Employment Counseling

"They're savvy with business issues and understand what we need commercially, keeping us abreast of new developments and their implications."

– Chambers USA 2012

Clients value BakerHostetler’s counsel on workplace matters in large part because we do not focus exclusively on employment law.

While our employment lawyers have deep experience in the applicable federal, state and local employment laws, they also have access to the collective experience of more than 900 lawyers who concentrate their practices in a full spectrum of other areas of law that affect employee relations. For instance, an issue of executive compensation may require the input of a tax lawyer. A whistleblowing claim at a public company may lead us to tap our securities team. Complaints about workplace conditions may involve environmental issues. We have the requisite experience on call.

Our employment advisors are also employment litigators. This dual perspective allows us to provide advice that seeks first to avoid litigation but that also lays the groundwork for an effective defense if litigation is filed. Many of our team members have experience as in-house counsel with public and private companies and many have worked for the regulatory agencies that enforce and interpret workplace laws. We advise clients on all aspects of employment law and employment-related statutes, from ADA to WARN (please see "Areas of Counsel" below for a sample listing of matters we regularly handle).

We view our clients as business partners and we tailor our advice to their business needs. We take a proactive approach, helping our clients not only avoid litigation and enforcement but also develop policies that will meet their business objectives. When working to resolve a workplace conflict or disciplinary matter, we focus our counsel not only on the client's decision itself, but on how to convey that decision to employees in ways that aim to minimize resentment and humiliation.

Our advising goes beyond merely reciting the law and presenting a range of options. Although we believe that effective advice includes helping clients to weigh alternative approaches, we don't hesitate to offer a firm recommendation as to which alternative is most likely to help a client achieve its objectives.

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Keeping Our Clients Informed
"BakerHostetler lawyers are practical, experienced, and strategic. They are fantastic and get consistent results for our company!"– This comment appears on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers Best Law Firm website at bestlawfirms.usnews.com

We keep our clients updated on the latest developments in employment law and how those developments affect their organizations. Through the issuance of email Employment Alerts and posting of developments on our Employment Class Action and Employment Law Spotlight blogs, we provide not only updates but recommendations and bottom line takeaways as well.

We regularly provide clients with training on a wide range of employment matters, tailoring our presentations as the client requires to different audiences, from attorneys to human resources personnel, to managers/supervisors, to rank-and-file employees, and customizing the scope and purpose. Examples of recent presentations include:

  • Preventing Harassment in the Workplace
  • Reasonable Accommodation and Leave Management
  • Managing Employee Medical Issues
  • ADA in the Workplace
  • Social Media Best Practices
  • Navigating through the FMLA, ADA and Workers’ Compensation
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
  • Proper Classification under the FLSA
  • Conducting Internal Investigations
  • Protection of Corporate Assets
  • National Labor Relations Board Developments
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement Administration and Interpretation

Our team offers webinars, educational programs and on-site presentations. We are flexible in our approach, and we aim to ensure that our clients have the information they need to stay informed on the latest developments in employment law.

Ongoing Compliance Counsel

"BakerHostetler has the depth within their organization to successfully achieve the desired results of their clients and to protect their interests."– This comment appears on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers Best Law Firm website at bestlawfirms.usnews.com

Employment law compliance is a moving target. Regulations change. EEOC enforcement priorities change. Legal interpretations change. On an ongoing basis, we can help clients assess their readiness on issues such as the following:

  • Have you updated your social media, electronic communications, and confidentiality policies to reflect the latest NLRB decisions, which apply even in a non-union environment?
  • Have you updated your background check policies and practices to comply with the EEOC’s most recent guidance?
  • Have you updated your FMLA policy to reflect the expanded military caregiver and qualifying exigency leave entitlements?
  • Have you reviewed your employees’ exempt/non-exempt classifications in light of developing FLSA case law?
  • Have you considered implementing arbitration agreements with employees to take advantage of recent rulings that allow employers to avoid courtroom litigation and class action litigation?
  • Does your unpaid internship program pass muster under the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines and recent court decisions?

Areas of Counsel

"High degree of responsiveness; a well-run team. Their major strength is institutional knowledge of the industry coupled with prompt personal service at rates that are much lower than comparable big city national firms."– Chambers & Partners interviewee

We advise clients on all aspects of employment law and employment-related statutes. Below is a sample list of the areas of counsel we handle for our clients.

  • Hiring and Firing
  • Employee Discipline
  • Leaves of Absence and Employee Medical Issues
  • Reasonable Accommodation Obligations
  • Return to Work Obligations
  • Employee Medication and Impairment Issues
  • Managing Performance Problems
  • Employee Medical Examinations
  • Background Checks
  • Immigration
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Employee Compensation and Exempt / Non-Exempt Classification Issues
  • Employee / Independent Contractor Classification Issues
  • Use of Temporary and Staffing Agency Workers
  • Reductions in Force (RIF)
  • Severance Agreements
  • Noncompetition / Nonsolicitation Agreements / Trade Secrets
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Discrimination and Retaliation Statutes, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Federal and State Whistleblower Statutes
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
  • Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)
  • Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Joyce Ackerbaum Cox Partner Orlando
Marc A. Antonetti Partner Washington, D.C.
M.J. Asensio Partner Columbus
Elliot S. Azoff Partner Cleveland
Ryan A. Cates Associate Columbus
Tracy Cole Partner New York
Hurlie H. Collier Of Counsel Houston
Joseph C. Devine Partner Columbus
R. Christopher Doyle Counsel Columbus
Jennifer E. Edwards Partner Columbus
Samuel E. Endicott Associate Columbus
Charles J. French III Partner Cleveland
Amanda L. Godzinski Associate Columbus
David A. Grant Partner Washington, D.C.
David G. Holcombe Partner Cincinnati
Jay P. Krupin Partner Washington, D.C.
Caroline M. Landt Counsel Orlando
Todd H. Lebowitz Partner Cleveland
Kelline R. Linton Associate Houston
Ronald G. Linville Partner Columbus
Richard S. Mandelson Partner Denver
M. Scott McIntyre Partner Cincinnati
Mary C. Miller Associate Orlando
Patrick M. Muldowney Partner Orlando
Rosemary O'Shea Partner Orlando
Travis I. Owsley Staff Attorney Columbus
Michael Parente Staff Attorney Columbus
Lisa H. Pennington Partner Houston
David A. Posner Partner Cleveland
Paul Rosenberg Partner New York
Margaret Rosenthal Partner Los Angeles
Nathan A. Schacht Counsel Denver
Ashley M. Schachter Associate Orlando
James W. Seegers Counsel Orlando
Thomas M. Seger Partner Cleveland
Kevin W. Shaughnessy Partner Orlando
Saima Z. Sheikh Associate New York
Melissa A. Siebert Partner Chicago
John Siegal Partner New York
Rachel M. Smith Partner Houston
Drew B. Tipton Partner Houston
Amy J. Traub Partner New York
Jeffrey R. Vlasek Partner Cleveland
David A. Whitcomb Partner Columbus
Christian R. White Counsel Philadelphia

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment
    • Florida (2007 to 2016)
    • Ohio: Band 1 (2007 to 2016)
    • Texas (2014 to 2016)
  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” (2017)
    • Employment Law - Management: National Tier 1
  • Corporate Counsel® and The American Lawyer magazines "Go-to Law Firm” for Labor & Employment by general counsel (2013) 
  • Workforce Management Magazine: Top Employment Law Firms
  • The Lawdragon/Human Resource Executive list of the Nation's Top Employment Attorneys includes three members of the team in their Top 100 list, with one additional attorney named among the nation's top 20 labor lawyers.
  • Florida Trend's “Legal Elite"
  • Numerous partners have been certified as employment law specialists by their respective state bar associations.

News

Press Releases

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Dismisses California Class Action Due to Limited California Nexus
April 20, 2017
It is no secret that California is a desired and favorable forum for class action litigation. It is therefore not surprising that plaintiffs might try to take advantage of that forum even when the connection between employment and...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Employers Will No Longer Be Permitted to Ask About Previous Pay in New York City
April 16, 2017
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the New York City Council passed a law amending the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to add a protective class – salary history. The NYCHRL applies to all employers with four or more employees. The...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Chipotle Wins One, Loses One, in Wage and Hour Class Litigation
April 3, 2017
A Tale of Two Cases . . . We’ve commented on numerous occasions about the peculiar paths taken by wage and hour class litigation, particularly with respect to collective actions under the FLSA. Two cases involving the same employer decided...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Arbitration of PAGA Claims: Another California Divide Emerges
March 30, 2017
In a March 8, 2017, article, we talked about how the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals compelled the arbitration of a California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) representative claim in Valdez v. Terminix International Co., L.P., No...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Proposed Legislation That Could Impact Class Action Litigation and Arbitration – The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 and the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017
By Jessica L. Greenberg
March 16, 2017
Two new pieces of proposed legislation could, if passed, change the architecture and requirements of class actions and outlaw mandatory arbitration clauses in employment and consumer contracts. But neither is a sure thing. Vocal critics as...
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