LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEYS

Labor & Employment Attorneys

Employment disputes can disrupt productivity, corporate growth and, in the worst cases, employee morale. That’s why our labor and employment attorneys work closely with management to craft proactive plans that prevent and discourage disruption in the workplace and improve employee relations, allowing you and your company to remain focused on its primary goal: driving the business forward.

We advise businesses in all aspects of labor and employment law, from compliance with federal and state statutes to employee benefits, retirement plans, executive compensation and employment agreements. We represent employers—large and small—to deliver personnel advice, provide counseling, train senior leaders and employees and implement labor relations strategies that maintain a union-free workplace.

When litigation is the best strategy or you need a strong defense,  our labor and employment litigators leverage their courtroom experience, knowledge of the law and successful track record to design an aggressive courtroom strategy. Our litigators have experience in federal and state courtrooms throughout the country, partnering with business leaders to craft a strategy that is realistic and solution-driven.

Areas of Concentration

Practice Area Overview
Labor and Employment Litigation

As state and federal regulation of the workplace proliferates, the number of employment-related disputes and claims also increases, making employment litigation almost inevitable for employers today. In addition, employees are often the fulcrum of business-to-business disputes related to the theft of clients, employees and trade secrets. Employers in a competitive marketplace may litigate to protect themselves either by asserting or defending claims regarding restrictive covenants, nonsolicitation provisions, trade secrets or other unfair competition claims. We work closely with our clients to maximize advantages, manage cases effectively and implement the most effective method for accomplishing the employer’s goals. Working closely with you in litigation enables us to  pursue strategies to advance your interests while also effectively managing the costs of litigation. We have an exemplary record of accomplishment and successful defense of clients in a wide variety of labor and employment matters. We regularly represent clients in federal and state courts and federal administrative agencies nationwide. While we have deep experience in the Washington, DC, metro area, we also have fought for our clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. Our experience includes cases brought under the following:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Title VII claims of discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin, including harassment claims
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and wage and hour laws
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Employee Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA)
  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
  • Service Contract Act (SCA)
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

We also aggressively advocate for employers in litigation and administrative claims involving:

  • Restrictive covenants and non-competition agreements
  • Trade Secret Litigation
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Business torts, including conspiracy and tortious interference claims
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Libel, slander and defamation
  • Grievance arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements
  • Conversion of corporate property
  • Wrongful discharge actions
  • Defense against claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Employment law claims against government contractors

Our experience in labor and employment mediation, arbitration and administrative litigation includes matters before the following:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and local Human Rights Commissions (deferral agencies)
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
  • Maryland Division of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  • District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
  • District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES)
  • Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs
  • Arlington County Human Rights Commission
  • Alexandria Office of Human Rights
  • Virginia Employment Commission

Contact us to learn more:

 

Labor Relations

We have deep experience handling labor relations matters under the National Labor Relations Act, having assisted employers in all stages of the labor relations process, including:

  • Management training in strategies for obtaining or maintaining a union-free environment
  • Development and management of campaigns to defeat union organizing drives, including National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certification elections
  • Development and management of campaigns to decertify unions in NLRB decertification elections
  • Representation of employers with unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB
  • Collective bargaining negotiations and drafting of agreements
  • Representation of employers in grievance and arbitration matters arising under collective bargaining agreements

Contact us to learn more:

Employment Law Counseling, Training and Investigations

We regularly counsel employers and senior executives on handling difficult employment actions and personnel policies at each phase of the employment relationship, from recruiting, interviewing and hiring to reorganizations and termination. By teaming with our clients’ human resources and operations executives, we suggest strategies for risk management and enhanced worker productivity.

Our attorneys routinely advise and train managers and supervisors in the following:

  • Reorganizing and preventing sexual and other harrassment
  • Performance management and counseling
  • Collective bargaining and grievance adjustment
  • Maintaining a union-free workplace
  • Addressing substance abuse in the workplace
  • Ethical conduct in daily employment actions including procurement practices
  • Overtime compensation methods and proper classification of exempt employees
  • Documenting employment actions
  • Interviews and employment applications
  • Managing and counseling “problem” employees
  • Preventing workplace violence
  • Compliant background checks under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Properly classifying independent contractors
  • Telecommuting
  • Understanding Equal Employment Opportunity laws and avoiding discrimination claims
  • Understanding FMLA leave and accommodations for medical conditions under the ADA

Contact us to learn more:

Employment Agreements

We regularly draft, review and litigate disputes involving agreements arising from the employment relationship, including:

  • Executive Compensation Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Restrictive Covenant Agreements
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Severance Agreements
Employee Benefits, Compensation Strategies and Retirement Plans

We work closely with clients to understand their business goals so that our counsel reflects and considers their corporate direction. We understand the regulations affecting employee benefits, including the tax code, employment laws and prevailing wage laws. This allows us to deliver employee benefits and retirement plans to our clients, including:

  • Qualified deferred compensation plans, including defined benefit, defined contribution and profit sharing, 401(k) plans and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
  • 409A non-qualified deferred compensation plans
  • Phantom stock, stock appreciation rights and stock option plans and agreements
  • Section 403(b) and Section 457 Plans for governmental and not-for-profit organizations
  • Flexible benefit/cafeteria/wrap plans

We have extensive experience in working through the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor qualified plan correction programs for clients with operational or plan document failures. We also defend 401(k) plans, employers and plan administrators in suits brought under ERISA and in pension claims before the U.S. Department of Labor.

Contact us to learn more:

ERISA Litigation

We advise and defend private and publicly held corporations, benefit plans and fiduciaries concerning employee benefits, executive compensation, and related labor and employment issues.  This assistance includes:

  • Defending employers in litigation involving pre-hire agreements and claims for fringe benefits contributions
  • Representing companies in cases involving multiemployer plans and withdrawal liability
  • Handling claims for employee benefits, executive compensation and breaches of fiduciary duty
Policy Development and Compliance Support

Our clients face the challenges of complying with employment laws in many different jurisdictions. We routinely review and prepare handbooks, audit employer workplace policies and participate in corporate due diligence efforts for companies in merger and acquisition mode or those who want to prepare themselves for the next phase of growth. As requested, we perform workplace audits to assist in risk assessment and recommend strategies for corrective actions.

Contact us to learn more:

Representative Matters
  • Won summary judgment for Fortune 100 employer in a case defending claims for racial discrimination and retaliation under Title VII (decision affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit).
  • Obtained immediate injunctive relief against a former employee for breach of a non-competition agreement on behalf of a national company.
  • Successfully defended national employer against Teamster organizing drive, winning NLRB representation election in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a national hospital system in ADA claim for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate (decision affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit).
  • Successfully defended large government contractor against union organizing drive at government facility in Arlington, Virginia, including dismissal union unfair labor practice charges and overruling of objections to NLRB election results.
  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreement for an employer, ending participation in union health and welfare fund.
  • Won summary judgment for employer in race discrimination case arising out of construction project at Washington Nationals baseball stadium and alleging hostile work environment, discrimination and retaliation.
  • Defended restaurant against overtime compensation and other wage-hour claims, including winning denial of motion for notice of collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Won summary judgment in FLSA overtime case in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia based on motor carrier exemption.
  • Successfully defended a construction company in pre-hire agreement issue regarding a claim for fringe benefit contributions under ERISA in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

GET TO KNOW OUR

Labor & Employment Attorneys

Get in Touch

We welcome the opportunity to partner with you on all your legal needs. Our Reston, Virginia, office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You’ll find direct-dial phone numbers for individual attorneys on their profile pages, or click below to fill out a contact form to request an appointment.

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