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Labor & Employment

Our employment attorneys regularly assist businesses and individuals as they navigate the complex web of state and federal laws and regulations that govern the relationship between employers and employees. Often using an interdisciplinary approach involving both business attorneys and litigators, we work with our clients to draft policies and agreements that manage risk and help our clients achieve their goals. Our employment practice includes the representation of both employers and employees, and covers a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters.

General Counsel and Risk Management

General corporate counseling often involves advising our clients regarding a wide variety of labor and employment matters, as well as helping our clients assess and manage risks associated with employment matters. A major portion of our employment practice involves advising our clients to ensure that the decisions they make with respect to their employees are in compliance with the various employment statutes that may apply to their particular business. Our clients consult with our employment attorneys about nearly everything from wage and hour issues, benefits, as well as COBRA and HIPAA compliance. We also assist our clients in planning for, documenting, and making important hiring, discipline or discharge decisions. Consultation with an employment attorney in advance of such a decision may avoid unnecessary litigation and help ensure that such decisions are in compliance with discrimination statutes and other fair employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA"), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the "ADEA"), and the New York State Human Rights Law, as well as other fair employment statutes, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA").

Workplace Policies & Agreements, Non-Compete Agreements

One of the easiest ways to minimize the risks associated with having employees, while ensuring compliance with myriad employment regulations governing the employer/employee relationship is to have well-drafted policies, handbooks and agreements in place for your business or organization. Unfortunately, many employers learn this the hard way. We regularly draft employee handbooks, as well as general employment and independent contractor agreements, severance agreements, non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements and confidentiality agreements to protect trade secrets and other proprietary information for our clients. Our employment attorneys can assist you in drafting the clear, enforceable policies and agreements that you may need to protect your business assets and to minimize the risk of your organization being involved in litigation with a present or former employee, and if litigation does occur, having such a policy or agreement may enhance your odds of prevailing.

We also understand how important it is for employers to attract and maintain skilled key employees while providing incentives for those employees to further the interests of the business. Our attorneys can design and implement tax-effective executive compensation and long-term incentive arrangements and plans, including stock options, restricted stock, severance arrangements, deferred compensation, bonus plans, performance-based compensation and fringe benefits.

Defense of Labor & Employment Claims in State & Federal Courts & Agencies

We represent employers in state and federal court and before various state and federal agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC"), the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York State Department of Labor. Our team has successfully defended a number of claims involving wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and hostile environment under state and federal fair employment laws, the Family and Medical Leave Act (the "FMLA"), and other employment laws. We have also defended clients facing disciplinary action under Section 75 of the New York Civil Service Law (Section 75 Hearings), and we have prosecuted and defended claims involving trade secrets, confidential information, and restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses.

Individual Representation

Although we generally represent employers in defense of labor and employment claims, we also represent individuals in certain matters. We regularly consult with and advise individuals in connection with their negotiation of general employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, and severance agreements. We also advise and counsel individuals concerning non-compete agreements and other employment matters.