Labor and Employment

The workplace is always providing new challenges for employers, and the attorneys of Hinman, Howard & Kattell are here to assist in meeting them. Our attorneys are frequent lecturers in labor and employment topics to the local Chambers of Commerce, Bar Associations, and other community groups. We provide up-to-date, practical advice both for unionized and non-unionized employers. We believe in an individualized approach to meet our clients' needs, rather than insisting on a "one-size-fits-all" solution.

Handbooks, Policies, Contracts, and Training

Compliance with the law up front can save employers in the long run by eliminating or curtailing governmental investigations and litigation. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, policies and employment contracts. We provide advice to our clients on discrimination laws, leave laws, wage and hour compliance, workplace safety compliance, and managing non-competes and protection against unfair competition. We also assist employers in determining when independent contractor status is appropriate and when it is not. Our attorneys have assisted clients in managing reductions in Force and handling WARN Act issues. We are experienced in counseling clients regarding Drug Testing and Substance Abuse Management; and Privacy, Social Media and Information Management. 

We conduct training on a variety of topics for supervisors and employees at all levels including anti-sexual harassment and anti-discrimination training, disability accommodation best practices, and handling an OSHA inspection. We also train Human Resources professionals to better handle their responsibilities, including providing training on best practices for managing the web of Family and Medical Leave Act and disability leave, and conducting internal employee investigations that may lead to discipline.

Representation in Government Investigations

When the government does come knocking, our attorneys are here to help. We have successfully represented clients in wage and hour audits by the New York State and federal departments of labor, in Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) investigations, and in investigations by the Division of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Litigation and Administrative Proceedings

No employer likes to find itself in an adversary proceeding, but our attorneys bring both courtroom and administrative hearing experience to the table. We represent employers both in federal and state court, and in administrative agency proceedings. We have litigated claims involving employment discrimination and harassment, wage and hour laws, and non-compete and unfair competition agreements. We have developed best practices for handling electronic discovery, including social media. We have successfully defended claims in administrative proceedings before OSHA, the Department of Labor, the Division of Human Rights, and the EEOC.

Labor Relations for Unionized and Partially Unionized Employers

Our attorneys are experienced in representing unionized and partially unionized employers in their labor relations, including providing advice, training, and representation to employers before and during union organizing efforts.

From serving as advisors during collective bargaining to representing employers in grievance and arbitration proceedings, we understand the challenges employers can face when dealing with their unions. Our attorneys have also successfully represented employers before the National Labor Relations Board and in the courts, challenging a variety of unfair labor practice charges.

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