Bankruptcy and Restructuring: Navigating Employment Issues Under the Code

Best Practices to Negotiate, Modify and Terminate Employment Agreements and Benefit Plans

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 20, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will analyze the Bankruptcy Code's complex treatment of employment agreements and wage and benefit plans, including executive compensation, retention and bonus plans, and other employment issues that arise in various stages of the bankruptcy process.


Many complex employment issues arise throughout the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process, as well as in cases that are aimed at a quick sale and liquidation of the company.

Contentious battles arise over executive compensation agreements for executives the debtor wishes to retain. A debtor can terminate individual employment and collective bargaining agreements but must carefully navigate through uncertain and often complex conditions.

Employee benefits issues present more challenges, such as determining whether a benefit accrued pre- or post-petition. Some benefit plans can be easily terminated; others, such as retiree benefits, have greater protection from termination under recent amendments to the Code.

Listen as our authoritative panel of bankruptcy attorneys analyzes the employment related issues that bankruptcy counsel will face in guiding a company through the restructuring process.



  1. Employee wages
    1. Pre-petition priority claims
    2. Post-petition administrative claims
    3. Severance payments, bonus and retention plans
  2. Employment agreements
    1. Executory v. non-executory contracts
    2. Executive agreements
    3. Collective bargaining agreements
  3. Employee Benefit Plans
    1. Retiree plans
    2. Health and welfare plans
    3. COBRA
  4. WARN Act


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How has BAPCPA substantially modified post-petition retention and severance payments for executive management?
  • What special status does the Bankruptcy Code accord retiree benefit plans?
  • What steps must an employer take to modify or reject a collective bargaining union?


Douglas P. Cushing
Douglas P. Cushing

Jordan Schrader Ramis

He has more than 30 years experience in creditors' rights, estate planning/probate, and business law practice, with...  |  Read More

Lawrence J. Baer
Lawrence J. Baer

Weil Gotshal & Manges

He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters. His practice also focuses on the myriad of...  |  Read More

Michael L. Bernstein
Michael L. Bernstein

Arnold & Porter

Mr. Bernstein is a partner in the firm's Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice. He is consistently distinguished as...  |  Read More

Rosa J. Evergreen
Rosa J. Evergreen

Arnold & Porter

She is a member of the firm's Bankruptcy Practice Group, and has experience in all aspects of bankruptcy, as well as...  |  Read More

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