Litigation; Employment Litigation Prevention and Defense

Policy development, employee relations, employee and management training, defense of administrative charges, and litigation defense, including in the following areas: class action litigation, business ethics/employee conflict-of-interest issues, equal employment opportunity, diversity, wrongful discharge, EEO and workers’ compensation retaliation, harassment, family and medical leave law, disability accommodations, religious accommodations, covenants not to compete, unfair trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and employment-related torts. Advice and drafting of employment agreements; defense of litigation related to breach of express or implied employment contract; negotiation and drafting related to severance agreements and exit packages.

Employment litigation is different from other types of commercial disputes. An employment lawsuit can disrupt your work environment and hurt your company’s credibility, not only with your employees but also with the public. It’s also one of the few types of litigation in which the motives of your members of management are at issue.

Constangy’s Employment Litigation Prevention and Defense team has more than 50 attorneys covering a broad geographical area with the ability to work across office lines as needed. The team’s depth and expertise allows them to handle the full range of litigation issues – from routine charges of discrimination to highly complex class action lawsuits. They come to the firm with backgrounds at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other governmental entities, judicial clerkships, and with private practice experience.

We can defend you vigorously — in the courts and before government agencies -- when that is the right thing to do. But, where appropriate, we can also help you find solutions to issues in your workplace that may keep you out of court altogether. We also have a bank of management- and employee-training programs that are available at fixed fees.

Attorneys in our Employment team have represented employers in a wide variety of industries, including the following:

  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Retail and wholesale sales
  • Public utilities
  • Education
  • Government
  • Sports and entertainment
  • Food and restaurants/hotels

Our Employment Litigation Prevention and Defense team publishes a bimonthly periodical, Labor & Employment Insights.

Litigation Representative Matters

Constangy’s litigation attorneys are currently defending a number of class action and Fair Labor Standards Act collective action lawsuits. These cases involve issues of alleged wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable state wage and hour laws; sex discrimination; age discrimination; and wage discrimination.

Won summary judgment in multi-million lawsuit relating to compensability of donning and doffing; case is currently on appeal.

We have three large cases involving a major U.S. employer: (1) FLSA case (29 plaintiffs); (2) Another FLSA case (50 named plaintiffs and notice to be issued to over 500); (3) ADEA case with 15 named plaintiffs and seeking nationwide collective notice.

We handle litigation on behalf of big box and specialty retailers throughout the country dealing with multi-plaintiff and class litigation.

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Diverse History

Even in those early years of the 1940s, Frank’s partner was Mildred McClelland, one of a very few female attorneys practicing in Atlanta. Today, Constangy, Brooks & Smith has more than 130 attorneys in thirteen states, more than half of our associates are female, and women are leaders at the highest level of our firm through representation on the Executive Committee.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith has also been recognized for its efforts to foster a diverse legal workplace. 

  • The firm received the Exceptional Service Award presented by the Georgia Diversity Program of the State Bar of Georgia.
  • Constangy, Brooks & Smith maintains a Diversity Council comprised of attorneys from across its offices to address issues and promote diversity within the firm.

The firm prides itself in its inclusive environment that values and utilizes the contributions of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. The diversity of those who work for Constangy is one of its greatest strengths. Attorneys bring a variety of backgrounds to better serve a range of clients, which includes differences in geographical background, law schools, and career experience prior to practicing law, as well as religious affiliations and gender and ethnic backgrounds.

Commitment to Diversity

Constangy, Brooks & Smith recognizes that our clients and their employees, customers, and suppliers represent an ever-increasing multicultural and diverse society. Therefore, we believe that the recruitment, hiring, and retention of individuals with diverse backgrounds is integral to our providing the highest quality of legal services possible. Our commitment to diversity encompasses a broad spectrum of individual characteristics and experiences, including but not limited to race, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. We recognize the benefits of a diverse work environment on firm morale, productivity, and success and believe that such diversity attracts the talented and well-rounded types of people that make our firm thrive.

All of Constangy’s policies, practices and processes benefit from having access to a range of different perspectives. Constangy takes into account these differences in its organizational structure, performance appraisal methods, recruitment and selection, and career development opportunities. Our firm recognizes that diversity makes a broader, richer environment that produces more creative thinking and solutions.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the firm, from recruitment through employment and promotion, including training and work assignments, to provide equal opportunity at all times without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability, or other status protected by federal or applicable state law. The firm provides an environment where all members, associates, administrators, managers and staff employees abide by the requirements of this policy so that no one associated with Constangy, Brooks & Smith is discriminated against.

Diversity Council

Constangy’s Diversity Council is comprised of a cross-section of members and associates from a variety of the firm’s offices. The Council exists to address issues of diversity within the firm, as well as within the communities where our attorneys live and work. The Diversity Council drafts and proposes programming and policy that create supportive and productive environments for diverse attorneys within our ranks, provide outreach to law schools, community and professional organizations, and encourage a culture in which differing points of view will be sought, and diversity valued. The Council also produces a semi-annual newsletter, The Diversity Connection, that details the firm’s initiatives and highlights attorneys’ involvement in outside organizations that aim to foster diversity and personal development.

Networking Groups

Networking groups provide an opportunity for individuals with similar interests to come together and discuss issues and concerns relevant to members of these groups. Constangy recognizes that unique issues sometimes affect attorneys who are women or individuals of color. To that end, Constangy actively supports networking groups for women and attorneys of color within the firm. Each networking group has an “Executive Committee Liason,” who serves as the group’s advocate before the firm’s Executive Committee, ensuring that the issues and concerns of the group are brought to the attention of the Executive Committee, and subsequently addressed by the firm.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Constangy, Brooks & Smith believes that well-rounded individuals make better attorneys who provide better service to clients. Unlike most law firms, biographical sketches presented publicly on our firm website note attorneys’ personal interests and activities outside the law firm. We encourage attorneys to be active in their communities while we strive to provide a family-friendly workplace. Based on the needs of each office, the firm’s associates and members may have the opportunity for flex-time status that permits them to work less than a full-time schedule due to family or extraordinary personal reasons. The firm recognizes the external factors affecting its attorneys such as changes in the family structure, single parent families, dual-career couples, and other community pressures. The firm’s policy providing for flex-time work arrangements enables talented attorneys to more effectively manage their personal and professional lives.

Flexible work arrangements provide attorneys who are seeking work patterns, which integrate work and family roles more fully, with an opportunity to advance their careers with the firm. An associate working under flexible time status will have his or her budgeted billable hours reduced in a corresponding percentage; will have the non-billable matters such as participation in business development, bar activities and other non-billable matters reduced correspondingly; and will be eligible for a prorated amount of salary and the annual productivity bonus available to associates.

Leave Policies

The firm’s leave policies are structured with the focus on increasing recognition and nurturing a culture that is devoted to the value of diversity and empowerment as essential elements of the firm’s success. Constangy’s leave policies provide a balanced approach that ensures both the provision of quality service to our clients and the firm’s commitment to diversity in a manner that benefits both the attorneys and the firm’s environment. Among the many benefits that Constangy, Brooks & Smith provides to associates are paid vacation benefits accrued during the calendar year based on the years of completed service; annual personal days and sick leave; and paid bereavement leave.