Employment Law

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Without question, the area of Employment Law is one of, if not the most dynamic in our nation's legal system.  The explosion of statutes, regulations, and common law theories applicable to the employment setting requires proper development of policies and critical documents, proactive management training, thorough and effective investigations and audits, and, if necessary, litigation waged aggressively from beginning to end.  With three decades of experience, our firm has represented employers nationwide in proceedings involving virtually every kind of issue that can arise in this broad area of legal practice.

View the latest Employment Law news.

Employee Rights, Law And Regulation

Law and regulation establishing employee rights in the workplace expand and change, and litigation regarding those laws and regulations, even if met with success, can result in expense and a diversion of time and effort.  We assist our clients in taking a preventive approach in the development and implementation of workplace practices.  But when necessary we handle lawsuits in an aggressive, yet cost-effective manner.  Frequently we are able to resolve litigation with a dispostive pre-trial motion or a settlement favorable to the employer.  But we are experienced too in presenting cases to a judge or jury for resolution.  The following are some of the types of employment law matters our firm handles:

  • Development of EEO policies and practices

  • EEO charge investigations before federal, state and local agencies

  • EEO litigation in federal and state courts

  • Federal and state Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy development

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) litigation defense

  • Development of policies for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) policy development and other federal and state disability statutes

  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) litigation defense

  • Development of strategies for compliance with federal and state Worker

  • Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Statutes

  • Defense of actions brought pursuant to Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Statutes

  • Wrongful discharge and employment at-will litigation

  • Retaliatory discharge litigation, including cases involving

  • Sarbanes-Oxley and other federal and state whistleblower statutes

  • Training for all levels of management in all aspects of law and regulation addressing employee rights

Employment Policies and Practices

With the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine, employees are increasingly making claims grounded on alleged “contract” rights.  A growing number of plaintiff's lawyers advance these theories not only in termination cases, but also in cases involving lesser forms of discipline.  Our firm has extensive experience with these cases and stays abreast of developments in this rapidly developing area of the law.
Of course, there are circumstances when employers need express contractual relationships with employees, as opposed to employment at-will relationships.  Continued employment of valuable employees, protection of trade secrets and other confidential information, and reasonable limitations on the ability of a former employee to later compete using knowledge and information acquired during employment are just examples of matters that can be addressed in well-drafted employment agreements.
The following are examples of areas in which we can assist in insuring that an employer’s needs and interests are adequately protected:

  • Development of employee handbooks and policy manuals

  • Establishment of ethical business practices guidelines

  • Drafting employment agreements

  • Drafting restrictive covenants such as covenants-not-to-compete, and confidentiality and non-interference with business relationship agreements

  • Development of health information privacy and security programs required of health care providers and employer sponsors of self-insured health plans

  • Audits to determine and eliminate vulnerability to employment related claims arising from policies or practices

Wage and Hour Matters

Compliance with the complex and growing body of federal, state, and local wage and hour laws has become a major task for employers, especially given the explosion in class action litigation in this area in recent years. Our goal is to assist employers in complying with applicable laws and the latest regulations before potential problems arise. Some examples of wage and hour services of our firm are:

  • Auditing a client's compliance with wage and hour laws and regulations

  • Developing policies and procedures for compliance with laws and regulations

  • Representing clients during both federal and state enforcement proceedings

  • Handling pay and benefit issues applicable to Federal government contractors under the Davis Bacon Act, the Walsh-Healy Act, and the Service Contract Act.

Worker’s Compensation, Workplace Safety And Health Issues

Our firm assists employers in maintaining a safe work place and in responding to investigations and enforcement proceedings by both federal and state agencies.  Our firm's services in the area of compliance with safety and health laws and regulations include:

  • Developing health and safety policies required for, and otherwise suited to the particular workplace environment

  • Representation during investigations pursuant to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and similar state statutes

  • Development of substance abuse policies and testing procedures

  • Day-to-day counseling regarding workers' compensation claims

  • Defending workers' compensation claims before state agencies and courts

  • Representation in workers' compensation retaliation lawsuits

  • Coordinating workers' compensation policies and claims with other statutes, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Employment Benefits Law

Employers are increasingly confronted by new regulations regarding employee benefits.  The issues and problems confronted by employers when complying with statutes such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and its amendments — especially COBRA — are complex. Our services in the area of benefits law includes:

  • Advice concerning insurance continuation obligations under COBRA

  • Advice concerning various aspects of ERISA

  • Development of early retirement programs in compliance with the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act

  • Development of health information privacy and security policies and procedures required by HIPAA and applicable to employers sponsoring health plans, especially those sponsoring self-insured plans

  • Litigation of employment and retirement benefit issues

Immigration Law

Many employers are unfamiliar with, or are confused by the immigration laws.  Yet these laws provide harsh penalties.  Our country's efforts to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants and the attention the media is focusing on the matter heightened the importance of employers operating in compliance with legal requirements.  Our immigration law practice includes:

  • Advising employers on compliance with Form I-9 verification and record keeping requirements

  • Developing policies and procedures which comply with all immigration laws

  • Assistance in obtaining visas and certifications

  • Representation before the Immigration and Naturalization Services, Federal Courts, and U.S. Department of Labor

Special Audits For Employers

Preventive legal action, like preventive maintenance, is an effective way to manage costs and reduce the likelihood of troublesome legal issues. Our firm has designed numerous audits which identify actual and potential employee relations problems and vulnerability to legal claims based on statute or regulation.  Some of our audit topics are:

  • Discriminatory employment practices

  • Wage and hour requirements

  • Employee handbook and policies

  • Safety and health procedures

  • Supervisor employment law awareness

  • Affirmative action compliance