Labor & Employment
Barclay Damon provides comprehensive, practical, and effective advice on a full spectrum of labor and employment matters. Our clients are public- and private-sector employers located throughout the United States, including multi-national and other large companies, emerging companies, small businesses, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, and not-for-profits. They cover industries that include energy, health care, and higher education, among numerous others. Our team has extensive experience in all areas of law required by employers, including the following:
Barclay Damon attorneys counsel employers on the full range of matters that affect the employment relationship, including:
- Discrimination, sexual harassment, and civil rights claims: prevention and defense
- Employee discipline issues
- Employee policies and handbooks
- Executive contracts and employment agreements, including confidentiality, noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and invention-assignment
- Plant closings and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and other issues related to layoffs and restructuring
- Privacy and cybersecurity issues related to employees, employee data, and employment
- Regulations for federal contractors, including from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
- Severance agreements and issues related to discharge
- Wage and hour laws, including worker classification, minimum wage, equal pay, and overtime pay issues
- Whistle-blowing, retaliation charges, and internal investigations
- Workplace health and safety
- All federal and state laws and regulations affecting employers
Prevention First, Defense When Necessary
Avoiding costly litigation is always our goal. We do this by focusing on preventive practices, including developing customized training programs for management and supervisors, including human resources and legal staff. We also help employers craft policies and practices that are likely to avoid conflict. When necessary, however, Barclay Damon is well prepared to provide a powerful defense to employers against employment-related claims of any nature. We have decades of experience representing employers before federal, state, and local agencies and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. We aggressively defend against claims brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, state human rights laws, and other laws and regulations. We also defend employers in class-action suits.
Barclay Damon’s extensive knowledge of labor unions throughout the United States and our deep understanding of the specific issues within our diverse client base are invaluable to clients seeking to create positive and productive labor-management relations. As a result, we skillfully represent our clients before the National Labor Relations Board, Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and other labor relations agencies. We have conducted investigations and provided litigation support for grievances and unfair labor and improper practice charges. We provide representation in discipline and discharge cases and in arbitration proceedings, and we support our clients during strikes. Our representation includes de-certification, unit clarification proceedings, and jurisdictional disputes. We frequently serve as chief negotiators and strategists during collective bargaining and assist employers in analyzing and interpreting collective bargaining agreements.
Other Critical Areas for Employers
Employee benefits and ERISA. Our attorneys are well versed in the interpretation and application of the applicable statutes to help clients create and administer benefit structures that are individually tailored to their needs. We assist with all varieties of plans, including qualified pension and profit-sharing, cash or deferred (401k), stock bonus and employee ownership, 403(b) annuity and others for tax-exempt organizations, Section 125 cafeteria, plans for 501(c)(9) organizations (VEBAs), medical expense reimbursement and disability, and various forms of executive compensation arrangements. They include non-qualified deferred compensation plans, “golden parachutes,” excess benefit plans, and incentive stock options. We also advise on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) compliance.
ESOPs. Barclay Damon provides employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) counseling. Our team has assisted companies and ESOP trustees with ESOP transactions in a wide range of industries. We provide assistance with ongoing compliance, IRS audits, DOL investigations and disputes, and related matters.
OSHA compliance. Barclay Damon attorneys advise employers on compliance with the complex federal Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) and state health and safety laws. We develop written safety and health manuals and training programs, assist employers in government audits, and contest citations and penalties.
Trade secret protection. Our employment and intellectual property attorneys work together to protect some of our clients’ most valuable assets—the ideas, customer information, other data, and processes essential to operating their businesses. We routinely protect financial, technical, scientific, economic, and operational information in electronic and other formats.
Labor & Employment Chair
Practice Area Alerts
- Cyber Liability Insurance - Pitfalls in Coverage
- Employers Should Carefully Evaluate Their Policies Regarding Drug Testing and Employee Privacy Rights With Respect to Medical Marijuana Use
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules Medical Marijuana User Can Sue Employer for Disability Discrimination
- Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Exemption for Retirement Plans of Religiously Affiliated Hospitals