National Office Staff: Nicole Vitale, Labor Relations Attorney
Friday, July 26, 2013
Nicole Vitale joined the NATCA National Office staff at the beginning of May as a Labor Relations Attorney.
After growing up just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., Vitale moved to Washington, D.C., to attend American University and has lived here ever since. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government and went to law school at George Washington University.
After graduating from George Washington University, Vitale worked as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Labor in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program. During her fellowship, she also worked in the Office of the Solicitor of Labor in the Mine Safety and Health Division.
At OSHA, Vitale was responsible for settlement negotiations and some trial and appellate litigation. She also worked on employment law issues, particularly focusing on retaliation against employees who report health and safety concerns.
“My work at OSHA drew me towards working for a union,” Vitale said. “I always had an interest in labor law, but I saw firsthand through my work with whistleblowers that unions were best able to protect their members’ rights.”
Vitale was initially drawn to NATCA for several reasons.
“NATCA has a great reputation here in D.C., and I am extremely impressed with our members’ commitment to the safety of the flying public,” she said.
Vitale advises NATCA and its members on labor relations issues that arise in dealings with the FAA. She says that she loves how varied her day-to-day work is, which includes legal research, writing briefs, preparing for arbitration and attending briefings given by the agency.
So far, Vitale said that everyone at NATCA has been friendly and welcoming.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my coworkers and our members,” she said. “NATCA people are great!”
When not working at NATCA, Vitale keeps busy around Washington, D.C., by exploring museums and new restaurants with her husband, and doting on her three-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Poodle mix, Hudson. She met her husband, a political consultant, while in college. Vitale also tries to visit her family as much as possible.
Vitale has a twin brother and a younger brother. Her twin is a public defender in Grand Junction, Colo., and her younger brother is currently working on his master’s degree and is anticipating earning a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Growing up, Vitale and her brothers were inseparable, and they’re among her favorite people in the world. Vitale says both of her brothers are quite adventurous.
“They are both outdoor enthusiasts,” she said. “If a sport happens outside and it’s mildly dangerous, my brothers probably do it.”
Vitale’s parents live in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Her father is a civil engineer and a former college professor, and her mother is a nurse. The family has a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains, so they often gather there during the summer.
Welcome to the NATCA Family, Nicole!