Employment Law & Executive Compensation
Every business which has employees needs to be aware of the various local, state and federal laws governing the employment relationship. Because even inadvertent violations can carry significant penalties and risk of litigation, businesses need to seek legal counsel as to their rights and obligations.
Our lawyers can advise companies across the broad spectrum of employment law issues, from basic regulatory compliance to drafting complex employment and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements. We also counsel employers with regard to claims filed by employees with regulatory agencies.
ERISA and Department of Labor Matters
Our attorneys counsel clients on a wide variety of employee pension and welfare plans, including profit sharing, 401(k), SEPs and money purchase pension plans. We also advise on severance and welfare plans, fringe benefits issues, and issues relating to employer responsibilities under COBRA, HIPAA, and USERRA.
Family and Medical Leave Act
A significant portion of our employment law practice is devoted to advising employers on how to avoid litigation and administrative proceedings in context of their employees, thereby managing overall employment costs and litigation risks. One of the more complex areas of personnel administration is the FMLA and understanding the employer’s rights and responsibilities under that legislation.
Wage and Hour Compliance
Disputes over employee pay, particularly by a former employee, is one of the most frequent bases for an employer to be contacted by a plaintiff’s attorney or a government agency. To avoid groundless regulatory investigations or civil litigation, we provide advice to employers which ensures that their pay structures comply with currently effective federal and state wage and hour regulations.
Data Protection and Privacy Regulations
We counsel clients on compliance with privacy notice obligations and sharing of non-public personal data under HIPAA and, for financial institutions and financial intermediaries, under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999 and SEC Regulation S-P. Companies which receive non-public personal data from member countries of the European Union must comply with the requirements of the EU Data Protection Directive. Our attorneys can advise employers receiving such data on compliance with the US/EU Accord on Transfer of Personal Data.
Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
Dealing with allegations of discrimination or sexual harassment can be exceedingly distracting to employers as well as costly. The best defense to such claims is the careful creation and implementation of specific personnel policies addressing these issues. Because much of the law in this area is made through court cases, existing policies must be reviewed regularly to ensure that they reflect the latest judicial interpretations. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting and reviewing anti-discrimination and anti-harassment personnel policies and systems. Should a client be faced with an administrative inquiry or claim with the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, we are experienced in defending such claims and finding unique solutions to avoid the time and expense of litigation.
Federal and state laws provide certain employment protections to those employees who “blow the whistle” on illegal practices in a company. The level of protection for certain whistleblowers increased substantially under the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, which affords reinstatement as well as compensation. Our attorneys advise management on whether an employee is entitled to the protections of “whistle blower” statutes and how to ensure that management’s action with regard to an employee does not inadvertently create a cause of action against the employer.
There is tremendous competition for executive talent and we advise companies on recruiting and retaining such individuals. In this regard, we draft and negotiate or review employment agreements, non-solicitation, and non-competition agreements, change of control agreements, senior executive retirement programs, deferred compensation arrangements, severance agreements, equity-based arrangements and similar agreements. Our attorneys are well-versed in Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, Sections 409A and 280G and other regulations relating to executive compensation agreements.