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Employment & Labor

The firm counsels, tries and arbitrates a wide range of employment law and labor disputes.

We represent employers and management in all major areas of employment litigation, including claims brought under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disability Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and ERISA litigation. The firm is regularly hired as trial counsel in state and federal courts throughout the country in labor and employment cases, as well as in labor-related arbitrations and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor and state unemployment commissions.

Because our clients include multi-national energy, technology, construction and financial services companies, we are regularly retained to handle covenant not to compete and trade secret litigation. We routinely advise companies and executives on their day-to-day employment issues.

The firm also assists executives, officers and corporations with the preparation and negotiation of employment agreements, compensation and severance packages. Our attorneys have extensive experience in conducting workplace investigations, and advising clients on layoffs, discipline and termination issues. Drawing on this experience, we frequently give presentations to our clients, other lawyers, and industry seminars on employment-related topics.

Hot Topics in Labor & Employment Law

Most recently, our practice has seen increased interest in:

1. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

This act re-sets the statute of limitations for equal-pay claims every time a paycheck is received.

For clients, it raises issues several issues, including issues about records retention. How long should companies keep payroll records if the equal pay claims are re-set with each paycheck? Should records be kept for all workers in order to show no disparity in pay? Do record retention policies need to be revised?

2. Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA has been expanded. The amendments broadly construe the definition of who is disabled. Impairments may be in remission or episodic and still qualify as a disability under the Act. How should companies handle complaints by its employees that their disabilities (including things such as sensitivity to smells) should be accommodated?

3. Severance and Unemployment Considerations in this Economy

We regularly write and review severance agreements and programs for our clients. Employers and employees want to know how severance payments compare or compromise their rights to unemployment benefits, particularly when the state unemployment benefits may be extended during this recession. Is one more advantageous than another? Does it depend on the level of compensation (yes!) and years of service?

Contact us for more information.

Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout, LLP
Two Houston Center
909 Fannin Street, Suite 2700
Houston, Texas 77010

713-752-0017 Telephone
877-752-2477 Toll Free
713-752-0327 Fax

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