Effective counsel for any employment relationship begins with an understanding of the employer’s business and its goals. Our attorneys work with clients to provide comprehensive management services addressing all aspects of the employment relationship. We represent both unionized and union-free employers. From handbook and policy reviews, to benefit and compliance issues, to routine hiring, firing, and retention challenges, to employment immigration issues, our attorneys are well-versed in the issues facing employers day-in and day-out.

Employment

We provide real-time practical guidance and advice on employment issues for employers of all sizes, on matters routine to complex. We advise clients on matters such as hiring, firing, and claims for unemployment compensation, harassment, discrimination, and accommodation. We review handbooks and related policies, and counsel on compliance issues. We also prepare and evaluate contracts, covenants not to compete and restrictive covenants, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, and separation and termination agreements.

Labor

From union organizing, elections, and collective bargaining to labor arbitration and other matters under the authority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the State Employment Relations Board (SERB), our attorneys provide comprehensive management services for unionized employers and management. We also provide services in defense of unfair labor practice charges, grievances, and matters subject to arbitration.

Litigation

A significant focus of our employment practice is the defense of employers facing charges in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings before a governmental agency such as the National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), State Employment Relations Board (SERB), Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC), Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), Ohio Industrial Commission, or Michigan Department of Civil Rights. We also regularly prosecute and defend actions seeking injunctive relief, including temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, in matters involving violations of restrictive covenants/non-compete agreements and other kinds of employment contracts. Our litigators also defend trustees, administrators and plan sponsors in fiduciary breach and other claims under ERISA and related regulations.

Workers' Compensation and Workplace Safety Issues

We represent the interests of both state fund and self-insured employers before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC). Our lawyers regularly appear before District Hearing Officers (DHO), Staff Hearing Officers (SHO) and the Industrial Commission, and through appeals and mandamus actions in the courts of common pleas beyond the administrative stage. We also defend employers against VSSR claims, and assist with disputes before the BWC over premiums assessed and employee classification issues for purposes of premium allocation.

Labor

  • Routine handling of collective bargaining negotiations of labor contracts in the private and public sectors, and experience handling NLRB and SERB matters.
  • Represented employers in well over 200 labor arbitration cases.

Employment Law

  • Regular and frequent counseling on legal compliance and human resource management.
  • Providing proactive implementation of lawful policies, procedures and handbooks to assist employers avoid legal liability.
  • Protecting employer rights through the use of strategic hiring documents, employment contracts, non-compete agreements, last chance agreements, and release/severance agreements.
  • Counseling employers in compliance with federal and state employment statutes, including FMLA, ADA, FLSA, Wage-Hour laws, Title VII, and OSHA.
  • Review and preparation of employee handbooks and other employment-related policies.
  • From petition to admission, successfully handled several employment-based temporary non-immigrant visa applications.

Benefits

  • Counsel to benefit plan trustees, including a Taft-Hartley welfare benefits trust that delivers retiree health care benefits nationwide to hourly retirees in the glass container and related industries.
  • Have designed and customized plans to ensure compliance with ERISA and related regulations, while attaining client goals.
  • Represent employers in DOL examinations of benefit programs.
  • Compliance audits for plans to ensure current and appropriate communications to participants.
  • Review and counsel regarding investment advisory statements, policies, and disclosure requirements.
  • Advise employers, trustees, and administrators in disputes with participants.
  • Provide tax planning and related advice regarding benefit and retirement plan distributions.

Employment-Related Litigation

  • Defended employers in federal and state court against allegations of discrimination and wrongful discharge.
  • Representing employers in state and federal court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
  • Obtained summary judgment for employers sued for civil rights violations. 
  • Secured temporary restraining orders and other injunctive relief for employers to enforce non-compete agreements and other business related contracts.
  • Won a jury verdict for an area employer in a complex wage and hour case.
  • Qualified to provide expert testimony as to mitigation of damages in a covenant not to compete case.
  • Won numerous “No Probable Cause” findings in favor of employers facing charges of discrimination.
  • Successfully argued for many “just cause” dismissal determinations from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review Commission.
  • Secured obtained summary judgment under ERISA Section 404© safe harbor for retirement plan trustee in breach of fiduciary duty claim where plan participants lost retirement savings to a Ponzi-scheming financial advisor, affirmed on appeal.

Workers’ Compensation

  • Obtained defense verdict for employer via mandamus action on the issue of voluntary abandonment of employment. Established that employee was terminated appropriately by the employer under the Louisiana-Pacific doctrine.
  • Obtained defense verdict via mandamus action determining that employee violated work rules and established attendance problems leading to finding of voluntary abandonment of employment, successfully prohibiting payment of temporary total disability benefits.
  • Drafted and successfully obtained summary judgment for large self-insured employer, establishing injured worker did not meet the statute of limitations. Decision affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth Appellate District.
  • Obtained defense verdict for self-insured employer from jury trial in Lucas County, concerning an additional allowance to injured worker’s claim.
  • Successfully defended employer in mandamus action by injured worker to establish that injured worker was not permanently and totally disabled.
  • Successfully defended self-insured employer before the Supreme Court of Ohio in regard to re-opening of permanent total disability determination and successfully obtaining decision that injured was not permanently, totally disabled.
  • Drafted successful motion for summary judgment for local self-insured employer, determining that injured worker was not in the course of, or arising out of, her employment when traveling home while engaged on a cell phone conversation with her supervisor.
 

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