Labor & Employment

O’Hagan Meyer’s Labor and Employment Team works closely with our clients to develop effective strategies and policies to avoid employment litigation, resolve employee disputes, and successfully dismiss labor and employment claims when lawsuits, NLRB arbitrations, EEOC, and Unfair Labor Practice charges are filed.  We help companies across the nation achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses.

Employment Litigation

Our labor and employment attorneys routinely defend employers against claims in individual and class actions and in federal and state courts nationwide.  We have a depth of experience handling an array of employment claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to pay wages or benefits, breach of contract, wrongful termination, negligent hiring or retention, and defamation.

Our goal is to minimize the impact of employment claims and litigation on our client’s business.  We understand how to defend and dismiss these cases, and routinely defend employers’ interests before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and in federal and state courts across the country.

Representative Matters:

  • Obtained defense verdict for nationwide emergency services company which was sued for $20 million by an employee claiming sexual assault in the workplace
  • After being engaged on appeal of a $900,000 adverse verdict for defamation against a national trucking company; reversed the judgment and successfully defended client on remand in damages only trial where jury returned a verdict for less than 15 percent of the original verdict
  • Successfully defended multi-million dollar Title IX hazing and harassment claim brought against university team captain and other individual defendants
  • Obtained defense verdict for defendant employer in Title VII action for unlawful harassment and termination
  • Received summary judgment for national retailer in FMLA and ADA termination case
  • Obtained defense verdict for national restaurant chain in ADA and Title VII action
  • Received dismissal of misclassification claim against company for failing to pay overtime to independent contractor

Employment Counseling, Training and Audits

Our team stays on top of federal and state legislative, case and administrative developments that may impact employers and their workforce.  We regularly audit our clients’ operations, communications and employee training policies and programs with a view toward reducing liability risk from discrimination, retaliation and other employment claims.

The Firm’s employment attorneys work with our clients to achieve a workplace free of distractions that interfere with the quality of services or products delivered to customers. We provide advice and assistance with employee management issues as they arise and offer strong defenses when litigation occurs.

Members of our team advise and draft policies on drug testing, workplace violence prevention of criminal activities of employees, advertising and hiring practices, privacy and cyber liability matters, employee personnel files, discipline and termination.  We regularly draft employment agreements, multi-step disciplinary procedures, employment policies and employee handbooks.  In addition, we conduct on-site investigations and interviews to obtain information related to employment issues.  We also provide educational programs, sensitivity training, and anti-bullying and unlawful harassment training.

We represent our clients in administrative agency proceedings and litigation related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Family Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Equal Pay Act, Title IX, and a multitude of other federal and state employment laws.  We guide our clients through discrimination complaints from the initial filing of a charge through the federal or state agency findings notices. We defend workers’ compensation claims to ensure that workplace injuries are accurately represented and that payments are appropriate.  Our team has extensive litigation experience in wrongful termination, improper discipline, wage-hour and discrimination lawsuits.  We also defend negligent hiring, negligent supervision and negligent retention claims.

Our attorneys routinely help employers put HR policies in place that significantly lower risk.  We also work closely with clients to draft and enforce executive and other employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, and covenants restricting employees’ post-employment conduct.  In addition, we develop and implement mandatory employment/arbitration programs that require employees to submit employment disputes to binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act as an alternative to costly litigation.  We also regularly assist employers covered by Executive Order 11246 with preparation and maintenance of affirmative action plans.

Representative Matters:

  • Worked with national retail chain to develop a program to manage FMLA, disability and workers’ compensation leave and benefits, to ensure regulatory compliance and reduce abuse of intermittent leave and overtime restrictions.
  • Assisted national professional services firm in responding to an audit of its affirmative action plan by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Conducted a Fair Labor Standards Act audit for a private college and assisted with implementation of new job classifications, as well as personnel policies and training aimed at ensuring compliance with new overtime regulations
  • Conducted wage and hour and Equal Pay Act audit for hospital system with multiple hospitals and healthcare facilities across five states
  • Developed and presented a customized leadership training program for a national aquarium products company to train its senior management and supervisory employees on interviewing and hiring practices, managing employee leave, and harassment issues

Occupational Safety and Health

Our attorneys have years of experience in negotiating the complex and ever changing standards and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).  Member of our team regularly conduct workplace audits to identify and eliminate problems that might otherwise have led to citations.  In addition, when fatalities, catastrophic accidents and other tragedies do occur in the workplace, we manage OSHA inspections with a view toward protecting our clients’ interests.

Representative Matters:

  • OSHA issued a willful citation to our client, an excavation contractor who was replacing a sewer line, for failing to protect employees from trench cave-ins.  Following a trial, the administrative law judgment vacated the willful citation and the government appealed.  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently awarded our client $147,000 in attorneys’ fees.
  • Following a fatal accident caused by the collapse of a wall at a demolition site, OSHA issued three willful citations, each alleging a violation of the demolition standard.  After a trial and appeal, two willful citations were vacated and the remaining citation was downgraded to serious.  Our client was awarded attorneys’ fees.
  • OSHA issued a willful citation after a construction worker suffered a fatal fall when a 10,000-pound concrete slab located on the 10th floor of a parking garage collapsed as he was attempting to demolish the slab while standing on it.  Following a trial, the administrative law judge vacated the willfulness classification.

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