The relationship between employers and employees is highly regulated and is becoming more so with the enactment of complex laws and the issuance of various court decisions. Both public and private organizations must operate under an unprecedented level of scrutiny. Noncompliance carries the risk of government investigation, administrative penalties and costly litigation.
Locke Lord's labor & employment lawyers are recognized as seasoned counselors in the details of the federal and state employment statutes and common law, including statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and similar state and local laws. Locke Lord's employment lawyers also routinely represent employers before the agencies and courts that enforce those laws. We routinely advise clients on all matters affecting the employment relationship, including recruitment, hiring, management, retention, discipline and termination. Our practical day-to-day advice is geared toward helping employers achieve both operational and human resources goals while reducing the potential for costly litigation. We frequently provide our clients with counseling and compliance assistance in the following areas:
- Developing corporate policies and practices that minimize the risk of successful claims.
- Conducting company-wide audits on a variety of topics, including wage and hour and EEO compliance and personnel policies.
- Designing and implementing downsizing and corporate restructurings, including exit incentive programs under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
- Counseling on labor and employment law issues associated with sales, mergers, acquisitions and due diligence.
- Training management and supervisory employees in areas such as harassment, discrimination, retaliation and discipline and discharge.
- Helping employers prepare for and respond to government audits and investigations and providing representation throughout the process.
Our labor and employment lawyers proactively assist employers in managing the myriad of corporate compliance challenges by working with our clients to develop responsible business practices that minimize risk, by training employees to promote a culture of compliance, and by responding effectively and efficiently to audits, investigations and lawsuits.
- Conducted and supervised client internal investigations of numerous harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims, including those based on sex, race, age, nationality, religion, and other protected categories.
- Trained client managers as well as all client employees on best practices for compliance with Title VII, including drafting new policies and implementing ongoing training.
- Negotiated and drafted numerous executive employment agreements, executive compensation plans, and executive severance agreements for companies involved in various industries including energy, manufacturing, retail, banking, oilfield services, healthcare, insurance, accounting, real estate, and software development.
- Reviewed, analyzed, and summarized pertinent aspects of thousands of employment and labor agreements as part of due diligence for acquisitions of companies.
- Counseled and assisted clients in compliance with overlapping duties under FMLA, ADA, GINA and workers compensation.
- Counseled clients regarding responding to numerous types of job accommodation requests under the ADA and appropriate training and policies regarding accommodations.
- Advised corporate executives, human resources and legal personnel on compliance strategy for various employment matters, including discipline and termination, overtime classification and pay issues, and whistleblower investigations.
- Advised companies on the labor and employment aspects of acquisitions and mergers, including layoff and retention programs and compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
- Advised national employers regarding multi-state non-competition agreements.
- Prepared and reviewed employee handbooks and corporate policies for legal compliance and implementation of best practices.
- Provided management training designed to prevent employment litigation and other employment disputes.
- Advised corporate executives on compliance and practical advice for various employment matters, including substance abuse, corporate governance/Sarbanes Oxley, safety and health, overtime pay, and disciplinary actions involving key employees.
- Advised companies on employment-related aspects of acquisitions and mergers, along with due diligence investigations in support of such activities.
- Provided strategic planning for employers concerning relocation of facilities.
- Advised foreign national corporations operating within the United States concerning compliance with applicable employment laws and general good employment practices.
- Advised companies on the implementation and maintenance of company-wide arbitration programs.