Labor and Employment
Partnering with employers
We partner with our clients to optimize their most valuable resource – their employees. This leaves our clients free to focus on what they do best: achieving their missions and goals. Together, we help our clients manage employment law issues, and work with our clients to prevent employment claims before they arise. We enable our clients to take action even in the most difficult situations, while appropriately mitigating risk. We recognize that employment litigation cannot be avoided at all times, and, if litigation occurs, we draw upon our extensive litigation experience to fiercely defend our clients’ interests. We care deeply about our clients and we work closely together to help their businesses to grow and succeed.
Range of Services:
Forming Employment Relationships
We offer our clients advice and options on key aspects of forming the employment relationship such as job applications, affirmative action plans, interviewing, pre-employment and post-employment inquiries and testing, preventing discrimination, background checks, immigration documentation, offer letters, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, assessing the exempt – or non-exempt status of employees, and handbooks. Our goal is to help our clients comply with employment laws and regulations and set a strong foundation to protect the business from employment related claims.
We provide advice to our clients to minimize employment disputes and lawsuits. We assist our clients with tough termination decisions to minimize the risk of later employee claims. We investigate discrimination and harassment complaints and advise our clients how to best respond. We also guide our clients in complying with complex employment laws, such as disability/accommodation requests, the Family Medical Leave Act and other laws. We find that by helping our clients develop strong policies and procedures to implement the best human resources practices, is the best approach to prevent employment disputes and foster the productive working environment necessary for our clients’ success.
There are times when even the best preparation is not enough to avoid a lawsuit. Every lawsuit is different, just like every client. When our clients are faced with litigation we work to secure an outcome that best meets their unique needs. At times, this means drawing on our extensive trial experience to defend a claim through trial. In other cases our clients benefit from a strategic approach to litigation and early motion practice. For others, the best defense may be creative problem solving that minimizes the potential for damage or distraction to our clients’ business. If you are currently involved in litigation, or are being threatened with litigation you can find more details about our employment litigation practice on our Litigation Group practice page.
Related Practice Areas
Dealing with Unions
Some companies have employees who are represented by a union. In that situation, we help develop and implement a sound labor relations strategy appropriate to the business goals and objectives. Should an employer face union organizing efforts we are able to advise on all facets of that process and the best options for employers who want to remain union free. We work with clients to develop an individualized approach to make that happen.
When the Government Knocks
Employees may make complaints through any of several government agencies. WISHA/OSHA may start a safety investigation or issue a citation, DLI/DOL may conduct a wage audit or make a wage claim, an agency may claim that an employee is misclassified as exempt from overtime, or an employer may receive a discrimination charge in the mail. We work with employers in all of these settings, from helping to manage the investigation to prevent an adverse finding to contesting or resolving a finding if one is made.
Represented PLU in a union organizing campaign involving contingent faculty and constitutional issues.