Our broad scope of litigation experience also provides hard-won perspective for advising clients how to avoid litigation by adopting appropriate employment practices and risk management procedures.
Employment disputes are one of the fastest growing areas of law today. There has been an explosion of litigation, as well as a vast amount of legislation impacting the workplace. Today, employers are faced not only with wrongful termination claims, but also with issues ranging from violence in the workplace; to sexual harassment; to discrimination based on age, race, handicapped status, gender or sexual orientation; to employee rights of privacy, religion and free speech.
The array of state and federal statutes and regulations with which even small employers must now be familiar is staggering. Thus, it is critical for employers to retain competent and professional legal counsel to advise them about their rights and responsibilities, as well as the potentially serious consequences of noncompliance. We are familiar with the legal landscape in this area and routinely litigate employment-related claims before both state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
We represent a broad range of employers embroiled in legal disputes with their employees. Many of our cases involve claims of:
- Wrongful discharge
- Sexual harassment
- Hostile work environments
- Unlawful retaliation
- Whistleblower violations
- Breach of contract
Others raise private claims cognizable under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rhode Island “State Fair Employment Practices Act” (FEPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, or other state and federal remedies. As a result, we routinely practice before both state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Read more about our experience representing municipalities and governmental entities in all aspects of employment law including wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment litigation: Employment Law.
Because avoidance is the best defense, we also counsel and advise clients who wish to minimize or avoid the risk of future claims on issues relating to employment practices and policies. This includes the drafting of appropriate employee handbooks or manuals, permissible hiring practices, drug testing, disciplinary or termination techniques, or matters of insurance. To learn more about our ability to conduct investigations as a preventive measure, click here – Workplace Investigations.
Our attorneys have conducted over 60 independent workplace investigations, including allegations of:
- Racial discrimination in promotional and termination practices in a predominantly white organization
- Racial discrimination in administering employee discipline for attendance violations
- Gender and racial discrimination regarding general working conditions and job duties
- Religious and gender harassment for ordering female employees to remove head coverings
- Racial, gender, religious, and/or sexual orientation harassment for the use of derogatory remarks in the workplace
- Same-sex sexual harassment between senior level administrators
- Computer misuse by independent contractor accessing internet pornography
- Mishandling of internal sexual harassment investigation conducted by supervisor
Our vast litigation experience with employment claims gives us a unique insight when conducting workplace investigations. We conduct independent and unobtrusive investigations into internal employee complaints, third party complaints, and lawsuits alleging employee or employer misconduct. We perform fact-finding investigations and make objective written findings and recommendations to employers.
After the conclusion of the investigation, we also work with the employer to implement recommendations noted during the investigation. After reaching a conclusion and offering recommendations, we can assess client exposure, if any, through on-going advice and counseling with the goal of minimizing any future claims. In so doing, we develop close working relationships with those employers who retain our services.
We have experience counseling employers on a wide range of employment-related issues including minimizing the risks of terminations and ensuring compliance with federal and state employment statutes. Our firm can draft employment applications, employee handbooks, employment agreements and other policies designed to avoid litigation. We can also assist in designing accommodations for employees without compromising a client’s legitimate business needs.