Our Legal Services
Labor and Employment Law
In today’s dynamic and ever-evolving work environment, understanding the legal framework and intricacies surrounding state and federal labor and employment law is crucial for employers. We are here to assist you with key aspects of the law, addressing issues such as workplace rights, discrimination, wages, labor disputes, and the many complexities of employer-employee relationships.
We counsel our clients in all phases of labor and employment law relations. We handle a broad range of traditional labor and employment matters including employment contracts, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, wage and hour issues, employment counseling for start-ups, employee policies and handbooks, unfair labor practices charges, workplace investigations, and employment litigation. In addition, we assist clients with workforce planning, recruitment, hiring and termination processes.
We also advise clients on start-up and executive compensation matters that include benefits such as restricted stock or stock options and incentives or bonuses based upon objectives set for operating performance and vesting.
We represent employers, start-ups, and management-level employees. We counsel our clients on all aspects of the employment relationship, from workforce planning, recruitment and hiring to compensation, performance management, leaves of absence and other accommodations, assist with the investigation and resolution of workforce complaints, and advise on the various mechanisms for employment separation. We draft agreements and review and develop employment policies and processes that relate to the size, industry and unique aspects of our clients’ business operations and workforce.
In our roles as litigators and counselors, we focus on providing both our employer, start-up, and employee clients with solutions that resolve their workplace issues, advance their business goals and reduce the risk of traditional litigation. We initiate litigation or defend employers and employees in state and federal court, in arbitration, and before local, state and federal administrative agencies.
We carefully evaluate the costs and risks of litigation and weigh resolution options at the earliest possible phase of litigation. We also regularly utilize negotiation and mediation to reach early resolution of disputes. Through pro-active employment counseling and collaborative planning and problem-solving, we empower our clients to build and maintain respectful and productive employment relationships and foster positive and legally compliant work environments.
We are experienced labor and employment counselors. We provide efficient, practical advice on all aspects of labor and employment law—including hiring, discipline, leave, accommodation, and termination. We draft and revise employment agreements, severance agreements, employee handbooks, and standalone employment policies. We understand that employment situations often require prompt attention, and pride ourselves in providing easy to understand solutions to employee issues quickly so that managers and employees can return to performing their jobs.
We are experienced employment litigators. Although we strive to reduce the risk of litigation through strategic and pro-active counseling, management training, and pre-litigation dispute resolution, we recognize that sometimes employers find themselves facing litigation for a variety of reasons, some of which are beyond their control. State and federal employment laws and regulations are continually changing and are increasingly complex. Some employees file lawsuits when they feel they have been unfairly treated, particularly when there is an emphasis on employee accountability, an economic downturn within a company, or a merger or acquisition that results in job loss or reduced duties, wages, or benefits.
Our attorneys have experience in multiple jurisdictions and have handled state and federal claims that include wage and hour matters, leave and other benefit disputes, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, restrictive covenants, wrongful discharge, unemployment benefit claims and severance package disputes. We are also experienced in complex multi-plaintiff and class action litigation.
We have successfully handled litigation such as:
- Defending officers and directors of construction company against claims by a former President for wrongful termination, improper stock forfeiture, and related claims.
- Representing a large coffee retailer in a California class action lawsuit filed by its current and former store managers for alleged wage and hour violations.
- Defending a construction company in a lawsuit brought by corporate officers and shareholders for violation of non-compete contracts.
- Defending an entertainment company in a suit by an ex-employee who stole company’s largest customers.
- Defending a national transmission wholesaler accused of luring away a competitor’s salespersons.
- Defending a large construction company in a lawsuit brought by a terminated employee for alleged sexual discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge.
- Representing a female employee against a former boss (who physically attacked her and later committed suicide) and employer for quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment.
- Defending an equipment manufacturer against claims of religious and disability discrimination.
- Defending a hospital in a wrongful discharge case based on breach of implied contract in the employee handbook.
- Defending a hospital against a claim for allegedly unpaid overtime.
- Defending a property management company in a lawsuit for claims of wrongful discharge and violation of state leave laws.
- Defending a church accused of negligent supervision and negligent retention of a minister.
- Defending a technology company in a lawsuit for wrongful discharge and national origin discrimination.
- Defending a tool manufacturer against claims of disability discrimination.
- Defending an Educational Service District in a suit for discrimination, retaliation, and deprivation of due process claims.
- Defending a vessel captain against a sexual harassment claim.
- Successfully represented a plaintiff in reversing a military discharge that had been based solely on the fact that she was a lesbian. The District Court found the Air Force failed to prove any basis for belief that plaintiff’s sexual orientation would interfere in any way with the performance of the military mission.
We also have in-depth experience with employment law appeals. Our appellate advocacy group has more than seventy-five years of combined experience arguing appeals in the state and federal appeals courts. They have won ground-breaking victories in the Washington Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. They are familiar with the judges, the internal procedures, and the personalities of these courts. They have applied this in-depth experience earned in the Pacific Northwest to win victories for clients in state and federal courts from Alaska to Florida, and from California to New York. Matters for appeals have included wage and hour claims, wrongful discharge, retaliation for whistleblowing, race discrimination, employment contract disputes, disability discrimination, sexual harassment, pension death benefits, willful violation of Fair Labor Standards Act, denial of L&I benefits and non-compete employment agreements.
We are experienced traditional labor law attorneys. Our team helps company management adeptly navigate all issues involving unions, including organizing campaigns, union elections, collective bargaining, labor arbitration, and strikes. We defend employers against state and federal agency charges and investigations, including before the National Labor Relations Board.
Our experienced labor and employment attorneys are well-versed in drafting, reviewing, and litigating non-compete agreements. Our services include:
- Drafting Customized Agreements: We’ll create non-compete agreements tailored to your specific industry, business needs, and geographic considerations.
- Review and Analysis: We can review existing agreements to ensure they are legally sound and in compliance with state and federal laws.
- Enforcement and Defense: Our legal team is skilled in enforcing non-compete agreements and defending clients against allegations of non-compete violations.
- Negotiation and Modification: We can assist in negotiation and modification of non-compete agreements to strike a fair balance between employer and employee interests.
- Litigation Support: If necessary, we are prepared to represent your interests in court, seeking injunctive relief and damages for non-compete agreement violations.
Navigating the complex landscape of wage and hour regulations is crucial for both employers and employees. Our skilled team of labor and employment attorneys is dedicated to helping you resolve wage and hour disputes efficiently and fairly. Wage and hour laws are designed to ensure fair pay practices, protect workers’ rights, and promote a balanced labor environment. These laws cover a wide range of issues, including:
- Minimum Wage Compliance: Ensuring that employees receive at least the mandated minimum wage for their work.
- Overtime Pay: Properly compensating eligible employees for their overtime hours worked.
- Misclassification: Addressing disputes related to employee classification, whether exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Meal and Rest Breaks: Ensuring employees receive appropriate breaks during their work shifts.
- Timekeeping and Recordkeeping: Accurate tracking of hours worked, break times, and maintaining essential employment records.
Our Wage and Hour Services
Our experienced wage and hour attorneys provide comprehensive services to both employers and employees, including:
- Compliance Guidance: Advising employers on state and federal wage and hour regulations to help them maintain legal practices.
- Unpaid Wage Recovery: Representing employees seeking unpaid wages, including overtime pay and minimum wage violations.
- Employee Classification Matters: Resolving disputes related to employee classification, ensuring proper payment for overtime work.
- Employment Record Audits: Reviewing and advising on timekeeping and recordkeeping procedures to maintain compliance.
- Employer Defense: Defending employers against wage and hour claims and providing legal counsel throughout the dispute resolution process.