Locke Lord’s skilled team of labor and employment attorneys has the experience to handle any labor and employment issue on a national basis from defending against wage and hour or discrimination claims to counteracting union organizing efforts. We have defended our clients for years in jury and non-jury trials as well as in administrative hearings. However, our preventive counseling services oftentimes resolve or help avoid labor and employment claims without litigation.
Employment law disputes can pit individual needs against company survival. Locke Lord’s employment attorneys know how to resolve employment disputes, minimize the risk of litigation, and defend cases going to trial. Our longstanding philosophy is to prevent employment claims when possible and to stand ready to litigate the issues when necessary.
In addition to our litigation experience in both jury and non-jury trials, we have significant experience with alternative dispute resolution systems and have arbitrated numerous cases for a broad range of companies under their collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts. Several of our labor and employment attorneys have experience as arbitrators and mediators, and our attorneys have extensive experience in arbitration and mediation.
Our team understands the complexities of labor and employment law. We counsel employers daily on issues such as hiring, disciplining and terminating employees; drafting and implementing workplace policies and procedures; conducting investigations; and managing layoffs.
Our attorneys ensure compliance with evolving labor and employment laws, and our client-customized approach seeks the best possible resolution for each client’s unique set of issues. Our ongoing training and consulting keep clients within the provisions of a host of regulatory requirements so they can focus on running their businesses - not on costly government investigations. We have extensive experience with the following laws and regulations:
Many of our employment attorneys have more than three decades of experience and extensive knowledge on virtually every labor law scenario imaginable. Our attorneys have a host of professional honors, including selection as Fellows in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and selection by their peers as Super Lawyers and Leading Lawyers in the area of labor and employment law.
Firm attorneys have chaired the State Bar of Texas Labor & Employment Section, the Chicago Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Committee, and the American Bar Association Regional Committee on Practice and Procedure before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Our attorneys also serve in leadership positions on the American Bar Association TIPS Employer/Employee Relations Committee. We have experience as corporate counsel, NLRB counsel, panel counsel and adjunct law professors. Our attorneys frequently write papers and give presentations on labor and employment law issues at local and national seminars.
Discipline/Termination/Counseling/TrainingLocke Lord attorneys frequently counsel executives, corporate counsel, and human resources professionals on legal compliance matters. We are equipped to provide immediate and practical advice to assist the client in effectively addressing workplace issues while complying with its legal obligations. We provide national, regional and local employers with effective, targeted training programs in the areas of discrimination, harassment, hiring/firing, discipline, wage and hour, and union avoidance.
Employment Agreements/Severance Agreements/Lay-OffsLocke Lord attorneys possess extensive experience in negotiating and drafting employment agreements and severance agreements for employees at all levels, including senior executives. In addition, our attorneys routinely assist companies in addressing the legal aspects of reductions in force, including performing impact analyses and ensuring compliance with federal and state layoff notice requirements (WARN), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
Litigation/Administrative Investigations (Including EEOC, DOL, TITLE VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, WARN, USERRA AND SOX)Locke Lord attorneys represent clients in employment litigation before federal and state courts and regulatory agencies. We litigate cases dealing with every type of labor and employment issue, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour, employment torts, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower retaliation.
In addition to our litigation experience, many of our attorneys are experienced at arbitration and mediation and have handled arbitration cases for a wide range of companies under their collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, or alternative dispute resolution programs.
Locke Lord has an excellent track record representing clients before numerous government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor, the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment, and the California Department of Labor.
NLRBCompanies facing union organizing campaigns or strikes need an experienced labor attorney to handle these high stakes matters. We represent companies in all matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act, including NLRB elections, union avoidance campaigns, collective bargaining, arbitrations, strikes, and picketing. Locke Lord’s labor attorneys have decades of experience in union avoidance counseling and campaign strategy – in all types of industries. Our labor attorneys have represented many clients with strike management and related unfair labor practice and picketing injunction litigation. Our attorneys have also served as chief negotiators for management during numerous union contract negotiations and have handled hundreds of arbitrations pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.
Locke Lord’s labor experience includes dealing with issues arising under the Railway Labor Act, which governs labor relations in the railroad and airline industries. We also have extensive experience in the health care and construction industries and their unique issues with respect to union matters.
OSHAGovernment safety inspections demand experienced, practical advice – and Locke Lord’s labor and employment attorneys know how to respond promptly and appropriately to employee health and safety issues. We help clients address inspections quickly – before they jeopardize our clients’ future. We help prepare clients for investigations and defend citations for violations resulting from such investigations.
Our years of experience in workplace safety law have given us the ability to help companies develop policies and procedures to comply with health and safety regulations. Locke Lord’s labor and employment attorneys work on OSHA matters for clients representing all types of industries, including manufacturing, health care, construction, waste disposal and recycling, home building and contract assembly. We have handled some of the leading cases establishing the law in the OSHA area and we have defended all varieties of OSHA claims, including cases of multiple fatalities.
Unfair Competition/Trade Secrets/Non-Compete AgreementsIn today’s increasingly competitive market place for highly skilled and trained employees, and the demands on businesses for instant market penetration and market share, established companies frequently face tremendous pressure from competitors seeking to hire away key employees, divert their hard-earned business, and even misappropriate their proprietary or confidential information.
Locke Lord has a distinguished record of being the attorneys to whom clients turn when faced with these competitive threats. Our attorneys regularly obtain restraining orders or injunctive relief to protect our clients’ most valuable assets. Because time may be critical, our attorneys are noted for the speed in which they can respond to our clients’ emergencies.
Our practice includes litigation to prevent the misappropriation and use of confidential information and trade secrets, enforcement of non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants, and federal and state litigation involving claims of unfair competition, anti-competitive practices and employee raiding. Our attorneys also provide counseling to clients as to how best to protect their trade secrets and “human capital” and assist clients in the drafting of confidentiality and non-competition agreements.
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Noted Employment Law Partner Sarah Linton Joins Locke Lord’s London Office; Adds International Dimension to Employment
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