McLane Middleton’s Labor & Employment Law Group is committed to meeting its clients’ unique needs when it comes to employment law and managing their workplace.
Our risk management approach and client-focused responsiveness helps to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and prevent personnel problems before they arise. When lawsuits occur, our highly knowledgeable employment litigators work collaboratively with the firm’s other practice groups to provide comprehensive representation in defending their clients’ organizations. Our primary goal is to help resolve disputes successfully and in a cost-efficient way for our clients.
McLane Middleton’s Labor & Employment attorneys strive to know their clients’ organizations to deliver specialized services targeted to meet their business and financial goals. We take pride in establishing lasting client partnerships – we are Personnel Partners™.
McLane Middleton handles complicated employment law compliance matters for a wide variety of manufacturing, health care, service, educational, and technology businesses. Our experience areas include:
- Internal investigations
- Data privacy & security
- Family and medical leave
- Military leave
- Drug testing
- Wage and hour
- Reductions in force
- Non-compete and employment agreements
- Records management
McLane Middleton’s Labor & Employment Group believes that managing risk in the workplace is the core of effective personnel policies, and involves three main elements:
- Thorough knowledge of the law
- Proactive strategies specific to the business we represent
- Effective implementation of clearly written policies
Through focused workplace audits, policy adherence, strategic training, and timely investigations, we partner with our clients to design and implement measures to efficiently meet specific business needs.
McLane Middleton’s approach to risk management minimizes our clients’ legal costs because we understand each individual workforce, business, and industry.
Our Risk Management Group expeditiously resolves problems as they arise, and routinely counsels clients on complying with federal and state laws and regulations. Our labor and employment law experience includes:
- Family and medical leave
- Military leave
- Drug testing
- Reductions in force
- Data security
- Records management
Even prior to the 2010 health care reform legislation, agencies such as the IRS and DOL increased the pace of regulatory guidance for health and other welfare plans. We provide our clients with timely advice taking into account the latest guidance affecting their welfare benefit arrangements. Our attorneys:
- Draft plan documents and summary plan descriptions
- Handle administrative appeals and benefit claim disputes
- Litigate welfare benefit plan disputes
- Advise on health care continuation under COBRA and state laws
- Advise on HIPPA and other federal laws governing benefit plans
We regularly counsel our clients on the design, operation, and administration of various health and welfare plans, including:
- Active employee health care plans
- Retiree health plans
- Disability plans
- Life insurance plans
- Flexible spending plans and other section 125 cafeteria plan arrangements
- Health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)
- Severance programs
Privacy & Data Security
McLane Middleton's Privacy and Data Security Practice Group can help your business manage and address the risks inherent in our digital world. Technology is engrained in every aspect of our business and personal lives. Society can hardly move fast enough to adopt today's newest technologies before tomorrow's arrive in our workplaces, homes, cars and even the palms of our hands. Along with such tremendous new developments come significant new risks.
DATA SECURITY – A COMPLIANCE AND LITIGATION MINEFIELD
Businesses must take adequate precautions to protect the personal information of their customers and employees. While companies involved in health care (regulated by HIPAA), banking or financial services (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), education (FERPA), and credit services (FACTA and Red Flag Rules) have been subject to rigorous compliance standards for some time, every business must now comply with the laws and regulations enacted by the states, particularly if subject to Massachusetts' requirement for a Written Information Security Plan (WISP).
McLane Middleton's Privacy and Data Security Group has the depth of subject matter knowledge and breadth of industry experience necessary to help your business become and stay data security compliant. Even careful companies, however, can experience a data security scare or breach. Our prompt, level-headed and meticulous responses to such breaches have helped many clients control and avoid litigation and the other potentially disastrous consequences of a breach.
PRIVACY – A BRAVE NEW DIGITAL WORLD
McLane Middleton's Privacy and Data Security Group also guides clients through the complex legal and business issues inherent in data privacy. We approach these issues proactively, starting with comprehensive information use policies and procedures tailored to each particular business and designed to avoid internal problems and costly litigation. We also train business executives, leaders, managers and employees about appropriate data use and privacy.
Our legal professionals fuse legal and technical knowledge to help clients address the myriad of data privacy issues that arise on a daily basis, particularly with respect to social media, email, webmail, mobile devices, surveillance, background checks, laptops, personal computers, servers, databases, and the many other technologies used by companies and individuals today. We also have a unique depth and breadth of business litigation experience to handle the wide variety of data privacy lawsuits that arise today.
McLane Middleton operates one of the largest and most sophisticated business law practices in northern New England. Employment litigation is an important part of that practice. Our focused and experienced attorneys strive to understand their clients’ business, and participate in seminars and trainings for management, in-house counsel, and human resource professionals.
Our attorneys are adept at counseling clients on risk management and are highly skilled in mediation, arbitration, and related alternative dispute resolutions.
The United States has always attracted the best and brightest from around the world, and there are significant numbers of highly educated and motivated people worldwide seeking to work, either temporarily or permanently, for a U.S. company. In a strong economy characterized by low unemployment and rapidly changing technology, U.S. businesses wishing to ride the wave of economic growth and expansion of new technologies are finding that employment of foreign nationals is critical to their prospects for success. Additionally, businesses based abroad seeking to establish a presence in the U.S. marketplace must be able to transfer key employees to this country swiftly and efficiently.
McLane Middleton's Immigration Practice Group specializes in immigration and nationality law, with emphasis on business and employment immigration. Because of the federal nature of immigration practice, we have the flexibility to represent clients in New Hampshire, throughout New England and the United States, and around the world. Our firm assists corporate and individual clients, whether inside or outside the United States.
Some of the more frequent temporary and permanent visas that we have been instrumental in obtaining for our business and individual clients are:
Non Immigrant: Temporary Status
- B-1 Visitor for Business: A common visa category generally for brief visits. B-1 business visitors are usually admitted only for the period required to conduct their business.
- E-1 or E-2 Treaty Trader/Investor: Investors/traders and employees may receive E visas to carry on their business in the United States if the home country has a commercial Treaty with the U.S. conferring visa eligibility.
- H-1B Specialty Occupations: Professionals with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience may be eligible for this non-immigrant visa if the position requires such a degree or equivalent experience.
- L Intracompany Transferee: These visas are available to executives, managers and persons holding specialized knowledge who own or are employed by a business abroad if the company has a U.S. branch office or affiliate or intends to create one.
- TN-NAFTA Professionals: A special visa category for nationals of Canada/Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Immigrant: Permanent Status
- Diversity: Each year by random selection, 55,000 immigrant visas are issued to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
- Family Sponsored: Available to those who have a qualifying relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Employment Based: Available to those within one of the enumerated preference categories possessing a specific offer of employment from a U.S.-based employer.
Additional Immigration Services
- Labor Certification (Reduction in Recruitment)
- Citizenship Matters
- Educational Credential Evaluation
- Taxation Matters of Foreign Employees
- Document Translation
- Prevailing Wage Determinations
- I-9 Compliance Reviews
The immigration lawyers at McLane Middleton continually update their knowledge of ever-changing immigration laws and public policies to ensure that they provide employers and individuals with the latest and most appropriate resources and strategies. With decades of combined experience in immigration law, McLane has been successful in providing creative options, enabling foreign nationals to realize their dream of living and working in the United States and enabling U.S. employers to keep pace in a global business environment.
McLane Middleton attorneys assist companies and individuals on a wide array of immigration law issues in the employment context. The firm's Immigration Law Practice Group manages a large roster of foreign national employees for some of New England's most important companies, including Lonza Biologics, Velcro Industries, and Hitchiner Manufacturing. Our experience allows us to creatively guide clients through the immigration implications related to employment and business decisions.
We routinely assist employers to ensure I-9 compliance through internal audits and comprehensive training of human resources personnel. As part of a proactive compliance strategy, we help to create and implement effective company policies. The Immigration Law Practice Group also regularly helps employers to comply with the E-Verify requirements. We advise clients on E-Verify compliance, conduct training on how to administer the system, and help them to avoid common pitfalls. We also help companies to work through the complicated steps for obtaining work visas, Green Cards or naturalized citizen status for their foreign worker hires.
McLane Middleton also counsels individuals who are seeking employment opportunities abroad or in the U.S., or who have family connections in the U.S. Depending on individual circumstances, we help clients to obtain temporary work visas, permanent resident status, or naturalized citizen status.
The H-1B visa is one of the most popular work visas in the United States, but is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain due to a shortage. Applications for H-1B visas are accepted on April 1 of each year. McLane Middleton's immigration attorneys can help your company complete the applications correctly and on time to prevent the application from being rejected from the lottery.
Wage and Hour Claims
The employment litigation attorneys at McLane Middleton have significant experience in handling wage and hour disputes for employers in a variety of industries throughout New England and beyond. In every wage and hour case, we apply our core philosophy of understanding your business and add our expertise and perspective to the issues at hand.
We regularly appear in state courts and agencies related to claims filed by high-level executives and other employees for unpaid wages, bonuses, and vacation time, as well as claims for commissions by independent contractors.
We also assist companies facing wage and hour audits by federal and state government agencies. Should an employer be found to have violated wage and hour laws, our attorneys are skilled at negotiating with government agencies to reduce civil penalties and fines. A prominent aspect of our wage and hour practice is to advise companies on compliance with relevant laws and regulations, including conducting internal training with key HR personnel. We can also help businesses with internal audits as part of a risk management program.
Discrimination and Harassment
Regardless of how carefully a company may manage personnel risks, at McLane Middleton we recognize that employment lawsuits still occur, and that claims often involve discrimination and harassment issues.
Our accomplished attorneys represent clients on a broad array of such claims in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies in New England and beyond.
Our lawyers are consistently prepared to help our clients to successfully resolve these claims.
Some samples of our team’s strong track record of discrimination and harassment issues include:
- Obtaining summary judgment in favor of employers in federal court on claims of race discrimination under Title VII, discrimination claims under the ADA, retaliation claims under Title VII and New Hampshire's anti-discrimination statute, and wrongful termination
- Persuading the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the lower court's granting of summary judgment in favor of an employer dismissing a retaliation claim (Dennis v. Osram Sylvania, Inc., 549 F. 3d 851 (1st Cir. 2008)
- Convincing a New Hampshire Superior Court jury to find in favor of an employer and to dismiss claims of sexual orientation and gender discrimination following an 11-day trial
- Defending clients before the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination against a wide range of claims, including age, race, national-origin discrimination, and hostile work environment
McLane Middleton’s employment litigation team efficiently defends companies embroiled in wrongful termination claims. On behalf of employers, our prolific attorneys manage all types of claims from discharged employees, including:
- Alleged violation of public policy
- Breach of contract
- Breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing
- Violations of a whistleblower statute
McLane Middleton’s trial lawyers skillfully counsel clients to quickly resolve these disputes.
McLane Middleton's education group represents a large number of colleges and independent schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and provides consultation and training services to schools and school association in New England and nationwide. The Group has extensive experience in understanding the unique nature of the governance of educational institutions as well as in handling difficult issues that may arise such as relating to tax exempt status, restrictions on endowment, faculty compensation and tenure issues, and student discipline, to name a few.