We train and guide management on handling customary and statutory requirements, such as privacy, leaves of absence, background checks, and workers’ compensation from a preventive angle. These training programs guide clients through a broad range of employment issues, including:
- Policy planning, including best practices for selection decisions, pre-employment screening and testing, handbook development, counseling, performance reviews and evaluations, and terminations, as well as compliance with statutes surrounding privacy and confidentiality.
- Employment agreements such as executive benefits, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, and compensation agreements that help companies retain top talent and strengthen workforces.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) issues such as disclosure, certification, pre- and post-decision notices, and application consent requirements; liability assessments; and credit, criminal, and background checks on prospective and current employees.
- Leaves of absence in relation to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other laws relating to employee leave, including protected and unprotected absences, indefinite leave, statutory compliance, medical certification, and employer monitoring of these occurrences.
- Workers’ compensation nonsubscription counsel in states such as Texas that allow for nonsubscription to state workers’ compensation systems. We guide clients on structuring and operating occupational injury benefits programs, often an economical alternative for small businesses and low-incident organizations. We also defend nonsubscribers’ interests in nonbarred claims.
- Contingent workers and employee classification advice in a climate where courts continue to rule on misclassification, numerosity, benefits, and tax issues. Our approach includes minimizing risk exposure, guiding clients on the management of nontraditional workforces, identifying strategies for third-party payroll agreements, compliance, defending claims in court, and addressing non-litigation taxation issues.
- Regulatory compliance and audit support relating to Title VII, ADA, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), FMLA, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), among others.
- Traditional labor issues relating to all aspects of union management, such as picketing drives and strikes, organizing drives and elections, allegations of unfair labor practices, and labor relations in unionized work environments.
- Training, including guidance, recommendations, and training seminars for all levels of employees or management to positively manage the intricacies of labor and employment law.
With respect to employee benefits, our attorneys offer experienced insight to assist employers in the strategic use of benefits packages. Part of our counsel focuses on the myriad regulatory requirements and statutory enforcement. All our advice considers cost savings for our clients’ companies.
We advise in the sound development, administration and, when necessary, termination of welfare, retirement, and health benefits plans. We are well-versed in:
- Qualified and non-qualified plans
- Profit sharing and stock bonus plans
- Corporate reorganization and workforce reductions
- Outsourced benefits programs
- Executive compensation plans
- Severance benefit programs
- Early retirement incentive programs
- Retiree benefit plans
- Multi-employer plans
- Occupational injury plans
- COBRA issues
- Payroll tax audits
Under the umbrella of employee benefits, our team has substantial experience with:
- Benefits litigation, including class action claims, for issues ranging from simple benefits claims to complex fiduciary matters. We defend employers before commission inquiries, during audits, and before federal and state authorities including the IRS, DOL, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including advising on pension and nonpension benefit plans. We assist with structuring retiree health plans; negotiating service agreements; counseling on plan redesign or termination for cost savings; offering opinions on related DOL exemptions; and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and IRS matters. We have specific experience relating to 404c plans; asset investment; executive compensation, including split dollar and other insurance-related compensation tools; supplemental executive retirement plans; rabbi trusts; and reporting and disclosure compliance.
- ERISA litigation and tax issues including class action and individual claims related to pension, health, and welfare funds and benefits. We address these claims through a cross-disciplinary team of trial, labor and employment, and tax attorneys, and have achieved numerous successful resolutions involving charges of breach of fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, fund underpayment, claim denials, and failure to provide information required by ERISA. We also defend third-party administrators and service providers.