Workplace Practices and Programs
Effective policies and practices often serve as the best offense and defense to both prevent and defend against employee claims. Our attorneys advise clients on instituting and enforcing policies and procedures and steps to take when employees violate them.
Policies and Procedures
We draft policies and procedures that eliminate ambiguity around employee expectations, limit employer liability from certain claims, and reaffirm an employer's commitment to comply with state, federal, and local laws. These policies cover:
- The employment application process, including criminal background and credit checks
- Attendance, vacation, holidays, and sick leave
- Wage and hour issues
- Leave under various state and federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
- Reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Substance abuse
- Workplace violence
- Permissible use of email and the internet
- Discipline and termination
- Job training and development
- Conflicts of interest
Employers who value and manage diversity can reap great rewards through increased employee productivity, morale, creativity, and loyalty. We conduct diversity reviews and audits, recommend enhancements to current practices, prepare action plans, and provide implementation support. We also advise on Affirmative Action planning.
We regularly conduct on-site training in group and individual settings for every segment of the workforce, from senior management to hourly staff. The sessions are interactive and cover such topics as:
- Navigating FFCRA leave issues
- Anti-harassment prevention and programs
- Discrimination and EEO policies
- ADA and FMLA
- Best practices for discipline and discharge
- Affirmative action plans and implementation
- Workplace investigations
- OSHA and other health and safety compliance
- Pre-Employment practices: interviewing, background checks, hiring
- Union avoidance
- Wage and hour compliance
Wage and Hour Class Action Defense
- We are defending a major telecommunications company sued as a joint employer in several jurisdictions for failing to pay overtime for all hours worked. We represent the company in Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in "opt-in" collective actions under the FLSA and class actions under various state wage and hour laws. We obtained summary judgment in Maryland finding our client is not a joint employer.
- We are defending a large health system being sued by former employees claiming that they were hourly wage earners who did not receive overtime compensation for work performed during meal breaks.
- We are defending the largest franchisee of a national pizza chain in a class action alleging that managers in its California restaurants were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid overtime in violation of California wage and hour laws. The California federal court approved a classwide settlement.