Practice/Industry Group Overview
The basics of employment law are universal, but the public sector employer is governed by a set of laws, regulations, requirements, and practices that are unique. Jackson Lewis is experienced in working with public employers, from large to small cities, counties, public safety and public service authorities, governmental agencies, school districts, park and recreation districts, and related public employer management.
The majority of our attorneys devote all or most of their time to employment litigation, handling thousands of employment cases. We defend individual, collective, and class action lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wage-hour violations, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, intentional torts, and other serious workplace issues in federal and state trial and appellate courts. From early assessment onward, our model is to work with clients to develop appropriately aggressive defense strategies, explore early resolution options, conduct meaningful discovery, employ effective motion practice, and present the case at trial in the most effective and efficient manner.
Our representation of public sector employers includes:
- Defense of First and Fourteenth Amendment litigation alleging retaliatory or discriminatory conduct in violation of constitutional rights.
- Defense of Fourth Amendment litigation alleging unconstitutional search and seizure.
- Defense of police related litigation.
- Defense of litigation alleging breach of contract for failure to hire, wrongful termination, and failure to reinstate.
- Defense of Title VII litigation alleging retaliation or discrimination.
- Compliance with FLSA and other wage/hour and related issues.
Jackson Lewis pioneered the practice of preventive labor relations almost fifty years ago, and our attorneys are leaders in the field of advising employers on strategies to avoid employee disputes. The preservation of management rights is our goal through collective bargaining, contract administration, grievance arbitration, and management training. Our labor attorneys have handled thousands of proceedings before municipal labor boards, state and federal courts, disciplinary hearings, and arbitrations. Our attorneys help public sector clients achieve their labor relations goals by:
- Recapturing management rights by negotiating collective bargaining agreements that improve operational efficiency.
- Exercising and expanding management rights through aggressive contract administration.
- Effective handling of grievances to avoid arbitrations, while laying the foundation to win at arbitration.
- Enforcing management rights to administer discipline and control workplace transfers and reassignments.
- Training managers and officials on techniques to maximize management rights.
- Advising on civil service laws and rules
Training, and Advice and Counsel
Jackson Lewis is known nationwide for training programs that provide preventive solutions for our clients. Our attorneys are experienced and effective trainers on all personnel topics, including:
- Prevention, investigation, and remediation of harassment and discrimination.
- Development and administration of effective and lawful disciplinary procedures.
- Strategies for effective and lawful recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, and termination.
- Management of workplace absences, requests for leave and return to work, disability and religious accommodations, and modified work assignments.
- Workplace safety and health issues, including drug testing and workplace violence.
- Management prerogatives and obligations with regard to regulating employee appearance, lifestyle, and privacy.
- Regulation of electronic communications and other forms of employee expression.
- Best practices for employer-of-choice management, supervision, and personnel policies, programs, and procedures.
Jackson Lewis also provides advice and counsel services directly tailored to the operations and nuances of the particular public employer, including departmental and human resources audits for best practice solutions.
Jackson Lewis understands the needs of public sector clients to manage and minimize the cost of legal services. It is our policy to work with our clients to achieve this goal through negotiated hourly rates and volume discounts. More fundamentally, our expertise in labor and employment law and the dedication of our practice to those areas economizes the time required to understand issues, develop solutions, and execute strategies discussed and agreed upon with the client.
Since the Firm’s practice focuses on labor, employment, and benefits law, our library resources, legal retrieval system, document management systems, and other legal and administrative support functions are streamlined and efficient, resulting in the highest quality professional services at competitive rates.
With access to centralized firm resources from our regional locations, Jackson Lewis offers the advantage of a firm with a national presence but also with knowledge of and expertise in local nuances. This makes Jackson Lewis particularly well suited to represent public sector clients requiring regular assistance across a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters, including contract negotiations and administration, disciplinary proceedings, employment arbitrations, litigation, administrative hearings, appellate proceedings, and all legal matters related to the administration of personnel policies and managerial decisions.