THE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE
...our clients look to our experience to ensure HR compliance on an ongoing basis...if litigation arises, we aggressively defend unjustified claims while exploring all options to minimize litigaation costs to the client...
L&K collaborates with its clients to provide preventative advice before problems arise. Because L&K regularly litigates employment cases, we know what to look for when reviewing and auditing client employment practices and preparing new employment policies. In the event of litigation, we rapidly formulate the best course of action to minimize litigation costs while protecting our clients’ reputations.
L&K works with our clients to keep them apprised of the complex and developing laws within the employment arena and to be proactive, steering clients away from lawsuits before they happen. We are believers in “preventative medicine” when it comes to employee relations, alerting our employer clients to potential problems and taking steps early to reduce the possibility of expensive disputes and litigation. We have developed long term relationships with many of our clients through our counseling approach, helping our clients achieve their business goals by advising on best practices that minimize the risk of employment claims. Our services include day-to-day client questions, analyzing the exempt or non-exempt status of particular positions, conducting internal wage and hour audits, drafting communications to employees, strategizing to ensure legal compliance with all relevant employment laws. It is our goal to make our clients’ business our business, so we can anticipate their needs in this complex area.
We negotiate and draft employment related agreements and plans, including executive employment contracts, retention agreements, noncompetition and other restrictive covenants, arbitration agreements, and bonus and severance plans. We also assist clients to develop job descriptions to ensure compliance with applicable wage and hour laws. We regularly consult with our clients regarding their complete workforce needs from upper management to rank and file employees, and when advantageous, independent contractors or temporary employees.
Every business needs policies and rules to manage their business. The absence of a formal handbook or policy manual or a poorly drafted one, puts a business at a disadvantage in a lawsuit. L&K helps streamline the process of implementing policies and procedures by drafting understandable, legally compliant, employment policies and updating policies to reflect changes in employment laws.
WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS, EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE AND TERMINATIONS
L&K works hand-in-hand with our clients’ management personnel to oversee and participate in workplace investigations, including any claims of wrongdoing, harassment, discrimination, wage and hour issues, and any other breach of company policies or procedures. Our investigations are handled professionally and discreetly to ensure confidentiality. When wrongdoings are discovered, we quickly craft suitable disciplinary recommendations, up to and including termination. We recommend that our clients involve us in all termination decisions, including routine terminations of “at-will” employees. Based on our in-depth experience and practice, when appropriate we suggest a legal separation or severance agreement which avoids the potential of expensive future litigation.
REDUCTIONS IN FORCE
L&K’s employment attorneys routinely advise clients in merger and acquisition transactions and other corporate actions that may result in corporate downsizing, each of which raise specific labor issues and which may require compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) and its state counterpart. We also work closely with clients to identify potential labor-based claims and develop pro-active plans to mitigate or manage these risks through effective use of indemnification agreements, employment contracts for key personnel, and separation or severance agreements.
REPRESENTATION IN ADMINISTRATIVE AND ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS
L&K guides its clients through administrative proceedings ranging from harassment and discrimination, to wage and hour claims. We represent our clients before both federal and state administrative regulatory agencies, including, but not limited to, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Our experience and reputation with these agencies allows our clients to obtain fair treatment and better results.
L&K successfully litigates high stakes class action and individual employee disputes through jury verdict and appeal. We handle all aspects of employment litigation, including claims of discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, wage and hour violations, and entitlement to employee benefits, misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets, unfair competition, defamation, and other employment-related torts. We have also developed a niche practice dealing with partnership disputes that often involve claims of misappropriation of assets by officers, directors and other managerial personnel.