Acronyms abound in the world of federal workplace regulation. Our attorneys advise clients on all of them.
We help employers draft proactive policies and implement sound practices in connection with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and various state and local leave laws. To help ensure compliance, we provide training programs for supervisors, human resources professionals, and in-house counsel.
Wage and Hour Laws
Our lawyers are highly experienced with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as individual state laws, which often impose stricter requirements. Issues we advise on include the exempt or nonexempt (or independent contractor) classification, child labor regulations, recordkeeping requirements, payroll practices, bonuses and lump sum payments, and nontraditional compensation systems. We represent clients in wage and hour audits and defend them against administrative complaints filed by employees or brought by the U.S. Department of Labor or state agencies. We also defend single plaintiff wage and hour litigation, FLSA collective actions, and class actions brought under state wage and hour laws.
We advise on preventive measures and compliance to minimize the risk of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations, and ways to prepare for and respond to an OSHA inspection. If an OSHA citation is issued, we represent the client in contests, settlement proceedings, administrative hearings, and court challenges to citations and penalties. In cases where a fatality is involved, we consult on media relations, employee counseling, and any government recommendation that the matter be criminally prosecuted.
OFCCP/Affirmative Action Plans
Our attorneys provide Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audit support and development of Executive Order, Veterans, and Disabled Affirmative Action plans. We advise clients to take a thorough approach to developing affirmative action plans, which results in robust applicant and personnel tracking systems, action-oriented programs, personnel practice reviews, and adverse impact analyses.
Audits and Internal Investigations
Workplace claims of harassment and discrimination, breach of confidentiality, financial loss, workplace injury, and loss of trade secrets are a few situations that can trigger an investigation, either internally or by an outside entity. We help clients prepare for, initiate, and complete internal investigations or, at their request, conduct the investigation ourselves. To identify policies and practices that create or increase exposure, we conduct legal vulnerability reviews and recommend appropriate action.
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.