Donna L. Roback: Practice Areas

Employment and Labor Law

Managing intellectual assets and human beings has made the practice of employment law a growing area and one that is essential to all businesses. The experience available to your business through our firm will help you solve all your needs in this critical area. The services discussed below represent some of the services Donna can provide.

1. General Employment Audits for Compliance

Many employers are not aware of their obligations to employees under existing federal, state and local laws and regulations. We are able to explain these obligations, which differ based on number of employees, as well as provide written policies and training. Employment audits are powerful risk management tools which ultimately save money.

2. Negotiating and Drafting Employee Agreements

Employment agreements are an important tool to protect the employer. However, they are contracts, and may be enforced as written. Therefore, all agreements must comply with the law, must be carefully drafted to protect the business and its assets, and must be ultimately enforceable. The types of agreements that are generally used by an employer include: hiring agreements, non compete and protection of proprietary information agreements, separation and severance agreements, and other written arrangements between the business and its employees.

3. Auditing and Drafting Employee Handbooks and Policies

Handbooks are essential in defining the general rules and expectations of the workplace as well as specifying benefits. However, there is a fine line between having the employee handbook be informational and having it create a contract of employment which could force certain obligations on the employer. While many employers use consultants as the source of their handbooks, we are able to give experienced scrutiny to policies because we know which policies get litigated. This is another powerful risk management tool.

4. Counseling Employers regarding Hiring, Discipline and Discharge

Most employee litigation against an employer comes from mistakes made by the employer in the hiring, discipline and discharge process. We are able to provide guidance through any or all of these processes to minimize the risk of a lawsuit. A simple telephone conference can provide step-by-step assistance.

5. Training for Supervisors and General Workforce

There is training that is mandatory for all employers to have and other types of training that is beneficial to the effectiveness of management. The law requires sexual harassment training in order to maintain a defense if sued. Training supervisors on how to give performance evaluations or how to effectively discipline employees will prevent supervisors from making mistakes and creating liability for the employer.

6. Unemployment and Overtime Claims

The recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may affect your business’s classification of employees or obligation to pay overtime. Also, the federal or state departments of labor may audit your payroll and find non-compliance issues. These findings can be appealed. An employee may be denied unemployment compensation on appeal. We are able to provide capable and knowledgeable representation in these areas.

7. Workplace Facilitation and Individual Coaching

There are often workplace issues that are the result of dysfunction between employees or a specific employee that cannot get along with others. We are able to provide facilitation of these disputes on a group or individual basis. A workplace where employees get along is more productive and leads to more loyal employees.

8. Litigation: Defense of Employee Claims

We have very experienced litigators to defend employee claims of every type: discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower, retaliation, breach of contract, defamation, and wage or commission disputes. Our experience covers administrative matters, civil state and federal court cases, and appellate work at every level. Our approach is practical, focusing on our clients’ economic and practical concerns, and looking to maximize the result for our clients.

9. Mediation and Arbitration

Our department can also provide mediation expertise and assistance with conflict resolution before costly and contentious litigation results. Our department head is also a recognized mediator and arbitrator for employment matters as well as other civil disputes including business and partnership dissolutions, family law matters, and personal injury cases.