Employment Law for Business

Our employment law group includes attorneys with experience at large, nationwide firms at which they counseled multi-national companies across a variety of industries, on all types of employment issues. 

We utilize this experience to offer day-to-day counseling on how to properly pay employees and avoid unnecessary wage-and-hour and overtime risk; how to train staff and properly discipline employees to avoid hostile work environment, discrimination, and harassment claims; how to properly discipline employees to avoid retaliation risk; how to draft employee manuals and agreements to properly govern the workplace; how to handle requests for accommodations made by disabled employees; and how to implement strategies to protect valuable workplace property, including trade secrets.  Our Employment Law Group works hand-in-hand with its clients as they navigate the myriad laws that impact the workplace and ensure safety, compliance, and fair treatment for all employees.   For summaries on recent changes to employment law, view our blog: CKVC Works.

On-Call Counseling for Day-to-Day Employment Issues

Our attorneys are always on call to provide counseling and employment law advice to employers in the increasingly complex world of workplace laws. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Wage Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Massachusetts Chapter 151B, and Title VII. We represent a wide variety of employers, including financial institutions, hospitals, physician practices, retail establishments, schools, universities, emerging technology businesses, and automobile dealerships, and help them make smart decisions and avoid risk.

Defense of Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, and Wage-and-Hour Cases

Our employment law attorneys frequently represent employers in claims brought by their employees, including those before state and federal courts, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We work with employers of all sizes and across all industries in connection with claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Wage Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Massachusetts Chapter 151B, and Title VII, including claims of unpaid overtime, retaliation, harassment, hostile work environment, and discrimination in the workplace.

Discipline and Terminations

Employers who discipline or terminate employees without consideration for the numerous laws that protect employees unnecessarily expose themselves to risk. Our employment attorneys work with employers to offer practical advice and to help them evaluate the risks associated with discipline and termination. Our experience allows us not only to advise regarding risk identification, but also to participate in the process to identify possible strategies and approaches to mitigation risk.

Leaves of Absence and Disability Accommodation

The intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Massachusetts Chapter 151B, and the Family Medical Leave Act creates one of the most complex areas of employment law. These three statutes prohibit disability discrimination, require employers to engage in an interactive process to identify disability-related limitations and possible accommodations, and require employers to provide leave for employees regarding their own medical issues or those of their family members and relatives. We work closely with our employer clients to be sure that they do not violate laws that protect disabled employees, to make sure they take the steps necessary to identify reasonable accommodations, articulating why certain accommodations present an undue hardship, and to help them avoid facing unnecessary and costly litigation.

Wage-and-Hour Compliance

Federal and state wage-and-hour laws, including the Massachusetts Wage Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Massachusetts Tip Act are difficult to comply with and carry stiff penalties for violations. We counsel employers on compliance with these laws, to ensure they are properly paying their employees. We develop close relationships with our clients that allow us to prevent costly disputes, and have successfully worked across a variety of industries to help businesses appropriately characterize employees as full-time, exempt or non-exempt from overtime, or independent contractors. We also ensure that commission- and bonus-based payment plans comply with state and federal law.

Workplace Investigations and Audits

Employers are required to comply with a complex web of legal and regulatory requirements, and are under constant scrutiny from other attorneys, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies. Our lawyers assist employers in a wide variety of matters, including corporate compliance, internal investigations, and wage-and-hour audits. We have decades of experience in conducting internal investigations into claims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. We also frequently review employers' payment plans, exempt and non-exempt classifications, and pay policies to evaluate whether they comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Massachusetts Wage Act.

Employment Handbooks, Policies, and Agreements

Employee handbooks and workplace policies are crucial to all employers, regardless of size, as they set the workplace rules and, if used properly, can effectively communicate workplace expectations. Our attorneys have drafted employee handbooks, agreements, and workplace policies across a wide variety of industries, from Fortune 500 companies with hundreds of employees, to small, closely held businesses with only a handful of workers. We collaborate with you to create a handbook, agreement, or policy that carefully follows the law, effectively communicates workplace policies, and that is reflective of your workplace culture.

Trade Secrets, Proprietary Information, and Restrictive Covenants

We have considerable experience in representing and counseling clients in trade secrets, noncompete, and other sensitive matters. We will work closely with you to draft documents that protect sensitive information, and also routinely handle litigation designed to protect that information.

Workplace Safety and Health

We regularly counsel employers on federal and state health and safety statutes and regulations. Our attorneys provide practical guidance on all aspects of these laws, including establishing workplace policies and programs, conducting audits and workplace investigations, and representing employers in claims related to workplace safety and health.

Executive Compensation

We use our expertise to help you retain and attract a strong workforce and identify strategies that provide attractive employee benefits in a cost-effective way. Our attorneys counsel a wide variety of business on executive compensation, management equity-related compensation, and other types of compensation.

Layoffs and Closings

Unfortunately, many employers are forced to make the difficult decision to lay off a large number of employees or close a work location, and this can have an impact on various labor, employment, and employee benefits issues. If you’ve been faced with this decision, our legal team will advise you and walk you through the process in a way that complies with employment law and avoids unnecessary risk.
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