Anticipating the impact of federal and state employment laws on the workplace can help employers develop policies and procedures that adhere to the law and promote a business environment conducive to growth and employee satisfaction. However, should an employee or contractor file a charge or lawsuit, responding to litigation demands defense counsel with skill and experience to navigate your company through the conflict.
At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, we have defended employers of all sizes in an array of forums: before judges and juries in state and federal courts, arbitrators, and administrative agencies within the federal and state systems. As Covid-19 further complicates the employment relationship, our employment litigation attorneys are ready to defend claims related to distance work, hybrid, and return to work on site, company restructuring, and benefits.
What Is Employment Litigation?
Employment disputes can arise from federal and state statutes, local ordinances (e.g., ban the box ordinances concerning the use of background checks in employment decisions) as well as common law claims. At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, our employment litigation attorneys have the knowledge base and the litigation experience to represent your company in a successful, cost-effective manner. Whether brought as an individual suit or a class action, our employment litigation lawyers know how to best defend your company ethically and professionally in all sorts of claims arising from:
- Employment contracts
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Federal and state anti-discrimination laws preventing discrimination on the basis of protected classifications (e.g., age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, race, and other classifications protected by law)
- Restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses
- Retaliation and wrongful discharge claims
- Severance negotiations and packages
- Reductions in force
- Sexual harassment
- Disability-related claims and accommodation issues
- Wage claims under the FLSA and state law
- Whistleblower claims
- Benefit denial and interference claims
What we do
Our employment law team at Beckemeier LeMoine Law is available to work with business clients to help each business comply with all the federal and state regulations framing the employment relationship—hiring, retention, promotion, retirement, and termination. However, when faced with litigation, our employment law litigation team will provide the analysis, advice, and articulate the various options you need to consider to make sound business decisions that work for you.
Whether a claim of alleged discrimination, whistleblower, violations of workplace safety, or issues of insurance, workers compensation, or pension benefits, our attorneys will navigate you through the stages of litigation, advising you along the way as to various possible options to defend your actions and minimize business disruption.
Wage and Hour Litigation
Many wage and hour disputes arise from timekeeping errors and misclassification of employees as exempt or independent contractors, neither of whom qualify for overtime pay. Wage and hour disputes have significantly increased because of the pandemic, especially with many employees working from home (and home might be located outside Missouri) and nonexempt, meaning that they are entitled to overtime pay. With remote working, these kinds of inadvertent errors have compounded, because of the variety of state laws companies need to consider to maintain compliance with all applicable employment laws. In 2021, 25 states increased minimum hourly wages, which means that a miscalculation, mischaracterization of employment status, or failure to observe new minimum wage requirements, could result in major liability. Employees are often successful in these types of claims, especially if they are brought as class action suits.
At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, we can work with your company to ensure that there is no inadvertent wage theft. However, if sued, our employment litigation team will analyze the complaint, review your procedures, and based on the facts and your business needs, either negotiate or defend your practices to the fullest professional level.
Government Enforcement Litigation
The U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs are the major agencies enforcing federal employment laws governing the workplace. In 2020 the EEOC recovered $535.4 million on behalf of discrimination victims. When facing a federal agency complaint, Beckemeier LeMoine Law has the experience, skill, and savvy needed to defend your company in an aggressive yet ethical manner. We will realistically assess the potential liability your company is facing and work with you to determine a course of action that fits with your business planning and goals.
Tips for Employers
Litigation is both costly and disruptive, especially when document productions and depositions rob your company of the time and expertise of vital executive staff. To minimize litigation risks, especially as workplaces evolve post-pandemic to permanent distance, hybrid, or on-site work, it’s important to keep your Human Resources and In House Counsel fully educated and up-to-date on all aspects of employment law. This is an important time to invest resources in HR, legal compliance, and fundamental workplace due process.
To avoid costly litigation, Beckemeier LeMoine Law employment attorneys are available to counsel your HR and In-House counsel to identify, investigate, and address employee complaints before they become legally actionable. Employees who feel valued and heard because of effective internal complaint processes and procedures are less likely to file suit and rely instead on internal conflict resolution processes. With some workers remote, others availing themselves of hybrid opportunities, and still other workers on-site, it’s important to develop and maintain a workplace where employees feel that management listens and addresses their concerns promptly, and where they feel free from unlawful discrimination, retaliation and harassment. This prescriptive investment might prevent small misunderstandings and miscommunications from blowing up into full litigation.
When facing the possibility of employment law litigation, the attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law are here to analyze the complaints and the circumstances leading up to the filing of a complaint, advise you as to all of your options, and guide you through the complex decision-making inherent to defending yourself in court, before a government administrative process, or arbitration. We have the tools and experience to analyze risk and develop a strategy in your defense that will minimize cost and business disruption.
Are you ready to discuss your employment law litigation strategy? At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, we have a rich history of experience and trusted counsel in helping our clients solve their legal problems. If you need legal assistance, contact us online or call us at 314-965-2277.