The success of a business often depends on its employees, but employees can also pose significant legal risks. Many state, federal, and local laws are heavily weighted in favor of employees. As such, employers with the best of intentions may face unexpected legal challenges that can jeopardize their entire business.
At Pruvent, we work with our clients to anticipate potential risks and to reduce their exposure well before any problems arise. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” model. Instead, we endeavor to understand our client’s businesses so that we can develop strategies and implement policies that reduce exposure and ensure compliance with law, while also respecting our client’s goals. As a result, our clients are better prepared when the risk of a lawsuit, an investigation, or myriad other issues – become a reality.
Our analysis extends beyond traditional employment law issues. When counseling our clients or representing them in an investigation, we integrate other significant legal considerations, including, without limitation, those laws affecting benefits, corporate structure, employee stock options, tax consequences, restructuring, bankruptcy, workout alternatives, and protection of trade secrets and other intellectual property. We also consider the risks that labor law can pose to our clients. Far too many employers incorrectly believe they are immune to labor law issues because they are not part of a union.
We bring a diverse array of skills to our Employment and Labor practice and, as such, we look at a wide variety of issues when analyzing risk and, if necessary, preparing for litigation. The following list includes a small sample of some of the services we provide for employment and labor related matters:
- Analyzing the effect of mergers & acquisitions on the employment relationship, existing policies, and any employment contracts, including collective bargaining agreements.
- Creating effective employee handbooks, manuals, policies and procedures that reduce our client’s exposure and improve their odds in a lawsuit.
- Developing effective non-solicitation and non-compete agreements and, when necessary, enforcing those agreements with court orders.
- Counseling clients regarding crucial, but frequently missed, employment laws, such as those related to mandatory postings, accommodations for breast-feeding, drug testing, and management of personnel files.
- Establishing procedures for effectively handling employee complaints that reduce the risk of hostile workplace or retaliation claims.
- Implementing policies to ensure compliance with state, federal, and local wage and hour laws, including local variances in minimum wage.
- Counseling clients on best practices to process employee requests for leave or other accommodations consistent with the ADA, FMLS, and local laws providing for sick leave.
- Analyzing independent contract relationships to reduce the many risks related to misclassification of employees.
- Counseling clients on the essential aspects of labor law that apply to all employers regardless of whether they area a “union shop.”
- Restructuring businesses in a way that advances the client’s goals while reducing litigation risks.
- Minimizing tax exposure related to the work force, while ensuring compliance with applicable law.
- Developing compensation and benefit plan(s) that comply with ERISA and other law.
- Understanding the human rights laws that apply to your employees and implementing policies to ensure compliance.
- Reviewing preferred business status, i.e. minority, veteran or women-owned, to maximize the benefit of state and other government programs, while avoiding the consequences of non-compliance.
- Reviewing applicable OSHA/MSHA rules and implementing safety training and procedures to reduce the risk of a claim.
- Responding to claims for unemployment benefits.
- Creating enforceable social media policies that protect an employer’s interests, while complying with ever-changing labor law.
- Developing policies that protect confidential business data while respecting workplace privacy and data security.
- Planning for eDiscovery and evidence preservation in the event of a lawsuit.
- . . . and of course, litigation (that is so common in this area of law).