Practice/Industry Group Overview
Employers today must manage employees within a complex and ever-changing labyrinth of laws and regulations. We help guide our clients through this precarious legal landscape, and work closely with our clients on proactive approaches to employment and labor relations that resolve workplace issues before they become problems. We measure our success not only by the large battles we fight and win, but by the battles we have helped clients avoid with positive results.
The Labor and Employment Practices Group provides support to employers in the area of traditional union-management labor relations as well as human resource counseling and employment litigation services. Our representation is nationwide and cross-border, and is for a clientele drawn from most industry groups, including the transportation, health care and biotech, manufacturing, chemical, waste removal, automotive, consumer products, retail, computer technology, financial services, nonprofit and insurance industries. Our attorneys often serve as outside general labor and employment counsel to both domestic and foreign-based business organizations. Our clients include Fortune 50 companies, well known regional businesses, and emerging local companies.
Matters for which we routinely represent our clients arise in literally every subject area, including:
Employment Litigation, Arbitration and Administrative Proceedings
- Judicial, arbitration, and administrative claims made under federal labor and employment laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (discrimination and harassment), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), individual and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), and federal prevailing rate laws, such as “Davis-Bacon”;
- Class and collective actions, including hybrid federal/state actions, under minimum wage and overtime laws, antidiscrimination laws, common law and statutory privacy requirements and other employment laws and regulations;
- Claims made under various state labor and employment laws, including state antidiscrimination laws, state whistleblower protection laws, and state wage payment and wage & hour laws – including prevailing wage laws and workers’ compensation retaliation claims;
- Common law wrongful discharge claims, defamation and privacy-based actions, negligent hiring, retention and training, and other types of employment related-lawsuits, both on an individual and class-action basis;
- Claims before various federal and state administrative agencies, such as OSHA, Department of Labor (DOL), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); and
- Antitrust and RICO actions arising out of labor and other workplace-related disputes.
- Negotiating and drafting executive employment contracts, severance agreements and retirement incentive plans;
- Drafting and implementing plans for reductions in force (RIFs), relocations and closings, including guidance under federal and state employee and community notification laws, such as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN);
- ERISA drafting, planning and counseling;
- Harassment and other discipline/discharge training to minimize litigation exposure;
- Strategies and training to remain non union;
- OFCCP, federal and state affirmative action compliance and audits;
- Supervisory/management training;
- Counseling on human resources issues, including the development of strategies, planning and organization, employee attitude surveys, hiring and selection systems, workplace/human resources audits, and the development of employee handbook, drug testing, and other internal employment policy documents; and,
- Immigration counseling and assistance relating to employment of foreign nationals.
Union-Management Labor Relations, Union Labor Practices
- National Labor Relations Board and court representation related to unfair labor practice charges and election proceedings;
- Picketing, lockouts, demonstrations, handbilling and strikes;
- Merger, acquisition, plant relocation and layoff issues in a unionized environment;
- Union organizational attempts and campaigns;
- Collective bargaining, negotiation, contract administration, grievances and arbitration;
- Government compliance and affirmative action; and
- Multi-employer pension plans and litigation arising out of such plans, including defending trustees against fiduciary obligation litigation.
Employer Protection Strategies, Unfair Competition
- Drafting and enforcing employment agreements, non-compete and trade secret agreements;
- Litigating and securing injunctions caused by breach of non-compete, trade secret and employment agreements;
- Developing and implementing strategies to protect employers against corporate raiding, protection of trade secrets, and unfair competition employment practices; and
- Technology policies, electronic surveillance, and privacy issues.
Cross-Border/International Employment Law Services
- Providing assistance and consultation to domestic and foreign-based multinational business organizations in recognizing and complying with employment, labor and data protection law requirements of nations in which they do or seek to do business;
- Preparation of employment agreements for inbound executives and outbound expatriates;
- Counseling on employment law aspects of mergers and acquisitions that cross borders;
- Counseling on compliance with the European Union Data Protection Directive, including development of contracts, internal policies and procedures, training and other materials required to remain compliant; and
- Coordination and development of global employment policies and project management on the implementation of those policies.
||Mike Wietrzychowski to Present "Interns, Consultants, and Employees: The Costs of Misclassification", December 3, 2013
Schnader and eXude Host "Nonprofit Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructures: How Prepared Is Your HR Team?", September 25, 2013
Mike Wietrzychowski Presents "Employee Discipline and Termination" at Human Resources Law CLE Program, August 14, 2013
Chris Carty Presented "Current Employment Issues for Nonprofits" Seminar, June 12, 2013
Scott Wenner Moderated "Litigation and Settlement of FSLA Claims" Panel at NYU's 66th Annual Conference on Labor, June 6, 2013
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Connecticut Toughens Law Granting Access to Personnel Files
Scott J. Wenner, August 09, 2013
Under Conn.Gen.Stat. §31-128b, employees in Connecticut are permitted to inspect their personnel files within a “reasonable time” after a request is submitted. Effective October 1, 2013, this mandate will be subject to rigorous time limits, and expanded to require employers to...
EEOC Begins Enforcing 2012 Criminal Background Check Guidance Books
Scott J. Wenner, July 05, 2013
In April 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) published a new guidance document updating its earlier position on the use by employers of arrest records and criminal background checks as part of the pre-employment screening process.
NYC Council Overwhelmingly Passes Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law
Scott J. Wenner, May 20, 2013
Led by Mayoral candidate and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the New York City Council has enacted the Earned Sick Time Act — a new law that mandates all employers of 15 or more employees in New York City to provide paid sick leave to workers. This paid leave requirement will phase in...
New York City Council Passes Law Prohibiting Discrimination Against Unemployed, Overriding Mayor’s Veto
Allison R. Brown,Rebecca Lacher,Scott J. Wenner, March 28, 2013
On March 13, 2013, the New York City Council voted to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of Bill Number 814-A, which prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of employment status. Although other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, Oregon and Washington...