In today's complex, competitive workplace, employment issues can seem like a maze with no exit. Hinshaw provides straightforward solutions.  

The workplace always has been a complicated environment. Now, however, new technologies, changing regulations and conflicting court decisions have transformed what used to be clear-cut challenges into potentially costly obstacles to business success.

Hinshaw can help. From traditional labor, employment law litigation and benefits counseling, to workplace safety, restrictive covenants and executive compensation, we provide full-spectrum counsel informed by our firsthand experience in manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, professional services, construction, insurance and other industries.

Employment Counseling

A business plan is an essential element in achieving business goals. A human resources plan is no different. We work closely with clients to assess their legal, regulatory, market and competitive environments and develop effective strategies that minimize compliance risks while maximizing the contributions of employees, contractors, and key executives.

We conduct internal audits to determine compliance with federal, state-specific and multi-jurisdictional labor, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, disability, family leave, retirement income security, wage and hour, workplace safety, and other laws and regulations. We regularly draft workplace policy documents and employee handbooks, advise on employee recruitment, retention, separations, early retirement incentives and layoffs, and negotiate executive compensation, employment, noncompete, nondisclosure, and other agreements.

Laws, regulations, cultural values, and employer circumstances are always in flux. To prevent disputes and minimize potential liability, we regularly help clients adapt and update workplace policies, handbooks, contracts, and other documents.

Single-Party Litigation

We defend employers against a broad range of claims brought by individual employees under key federal and state laws, including:

  • Title VII
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

We have defended employers at every level of federal and state trial and appellate courts, and before numerous federal, state, and municipal agencies and administrative bodies.

We have a highly regarded team of lawyers with specific experience defending self-insured employers in workers' compensation matters, and have handled numerous complex, high-exposure cases involving fatalities, catastrophic injuries and toxic torts.

Class-Action Litigation

Class and collective actions can have devastating financial and public relations effects on a business, particularly when the plaintiff class is made up of its own employees. We have helped clients resolve such complex matters, including defeating class certification and winning dismissals at various stages of litigation. Our attorneys have represented clients in disputes involving discrimination, wage and hour, pension and disability benefits, and claims management, among other issues.

Agency Inquiries and Investigations

We regularly represent clients in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) audits, investigations, and other agency actions and appeals. One of our partners is frequently engaged by the EEOC to speak before and present educational seminars to employers as part of the EEOC's technical compliance initiative, while another is co-author of the BNA book, Employment Termination, a valuable research tool used by many law firms and law schools.

We counsel clients and provide compliance training on the full spectrum of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and their counterpart state laws. When accidents or injuries occur, we advise on workers' compensation, disability benefits, medical leave and other issues.

Employee Benefits

A number of our attorneys have specific experience in the development, implementation and communication of employee benefits programs, as well as related litigation. We routinely advise on health and welfare plans, perquisites, employee stock ownership programs (ESOPs), and qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) compliance.

Traditional Labor

While the role of unions in today's labor market has changed, it is far too soon to start writing these organizations' obituaries. Organized labor remains a force in numerous industries, particularly in the manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, agriculture, natural resources and mining, as well as throughout the public sector. Our team includes attorneys with in-depth experience helping clients address labor issues. We counsel management in all phases of collective bargaining negotiations, from responding to union organizing drives and election campaigns, to handling boycotts, strikes and picket lines. We have also represented a number of employers in matters heard before the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in federal mediation and arbitration.

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