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Employment

Employment

Our attorneys handle a broad range of employment and labor-relations matters. From negotiating employment agreements to resolving work-place disputes, our team has the experience and expertise to guide clients through all aspects of the employment relationship. We provide proactive advice to minimize disputes and to seek solutions before problems become time-consuming and costly lawsuits. But when litigation is needed, we have the skills, resources, and resolve to advocate our clients’ interest. Whether preventing litigation or resolving it, we employ a common sense and cost-effective approach to problem-solving, and work as a team with our colleagues and our clients.

Our employment law services include:

Pandemic Response

The coronavirus pandemic caused a sudden and significant disruption to all aspects of personal and business affairs throughout the world. The workplace has been no exception. In the early months of the pandemic, laws and regulations changed regularly (sometimes daily). Our employment attorneys stayed on top of the constant changes in the legal landscape to provide our clients with timely and necessary guidance to ensure that worksites were safe, new forms of employee benefits were honored, and government guidelines were followed. While the pace of revision has slowed, legal requirements continue to change. We remain vigilant and continue to monitor relevant legal developments regularly. We’re all in this together, and our attorneys are here to provide our clients with the advice they need to succeed and maintain safe work practices.

Preventive Advice  

We believe that good advice can often help prevent lawsuits. Therefore, we provide a full range of services designed to avoid claims, including: preparation of employee handbooks, policies, and procedures; training and counseling on issues ranging from sexual harassment to disability accommodation requests; and advice on discipline and terminations.

Employment Agreements

We routinely represent and consult with employers and employees in negotiating and reviewing all types of employment agreements, including contracts, covenants not to compete, non-disclosure agreements, non-solicitation agreements, anti-raiding covenants, trade secret agreements, and severance packages. We draft, review, and negotiate the terms of these agreements on behalf of employers and individuals, and we represent clients in disputes that arise from these agreements.

Compliance Issues

We work with clients to ensure compliance with the numerous and complex federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the workplace, including: discrimination statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Vermont’s Fair Employment Practices Act; the federal and Vermont laws requiring family, parental, medical, and military leave; overtime laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act; benefits statutes such as COBRA and ERISA; and unemployment and workers’ compensation laws.

Discrimination & Harassment

We provide advice regarding discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other protected status under state and federal law.

Workplace Accommodations

We help navigate the delicate process of responding to requests for workplace accommodations, based upon disability or other protected factors.

Labor Relations

We represent clients through all aspects of their labor relations issues. For non-union employers, we help clients comply with applicable labor laws, and we guide clients during organizing campaigns. For employers that already have a bargaining relationship with a union, we offer the full range of services to manage that relationship effectively. We support clients through negotiations for collective bargaining agreements and through the process of administrating those agreements during their terms. In addition, we handle labor disputes, including grievances, labor arbitrations, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Finally, we provide advice and assistance for employers implementing workplace policies and practices in the complicated context of federal labor law.

Employment Litigation

Our team of employment attorneys represents employers and employees in any wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, overtime, breach of contract, or other employment claim. We appear regularly in state and federal courts, and before government agencies (such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States and Vermont Departments of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Civil Rights Unit of the Vermont Office of the Attorney General), litigating the full scope of employment claims.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

When appropriate, we encourage clients to consider alternatives to litigation, such as mediation or arbitration, and we represent clients in these proceedings. In addition, many members of our team serve as mediators, evaluators, or arbitrators to assist others in resolving their disputes.

National & International

Our membership in Meritas, a global network of independent, mid-sized law firms, allows us to provide our clients with experienced guidance, quickly and efficiently, throughout the country and around the world.