Employment Counseling

Overview

"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
Partner Orlando
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Atlanta
Associate Denver
Associate New York
Associate Columbus
Partner New York
Of Counsel Houston
Associate Orlando
Partner Atlanta
Partner Columbus
Counsel Columbus
Partner Columbus
Associate Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate Atlanta
Partner Atlanta
Associate Columbus
Partner Cincinnati
Associate Atlanta
Partner Washington, D.C.
Counsel Orlando
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Partner Cincinnati
Associate Washington, D.C.
Partner Orlando
Partner Orlando
Associate Columbus
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Cleveland
Partner New York
Partner Los Angeles
Counsel Denver
Associate Orlando
Counsel Orlando
Partner Cleveland
Partner Orlando
Associate New York
Partner Chicago
Partner New York
Partner Houston
Partner Houston
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Philadelphia
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Atlanta

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment
    • Florida (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 2
    • Ohio: Band 1 (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 1
    • Texas (2014 to 2018)
      • Band 3
    • Recognized Practitioner in California (2018)
    • Recognized Practitioner in the District of Columbia (2018)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, we were named to the 2018 BTI Client Service 30 for the fourth consecutive year.
  • The Legal 500 United States:
    • Labor and Employment - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Design, Tier 5 (2018)
    • Labor and Employment - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Transactional, Tier 5 (2018)
    • Labor and Employment - Immigration, Tier 4 (2018)
    • Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense, Tier 4 (2018)
    • Labor and Employment - Labor-Management Relations, Tier 3 (2018)
  • 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

News

Press Releases

Events

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Southern District of New York Denies Certification of Nationwide Case Alleging Sex Discrimination
By Gregory V. Mersol
December 7, 2018
A claim is brought against a large employer contending that, although personnel decisions are made locally, it discriminates in pay and promotions on the basis of sex nationwide. Sound familiar? That was, essentially, the claim in Wal-Mart...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Fifth Circuit Holds That the Company in Class Action Waived Its Right to Arbitrate Because of Litigation Conduct
By John B. Lewis
December 4, 2018
The standards for determining when a party waives its right to arbitrate through participation in litigation have never been uniform among the circuits or easily applied. The recent Fifth Circuit opinion in Forby v. One Technologies, L.P...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Central District of California Denies Certification in Mortgage Loan Officer Case
November 29, 2018
FLSA Conditional Certification Denied Too The position of mortgage loan officer has been a fertile source of wage and hour claims, but a recent case from the Central District of California reflects that certification of a class, even...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Tenth Circuit Finds Massage Therapy Students to Be Just That – Students
By Gregory V. Mersol
November 15, 2018
Once thought to be the next wave of wage-and-hour cases, suits involving interns and students have tended to founder because most training programs are intended to train rather than to provide employment. We’ve blogged about issues like...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Another bill aimed at employee arbitration agreements – this time to nullify Epic Systems
By John B. Lewis
November 6, 2018
On Oct. 30, 2018, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., together with 58 Democratic cosponsors, introduced the Restoring Justice for Workers Act, H.R. 7109 H.R. 7109. Unlike some earlier bills, this proposed legislation...
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