Labor and Employment
The body of laws that impact the employment relationship is large, intricate, and unsettled Therefore, only experienced attorneys who practice labor and employment law exclusively can provide clients with the highest quality counsel and representation. Since the stakes of government and private legal proceedings can be quite high, a lawyer with specialized expertise in labor and employment law can be invaluable to employers who wish to minimize the risk of a costly proceeding or who strive to have the greatest chance of success in prosecuting or defending an employment-related legal action.
We at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. have many years of quality experience practicing labor and employment law exclusively and are Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our firm is well suited to counsel and represent employers in even the most complex labor and employment law matters. These matters include the following:
► Employment discrimination in all forms, including harassment;
► Classification of workers as employees or independent contractors;
► Labor relations;
► Occupational safety & health;
► Leave from work for family, medical or military reasons;
► Wage and hour, including overtime compensation, minimum wage and child labor.
► Wrongful discharge and other employment-related torts;
► Direct and vicarious liability of employers and supervisors;
► Protection of trade secrets and proprietary information;
► Federal contract compliance;
► Whistleblower protection;
► Plant closings;
► Employee testing;
► Employee leasing;
► Employee handbooks;
► Employment and severance agreements; and
► Covenants not to compete.
Labor & Employment Topical Index
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has administrative and enforcement authority for more than 180 employment laws including the following:
• Davis-Bacon Act;
• Employee Polygraph Protection Act;
• Employee Retirement Income Security Act “(ERISA”);
• Far Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”);
• Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”);
• Occupational Safety & Health Act (“OSH Act”);
• Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”); and
• Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”)
The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. offer a wealth of experience in representing employers both (1) during audits and investigations conducted by the DOL, and (2) in administrative and judicial proceedings brought by the DOL.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has investigative and/or enforcement authority with regard to the following federal statutes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Since information obtained during an EEOC investigation can (1) be the basis for a lawsuit by the EEOC against an employer, and/or (2) be used in subsequent litigation brought by the complainant against the employer, no investigation should ever be taken lightly. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. have successfully handled hundreds of EEOC investigations on behalf of employers.
Employment agreements can be as informal as an offer letter or as formal as a written agreement spanning several pages. Employment agreements can address myriad subject matters including the following:
• Duration of employment or preservation of at-will employment;
• Description of job duties;
• Compensation and benefits, including deferred compensation;
• Equity ownership;
• Intellectual property rights;
• Termination of employment; and
• Post-employment restrictive covenants governing trade secrets, competition, solicitation of customers and employees, and disparagement.
The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. have drafted or reviewed hundreds of employment agreements on behalf of clients.
In the wake of the Enron scandal, executive compensation arrangements have been under greater scrutiny than ever before by federal and state regulatory agencies. As set forth in an article authored by the firm and published in the Plus Journal, Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code will likely result in a “sea change” in the area of deferred compensation arrangements. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. are well versed in the requirements of 409A; most recently, this knowledge was used in drafting executive compensation arrangements in a $330 million acquisition by a publicly-traded company.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS
Will Rogers once said that “the minute you read something you don’t understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.” These words ring true when any person, including a lawyer, undertakes to read the labor and employment laws which employers are expected to heed every day. This task is complicated even further by the sheer number of laws that govern the workplace, which interstate employers can number in the thousands. With a group that practices labor and employment law exclusively, Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. is able to offer employers the expertise necessary to understand their numerous and often complex legal obligations.
The National Labor Relations Board (“NRLB”) administers the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) through (1) the investigation and/or enforcement of unfair labor charges filed by unions, union employees, or nonunion employees, and (2) determinations as to whether employees wish to be represented by a union, and if so, which union. The attorneys of Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. are well-versed in both functions of the NLRB.
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH
The primary federal law regulating workplace health and safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”). Although the fines which can be imposed under the OSH Act can be substantial, the importance of the Act extends far beyond its standards and penalties. Many courts and administrative agencies have found OSH Act violations to be evidence of company misconduct in tort actions brought by employees and third parties; some states have even found an OSH Act violation to be negligence per se. Whether you are a target of an OSHA inspection, investigation, or citation or just need legal advice regarding the OSH Act, the attorneys of Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. are available to assist you.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), which is part of the DOL, administers the laws and regulations addressing discrimination and affirmative action by federal contractors. The design of affirmative action plans which pass scrutiny by the OFCCP is part of the legal services provided by Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) administers the Occupational Safety & Health Act (“OSH Act”) through workplace inspections and investigations. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. are available to provide employers with legal assistance (1) during an OSHA inspection or investigation, and (2) in the defense and/or resolution of an OSHA citation.
The Texas Workforce Commission (“TWC”) administers and enforces several Texas labor laws including those addressing the following three areas:
• Unemployment compensation;
• Payment of salary and wages; and
• Discrimination in employment.
The attorneys of Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. have successfully represented employers in audits and proceedings regarding all three areas before the TWC.
For years, data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a steady decline in union membership. In 2007, however, union membership jumped by 311,000 members. In 2008, union membership rose again by 428,000 workers. Like it or not, unions are making a comeback. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. have extensive experience in developing strategies for maintaining a union-free workforce.