The cases of employees filing employment-related discrimination claims have rapidly increased over the past few years. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicates that employees filed 76,418 discrimination-related charges in 2018 alone. These discriminatory charges are based on characteristics including:
- Marital status
- National Origin
Employers must understand the requirements under discrimination laws at the federal, state, and local levels. From pre-employment and throughout the employment process, employers must follow the non-discrimination provisions of the law. Here are some aspects of business that employers should be prepared to explain and defend when facing a lawsuit:
- The hiring process
- The testing process
- Employee transfers
- The handling of investigations of complaints of harassment and discrimination
- Employee layoffs
- Determination of employee compensation
- Issuing of employees’ job titles and descriptions
- Termination process
Our attorneys are well-versed in defending organizations that face workplace discrimination claims that may arise from the aforementioned processes.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATIONS, TRAINING, AND DEFENSE
The best defense is often prevention. Warren Law Group has the experienced professionals you need to advise your management and staff on how to prevent sexual harassment complaints or lawsuits. Sexual harassment is not taken lightly, nor should it be, and you need to make sure you, and your employees, are aware of the laws and consequences. Our attorneys are fully versed in laws and statutes related to workplace or work-related sexual harassment. Company culture is one thing, but when it comes down to it, laws are laws.
At Warren Law Group, we can advise you on how to enact sexual harassment policies, regardless of industry or company size. As an employer, you need to be able to handle any situation in which a sexual harassment complaint or suit has been filed, and you need to know how to handle a situation in which you are aware of the harassment, but a complaint or suit has not been filed yet. The Warren Law Group attorneys are here to help you conduct the necessary investigations, and proceed in accordance with the law.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that protects the rights of persons living with disabilities. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees facing physical or mental impairments. Our attorneys have extensive experience defending companies against ADA claims and their state and local equivalents.
Wage and Hours Law Defense
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that protects the rights of all employees by ensuring they are paid the federal minimum wage and overtime, if applicable. In most cases, employees file lawsuits after employers fail to pay them the minimum wage, for overtime work, or when the employees are misclassified. You can talk to our employment attorneys at Warren Law Group to help you with the litigation process.
Wrongful Discharge Defense
Most employees can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. If your company seeks to terminate an employee but is afraid that the employee might file a wrongful discharge lawsuit against you, we can help. Our experienced employment attorneys can advise you on the steps to avoid claims of unlawful discharge. If you are already facing a claim, don’t worry, we can help with that too. We will examine the claim and develop the best defense strategy for your business.
Hiring and Firing
In running a business, establishing clear hiring and firing procedures is crucial. Of course, you want to make sure you are fostering a strong and competitive workplace environment, but you also need to make sure that everything you are doing is legal. While working with Warren Law, we will counsel you on how to avoid any potential situations in which someone might claim wrongful termination, discriminatory hiring practices, or anything in between. And if you are searching for a law firm to defend you against current claims of such nature, then we can help there as well. Oftentimes, minor, and seemingly innocuous things can cause your business immense problems down the line. You need time to focus on your business, not time spent getting caught up in lawsuits or courtrooms. We can help.
Labor Management Relations
You can trust the experienced labor management relations attorneys at Warren Law to handle any and all matters relating to your labor-management relationship. If you own or manage a business that currently does not have unionized workers, we can consult you on how to handle any groups considering organizing a union, as well as advise you during an already-underway unionization. Unions are nothing new, but new unionization movements are constantly popping up. The complexities of defending your position can be overwhelming, so we counsel you on everything from contract language to courtroom defense. If you have cases, or potential cases, that would involve dealing with the National Labor Relations Board, state or federal courts, or simply preventative measures, then our attorneys can help.
Policies, Procedures and Handbooks
Businesses need structure of all sorts. In some areas, a looser structure can allow for a free flow of ideas and critical problem-solving, but when it comes to your company policies and procedures, you need to be crystal clear. Building a solid culture is an art form, but our employer defense attorneys help you make sure that you are staying within the law while doing so. Keeping up with all of the state and federal laws that regulate American businesses is enough to make any business owner’s head spin. That’s why we have attorneys who specialize in this area, and specialize in taking that off your plate. The easiest way to defend your business from potential lawsuits is to be proactive. You need to draft your employee handbook–and the procedures and policies therein–to be compliant with not only the set of laws that apply to all businesses, but those that apply to your industry specifically as well. And as you continue to draft new policies and update older ones, you can rely on our attorneys’ advice to make sure you are being clear, protecting your business, and creating a workplace culture with clear expectations.
Workplace Violence Prevention
While your business has hopefully never had an incident of workplace violence, it happens more often than most people realize. Workplace violence prevention starts with your hiring process, your candidates, and the environment you create. But preventing workplace violence takes more than that. In order to seriously protect your employees as best you can and limit liability, your business needs to have certain policies in place, and has to communicate those policies effectively. It’s not something that business owners like to have to focus on, but it is important for continued healthy operation. Workplace violence prevention involves training and assessing risk, but it also involves having an action plan in place in the unfortunate event of an incident. Don’t find yourself in a situation that could have been prevented. Consult with our attorneys.
Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition
The rate of change in business has never been faster. And it’s only going to increase. We are about to see yet another boom in technology that will affect how we do business, live our lives, and write our laws. Companies at the forefront of their industries in today’s world have to deal with changing trade secret laws as well as restrictive covenant issues and unfair competition challenges. By retaining Warren Law, you are giving yourself an advantage in these fields; helping to protect your confidential information and mitigating as much risk as possible in terms of unfair competition suits. And if the time comes, you are giving yourself the peace of mind a strong defense team provides. Our attorneys help your business with trade secret audits and protection, the creation of programs to educate employees on proper trade secret protection, acquisition due diligence, analyzing the enforceability of restrictive covenant and confidentiality agreements, and constant counsel on the changing legal landscape.
Unfortunately, institutions often face lawsuits by employees. Hiring the best employment attorneys is critical in defending and preventing litigation. Large corporations and small businesses alike can face lawsuits by employees, even if they have spent a lot of time and money creating a healthy working environment. We advise employers to address workplace issues, such as harassment, early on to avoid lawsuits. However, when you are the subject of a lawsuit, you need an experienced employer defense attorney.
HIRE THE BEST EMPLOYER ATTORNEYS IN NEW YORK
If one of your employees has filed a lawsuit against you, it is wise to talk to an experienced employment defense attorney to advise you on how to proceed. At Warren Law Group, we provide individualized legal services to employers, and we specialize in employment law, wrongful termination claims, labor disputes, and discrimination cases. If your institution faces an employment-related lawsuit or needs labor and employment compliance advice, our employer attorneys are ready to help you defend your business and keep it up-to-date with the various and constantly changing employment laws.
CONTACT OUR NEW YORK EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEYS
Facing employee lawsuits can be a serious problem for many companies. Our attorneys at Warren Law Group understand that it is indeed difficult for managers and human resource departments to navigate the many federal, state, and local employment laws. Our attorneys have successfully defended employers in various courts and with federal, state, and city agencies. We fight for our clients at every stage of litigation, from pre-trial negotiations to post-trial appeals, if necessary. We also provide counsel on employment law compliance, policy review and drafting, sexual harassment training, and compliance with the various wage laws. Contact our firm to schedule an appointment and free consultation.
Why Choose Us?
When choosing an employer defense attorney, it is important that you select an attorney with years of experience, but also someone who understands the complications and stress that go into this process. A strong employer defense attorney must be in constant communication with their client to ensure the client knows all the updates surrounding their case. Our team takes its time processing all documents and works with the client to ensure they are on the right track.
Employer Defense FAQs
Yearly. Companies in New York State must provide interactive sexual harassment training once per year for all employees. Training must also be provided to new employees upon their start with the company.
Employers may not ask about an applicant’s criminal record until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Once an employer offers the applicant a position, it can ask about and consider the applicant’s criminal record. However, the company may not inquire about arrests that did not lead to a conviction (unless it is still pending and not adjourned in contemplation of dismissal); or any sealed convictions.
Employees who are paid on a salary basis are still likely to be eligible for overtime. In order to avoid this, the employer must show that an exemption applies to the at-issue employee. Job title and salary alone are insufficient to prove an overtime exemption. The test is determined by the duties of the employee.
It depends. NY Labor Law Section 195.5 requires employers to notify employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer’s policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays, and hours. Generally, where an employee handbook provides that vacation days will be paid, or if the book is silent, such time must be paid out upon termination. It is important to note, that if the policy provides that vacation is not paid upon termination, the policy must be adhered to in order to avoid a pattern and practice claim.
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