Employment & Employee Benefits
We provide a full range of employment law services for law firms. Our attorneys protect employers’ interests both through litigation and through counseling designed to minimize litigation risks and ensure compliance with employment laws. We have had very successful results litigating matters under the full range of federal and state employment laws.
In addition to litigation, we provide ongoing and, as needed, counseling on employment issues. Our attorneys conduct corporate investigations when allegations of harassment, discrimination or other workplace improprieties surface. We also prepare and negotiate employment agreements for key firm employees.
Below are examples of employment matters in which we have represented law firms:
- Assisted a law firm in connection with a planned reduction in force necessitated by the economic downturn.
- Provided advice and counsel to law firm in connection with allegations of sexual harassment by partner of a law firm.
- Defended a suit brought by a terminated associate alleging failure to pay amounts due under a severance agreement and brought a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty. We also handled the related investigation.
- Defended an EEOC charge by an accounting department employee alleging age and national origin discrimination. We also handled the related investigation.
- Defended an action by a secretary claiming verbal sexual harassment by a partner. We also conducted the related investigation.
- Defended a law firm in connection with claims of racial discrimination by manager.
Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice is extremely varied. We have extensive experience with the design and operation of retirement and welfare benefit plans, and their related fiduciary issues. We work closely with employers on how to communicate information about complex employee benefit programs in a clear and accurate manner.
As a partnership ourselves, we have a particular understanding of the special issues faced by partnerships, and particularly by law firm partnerships with a diverse employee workforce and a high concentration of highly paid employees. Our work has focused on the desire of partners to maximize deductible plan contributions while minimizing firm risk.
- We work with and formulate innovative plan designs, coupling defined benefit and/or cash balance plans with defined contribution arrangements, that can help partnerships meet their financial goals while complying with statutory nondiscrimination rules and applicable legal limits.
- We negotiate and assist in the design of comprehensive medical programs, monitoring changes in the insurance market, as well as health care reform and medical privacy rules.
- We obtain governmental approvals for employer plans and arrangements.
- We review and provide advice on claims, including eligibility and distribution rights.
- We focus on the impact of the Internal Revenue Code Section 409A deferred compensation rules on partner deferred compensation plans.