contracts with the Michigan Nurses Association, with having flexibility placed into the contracts, employee co-pays for health insurance premiums and increased co-pays without workplace interruption.
Mr. Buday has represented manufacturers in West Michigan both in labor relations and employee relations. He has helped manufacturers beat back union organizing attempts, both pre- and post-petition, from all major unions including USWA, UAW and IBT. He has bargained contracts for manufacturers, including innovative agreements with the UAW where there were only two job classifications and an emphasis upon management flexibility. In another case, he represented a manufacturer who discovered that more than two-thirds of its workforce had engaged in misreporting to the Unemployment Insurance Agency. He assisted the client in managing that matter in such a way that individuals were able to be discharged and the manufacturer was able to successfully continue its operations without loss of work time.
Mr. Buday has worked with contractors in a variety of trades in helping them to maintain their union-free status. He has been involved in elections with several of the trades and helped assist clients who have been the subject of organizing campaigns. He understands the rules concerning secondary boycotts, picketing and prevailing wage issues.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
Mr. Buday belongs to the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Kalamazoo County Bar Association. He is a member of Michigan Health and Hospital Association and American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) including AHLA’s labor and employment section. He is also involved in a number of professional associations, including the Associated Builders and Contractors West Michigan Chapter and Kalamazoo Area Labor-Management Committee. Mr. Buday is past Chair of Miller Johnson’s Employment and Labor Relations Section and is past Administrative Member of the firm’s Kalamazoo office. Mr. Buday is named in “The Best Lawyers in America®” for employment law – management, health care law, labor law – management, and litigation – labor and employment. He is named a Michigan “Super Lawyer” for employment and labor.
Mr. Buday is on the Board of Trustees for the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and on the Board of Directors for the Kalamazoo County Family YMCA. He served on the Board of Directors for the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Heart Association and the Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan.