Employment Law & Litigation
Today’s workplace is rapidly and continually changing. Employers face a bewildering array of employment statutes, governmental regulations, and court interpretations. It has never been more important for employers to receive specialized advice both before and throughout the employment litigation process.
We are employment litigation specialists. We defend management clients against the full spectrum of employment-related claims: wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, non-compete, trade secret, employee benefits, and workplace tort claims. We regularly represent employers in state and federal courts, as well as proceedings before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and equivalent state agencies.
We are experienced and aggressive trial lawyers. Unlike many of today’s “litigators,” we regularly conduct trials before juries, judges, and arbitrators. We do so proactively, strategically, and with grit. Our attorneys include members of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. We have handled many significant employment and labor cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the appellate courts of other states.
We are rightsized, highly focused, and efficient. Our firm draws on its attorneys’ individual talents and wide-ranging experiences in the employment and labor field to deliver large-firm effectiveness at small-firm cost. In addition to competitive hourly rates, our firm derives other efficiencies – which are passed on to our clients – from our specialized boutique practice.
Traditional Labor Matters
Union issues are an ever-present concern for employers, large and small, whether or not their employees are already unionized. While recent state laws have given workers greater freedom to abstain from union membership, and the percentage of unionized workers has continued to decline, the possibility of unionization and unions themselves continue to exert power in the workplace. We counsel our management clients on issues of union organization, collective bargaining, and contract administration. And we regularly represent them in labor arbitration proceedings covering a broad range of disputes.
Our attorneys have many years of experience in all types of National Labor Relations Board matters, including representation elections, unfair labor practice proceedings, strikes, picketing, secondary boycotts, unit clarification proceedings, and decertification and deauthorization elections.
Preventive Employment Counseling
Helping our clients avoid litigation, and advising them on the mandates of state and federal law, is a key part of our practice. We counsel employers on compliance with equal employment opportunity laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), as well as comparable state statutes. We also advise our clients on other employee protection laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Executive Order 11246 (administered by the OFCCP), and various wage and fringe benefit statutes.
Properly crafted employment policies and related documents can help employers avoid needless misunderstandings and possible litigation with their employees. We prepare and update personnel policies, employee handbooks, employment contracts, trade secret agreements, and covenants not to compete. The firm’s preventive approach includes training supervisors in such areas as affirmative action, union issues, sexual harassment, disability-related concerns, substance abuse, and family or medical leave.
We also advise clients on effectively handling work force reductions, employee discipline and terminations, retaliation suits, and, increasingly, whistleblower claims. These kinds of business-altering events, difficult in themselves, can give rise to added complications, such as defamation suits against the employer, if not properly handled.
In addition, our firm conducts investigations into sensitive workplace problems, such as allegations of sexual or racial harassment, employee fraud, or defamation issues. Our firm is uniquely qualified to advise and assist management in these difficult areas. We will also anticipate and address the complex employee privacy issues involved in workplace investigations.