Contact Daniel A. Swedlow

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Kristin D. Anger

Labor/Employment Attorney

315 Fifth Avenue S, Suite 1000
Seattle WA 98104

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Daniel A. Swedlow

Labor & Employment

(206) 676-7024

Profile Introduction

Dan focuses his practice on labor and employment law, with an emphasis on labor relations. Dan advises and represents public and private sector employers in the development and implementation of effective collective bargaining strategies. Drawing on his experience as outside labor counsel, his prior in-house work for one of the world’s largest Teamster locals, and his service as in-house counsel for a major healthcare employer, he understands the priorities of and ways in which businesses, organized labor and employees approach the bargaining process.

Dan routinely counsels clients at every step of union organizing campaigns and representation proceedings. A valuable presence at the negotiating table, Dan understands how to be a strong advocate for his clients’ interests without damaging the ongoing relationship between an employer and the union that represents its employees.

Dan is well-versed in and sensitive to the complex political dynamics that arise between elected officials, public employers and their workforces. He works with municipalities, police and law-enforcement entities, fire districts and other employers, as well as city councils and a range of appointed and elected administrative officials, to help them understand their roles, responsibilities and options vis-à-vis their employees. As the labor movement gains new momentum, he also provides labor-relations guidance to businesses in the new economy (e.g., technology, online retail and cannabis) that often have less experience with organizing campaigns.

In addition to his collective-bargaining work, Dan advises clients on the full range of labor-related matters and disputes, including the following:

  • Unfair labor practice and representational proceedings heard before the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • Grievance arbitrations over discipline and contract interpretation
  • Interest arbitrations for law enforcement, corrections, fire and transit groups
  • Management of employee performance and discipline issues




  • Washington State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, Executive Board Member and Treasurer (2012–2015)
  • Cardozo Society of Washington State, Chairman Emeritus (March 2015–present)


  • University of Washington School of Law
    JD, 2006
  • University of California Santa Cruz
    BA, with honors, History, 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Washington

Community Service

  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Pro Bono Volunteer (2011-2015)


  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment (2017-2018)



Publications & Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements:

  • “When Worlds Collide — Navigating the Intersection of Employment Law and the Collective Bargaining Relationship,” LERA 2018 Spring Conference (April 6, 2018)
  • “View From the Other Side,” WSAMA 2016 Fall Conference (October 6, 2016)
  • “Drug Testing: Don't Drink (or Toke) & Drive,” 2016 WAPELRA Fall Conference (September 22, 2016)
  • “Interest Arbitration: Post-Recession Trends,” Labor and Employment Relations Association 39th Annual Collective Bargaining & Arbitration Conference (March 10, 2015)
  • “Are We There Yet? Interest Arbitration Trends After the Great Recession,” Co-Presenter, Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association Fall Conference (September 24, 2015)
  • “Social Media & Labor Law,” 38th Annual Collective Bargaining and Arbitration Conference (April 17, 2015)
  • Labor Law, Adjunct Professor, University of Washington School of Law (Spring Quarter 2014)
  • “Marijuana in the Workplace,” 37th Annual Collective Bargaining and Arbitration Conference (April 3, 2014)
  • “Stump Your Lawyer,” Teamsters Annual Shop Steward Seminar (March 22, 2014)
  • “Emerging Issues in Leave Laws,” WSBA Annual Labor and Employment CLE (November 22, 2013)
  • “The Arbitrator Is Always Right,” Teamsters Annual Shop Steward Seminar (March 16, 2013)
  • “Labor Arbitrations: Tips From the Trenches,” WSBA CLE (November 19, 2012)
  • Union Shop Steward Training Seminars, Teamsters Local Union No. 117 (2010–2015)
  • “Social Media in the Workplace,” Stoel Rives Seminar (April 20, 2010)
  • “Post-RIF Workplace: WARN Act Issues,” Stoel Rives Seminar (June 18, 2009)
  • AGC Brinks Task Force Presentation, Spokane Association of General Contractors (July 23, 2008)
  • AGC Brinks Task Force Presentation, Yakima Association of General Contractors (June 25, 2008)
  • AGC Brinks Task Force Presentation, Tacoma Association of General Contractors (May 28, 2008)
  • Employment Law Seminar, Association of General Contractors (June 27, 2007)
  • Employment Law Seminar, Technical Glass Products (April 18, 2007)


  • “Partial Appeals In Multiple-Party and Multiple-Claim Cases — Tips and Traps From the Trenches and Benches,” Co-Author, Washington State Bar News (March 2010)
  • “Family Leave and Attendance Policies: Can They Coexist In Healthcare Facilities?” Co-Author, Washington Healthcare News (July 2009)
  • “No Strings Attached to Federal Stimulus Bill?” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (March 26, 2009)
  • “Brinks Case: Advice Regarding Commute Time in Company Vehicles,” AGC Works (March 18, 2008)
  • “Court Ruling Forces New Look at the Company Car,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (December 18, 2007)
  • “New Law Shifts Liability to Contractors,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (January 26, 2007)
  • “Unions May Get Powerful New Weapon,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (January 4, 2007)

Representative Cases/Matters

  • Represents a well-known — and previously non-union — Seattle-area bookstore in complex contract negotiations with a highly public union that formed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Serves as outside labor and employment counsel for dozens of Washington state counties, cities, public utilities districts, fire districts and transit authorities on all aspects of collective bargaining, grievance and interest arbitrations, unfair labor practices cases, and other labor and employment matters, including discipline and general legal compliance.
  • Represented a chain of cannabis retail stores in the greater Seattle area in the company’s successful effort to withstand a union-organizing campaign and remain union-free.
  • Represented a new cannabis-store employer in negotiating a satisfactory contract with a union that had an existing agreement with the prior owner; continue to provide ongoing advice on labor issues.
  • Represented a major Puget Sound-area municipality in negotiating and finalizing a contract with the city’s large police union, resolving a number of political and financial issues that arose in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests and calls for defunding the police.
  • Represented the campaign of a US congressional candidate in negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, under which campaign organizer staff had been unionized; successfully negotiated terms that were fair to the employer while maintaining a collaborative, respectful relationship with management and labor.