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.
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
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
- 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
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
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
||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:
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.
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...
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...
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...
Guidance for Employers Regarding Ebola
, October 28, 2014
On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. The patient died of Ebola on October 8. More recently, on October 12, 2014, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who...
California Enacts Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law
, September 15, 2014
On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1522, known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. With a few exceptions, the new law requires all employers to provide employees performing work in California with paid sick leave, beginning on...
Philadelphia Ordinance Provides New Protections for Breastfeeding Mothers
, September 10, 2014
On September 3, 2014, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law the Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill, No. 130922, as a part of the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. The new law is effective immediately, and it requires businesses with one or more employees to provide reasonable...
"Ban the Box" Legislation Signed into Law in New Jersey
, August 19, 2014
On August 11, 2014, New Jersey joined the growing number of jurisdictions banning the box on job applications that require job applicants to disclose criminal history information. This new legislation, the Opportunity to Compete Act (the "Act"), is designed to give individuals who have...
NLRB Deems Micro-Unit an Appropriate Bargaining Unit in Retail Industry
, August 04, 2014
The National Labor Relations Board (the "Board" or NLRB) recently issued a pair of decisions applying its Specialty Healthcare test to determine if petitioned-for units in two large department stores were appropriate for bargaining purposes. The Board reached different outcomes in these...
EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination
, July 23, 2014
On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidelines telling employers that refusing to give reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers is illegal under federal law. The guidelines were issued after a 3-2 vote along partisan lines on the commission and were...
Supreme Court Strikes Down ACA Contraception Mandate for Certain Employers
, July 10, 2014
In a highly anticipated case under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the United States Supreme Court examined whether regulations requiring that group health plans furnish preventive care and screenings for women without any cost-sharing requirements was constitutional....