Practice Areas

Labor and Employment

Overview

Duff & Childs’ attorneys understand that today’s employers are faced with complex federal and state laws that govern the workplace. Firm attorneys routinely provide day-to-day advice and counseling on a broad array of issues involving employee leave, drug and alcohol abuse policies and testing, hiring procedures, and policy development. The Firm’s litigation practice includes experience with the intricacies of discrimination statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Our goal is to collaborate with clients using training, guidance and other preventive measures to minimize legal missteps and to assist in devising solutions to problems that impact the efficiency and productivity of the workplace.

Employment Counseling

Our attorneys routinely assist clients in handling day-to-day human resource issues that all businesses face. We draft, review, and revise employment-related policies, forms, and documents, including employee handbooks, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and minimize potential claims. Specifically, we help employers minimize employment-related claims, such as breach of contract, discrimination or harassment, and we counsel employers on mandatory aspects of certain policies, such as harassment, family and medical leave, pregnancy leave and disability leave. In addition, our attorneys advise clients regarding hiring and termination decisions, as well as employee misconduct which may lead to termination.

Employment Discrimination

Duff & Childs’ attorneys defend employers against claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and similar federal and state laws. Our attorneys design policies against discrimination and harassment, conduct management and supervisory training, and guide employers in the internal investigation of harassment and discrimination claims. Our attorneys have defended clients before local, state and federal administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Our team works efficiently to achieve a solution to a personnel decision before litigation.

E,ployer Training

Our attorneys assist employers in the training of their managers, supervisors and other employees in the implementation of policies and procedures governing such areas as drug testing, background checks, and harassment. We develop customized training programs and materials in an effort to assist employers in preventing employment-related claims and lawsuits from arising.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Our attorneys regularly advise employers on employee leave issues arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including the FMLA’s notice, posting, and recordkeeping requirements. We are knowledgeable about the FMLA’s interaction with the Americans with Disabilities Act, state workers’ compensation laws and state laws guaranteeing employee leave.

Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secret Protection

Losing a key employee to a competitor can be devastating. Our attorneys work with clients to draft and tailor non-competition agreements, as well as to design and implement initiatives to enhance employee longevity and loyalty. In addition, our Firm assists clients in ensuring that they have in place the appropriate measures to protect their trade secrets and intellectual property from unauthorized use or distribution.

Reductions in Force

In today’s fluctuating economy, employers must be prepared to deal with reductions in force and corporate restructuring. At Duff & Childs, we guide employers through the RIF process to ensure they remain in compliance with state and federal laws. We also ensure compliance with state and federal laws governing reorganizations and reductions in force. Our attorneys also minimize the risk of claims of disparate impact or treatment based on protected status, resulting from reorganizations or reductions in force.

Wage and Hour Requirements

Our attorneys have experience in advising employers on a wide range of wage and hour issues, including compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws. We assist with proper classification of exempt, nonexempt and independent contract workers. In addition, we help employers minimize the cost of legal compliance, and, when necessary, defend employers in administrative and judicial proceedings. We regularly work with employers to devise practical solutions that comply with the law and maximize their operations before enforcement agencies conduct investigations.

Drug and Alcohol Procedures

Our Firm regularly consults with employers regarding drug and alcohol abuse issues. We have experience in counseling employers on drafting, implementing, and enforcing appropriate drug and alcohol policies. In addition, our attorneys assist clients by advising on disability discrimination issues associated with past or present employee drug or alcohol addiction. Our attorneys also consult with clients on avoiding and defending claims of invasion of privacy and other claims related to drug and alcohol policies.