McCormick Barstow’s Labor and Employment practice has decades of experience working alongside Human Resources (HR) professionals with a primary focus of preventing our clients from making costly mistakes. Our proactive approach identifies problem areas and provides solutions to correct non-compliance with minimum risk and disruption.
Just about every job duty of an HR professional requires consideration of and navigation through complicated areas of law including those related to: hiring, firing, and discipline; employee benefits and payroll; negotiating executive employment agreements; drafting and maintaining company policies; leaves of absence; identifying and providing reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability or medical condition; workplace safety; workplace privacy including computer use; BYOD issues and drug testing; protecting a company’s confidential information and trade secrets; and investigating and handling complaints or discrimination, harassment or retaliation. With their specialized knowledge and practical experience, the Labor and Employment practice attorneys lead HR professionals through challenging decisions that arise daily in managing a workforce. Our attorneys provide support and serve as an invaluable resource to HR professionals when it is necessary to take adverse action against an employee that carries the possibility of litigation.
An Organization’s Most Important Asset
Our Labor and Employment practice is not confined to advising HR professionals day-to-day. Employment-related litigation does arise despite sound legal advice and by-the-book compliance with the law. In those instances, HR professionals are not surprisingly a key witness or point-person in defending lawsuits for wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment, relation or employment-related torts. Our experienced team of employment-focused trial attorneys know the burden that litigation puts on HR professionals. We work efficiently and diligently to alleviate the hardship and streamline the process while defending employers and achieving the best results possible.
Typical services HR lawyers provide include—
Defense of employers and management against individual and class claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, and wage and hour violations before state and federal courts.
Advice and counsel on day-to-day management issues, including hiring, discipline and termination decisions, reductions in force, restrictive covenants, trade secret protection, and compliance issues arising under Title VII, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders, and the federal and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Preparation and review of employment documents, including employee handbooks and policies, arbitration agreements, offer letters and employment contracts, commission agreements, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and separation agreements and releases.
Presentation and trainings on unlawful harassment (including training under California Government Code Section 12950.1), unlawful discrimination and retaliation, management training, and training on emerging employment law issues. , discrimination and retaliation, management training, and emerging employment law issues.
Consultation and audits of wage and hour practices, including pay equity, wage statements, minimum wage and overtime payments, meal and rest break practices, and piece-rate practices. Also, consultation in legally implementing alternative work-weeks.
Assistance and representation in administrative investigations and hearings including the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Labor Commissioner, Department of Labor and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (as to non-covered claims under Labor Code sections 132a and 4553). Not only is it important to know how the law is written, employment attorneys are able to explain how the law has been administered in the court system and are able to provide guidance and documentation they know will stand-up in court.