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Employer Advice

Practices

The secret to a well-run workplace is setting expectations and consistently managing failures to follow them. Our proactive approach to helping clients deal with everyday workplace issues starts with helping them develop handbook and other policies, thus giving credence to the adage to not be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Day-to-Day Advice

Beyond policy drafting, if you have questions about what documents you’re required to maintain, who you have to hire, when you can discipline or fire a problem employee, when you can run a background check without a consent, or anything else that impacts the day-to-day aspects of the employment relationship, you will be promptly and practically guided through the maze of employment laws. Involving our lawyers in the management process early will result in a more deliberate approach to hiring, firing, and promotion. You will gain confidence dealing with unique personnel problems and anticipating possible outcomes, navigating the labyrinth of leave laws, properly documenting performance or other problems, and generally getting ahead of a personnel issue before it escalates.

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Avoiding claims of discrimination and harassment claims at work is not only smart business, it is also legally mandated. When workplace dynamics cross boundaries of propriety, we help management handle delicate workplace situations, investigate complaints, and avoid these problems in the first place. We guide employers on the appropriate next steps to avoid future litigation. Whether the problems are resolved through customized employee or management training, discipline, or, ultimately, termination, our experienced lawyers will assist you in proactively limiting inappropriate workplace behavior before it becomes a costly and distracting legal problem.

Disability and Leave Issues

State and federal laws governing disability discrimination and employee leaves often seem to run counter to one another. We will help you navigate the various obligations that employers and employees face when a medical or other type of leave is needed. Whether your challenges arise under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), military-leave laws, the state’s workers’ compensation laws, or policies voluntarily created by your company to provide for or even subsidize time off, our attorneys will consider how these programs intersect and how you can comply with them.

Employment Agreements

Crafting agreements that address key terms and conditions of employment, stock options, golden parachutes or other negotiated terms comes down to knowledge of the laws and a careful eye for details. Our experienced lawyers will assist you in documenting your objectives and expectations by helping you prepare:

  • Non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements
  • Independent Contractor agreements
  • Employment agreements
  • Executive compensation agreements
  • Consulting Agreements
  • And more

Drug-Free Workplace Issues

When can I test an applicant, or employee that I suspect of being impaired? Can I terminate an employee who failed a drug test? Handling these sensitive matters in a compliant way requires a solid knowledge of the applicable laws and the ability to help employers develop policies that can be practically implemented. Whether your company elects to have a drug-free policy or is required to do so in order to obtain public contracts, your ability to insure a safe working environment is critical to your business and to the well-being of your employees. Business owners, CEOs, HR managers, and safety directors all know the value of a safe workplace, but ensuring this in practice requires all-hands participation. Our team will assist you with developing drug-free workplace policies, dealing with violations of it, and thinking about how that may impact workers’ compensation claims.

Labor Law

Your goal may be to remain union-free, or simply to have the best possible relationship with an existing union. Whether this involves educating your management team about permissible and impermissible conduct relative to applicable labor laws, our team will be on hand to help you deal with:

  • Discipline and discharge
  • Organizing campaigns and union avoidance
  • Union elections
  • Collective bargaining
  • Labor negotiations
  • Grievance arbitrations

Wage-Hour Issues

I pay my employees a salary - must I pay overtime? How do I record my employees’ hours worked? How long must I keep payroll records? What do I do if I’m audited? Knowing how states and the federal government handle these questions could mean the difference between being in compliance and being in hot water. Our experienced attorneys will help you properly classify your workforce, determine how compensation should be calculated, and, in the event you are audited, vigorously defend you or help you to negotiate with the government.

Protecting Intellectual Property

You’ve invested heavily in technology, sales training, and customer development. How do you protect your intangible assets from misuse or misappropriation? Using well-crafted agreements, and knowing when to enforce them requires more than just an understanding of the applicable laws. You legal advisor will help you focus on what is important to your business and what the courts will enforce. Armed with this added protection, you will be better able to entrust your company’s trade secrets or other valuable assets to employees or third parties. Consider the need to protect your intangible resources when:

  • Hiring employees or executives
  • Promoting employees or offering stock options
  • Accepting resignations or terminating employees
  • Retaining contractors
  • Providing sensitive company information to a third party
  • Entering into vendor relationships where sensitive data may be shared
  • Developing software or other technology with employees
  • Entering into a joint venture
  • Selling your business
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