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
Mary Price Birk Partner Denver
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
Dennis P. Duffy Partner Houston
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 Cleveland
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

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In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Decertifies Class Challenging Timekeeping Practices
February 27, 2017
Yogi Berra often has been quoted for the phrase “It ain’t over till it’s over,” and Lenny Kravitz even made a hit song of it in 1991. While no one will likely ever make a popular song out of Rule 23, the phrase applies just as well to...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Dismisses Disparate Impact Class Claims Due to Limited EEOC Charge
February 22, 2017
Disparate impact cases are different in kind from the far more common disparate treatment claims that are the staple of single-plaintiff discrimination cases. Disparate treatment claims, of course, are ones in which an employee contends...
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Employment Law Spotlight
New York Appellate Court Declines to Enforce Noncompetes Against Employees Terminated Without Cause
February 14, 2017
A recent decision by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Department, Buchanan Capital Markets, LLC v. DeLucca, 144 A.D.3d 508 (1st Dep’t. 2016), suggests that noncompetition restrictions against employees who have...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Joint Employment Update: What’s The Status of Browning-Ferris and the NLRB?
By Todd H. Lebowitz
January 30, 2017
In August 2015, the NLRB rewrote the book on joint employment, declaring in the Browning-Ferris case that the right to exercise minimal control, even if not actually exercised, was enough to create a joint employment relationship. (Read...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Refuses to Certify Class Due to Lack of Adequacy of Class Counsel
January 27, 2017
Class action litigation is not for amateurs We’ve commented before in this blog on cases in which courts declined to certify employment actions due to adequacy of class counsel. A recent case reflects that some courts will look not only to...
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