Employment and Labor Law
BrownWinick’s Employment, Labor Law and Employee Benefits practice group focuses
on anticipating and preventing employment problems before they result in litigation.
We counsel both public and private employers on day-to-day employment issues such
as discrimination in employment, termination and layoffs, wage and hour disputes,
individual disciplinary problems and benefit related matters. We also provide
counseling and on-site training on issues such as hiring, disciplinary actions,
drug testing, terminations and layoffs, employment and severance contracts, covenants
not to compete and employee handbooks. We assist with compliance regarding a variety
of state and federal laws such as workers’ compensation, occupational safety and
health, wage and hour, and state and federal antidiscrimination laws such as Title
VII, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act. We conduct investigating workplace complaints
including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, retaliation, whistle-blower
and discrimination complaints. We assist clients with anti-union campaigns. Because
not all employment problems can be anticipated or resolved prior to litigation,
we also defend employers before a variety of local agencies, and federal and state
courts. Where appropriate, we also represent employers in alternative dispute
resolution forums, including mediation and arbitration.
Preventive Employee Relations
Development of employee handbooks, human resources audits, as well as personnel
policies and procedures designed to increase compliance, avoid litigation and
prevent union organizing. Protection of multiple business enterprise options
(e.g., “double breasting” and business acquisition).
Representation of employers in state and federal courts, state, federal and local
agencies, arbitrations and mediations. The types of claims we have been involved
in include, but are not limited to, wrongful termination (discrimination and violations
of public policy), sexual harassments, wage claims under state and federal law,
ERISA claims, whistle-blower claims, violation of restrictive covenants, retaliation
claims, workers’ compensation claims, breach of contract, interference with contract,
interference with prospective business advantages, fraudulent misrepresentation,
negligent misrepresentation, defamation and breach of fiduciary duty.
Counseling and drafting of policies and procedures to protect employers from
liability for tort or contract claims liability and to preserve “employment-at-will”
Investigating discrimination claims in the workplace. Representing clients in
defending EEO charges at the local, state and federal levels before agencies and
in the courts; proactive counseling review of personnel policies matters and procedures
to ensure compliance and prevent or minimize claims.
Advice and representation in labor and employment arbitration matters, including
strategy development, case presentation and legal briefing.
Workplace Health and Safety
Representation of employers in enforcement actions by OSHA and state agencies;
counseling of clients in policy and preventive practice development and handling
emerging workplace health and safety issues.
Representation of unionized employers in anti-union campaigns and in all aspects
of the collective bargaining process, including negotiation and drafting of collective
bargaining agreements. Counseling employers in maintaining union-free workplaces.
Representation of clients before the National Labor Relations Board, Wage and
Hour Division of the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
and similar Iowa state agencies.
Advise employers with respect to their employment eligibility verification obligation
under federal law (the I-9 process), which applies to all employers. Assist our
clients in identifying and obtaining the proper work authorizations for their
foreign workers, including H-1B nonimmigrant visas where applicable. Work with
employers to ensure that they are able to hire and retain foreign workers and
comply with the laws and regulations governing the employment relationship.