Wiley Rein LLP


Employment & Labor | EMPLOYMENT COUNSELING

Our emphasis is on litigation prevention. We believe that interactive training and counseling on potential problems before they arise is far more productive than litigating them afterward. Human resources professionals are often presented with difficult situations involving the administration of employee leave, responding to complaints of harassment, the imposition of discipline, and termination decisions. Our attorneys are available to provide an independent examination of the applicable law, an assessment of the company's options, and advice on a course of action. We are also frequently involved in significant business decisions such as the development of corporate policies and large-scale reorganizations.

Policies and Procedures
We frequently draft and review employee and supervisor handbooks, policy forms and personnel procedures to assure compliance with equal employment, leave, and wage and hour laws.  Examples of this practice include considerations of whether a handbook creates contractual obligations; whether a leave system runs afoul of the "salary-basis" requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the mandatory leave provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or analogous state laws; whether a progressive discipline system is sensibly drafted and applied; whether an internal grievance procedure is advisable; whether employment applications and hiring procedures are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws; whether an arbitration clause is beneficial and cost-effective; and whether an employer's non-harassment reporting and investigation procedures are effective.

Employment Agreements
Our attorneys routinely draft employment agreements, noncompetition agreements, nonsolicitation agreements, and other related documents.  Our extensive litigation experience in this area allows us to efficiently provide agreements that are enforceable.

Executive Compensation
We represent employers in negotiating and documenting the increasingly complex contractual arrangements governing the relationship of top-level executives with their companies.  Working closely with attorneys in our Tax Group, we assist clients with tax aspects of fixed- and incentive-based compensation, equity-based compensation, special excise taxes, and deductibility limitations.

Workplace Privacy Issues
With a greater interest in privacy in general, there has been a renewed focus on workplace privacy-related issues by employees and their attorneys.  Our attorneys work closely with colleagues from our Privacy Practice to provide advice and counseling on a wide range of workplace-related privacy issues, including monitoring of emails and telephone calls, proper procedure for conducting a search of an employee's area or computer, employee drug testing, background checks, an employer's privacy obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other statutes related to the collection and maintenance of employee medical information.

Government Contractor Issues
Working closely with colleagues from our Government Contracts Practice, we provide legal guidance on a number of employment issues that are unique to federal contractors.  We counsel clients on matters of compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) affirmative action requirements under Executive Order 11246, the federal government's affirmative action requirement for federal contractors with respect to women and minorities; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which imposes obligations on federal contractors with respect to the disabled; and similar provisions.  Such counseling includes the creation and review of affirmative action plans, conducting pay equity audits, and preparation for compliance reviews and preventive audits.  Our Practice also provides guidance on matters such as Service Contract Act compliance and the employment issues that arise when a contract is transitioned from one federal contractor to another.

Workplace and Trade Legislation
Our Employment & Labor Practice successfully represented the cocoa industry in the negotiation and ongoing implementation of a protocol to improve labor standards in the growing and processing of cocoa, in lieu of federally mandated labeling.  As such, we work routinely with the range of advocacy, legislation, and Executive branch interests mobilized around trader-based social policy.

Contact Us
Todd A. Bromberg
202.719.7357 | tbromberg@wileyrein.com




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