Labor and Employment
We help businesses comply with labor and employment laws and resolve disputes with employees. We provide our clients with day-to-day counseling, training for supervisors and staff, and a full range of litigation services. Our goal is to give each and every client practical advice, creative solutions and effective representation to accomplish the client's objectives with regard to their most valuable resources—their people. We are proud to have been designated a "Go To" Firm in the area of employment law in Corporate Counsel magazine's 2006 issue, "Who Represents America's Biggest Companies?"
Chair: Laurence A. Shapero
We provide the following labor and employment services:
Our day-to-day rapid response counseling services cover all facets of employment law, including advice on such key subjects as personnel policies and employee handbooks; executive employment agreements; nondisclosure agreements (including non-competes); consulting and independent contractor agreements; compensation and wage and hour compliance; employee performance reviews, disciplinary action and terminations; federal, state and local Equal Employment Opportunity laws; leaves of absence; prevailing wages; drug and alcohol testing; employee privacy rights; occupational safety and health; maintaining non-union status; negotiation and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements and a full range of employee benefits programs in conjunction with our Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits practice group.
We offer counseling in the field of labor relations to companies first confronted with union organization efforts as well as those with established union bargaining relationships. We assist management in understanding the rules and regulations applicable to union organizing campaigns and in effectively communicating management’s position on campaign issues. We also assist in negotiating collective bargaining agreements and resolving labor disputes through the grievance and arbitration process.
We regularly conduct training for management and non-management groups and have developed materials on a variety of subjects, including: Top 15 Management Mistakes That Lead to Litigation, "Hiring to Firing": Basic Supervisor/Management Training, Workplace Harassment, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Disciplinary Action and Terminations, and How to Prepare for and Give Performance Reviews.
Wage/Hour and Policy/Procedure Audits
We offer full audits for our clients on compliance with wage and hour laws, including a review of exempt/nonexempt status, pay practices, overtime and on call time. We also offer our audit services to review your handbooks, manuals and policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable laws.
Protecting Trade Secrets
We have extensive experience in helping employers protect trade secrets and other valuable proprietary information through effective and enforceable agreements, policies, education and risk management programs and exit procedures for departing employees. We move swiftly to secure injunctive relief and provide skillful advocacy where such action is necessary to stop misuse of proprietary information and unfair competition.
Timely and Consistent Legal Updates
In addition to advising clients on specific issues, an important service we provide is serving as "watchdog" for key legislative and case law developments at all levels. We keep our clients advised of current developments in labor and employment law in a variety of ways:
Breakfast Briefings. We hold regular Breakfast Briefing seminars throughout the year, in which we provide clients with updates on developments in labor and employment law, focus on certain topics, and answer clients' questions about the practical application of employment and labor laws.
E-Mail News Alert Updates. We provide prompt news alert updates by email on developments in labor and employment case law and legislation. Before you read about a new development in the newspaper, you’ll often read about it from us.
Representation in Litigation. Our attorneys are experienced in defending employers in administrative proceedings, jury and non-jury trials of class and individual claims, and appellate matters in federal and state courts. We are also committed to the use of alternative dispute resolution methods. We are often called upon to represent clients in mediation and arbitration before retired judges, lawyers, and other neutral third-parties and regularly serve as arbitrators and mediators ourselves.
Representative examples of our work include:
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of major state university on military discrimination and retaliation claims
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of prominent regional health insurance provider on wrongful discharge/public policy claims
- Advised national manufacturing company regarding union organizing campaign, resulting in landslide defeat of union organizing drive
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing race and national origin discrimination claims against premium cruise line
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing federal sex discrimination claims in favor of large telecommunications corporation
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of major technology company in non-compete dispute
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing prevailing wage claims on behalf of major energy company
- Defended an international airline against class claims of age discrimination in hiring pilots, including statistical adverse impact claims
- Obtained judgment in favor of international pulp and paper company, following trial in federal district court, of race and national origin discrimination claims
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of international environmental consulting firm sued for sexual harassment
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing disability and race discrimination claims brought against regional nonprofit corporation
- Obtained dismissal of sex and disability discrimination claims against national restaurant company
Our employer clients include Premera Blue Cross, RealNetworks, T-Mobile, Microsoft, University of Washington, Mikron Industries, Nippon Paper Industries USA Co., Ltd., Quanta Energy Services, Holland America Line, Idaho Power Co. and Allstate Insurance.