Labor and Employment Law
Smith & Downey offers comprehensive representation in all aspects of labor and employment law, from “hire to fire.”
Counseling, Advice and Training
The Firm provides counseling, advice and training to employers regarding proactive measures for avoiding liability under the host of laws and regulations impacting the workplace. Smith & Downey assists clients in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Executive Order 11246, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and all other federal, state and local laws impacting employment relationships. To further assist its clients in understanding the complex laws governing the workplace, the Firm periodically offers free seminars addressing important developments in labor and employment law.
Smith & Downey has extensive experience in the drafting of workplace-related documents, including employment applications, offer letters, employment contracts, employee handbooks, restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements, trade secret agreements, drug testing policies, performance review guidelines, harassment policies, social media policies, severance agreements and affirmative action plans.
Employee Performance Issues
The Firm provides guidance with respect to employee discipline issues, accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), leave of absence issues, harassment complaints (including claims of sexual harassment) and termination issues.
Wage and Hour Issues
Smith & Downey has considerable experience providing guidance with respect to wage and hour issues, including the complexities of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The Firm assists its clients in complying with minimum wage and overtime laws, and provides audits and analysis with respect to exempt classifications under the FLSA.
Smith & Downey provides representation in all aspects of management/union relations, including union avoidance, collective bargaining, administration of collective bargaining agreements and labor arbitration.
Employment and Employee Benefits Litigation
Smith & Downey has an extensive litigation practice, and routinely represents employers, plans, plan administrators and other service providers in claims arising before governmental agencies, arbitration tribunals, and federal and state courts.
The Firm represents clients in resolving conflicts raised before various governmental agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); the Department of Labor (“DOL”) (including claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Service Contract Act (“SCA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and ERISA); the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”)(including claims under Executive Order 11246); the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”)(including unfair labor practices, petitions for union representation and other matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”)); and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”).
Employment Discrimination Claims
Smith & Downey routinely represents employers in matters involving employment discrimination, including claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), and various state and local anti-discrimination laws. The Firm assists employers in drafting position statements and responding to requests for information from the EEOC and state and local counterparts. If a claim proceeds to litigation, the Firm offers experienced representation in both federal and state courts.
General Employment Litigation
The Firm routinely defends employers who have been sued for wrongful discharge; wage and hour claims, including alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and corresponding state and local laws; claims under Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”); claims involving trade secrets and restrictive covenants (including claims under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act); claims for breach of contract; claims for defamation and other workplace torts; and other employment-related lawsuits.
Employee Benefits Litigation
Smith & Downey is able to use its considerable employee benefits experience to provide highly sophisticated representation of employers, plans, plan administrators, third party administrators and other service providers in claims arising under ERISA, including claims involving benefit disputes, withdrawal liability from multiemployer benefit plans, breach of fiduciary duties claims, and other benefit-related matters.
The Firm has handled numerous claims before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), and provides skilled representation for employers whose matters have been designated for resolution through arbitration.
Smith & Downey assists employers with all aspects of hiring, transferring, and retaining foreign national employees in the United States. The Firm counsels employers on both short-term (such as H-1B specialty occupation visas) and long-term (such as permanent residence) immigration options for their employees. Smith & Downey also assists clients with issues surrounding I-9 compliance and E-Verify.