Practice Areas & Industries: Duane Morris LLP


Employment Law and Management Labor Relations Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Duane Morris employment lawyers regularly counsel and advise employers on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws with the goal of increasing workplace efficiency and preventing potentially disruptive litigation. We also represent management interests in responding to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, handling administrative agency investigations and defending employment-related litigation.

We offer practical counseling designed to prevent potentially disruptive labor and employment disputes. We handle a wide variety of employment-related litigation and are experienced in management labor relations matters.

Employment services are individually developed to reflect each client's business goals and objectives. We assist clients in preparing employee manuals, crafting personnel policies to address the client's business needs, implementing customized supervisory and nonsupervisory training programs, and designing compliance strategies.

As a result of our extensive experience in the labor and employment field, we strive to place our clients' issues directly before the appropriate decision makers. In representing clients in employment and labor matters, issues may arise that require the skills of lawyers practicing in a variety of disciplines. Because of the broad scope of services offered at Duane Morris, our employment attorneys, when necessary, consult with lawyers on matters involving employee benefits, bankruptcy, business law, real estate, complex trial work and healthcare.


Services Available

Employment Services

Employee Relations Counseling

Duane Morris attorneys advise clients on compliance with employment-related statutes and regulations on the federal, state and local levels. We take a preventative approach in counseling clients, reflecting our client's goal to minimize conflicts in the workplace that may lead to costly litigation. Our advice is practical and defensible, not merely theoretical. Our attorneys regularly assist clients in the following areas:

  • preparation of employee handbooks and personnel policies
  • drafting of employment offer letters and agreements
  • development of drug and alcohol testing policies
  • compliance with wage and hour regulations
  • implementation of discipline and discharge protocols
  • investigating employee misconduct
  • compliance with special statutory protections for the disabled
  • protection of employee privacy interests at the workplace
  • development of affirmative action plans
  • compliance with plant closing and mass layoff regulations
  • drafting of severance policies and separation agreements
  • preparation of confidentiality agreements and trade secret programs
  • compliance with health and safety regulations
  • implementation of military reservist and veterans' protection statutes

Employment Litigation

When disputes cannot be avoided, our experienced labor and employment litigators represent clients at trial in state and federal courts and in appellate proceedings, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. We also handle arbitrations and administrative hearings before state and federal anti-discrimination agencies or labor relations boards, as well as before unemployment compensation tribunals. Our attorneys staff cases in an efficient manner and approach cases aggressively, frequently leading to positive results and favorable settlements early in the litigation process. The types of actions we litigate include:

  • employment discrimination
  • enforcement of restrictive covenants
  • defamation
  • employment contracts
  • wrongful discharge
  • harassment at the workplace
  • unemployment compensation
  • disability discrimination
  • "whistleblower" protections
  • enforcement of trade secrets
  • employee benefits
  • FLSA wage and hour compliance

Management Labor Relations

Duane Morris attorneys represent management interests with the aim of minimizing potential labor problems. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all facets of management labor relations, including:


  • maintaining a union-free workplace
  • representing management in union elections
  • negotiating collective bargaining agreements
  • handling grievance and arbitration proceedings
  • obtaining mass picketing injunctions
  • advising management in work stoppage situations
  • handling unfair labor practice charges at the NLRB

Employment Training and Workshops

Our attorneys develop and conduct training programs for both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees. The training programs and workshops are designed to meet a client's specific needs in a wide variety of workplace issues, such as:

  • sexual or discriminatory harassment
  • prevention of workplace violence
  • compliance with employment discrimination laws
  • proper hiring practices
  • minimizing liability in discipline and discharge decisions
  • compliance with health and safety obligations
  • federal and state wage and hour compliance

Employment Investigations

Duane Morris attorneys conduct and counsel employers on workplace investigations, including allegations of employee misconduct. We are frequently called upon to assist with investigations into:

  • sexual, racial, disability, ethnic and religious harassment
  • possession, use and/or sale of controlled substances
  • compliance with corporate ethics policies
  • workplace violence
  • employment discrimination allegations
  • employee theft

Corporate Transactions

Our lawyers are sensitive to the employment and labor issues that may impact transactional matters. When appropriate, we interface with our corporate, real estate, bankruptcy, tax and finance attorneys to provide a complete range of services with respect to client needs. The following are representative types of issues on which we assist in business transactions:

  • successor liability under collective bargaining agreements
  • compliance with WARN and related plant closing/mass layoff laws
  • assumption of employment agreements
  • separation/retention of employees
  • transfer of personnel files
  • enforcement of restrictive covenants

Special Employment Services

Duane Morris attorneys also provide specialized employment-related services to address the business needs of our clients. These services include:

  • employment practice audits
  • newsletters and alerts
  • seminars and workshops on significant developments
  • customized training programs

Group Presentations
  Duane Morris Partner John Nixon to Speak at the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) 2015 Legal Education Conference, Austin, TX, June 23, 2015
Duane Morris Partner Lori Ocheltree to Speak at National Business Institute Conference, San Francisco, CA, May 6, 2015
Duane Morris Partner Jonathan Segal to Present at SHRM's 15th Annual Legislative and Legal Conference, Harrisburg, PA, May 1, 2015
New 2015 Employment and Immigration Laws and Trends, San Francisco, January 22, 2015
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Philadelphia Sick Leave Law on Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Goes into Effect
, May 25, 2015
Philadelphia's mandatory sick leave ordinance, "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," goes into effect on May 13, 2015. In connection with its enactment, the City of Philadelphia has now issued a mandatory poster.

EEOC Proposed Rule Would Amend Regulations and Interpretive Guidance Implementing Title I of ADA Related to Employer Wellness Programs
, April 22, 2015
On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule amending the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to employer wellness programs. The proposed rule provides guidance on the...

New York City Council Passes Bill Prohibiting Employers from Requesting or Using Consumer Credit History in Employment Decisions
, April 22, 2015
On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council passed a bill (Intro. No. 261-A, 2014) that would amend the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit employers from requesting or using an individual's consumer credit history in making employment decisions. The prohibition applies to all employment...

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Issues Guidance on Rules of Conduct
, April 14, 2015
On March 18, 2015, the General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board ("Board") issued Memorandum GC 15-04 to the Regional Offices of the Board with respect to the application of the National Labor Relations Act (the "Act") to conduct and other rules issued by...

SEC Declares Open Season on Employee Agreements
, April 14, 2015
On April 1, 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an enforcement action¿the first of its kind¿against KBR, Inc., for requiring employees involved in internal investigations to maintain confidentiality, which is in violation of the SEC's whistleblower rules.

Supreme Court Reinstates Pregnancy Discrimination Claim Against UPS
, April 01, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court on March 25, 2015, vacated a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and revived a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought against United Parcel Service (UPS).

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Labor Law
Oliver Massmann, March 30, 2015
The Vietnamese labor law is oriented employee-friendly to the greatest extent and in most cases is interpreted to the disadvantage of the employer. It has an effect particularly in labor law-related disputes which are in most cases decided in favor of the employee. The employment contract has to be...

Prevailing Wage Violation Invites Unsuccessful Bidder’s Tort Claim
Robert C. Hendrickson, March 25, 2015
Failing to pay prevailing wages on a public works project can have consequences beyond labor code penalties and claims for unpaid wages. Contractors who “unlawfully deflate their labor costs” by intentionally violating prevailing wage laws in order to win contracts are also subject to...

A New Protected Disclosure Venue Suggests Permanence For Demonstration Project Federal Contractor Employees’ Whistleblower Protections
Michael J. Schrier, March 19, 2015
In 2013, Congress enacted 41 U.S.C. § 4712 to provide whistleblower protections to employees of federal contractors who made disclosures concerning alleged “evidence of gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant, a gross waste of Federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a...

Long-Awaited Work Authorization Rule for H-4 Spouses Published February 24, 2015: First Day to File Applications Is May 26, 2015
, March 13, 2015
On February 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, effective May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status are eligible to apply for work authorization.

DOL Issues FMLA Final Rule Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages and Establishing "Place of Celebration" as New Rule for Defining Spouse
, March 03, 2015
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced that on February 25, 2015, it will issue a Final Rule revising the regulations to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide that the term "spouse" means a husband or wife and "refers to the other person with whom an...

New Jersey Supreme Court Adopts Affirmative Defense Under Federal Law to Claims of Supervisory Harassment Under State Law
, March 03, 2015
On February 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Aguas v. New Jersey and established that New Jersey employers have an affirmative defense to claims of vicarious liability for supervisory harassment arising under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD).

Philadelphia Passes Sick Leave Law
, March 03, 2015
On February 12, 2015, Philadelphia council members voted 14-2 to approve a bill mandating sick leave to eligible Philadelphia employees. Similar bills had been introduced and won passage twice before, in 2011 and 2013, but Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed them both times. This time, Mayor Nutter signed...

N.Y. Wage-and-Hour Update: Gov. Cuomo Eliminates the Annual Wage Notice Requirement
, February 17, 2015
On December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill eliminating the Wage Theft Prevention Act's requirement that all private New York employers provide written wage rate notices to their employees by February 1 each year. The original law, which took effect on April 9, 2011,...

NLRB Overturns Register Guard and Holds Employee Use of Email on Nonworking Time for Union Organizing Must Presumptively Be Permitted
, February 17, 2015
On December 11, 2014, a divided National Labor Relations Board (the "Board") overturned its 2007 decision in Register Guard and held that employee use of email on nonworking time for Section 7 purposes must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access...

New California Anti-Bullying Law Likely to Have Wide-Reaching Impact
, February 16, 2015
Since 2006, California law has required all employers of 50 or more who conduct business in the state to provide at least two hours of interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees. That training is required at least once every two years and must be...

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules on Proper Test for Determining Independent Contractor Status
, February 16, 2015
On January 14, 2015, a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in the closely watched case of Hargrove v. Sleepy's, LLC (N.J. Sup. Ct. A-70-12) (072742), that the proper test for determining independent contractor status under New Jersey wage-and-hour laws is the ABC test. Among the various tests...

U.S. Supreme Court Decides Time Spent in the Security Screening Process Is Not Compensable Under the FLSA
, February 16, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous opinion on December 9, 2014, in Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk et al., ruling that employees' time spent waiting to undergo and undergoing post-shift security screenings is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).