The employment lawyers at Meyer Suozzi regularly draft and consult with our clients on employee handbook provisions and workplace policies, and conduct audits to ensure compliance with all current statutory and regulatory requirements.
Severance and Employment Agreements
Meyer Suozzi’s employment lawyers have negotiated hundreds of employment agreements and severance agreements, including complex business restrictions and non-solicitation provisions, between high level executives and international consulting firms, financial institutions, large media companies, national publishing firms, non-profit organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and major manufacturing, pharmaceutical, aerospace and hospitality companies. Two examples of such agreements are:
- Structured a settlement compliant with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code between the recently terminated Chief Executive Officer of a public corporation and the acquirer of that company, where the company and the CEO previously had executed an agreement that incorrectly set forth the financial terms and conditions intended to be implemented upon the termination of the CEO’s employment.
- Negotiated all separation issues between an aviation company and a senior executive, including complex international non-solicitation provisions, change of control and deferred compensation issues.
Wage & Hour Violations
Potential wage and hour violations, including worker misclassification and overtime and minimum wage issues, are an ever-growing concern for employers. Already in the spotlight, these types of violations are garnering even more attention. New Department of Labor regulations drastically expanding the number of workers entitled to receive overtime pay are scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.
Meyer Suozzi’s Employment lawyers counsel employers in connection with wage and hour laws, including overtime issues, and are regularly called upon to represent clients in connection with overtime and misclassification government audits and in federal and state court litigation, mediations and arbitration proceedings.
Human Resource Training
In today’s litigious workplace environment, being on top of legal issues that directly affect individual employees and your organization is critical to the success of your business. The employment lawyers at Meyer Suozzi are available to present formal training programs to management and Human Resource generalists to review the legal pitfalls HR professionals often face. From class action lawsuits to laws governing interviewing and hiring, understanding the newest rules and regulations can help your organization avoid costly fines and expensive litigation.
Public and private companies alike are being scrutinized more than ever – by the U.S. government, and increasingly by local and state agencies. The number of plaintiff and whistleblower cases alleging corporate misconduct is also on the rise. When a company is confronted with evidence or allegations of potential wrongdoing, Meyer Suozzi’s employment lawyers are adept at conducting sensitive investigations concerning allegations of internal misconduct.
The following are examples of such investigatory work:
- At the request of a municipal client, conducted an internal investigation of alleged discrimination and thereafter conducted anti-discrimination and compliance training for employees of the municipality.
- At the request of in-house counsel for a public company, conducted an internal investigation of allegations of bribery, sexual improprieties and administrative misconduct allegedly perpetrated by a key executive and his allies. Our findings and conclusions were set forth in a report to upper management and informed the company’s strategy in dealing with the attendant legal and personnel issues.
- Conducted internal investigations for several law firms in connection with alleged discrimination and other misconduct.
Laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment continue to expand, and government agencies continue to increase their enforcement activities. Meyer Suozzi’s employment lawyers have handled hundreds of actions and administrative proceedings in which employers faced claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the False Claims Act and similar federal and state laws. A few examples include the following:
- Resolved through negotiation, a claim of pregnancy discrimination asserted against a financial institution.
- Successfully litigated in federal court claims of sexual harassment asserted by several employees against a brokerage firm.
- Mediated to resolution claims of discrimination and harassment asserted against a commercial law firm.
The employment lawyers at Meyer Suozzi are skilled in handling problems involving complex human relations issues and legal questions. Our in-depth knowledge and broad experience enable us to find creative solutions to difficult employment issues that are often emotionally charged, on behalf of employers of all sizes – from Fortune 500 companies to small family-owned businesses, charitable organizations and financial institutions.
Our goal is to achieve cost-effective resolutions that meet our clients’ objectives. When negotiated resolution is not possible, we vigorously pursue those objectives through mediation, administrative proceedings and litigation.
The firm provides counsel on a full spectrum of employment law-related issues, engages in all aspects of employment-related litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, and regularly handles mediations and arbitrations. As recognized leaders in this field, we frequently are asked by the media and professional organizations to comment on such topics as wage and hour violations, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.
- Employment Agreements, Including Executive Contracts, Restrictive Covenants, Confidentiality, Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements
- Internal Investigations, Training Programs, Employee Manuals and Employment Policies and Procedures
- Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Claims
- Retaliation Claims
- Wrongful Termination and Discrimination Claims on the Basis of Age, Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Religion, National Origin and Pregnancy
- Severance Agreements
- Wage/Salary Claims and Wage and Hour Violations/Audits (FLSA)
- Claims for Unpaid Commissions
- Breach of Contract
- Whistleblower Claims
- Benefit Disputes, Pension Claims and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Claims
- Employment Mediation and Arbitration
- FINRA Claims
- New York General Municipal Law Claims (Section 205, 207, etc.)
- Qui Tam Claims
- FMLA and Reasonable Accommodations
- Background Checks and Privacy Issues
- Employee Classification (FLSA): Exempt and Non-Exempt Classifications; 1099 and W-2 Employee Classifications; Unpaid Interns; and Independent Contractors and Employee Misclassification issues
- NYS Wage Theft Prevention Act Compliance
- EEOC and NYS Division of Human Rights Cases
- NYS Hospitality Wage Order Compliance/Training/Claims
- NYS Department of Labor Investigations/Audits
- Social Media Policies and Issues
- WARN Act
- Equal Pay Act
- Class Actions
- Prevailing Wage Requirements on Public Works (New York Labor Law Section 220, Federal Davis-Bacon Act)