Labor and Employment - Sprott NewsomIf you run a large corporation with thousands of employees or a small business with only a handful, there are many considerations and actions businesses must take to create a safe and welcoming work environment for their employees. There are many federal regulations that must be complied with, as well as state law. Regardless of how much you prepare, labor and employment related litigation can arise and impact your business. At Sprott Newsom, we help employers mitigate labor and employment risks and navigate the disputes that arise.

There are a number of ways employers can avoid costly litigation with current and former employees. Having strong employment contracts when a new hire joins is a good start, as well as having thoughtful non-compete and non-disclosure agreements for departing employees. Beyond contracts, corporate employers must develop effective policies and procedures to govern employee conduct and outline how to solve disputes. Our team can build and/or review these documents.

Our firm has experience across the spectrum of labor and employment law, including:

Contracts: Employment contracts provide the foundation for the relationship an employee has with their employer. Ensuring expectations and rules are sufficiently detailed in this document ensures employees understand their rights and responsibilities. Our firm can build and/or review contracts with contract-based workers and lower-level employees to C-suite executives. We also can draft and/or review any contracts needed when an employee departs. If disputes arise, including those regarding a breach of contract, our firm is well equipped to handle them on your behalf.

Discrimination: Both federal and state law afford protections to designated groups of people, including age, gender, race, and ability status, among others. Discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently because of one of these distinguishing characteristics and that treatment harms them. A harmful action could take the form of a demotion or lack of promotion, not hiring someone, or firing someone, to name a few. Our firm will partner with you to take the steps necessary to prevent discrimination and will defend you should the need arise.

Harassment: If one individual or a group of people is harassing an employee, the harassers should be held accountable. The business can be sued if it does not take steps to prevent or stop the illegal behavior. Our firm is ready to defend your business no matter the situation.

Wage and Hour: There are many federal and state laws that regulate the payment of employees, including regulations governing minimum wage, overtime pay, benefits, pay equality, and unemployment benefits. It is important to ensure you clearly define pay guidelines with your employees and comply with all laws.

Leave: Particularly at the federal level, there are laws allowing employees to take leave without consequences for life events like an illness, the birth of a child, and taking care of a sick family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is probably the most well-known law in this area. Our team can make sure your business remains in compliance with these laws.

If your company has been investigated or sued involving a labor and employment issue, Sprott Newsom can address and resolve the situation. Our lawyers are skilled at helping clients navigate alternatives to court, such as negotiation and mediation, to avoid the costs associated with litigation. If alternative dispute resolution methods prove unsuccessful, we are ready to fight for your business and have successfully represented clients not only in state and federal courts, but also in administrative hearings with state and federal government agencies that handle employment matters.