Labor and Employment Law

Employers and management in both the private and public sectors are challenged by the constantly evolving complexities of Labor and Employment Law.  Our Labor and Employment Law attorneys are both seasoned counselors and trial attorneys. We provide clients with up-to-date guidance concerning labor and employment issues. Our focus is on providing prompt, creative, efficient and responsive legal guidance to our clients tailored to the specific issues that keep our clients up at night. 

Labor and Employment is multidisciplinary and cuts across several practice areas and includes the collective knowledge and experience of our litigators, administrative and regulatory lawyers, as well as municipal, appellate and ethics attorneys. All work as a team to provide high-end legal representation. 

Employment Litigation and Arbitration 

As the laws prohibiting workplace discrimination, retaliation and harassment expand, our attorneys defend employers against these claims brought under various federal, state and local laws, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
  • The Family Medical Leave Act;
  • The Equal Pay Act;
  • The Florida Civil Rights Act; and
  • The Florida Whistleblower’s Act.

We are, at heart, litigators as well as employment law counselors. We know how to win cases and how to reach favorable settlements.  Our goal is to put each client in the best leveraged position at every phase of litigation to make the best decision whether to settle or to try the case. 

We defend lawsuits in Federal and State courts across Florida, including class actions and multi-plaintiff cases.  Our Group also regularly defends employers against discrimination charges brought before various state and local agencies, including the:

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and
  • The Florida Commission on Human Relations.

We also regularly handle arbitrations and civil service board and other administrative hearings for our public sector clients.  We are results-oriented and have a track record of success in all forms of employment litigation.

Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining

Our experience is primarily “owner/management” oriented. Very few firms can match the breadth of our experience and success.  We regularly represent both union and non-union employers in traditional labor law matters. 

For clients whose employees are represented by a union, we focus on preserving management’s right to manage its operations.  Our attorneys serve as chief negotiators on behalf of management in collective bargaining or we advise the employer’s chief negotiator on bargaining strategy and specific issues behind the scenes. This includes working with staff to help establish wage and benefit levels, developing proposals and making suggested changes to collective bargaining agreements. 

We also conduct post-negotiation training of supervisory personnel to assist in ensuring that collectively bargained changes are properly implemented.  During the term of an existing contract, we counsel management on the administration of their contracts, including progressive discipline and grievance processing, and provide representation during arbitrations concerning contractual and disciplinary disputes.  We have a deep understanding of the inner workings of Federal and State law governing the collective bargaining process, and we work hard to ensure our clients do not run afoul of those laws.  We also routinely represent our clients in administrative proceedings involving labor disputes before PERC and the NLRB.

For clients whose employees are not represented by a union and who desire to remain union-free, we provide guidance and counseling to management to ensure positive employee relations to preserve the non-union status.

Counseling and Preventative Services

We are also counselors providing valuable guidance to our clients to prevent claims from arising. We regularly:

  • Draft employee handbooks, manuals, policies and procedures governing a wide array of workplace issues;
  • Conduct training seminars to ensure employees understand policies and procedures and can protect their employers from employment claims;
  • Advise on hiring, discipline and termination, harassment and discrimination complaints, employee compensation and benefit issues and compliance with Federal, State and local laws;
  • Conduct internal investigations concerning claims of discrimination, harassment and/or policy violations in a professional, discreet manner;
  • Advise our clients on employee drug testing and have been highly engaged in working with clients on how to address the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida; and
  • Assist employers with complicated issues when employees request leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other accommodations as a result of their own or immediate family member’s health issues.

Wage and Hour Law

Wage and Hour Law compliance can be vexing to even the most sophisticated clients.  We have drilled down on this complex area and have had considerable success in ensuring client compliance and defending these matters.  We have years of experience advising our clients regarding compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  We also regularly defend our clients in single plaintiff and class action litigation arising from alleged FLSA violations. While we vigorously defend our clients in these cases, we take a pragmatic approach that focuses on our client’s bottom line.

Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secrets

The interconnectedness of the global economy is especially acute in the area of employee restrictive covenants and confidentiality/trade secret agreements. Our Group is at the forefront of the substantive requirements of such provisions and how to both draft them and ultimately defend them in courts of law. 

We have drafted hundreds of non-compete and confidentiality agreements that comply with Federal, State and local law and that will ultimately be upheld should they be challenged.  We also assist our clients in developing strategies to prevent employees from misappropriating trade secrets and other valuable, proprietary information.  Where disputes arise, we regularly represent our clients in litigation to enforce or defeat these agreements, including the “trial within a trial” setting of injunction hearings.

Unemployment Compensation

We counsel employers on unemployment compensation with an eye toward providing cost-effective, quality representation. We provide human resources personnel with advice concerning everything from garden-variety issues to obscure matters unique to their organizations, and then advise them on how to contest claims for benefits. We also represent clients in appeal hearings or simply provide behind the scenes advice to management in preparation for hearings.  Because these hearings often are a precursor to employment litigation on other grounds, we ensure all critical substantive and procedural defenses and evidentiary issues are preserved.

Accessibility and Accommodations (ADA)

The combination of nettlesome regulations and laws, coupled with opportunistic plaintiff’s counsel, have made compliance with accessibility laws and regulations increasingly difficult.  Consequently, painstaking  planning and collaboration with experienced counsel is vital.  Our attorneys regularly counsel clients on all aspects of disability-related employment and accessibility requirements under Federal, state and local law.  This includes the integration and application of the ADA.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)

We have participated in the full range of audits conducted by agencies of both Federal and State governments, including the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  We represent management interests when citations are issued in proceedings before OSHA, including information conferences, formal evidentiary hearings and judicial appeals.