Employment litigation is at best a distraction and at worst a potential liability for your company. In addition to the potential payment of significant damages, the reputational loss to your organization could be substantial. When an employee or former employee believes he or she has been wronged, there are attorneys lined up and ready to take that individual’s case. The employer, therefore, needs a robust legal defense, which is where SederLaw comes in. We defend the rights of employers when they are accused of violating their employees’ rights. Our firm also helps employers reduce the risk of litigation by working with them to adopt preventive strategies.
Common Employment Defense Claims
Employment law cases arise under a number of different state and federal statutes and regulations. Every case is different, but SederLaw has experience handling these and other common types of lawsuits:
Discrimination. If an employee is treated unfavorably on the basis of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, or another protected class, we can investigate and defend against the claims. Discrimination may include termination, demotion, being passed over for a promotion, and other disparate treatment.
Harassment. Like discrimination, harassment comes in many forms and happens on the basis of various employee characteristics. When employers turn a blind eye to harassment, or even actively foster it, they can be held liable for creating a hostile work environment.
Disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) obligates employers to create reasonable accommodations for employees with certain disabilities. Compliance with the ADA can be difficult, but we explore the methods in which our clients attempted to accommodate the disability and how the employee responded.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons without having to worry about loss of job or insurance coverage. Not all employees or conditions are covered, and there are potential defenses available to an employer that’s been accused of violating the law.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This wide-ranging federal law concerns a number of matters like minimum wage, overtime, the number of hours employees are permitted to work, child labor, and more. A strong legal defense is essential if your company has been accused of violating any provisions of the FLSA.
Breach of contract. Some claims involve workers who believe their employers have breached an employment contract with them. These typically concern matters such as termination, job promotion or demotion, compensation, and benefits.
It’s important to note that many of the above types of claims have both state and federal (and sometimes local) components. For example, Massachusetts has its own set of disability rights laws that work in concert with the ADA. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in all areas of employment law and are ready to defend your company’s rights.
Taking Steps To Avoid Disputes
At SederLaw, we work with employers to try to prevent employment law claims before they happen. There are a number of proactive steps companies can take to minimize the likelihood of a lawsuit, including:
- Drafting comprehensive employee handbooks that spell out the rights and expectations of all workers
- Reviewing employment contracts and making revisions where needed to protect the rights and interests of the company
- Working with management and human resources to ensure they understand their obligations under the law
- Performing audits and reviews of workplace practices to check for legal vulnerabilities and suggest improvements
These and other preventive measures are essentials to have in the modern workplace, and SederLaw can assist with implementing them.
Our Approach To Employment Defense
However, legal disputes are not always avoidable. If litigation becomes necessary, SederLaw will go to work defending your rights as the employer. It starts with reviewing the claims against your company and identifying any procedural or technical weaknesses in the pleadings. There are some cases in which an early dismissal can be sought before the case proceeds very far, and we seek all such available avenues.
We also immediately begin examining the substance of the claims against your company, including the evidence and arguments that the plaintiff has made. Our team will start investigating to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiff’s claims and will begin assembling defensive evidence to rebut those claims.
Most civil lawsuits are resolved without having to reach the courtroom. Usually, this takes place through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation or arbitration. Depending on the nature of the claim, ADR may be required before further proceedings can take place. But we always use ADR where possible because it saves time, money, and maintains confidentiality.
If court cannot be avoided, SederLaw is prepared to offer a vigorous defense of the employer. This could take the form of various discovery methods, such as depositions and subpoenas, or may necessitate the use of expert witnesses. Regardless, we will develop a comprehensive, effective plan of action aimed at refuting each and every argument made by the plaintiff. Throughout litigation, we keep the doors open for ADR, negotiation, and settlement.
Contact Our Employment Defense Attorney
At SederLaw, we believe the best employment law defense is a multifaceted strategy that incorporates preventive measures, alternative dispute resolution, and dynamic litigation tactics. If litigation is threatening your organization, or you’d like to learn more about our employment law practice, contact us today.
SederLaw helps clients with employment defense needs in Worcester from their primary office as well as clients throughout MetroWest from their Westborough office.