As labor and employment laws become more nuanced and complex, Hall Booth Smith’s national Labor and Employment Practice Group proactively assists both private and public sector clients in navigating the ever changing legal landscape. When challenging employment law and workplace issues arise, employers, companies, educational institutions and municipalities across the United States turn to our labor and employment attorneys to provide the strategic guidance necessary to safeguard against potential claims and to resolve conflicts in the most favorable and cost-effective manner possible.
Efficient and innovative solutions are the hallmarks of our practice. Recognized for our zealous advocacy, Hall Booth Smith’s seasoned attorneys deliver comprehensive advice and counsel in all types of employment-related matters, including:
A significant portion of our employment practice is devoted to defending claims alleging sexual harassment, discrimination (including but not limited to age, race, disability, national origin, religion and gender), whistleblower, hostile work environment, retaliation and wrongful termination. We also defend employers in wage and hour/FLSA claims, contract disputes, trade secret, and unfair competition claims. We provide strategic counsel and representation in matters before state and federal courts as well as the United States Department of Labor, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Justice, as well as state and local agencies and authorities.
Professional Liability and Insurance Defense
Hall Booth Smith serves as panel counsel for many of the leading insurance carriers, both domestic and abroad. We work closely with underwriters, adjusters, carrier representatives, risk managers, consultants, brokers and insureds to deliver effective claims management and risk control services to address claims quickly and cost effectively. Insurance carriers also call upon the skill of our seasoned attorneys for mediation, arbitration and litigation, as well as monitoring outside counsel on a national level. We focus on the early evaluation of claims, and aggressively obtain mitigation information in order to swiftly and effectively assess liability. This allows us to develop strategies that make Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures more effective and drive down the cost of traditional litigation.
Employment Practice & Legal Compliance Audits
We offer comprehensive employment practice and legal compliance counseling that help clients develop practical strategies designs to reduce overall employment-related costs, minimize the risk of lawsuits, improve productivity, and enhance employee morale and retention. This includes educational training for in-house counsel, human resources professionals, senior management, mid-level leadership with respect to compliance with labor and employment laws at the federal, state and local levels. Our attorneys have developed an extensive library of presentations covering virtually all workplace issues that can be uniquely tailored to any employer’s specific business operations.
We also train companies on payroll practices and procedures, drafting and implementing personnel manuals/handbooks, hiring practices, separation agreements, medical leave compliance, workplace investigations, proper classification of workers, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employee drug testing and pre- and post- employment screening, immigration, and compliance audits.
Restrictive Covenants/Unfair Competition/Trade Secrets
Our Labor and Employment Practices Group understands the value of protectable proprietary interests and what is at risk for an organization should its confidential information be misappropriated. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in drafting enforceable employment contracts and restrictive covenants that ensure that the company’s confidential information is protected when an employee is terminated or leaves the organization. Our attorneys also draft and negotiate severance agreements, non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements and non-disclosure agreements for companies of all sizes operating across all industries. Similarly, our lawyers are highly experienced in aggressively defending and/or enforcing the terms of these agreements, particularly within the context of post-employment restrictive covenants. In situations where an employee breaches a restrictive covenant or other type of employment agreement, we take immediate action, typically seeking emergency injunctive relief to protect the employer from irreparable harm.
Class Action and Multi-Employer Litigation
We have successfully defended class action and other multi-plaintiff suits alleging breach of contract, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate, whistleblowing, tortuous interference, age and other protected classifications. Our national wage and hour defense practice defends class action lawsuits and investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies.
Labor Management Relations
Our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group also handles virtually all aspects of traditional labor relations on behalf of management, including collective bargaining, grievances and arbitration. Our team provides labor counseling to employers and advises management on effective and strategic response efforts to avoid unfair labor practice disputes to promote mutually satisfactory employee-employer relations. We also represent clients in actions before the National Labor Relations Board and other government agencies.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
With labor and employment disputes on the rise, companies, insurers, government agencies and courts are increasingly turning to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to avoid the costs and complexities of adversarial litigation. Arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution platforms are effective and efficient ways for management and employees to collaboratively find workable solutions that are acceptable to all parties.
Our attorneys are recognized nationally for their ability to evaluate all legal issues, develop targeted strategies and reaching an amicable resolution that protects the needs and business objectives of the organization. Whether mediation, arbitration or a hybrid of the two, ADR requires experienced legal counsel who can thoroughly evaluate a case and develop a comprehensive strategy before litigation costs take over and diminish the chances of early resolution.
Education Employment Law
Hall Booth Smith offers investigative and litigation services to public and private school entities, administrators, boards, and others across the education sector. Our team has extensive experience in education employment legal matters, including teacher dismissals and evaluations, disciplinary matters, sexual harassment, Title VII, speech and First Amendment issues, civil rights, student discipline, school violence, special education, testing/promotion, access to student records, fraternity and sorority matters, and other emerging issues. We also represent educators in internal investigations, disciplinary proceedings and other matters related to their employment.
We represent clients of all sizes, including public and private companies, partnerships, joint ventures, nonprofit organizations, franchisees, universities and other education systems, and other employers across a diverse range of industries including: