Porzio has more than 50 years of experience counseling and representing management on employment and labor matters. Our litigation and trial skills are complemented by an acute business acumen developed through many years of providing practical and business-minded solutions to diverse workplace issues. We emphasize the importance of early case assessment and cost-effective litigation management, traditional strengths that have been augmented by the insight of our Of Counsel attorneys, including a former Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and two retired Superior Court Assignment Judges.
Our unique combination of skills has drawn diverse organizations to our firm, from Fortune 500 companies to small and mid-sized businesses in the life sciences, manufacturing, transportation, education, and retail industries as well as public sector clients such as Boards of Education and police departments.
Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
Our Employment and Labor team has extensive experience representing clients in wrongful discharge, employee discrimination, whistleblower, retaliation and sexual harassment litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings. Our attorneys also represent clients in investigations by government agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, and the New York State Human Rights Commission.
Our Employment and Labor attorneys are skilled at conducting internal investigations regarding claims of employee wrongdoing. Areas of investigation include employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and employee fraud.
Federal and state laws regulating the treatment of individuals with disabilities in the workplace are complex. Our Employment and Labor attorneys counsel management on issues such as reasonable accommodations and the interactive process. Our team also has a wide variety of experience defending clients in actions alleging claims of disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws.
Our Employment and Labor attorneys have significant counseling experience, assisting clients with minimizing claims and avoiding litigation. We regularly counsel clients on:
- Hiring practices
- Employment agreements
- Employee discipline and discharge
- Severance agreements
- Employment policies
- Handbooks and manuals
- EEO compliance
- Paid, unpaid and intermittent leave
- Harassment and discrimination
- Disability accommodations
- Whistleblower and retaliation
- Reductions in force
- Internal complaint investigations
Given the current economic environment, employers are placing an increased importance on restrictive covenants such as non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Our Employment and Labor attorneys are skilled at reviewing and drafting restrictive covenants that protect our clients’ important business interests and will survive judicial scrutiny. In addition, we have extensive experience handling litigation on behalf of employees, former employers and current employers, involving restrictive covenants, the misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition.
We have broad experience defending clients in union organizing campaigns and in resolving unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, and the New York State Employment Relations Board. Our attorneys negotiate and administer collective bargaining agreements, including grievance arbitration proceedings, and provide counseling on a wide variety of labor issues, including union avoidance techniques, union picketing and boycotts, and strike preparation.
The workplace is becoming an increasingly litigious atmosphere. As such, our Employment and Labor team frequently conducts in-house training programs for our clients on anti-harassment, hiring practices, conducting employee evaluations, employee privacy issues, and conducting internal investigations.
Wage and Hour
Our Employment and Labor attorneys work with our clients to ensure compliance with the various wage and hour laws, including providing assistance on issues such as employee misclassification, unpaid overtime, improper deductions, and off-the-clock work. We represent clients in state and federal Department of Labor investigations, as well as defending wage claims brought before the Department of Labor or in federal or state court. Our attorneys also have extensive experience in defending our clients against collective and class action claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New Jersey Wage and Hour laws.
Employment Handbooks and Policies
Given the frequent amendments to applicable federal and state laws as well as proliferation of new employment laws, employers face a challenge in keeping their employment handbooks and policies up-to-date. We review, prepare, revise and supplement our clients’ handbooks and policies to ensure compliance with the latest changes in the law.
Reductions in Force
Many employers find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to conduct large-scale reductions in force. We counsel clients on compliance with the law, including the Federal WARN Act as well as the New Jersey Millville Dallas Plant Job Loss Notification Act and the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Leave issues are often complex and challenging for employers. We work closely with clients to ensure compliance with applicable leave laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and New Jersey Family Leave Act.