Our Labor & Employment attorneys exclusively represent employers in a broad range of industries. We have worked with employers of all sizes, from domestic employers and family offices to early-stage startup ventures, to well-established multi-state and transnational employers. The breadth of our experience allows us to develop creative and often unconventional strategies and solutions.
We take a proactive “hands-on” approach with our clients. To that end, we learn everything we can about their workplaces, including through regular consultations, workplace visits, and developing deep and strong relationships with their existing legal and human resources teams. We then apply that knowledge to minimize their risk of employment lawsuits and governmental investigations, and to ensure that, in the event of a legal claim, they are in the strongest possible position to defend themselves.
The A.Y. Strauss Labor & Employment Practice Group comprises seven sub-practice areas.
Applying standard litigation tactics to an employment lawsuit can be disastrous. What is often necessary in employment litigation is an aggressive approach, but also one that is highly strategic and nuanced. This requires counsel who are not only familiar with litigation, but also with the underlying substantive employment law. Because of our extensive experience in this area, we are uniquely well-suited to pursue our clients’ objectives in litigation and to make strategic judgments at the outset of a case that may ultimately result in significant cost and time savings.
Workplace laws and regulations affect virtually every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. Maintaining legal compliance in this highly regulated environment presents a variety of challenges for employers. These laws and regulations can be burdensome and complex, and the penalties for noncompliance can be severe. Although this area of law is constantly changing, employers who choose to be proactive can, through compliance, dramatically reduce their risk of lawsuits and government investigations. We work closely with our clients to develop compliance programs tailored to their particular industries and to the specific needs of their organizations.
How an employer responds to a government agency’s investigation can be critical in determining the outcome. Making the wrong tactical and strategic decisions at the outset can prolong an investigation, expand its scope, lead to otherwise-preventable litigation, and result in significant operational disruption and costs in terms of time, money, and opportunity. It may also increase the risk of private litigation by current and former employees. There may also be negative repercussions in terms of public relations.
We work with employers to evaluate the allegations that trigger a government investigation to narrow the scope of the investigation, minimize the cost and disruption to the employer’s operations, and conclude the inquiry as rapidly as possible. We also make recommendations about how an employer can revise its policies and procedures to reduce the risk of a similar investigation in the future.
The importance of internal workplace investigations cannot be overstated. In some jurisdictions, they are required by law. However, even where that is not the case, they are a best practice and a potentially powerful tool for employers. We conduct internal investigations on behalf of employers to help them prevent legal claims from being filed, and to limit their liability if a claim is made. Internal investigations can also help employers protect their trade secrets and other confidential business information from employee theft, prevent the diversion of client relationships and business opportunities to competitors, and allow companies to determine whether they have hidden employment liabilities before a lawsuit is filed.
The value of workplace agreements goes far beyond outlining the terms and conditions of employment. Well-drafted contracts can be used to protect trade secrets, confidential information, and client relationships. They can prevent solicitation of employees and customers and prohibit unfair competition. They can also be used to enhance an employer’s capabilities and capacity to serve its clients and customers. In some circumstances, they can even prevent employees from suing in court. We work with employers to use workplace agreements strategically to proactively reduce their legal exposure and advance their business objectives.
Employment counseling is about crisis prevention and crisis management. Specifically, employers need counseling when they suspect that legal action is imminent or that an employee’s internal complaint, request, or developing workplace dispute may trigger a legal claim. In light of our extensive experience in this area of the law, however complex an employment matter may seem, chances are that we have likely guided employers in a similar situation. The breadth and depth of our practical experience gives us the judgment necessary to effectively advise our clients in even the most challenging situations.
Transactional Due Diligence
Before any merger or acquisition, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the target company’s employment liabilities. These are often hidden, sometimes even from management. However, without that information, what appears to be a profitable deal could, in fact, be the purchase of a lawsuit or, worse yet, an employment class action. We work with decision-makers to analyze whether the companies they seek to acquire have exposure to employment claims; determine the nature, scope, and risk of those claims; and evaluate their impact on the value of the deal.