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Edward R. Young

T: 901.577.2341
F: 901.577.0879

Ed Young is engaged in a unique nationwide practice limited exclusively to the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment law.

Featured Video

The NLRB's Assault on Higher Education: How to Prepare for Union Organizing October 18, 2016

Professional Biography


Mr. Young began his practice with Newell Fowler, who was known as one of the first labor relations attorneys in the nation. For more than thirty years he has assisted clients in labor and employment litigation in state and federal courts in issues dealing with the EEOC and NLRB.

He has litigated in federal courts opposite the EEOC, tried cases before the NLRB, as well as handled union elections before that agency. He has also defended matters before the U.S. Department of Labor. He has assisted clients in conducting self audits, and audits of subcontractors to assure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, The Davis-Bacon Act and The Service Contract Act.

Mr. Young was previously appointed by both the City of Memphis Mayor and the Shelby County Mayor to serve as a special attorney for those bodies handling labor relations matters dealing with the Fire Department, Police and Sheriff's Department and the Hospital Authority.

The cornerstone of his philosophy and practice is the belief that in labor relations matters, it is not sufficient merely to advise clients as to what they cannot do. What is essential is the ability to furnish clients with an affirmative "game plan," and then to provide the methodical and detailed planning that will ensure its success. He believes that excellence can be achieved only through a combination of skill, innovation, and consistency.

Representative Matters
  • Won a $770,000 judgment against the EEOC in a class action that alleged our client, a staffing company, engaged in race discrimination by not hiring convicted felons. The case was brought in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and affirmed by the 6th Circuit.

  • Served as lead counsel for poultry processing company in a union campaign brought by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). The election involved the UFCW trying to organize over 500 workers at the client's plant near Cincinnati, Ohio, which operates three shifts and employs over 600 workers. The parties campaigned intensively for weeks in the election, with the final vote tally 302 to 178 in favor of the client. The campaign also involved Baker Donelson successfully defending and resolving nine unfair labor practice charges on the client's behalf.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed since 2008 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers as a leading labor & employment lawyer in Tennessee 
  • Listed since 2006 in Best Lawyers in America® in Labor & Employment Litigation, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2016 Memphis Labor Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year"
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed since 2006 as among top 50 attorneys in Memphis and among top 100 attorneys in Tennessee by Mid-South Super Lawyers
  • Member – Memphis, Tennessee and American (Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, Committees on Equal Employment Opportunity Law) Bar Associations
  • Special Labor Relations Counsel, Shelby County (1971 – 1981)
  • Adjunct Professor of Labor Legislation – University of Memphis
  • President – Memphis Jewish Federation (1987 – 1989)
  • President – Economic Club of Memphis (2004)
  • For the United Jewish Communities:
    • Southeast Regional Chair
    • Served on National Executive Committee
    • Member – Board of Trustees
    • Chair – Pension Review Committee
  • Former Board Member – Memphis Jewish Community Center
  • Board Member – United Way of Greater Memphis (1979 – 1989)
Speaking Engagements
  • "Employment Law Developments to Watch in 2019: A Look at the Year Ahead" (January 2019)
  • "What is the Scoop on Systemic?," EEOC Memphis District Technical Assistance Seminar, University of Memphis (September 2017)
  • "Operator Track: Who's Organizing Your Workplace?," Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Law Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee (July 2016)
  • "Fall 2015 Franchise Business Network Meeting" (October 2015)
  • "Wow, That Was Fast! Getting Ready for Potential Sudden Unionization Under the New Quickie Elections," 2015 Tennessee SHRM Conference and Exposition (October 2015)
  • Panelist – "Birds of a Feather Stick Together: A Real Life Story of a Tough Union Organization Campaign and Lessons Learned," Southern Automotive Conference, Chattanooga, Tennessee (October 2012)
Press Releases


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1966
  • Memphis State University, B.S., 1963


  • Tennessee:  all state courts including Tennessee Supreme Court
  • United States District Court, Western District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Edward Young is a 'terrific defense-side labor and employment attorney.' He routinely represents management in labor relations matters and employment litigation.

Edward Young is a seasoned practitioner in the labor and employment arena, with considerable expertise in handling litigation and advising clients on labor relations matters. His practice straddles a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including construction, health care, retail and automotive.

Edward Young inspires confidence in his clients, who assert that he is 'very smart, articulate and great in mediation.' He specializes in labor relations and has a wealth of experience in NLRB proceedings. He also handles employment litigation at state and federal court level. 

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