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Please see our Labor and Employment Practices page as well.

Our Labor & Employment team is proactive, focusing on resolving workplace issues before they become problems. We tailor the goals of every consultation with an eye toward minimizing the risks of litigation and future exposure. Our overarching objective is to help our clients avoid battles down the road.

In addition to providing practical, cost-effective advice, we also serve as a resource for clients when they need referrals to human resources consulting firms or immigration lawyers.

Our clients include global companies, regional businesses and local start-ups from industries including transportation, health care, technology, retail, manufacturing, financial services, nonprofit and insurance. Our attorneys often serve as outside general labor and employment counsel to both domestic and foreign-based businesses.

We provide counseling in the following areas:

Accommodations for disability, pregnancy and religious needs

Schnader attorneys are well-versed in the rights of employers and employees and can assist in creating documentation of the interactive process and other communications in order to comply with federal, state and local requirements.

Affirmative Action / OFCCP Compliance

We assist federal contractors across the United States with affirmative action compliance, including the preparation, management and defense of affirmative action programs. Services in this area include:

  • Preparation of affirmative action plans;
  • Advice on federal contractor compliance;
  • Training on the above issues; and
  • Representation during OFCCP audits.

Discipline and Discharge

We work closely with clients to satisfy all obligations under federal, state and local laws regarding discipline and discharge issues. We also draft and implement plans for reductions in force (RIFs) and plant closings subject to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

Discrimination & Harassment

With discrimination claims on the rise, equal employment policies and practices are coming under increased scrutiny. We counsel clients on compliance with federal, state and local equal employment opportunity laws with an eye toward avoiding litigation. To this end, we perform disparate impact analyses, provide employment practice audits and conduct training programs for human resources professionals. We also have substantial experience defending employers against discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims in court and before agencies including the EEOC and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Employment Practices Audits

Audits are a simple way to evaluate compliance with employment laws and address issues before they become problems. We provide audits for overall employment practices, as well as specific issues such as wage and hour, health and safety, pay equity and disability accommodation.

ERISA & Employee Benefits

We assist clients with both ERISA and non-ERISA drafting, planning and counseling. We also advise on multiemployer pension plans.

Executive Employment Agreements & Compensation

We negotiate and draft executive employment contracts, severance agreements and retirement incentive plans. We also provide strategic advice on mitigation of litigation risk through adoption of proactive policies and practices at the executive and management levels, as well as for the general workforce.

Human Resources Counseling

As a sounding board for human resources managers and in-house counsel, we provide immediate advice on emerging, day-to-day issues in the workplace. Most often these issues are related to discipline and termination. We also field questions on topics such sexual harassment and gender bias as these issues arise.

International Employment Law

Our cross-border practice involves counseling domestic and foreign-based multinational businesses on compliance with employment, labor and data protection law requirements of nations in which they do or seek to do business. Services include:

  • Preparation of employment agreements for inbound executives and outbound expatriates;
  • Counseling on employment law aspects of mergers and acquisitions that cross borders;
  • Counseling on compliance with the European Union Data Protection Directive, including development of contracts, internal policies and procedures and training and other materials required to remain compliant; and
  • Coordination and development of global employment policies and project management on the implementation of those policies.

Investigations

On behalf of employers, we conduct independent workplace investigations on the following topics:

  • Sexual, racial and religious harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation;
  • Whistleblower allegations;
  • Executive misconduct and financial improprieties;
  • Title IX compliance for colleges and universities; and
  • Workplace violence.

Labor Management Relations & Union Avoidance

We provide management-side counseling on all issues relating to labor relations. These include:

  • Collective bargaining agreement negotiations, contract administration and grievances;
  • Picketing, lockouts, demonstrations, handbilling and strikes;
  • Preparation and implementation of strike contingency plans;
  • Union representation elections and charges of unfair labor practices;
  • Employer relocations, downsizings, restructurings and mergers and acquisitions in a unionized environment;
  • Union organizational attempts and campaigns; and
  • Strategies to remain union-free.

We also handle arbitration and National Labor Relations Board proceedings including unfair labor practice charges and union representation elections, as well as appeals of arbitration and NLRB decisions.

Managing Leaves of Absence

Schnader attorneys frequently counsel employers regarding accommodation issues. Services include: reviewing leave, attendance and accommodation policies and procedures for compliance with federal, state and local laws; providing advice on individual leave and accommodation questions; and providing training for human resources personnel on these issues.

Pay Equity

As awareness of pay inequality rises, pay practices are coming under increased examination. We help clients make their pay practices, policies and procedures fully compliant with all applicable laws. We also help identify where pay disparities exist in order to make adjustments and limit exposure. In addition, we provide training on best practices to achieve pay equity.

Policies & Handbooks

Our work in this area starts with understanding the company’s culture and values. With this in mind, we help employers implement new procedures, revise handbooks and create codes of conduct. We also provide advice regarding the drafting, implementing and updating of human resources policies.

Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets

We develop and implement strategies to protect employers against corporate raiding and employment practices that amount to unfair competition. We also safeguard our clients’ trade secrets. When necessary, we enforce non-compete and confidentiality agreements, prosecute claims of theft of confidential information and trade secrets and secure injunctions where breaches of non-compete agreements have occurred.

Wage & Hour

We counsel clients on all types of wage and hour issues, including: worker classification as independent contractors or employees; classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt and proper overtime calculations; executive compensation; and recordkeeping requirements. In addition, we regularly defend employers against wage and hour lawsuits, including class and collective actions and claims of misclassification.

Workplace Health & Safety

Our attorneys assist employers with all aspects of workplace health and safety. We review health and safety policies; assist with the establishment of health and safety programs; conduct audits; respond to agency inquiries; and review compliance under OSHA and develop compliance strategies. We also defend employees and governmental agencies against whistleblower claims in court when necessary.

Workplace Privacy & Data Security

We counsel clients in a wide range of industries on privacy issues. Our services include:

  • Preparing privacy policies, terms of use and terms and conditions for our U.S. and European clients;
  • Counseling clients on bring your own device policies and social media issues;
  • Performing data security assessments;
  • Counseling clients on data breach response and notification requirements;
  • Advising clients on data protection requirements of the United States, the European Union, Canada and Mexico; and
  • Reviewing employer background check processes for compliance with federal, state and local laws.

Workplace Training

We conduct training for management and employees to promote best practices and minimize potential liability. Topics include:

  • Workplace discrimination and harassment;
  • Discipline/discharge issues;
  • Privacy laws;
  • Background checks;
  • Wage-and-hour issues; and
  • For our higher education clients: faculty grievances, FERPA, Campus SAVE Act and protecting youth on campus.

Our Attorneys

Karen Baillie 412-577-5118 Pittsburgh, PA Download vCard
Samantha Banks 215-751-2287 Philadelphia, PA Cherry Hill, NJ Download vCard
Jo Bennett 215-751-2134 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
William H. Brown, III 215-751-2434 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
M. Christine Carty 212-973-8012 New York, NY Download vCard
Stephen H. Dye 415-364-6713 San Francisco, CA Download vCard
Megan E. Harmon 412-577-5209 Pittsburgh, PA Download vCard
Meghan A. Higgins 215-751-2261 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
Anne E. Kane 215-751-2397 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
Hon. Timothy K. Lewis 412-577-5290 Pittsburgh, PA Philadelphia, PA Washington, DC Download vCard
Polly Phillippi 856-482-5725 Cherry Hill, NJ Download vCard
Deena Jo Schneider 215-751-2166 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
Samuel W. Silver 215-751-2309 Philadelphia, PA Download vCard
Scott J. Wenner 212-973-8115 New York, NY San Francisco, CA Download vCard
Michael J. Wietrzychowski 856-482-5723 Cherry Hill, NJ Philadelphia, PA Download vCard

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