- areas of expertise
Rapid changes in employment law are increasing the risk of penalties, lawsuits, and bad publicity. Given the complexities, companies and individuals need experienced counsel who know the industry and can explain new developments, present clear options, and help render informed decisions. Our Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation Group has deep expertise in local, state and federal employment laws and regulations. For updates take advantage of our Employment Law Blog and Vlog.
We regularly represent employers and executives in the media, entertainment, advertising, fashion, art, finance, non-profit, technology, and other industries.
We provide employers with day-to-day counseling on their hiring procedures, compensation practices, employment policies, and compliance with all employment laws and regulations. We also advise individual executives on discrimination, harassment and other sensitive employment matters. Our seasoned litigators help resolve employment disputes cost-effectively through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation. Attorneys in our New York and Los Angeles offices regularly resolve the special employment law issues that arise in creative industries, and are uniquely positioned to help bi-coastal clients comply with two sets of often-conflicting rules. We advise clients on:
Which interview questions are OK to ask, and which questions violate discrimination or salary history rules? When should background checks be administered — and how? What are the legal requirements when engaging child performers? We advise employers on these and other hiring issues.
We regularly counsel on non-disclosure agreements (“NDA’s), work-for-hire agreements, non-compete agreements, and other initial contracts employers may want employees to sign.
Classification of Employees and Independent Contractors
Regulators and plaintiff lawyers are lodging expensive claims against employers who misclassify employees, but the question of who is an “employee” and who is an “independent contractor” is a fact-specific inquiry focusing on a number of confusing factors. We advise employers on how to properly classify employees.
Wage-and-Hour Compliance and Defense
We help employers interpret complicated federal and state wage-and-hour laws and regulations — including calculation of overtime, meal and rest breaks — and help employers properly structure jobs, job descriptions, and new employment programs including classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt.
Leave and Benefits
We counsel clients on compliance with federal, state and local leave laws including the FMLA, ADA, state paid family leave laws, state sick leave laws and state workers’ compensation laws. We assist clients in developing legally compliant and easily administrable leave programs and policies.
Counseling and Training
We counsel clients, provide employee, HR, sexual harassment and executive training sessions, and help structure ongoing compliance programs
Employoment Policies and Handbooks
We help businesses establish anti-harassment, email, social media and other employment policies, and we assist in the drafting of employee handbooks and complaint procedures that accord with anti-discrimination and other employment laws.
We counsel employers on reorganizations and layoffs; help clients resolve contentious terminations; and negotiate comprehensive settlement agreements and releases.
We help employers update agreements and policies governing non-disclosure, non-disparagement, and other post-termination clauses. We help clients develop industry-specific non-compete, non-solicitation, and other restrictive covenants.
We often resolve and settle employment disputes in their infancy — avoiding protracted and expensive litigation. We handle mediation and arbitration, advise on litigation prospects and strategy, and bring and defend cases to trial in state and federal court. We regularly appear before administrative agencies including the EEOC, New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Commission on Human Rights, California Department of Industrial Relations, California Labor Commission, and California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.
Sexual Harassment and Other Discrimination Claims
We prosecute and defend all types of employment and employment discrimination matters — including claims based on age, disability, equal pay, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation — as well as related whistle-blower or retaliation claims under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and the FMLA and other leave laws. Our Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation Group has long experience prosecuting sex crimes. As a result, we are able to help clients navigate sexual harassment and related claims expeditiously, comply with evolving sexual harassment training requirements, and draft and update policies and handbooks.
Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
We help clients protect their trade secrets and confidential information through the use and enforcement of restrictive covenants — including non-competition and non-disclosure agreements — and we counsel on hiring policies that minimize the risk of unfair competition. When there's a breach, our litigators advise on how to mitigate harm and hold wrongdoers responsible.
Workplace and Data Security
Working with our Privacy & Data Security Group, we help clients implement privacy policies, assess and remediate data breaches, work with law enforcement and forensics experts, notify affected parties and regulators, and respond to any customer or employee complaints.
Workplace Investigations and Audits
We conduct internal investigations and audits for clients who need to get to the bottom of discrimination and harassment allegations, workplace violence, and other serious situations.
Our Executive Compensation & Employment Group strategizes with executives and helps them assess and negotiate new employment opportunities. Read more about our executive compensation practice.
Our Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation lawyers participate in the New York State and New York City Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Committees, Media Law Resource Center – Employment Law Committee; Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles Bar Association, Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel, Producers Guild of America East, and other key industry groups.