Labor and Employment Law

Welcome to the Labor and Employment section. Numerous developments in the labor and employment field have made this practice unpredictable. Ohio is an Employment-at-will state. However, recent developments in state and federal law have challenged the once held belief that Ohio employees could be fired for almost any reason. If you have a current employment situation, I invite you to contact me to set up a consultation.

Unions and Collective Bargaining

Is your workforce a prime candidate for unionization? Have your managers been properly trained to avoid behavior that increases the likelihood of your employees feeling the need to have a union? Have they been trained on the employers' perspective of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)? If you have answered no to any of the above, you might want to consider specialized training on maintaining union free shops. Many times momentum for a union begins long before the employers are aware. When union activity is discovered, only appropriate actions under the NLRA can be taken.

Perhaps you workforce is already organized into a collective bargaining unit. You may seek to have the union decertified. You may also need to negotiate with the union on the initial or subsequent contracts. Finally, you might be facing an "Unfair Labor Practices" charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

If any of the above ring true for your organization, give me a call and lets discuss your preparations to maximize your competitive advantage and the morale of your workforce.

Discrimination, Harassment and Wrongful Discharge

Employment Discrimination cases are serious and pervasive in a weak economy. When employees are laid off or terminated, a common first response is to wonder where they might have a claim against the organization. Sometimes employees feel hurt or betrayed by the company and want to seek retribution. This sometimes manifests into charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, or the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. Each complaint is a serious matter.

You need an effective strategy to handle these complaints, before they develop into larger problems requiring more money. I work closely with you and the regulatory agency to quickly dispose of fraudulent claims and limit your exposure as necessary.

Workplace harassment is another serious issue that employers can combat with proactive steps. Developing a comprehensive anti-harassment policy, which provides a method for management to handle complaints is an important first step. Effective training is another important part of your plan.

Employers need to take workplace harassment very seriously, as exposure can be significant. If you need help developing your strategy or responding to a complaint, give me a call!

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)

TKeeping your employees healthy and injury free is critical in maintaining a productive work environment. If productivity and morale is not encouragement enough, OSHA inspections can result in citations and penalty hearings.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation is an system where employers have agreed to a process where employees can bring injury claims without the need and expense of filing court cases. I advise employers concerning administration of claims, claims management, investigation, and attaining or maintaining self-insured status. I also defend employers with regard to applications alleging violations of specific safety requirements.

Arbitration, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Many times it is less expensive to litigate an employment issue in Arbitration or Mediation. I will help you utilize all forms of alternative dispute resolution to settle grievances quickly and efficiently. forms of ADR include:

1. Grievances Under Collective Bargaining Agreements
2. Arbitration Under Non-union Employment Agreements
3. Non-Binding Mediation

Wage and Hour Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as state wage and hour statutes and regulations govern your employees' hours and wages. Additionally I help clients on prevailing wage issues for construction projects.

Non-compete and Trade Secrets

Do you need help protecting trade secrets or writing non-compete agreements for your employees? I can help you devise a strategy that will help you tackle these issues and ensure that your agreements are effective and your secrets are well kept.

Class Actions

When I worked for a large firm in Cincinnati, I experienced the requirements of complex class action defense. Whether you are dealing with alleged unlawful labor and employment practices, or actions pursuant to the FLSA, EPA and ADEA. As a result, I can effectively handle the unique and complex issues, including discovery, opposition to class certification, and successful resolution.

Consultation and Training

The most effective way to minimize legal costs is to reduce the chance of a legal problem. I am committed to designing and implementing programs that decrease exposure and increase your return. Labor and employment problems are best dealt with before they begin, or immediately as they arise. Clients should be equipped with resources and techniques that allow them to solve these problems immediately and with confidence.

Areas of focus include:

1. Absenteeism
2. Sexual Harassment
3. Employee Discipline
4. Personnel File Documentation