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Labor and Management Relations

LeClairRyan’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 litigation is filed. As our clients’ business partner and trusted advisor, we help companies across the nation as well as in Europe 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 such 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 clients’ involvement in employment claims and litigation. 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 and the National Labor Relations Board and in federal and state courts across the country, including most of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Class and Collective Action Litigation

Our team of veteran class action litigators understands and appreciates the far-reaching implications of class and collective action matters and the importance of adopting a proactive litigation strategy to avoid and defeat class certification and underlying liability claims.

We conduct early case assessments and craft cost-effective solutions best suited to our clients’ business and legal needs, whether it entails adopting arbitration programs that preclude class actions, pursuing early mediation, and, where appropriate, litigating through trial. With attorneys from coast to coast who are admitted in over 30 states, we possess a depth of experience managing multidistrict and class and collective actions.

Labor and Management Relations

LeClairRyan is well-positioned to handle matters across the entire labor management relations spectrum. Our team has extensive experience in labor-related counseling, litigation, negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practices, union election campaigns, and pension and welfare plan matters. Our team has decades of experience addressing union avoidance and election matters; National Labor Relations Board issues, often relating to emergency injunctions; strikes and other work interruptions, including issues related to violence; and representing management in day-to-day negotiations, grievances, arbitrations and unfair labor practices.

Employment Counseling, Training and Audits

Our team constantly monitors federal and state legislative changes, case developments and federal and state agencies for developments that might affect employers’ training obligations. We regularly audit our clients’ operations, communications and employee training policies and programs with a view toward reducing liability risk from defamation, discrimination, retaliation and other employment 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 national arbitration programs that require employees to submit employment disputes to binding arbitration as an alternative to costly litigation. We regularly assist employers covered by Executive Order 11246 with preparation and maintenance of affirmative action plans.

Compensation and Benefits

Our attorneys know the importance of helping employers maximize benefits coverage, minimize costs and avoid the liability risks associated with lack of compliance with benefits-related laws and regulations. Triangulating these imperative requires careful consideration of factors such as the client’s labor situation, competitive position, compliance status and overall strategic goals.

In addition to providing comprehensive executive compensation and employee benefits services, our attorneys help clients implement and maintain welfare benefits plans, tax-qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans and executive compensation programs. We address compliance and fiduciary issues associated with the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and are adept at handling the benefits aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. We routinely help employers resolve benefits claims and ERISA litigation, and frequently deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in order to help clients obtain private-letter rulings, determination letters, exemptions and informal guidance. 
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). Members 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.