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Labor& Employment

Avoiding costly litigation is always our goal. When necessary, however, we are well prepared to provide a powerful defense to employers against employment-related claims of any nature.

Overview

Barclay Damon provides comprehensive, practical, and effective advice on a full spectrum of labor and employment matters. Our clients are public- and private-sector employers located throughout the United States, including multi-national companies, emerging companies, small businesses, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, and not-for-profits. These organizations span industries that include, among numerous others, energy, health care, and higher education. Our team has extensive experience in all areas of law required by employers, including the following:

Employment Law

Barclay Damon attorneys counsel employers on the full range of matters that affect the employment relationship, including:

  • Discrimination, sexual harassment, and civil rights claims: prevention and defense
  • Employee discipline issues
  • Employee policies and handbooks
  • Executive contracts and employment agreements, including confidentiality, noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and invention-assignment
  • Plant closings and the Worker Adjustment And Retraining Notification Act and other issues related to layoffs and restructuring
  • Privacy and cybersecurity issues related to employees, employee data, and employment
  • Regulations for federal contractors, including from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Severance agreements and issues related to discharge
  • Wage and hour laws, including worker classification, minimum wage, equal pay, and overtime pay issues
  • Whistle-blowing, retaliation charges, and internal investigations
  • Workplace health and safety
  • All state and federal laws and regulations affecting employers

Labor and Employment Litigation Defense

Avoiding costly litigation is always our goal. We do this by focusing on preventive practices such as developing customized training programs for management and supervisors, including human resources and legal staff. We also help employers craft policies and practices to best avoid conflict. When necessary, however, we are well prepared to provide a powerful defense to employers against employment-related claims of any nature. We have decades of experience representing employers before federal, state, and local agencies and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. We aggressively defend against claims brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, state human rights laws, and additional laws and regulations. We also defend employers in class-action suits.

Labor Law

Barclay Damon’s extensive knowledge of labor unions throughout the United States and our deep understanding of the specific issues within our diverse client base are invaluable to clients seeking to create positive and productive labor management relations. As a result, we skillfully represent our clients before the National Labor Relations Board, Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and other labor relations agencies. We conduct investigations and provide litigation support for grievances and unfair labor and improper practice charges. We provide representation in discipline and discharge cases and in arbitration proceedings, and we support our clients during strikes. Our representation includes de-certification, unit clarification proceedings, and jurisdictional disputes. We frequently serve as chief negotiators and strategists during collective bargaining and assist employers in analyzing and interpreting collective bargaining agreements.

Other Critical Areas for Employers

OSHA compliance. Barclay Damon attorneys advise employers on compliance with the complex federal Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) and state health and safety laws. We develop written safety and health manuals and training programs, assist employers in government audits, and contest citations and penalties.

Trade secret protection. Through litigation, counseling, and transactional work, our labor and employment and intellectual property attorneys work together to protect some of our clients’ most valuable assets—the ideas, customer information, data, and processes essential to operating their businesses. Our litigators regularly seek injunctions in US federal and state courts to prevent the disclosure and misuse of trade secrets and other confidential information. We also represent parties whose trade secrets have been misappropriated or who are accused of misappropriating the trade secrets of others. We routinely protect financial, technical, scientific, economic, and operational information in electronic and other formats for clients in a wide number of industries under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, related state laws, and common law.

Team Members
Representative Experience
  • Represented a fly fishing and braided line products manufacturer against a former executive who violated a restrictive covenant and disclosed trade secrets. Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining the former executive from competing or soliciting clients and from disclosing trade secrets.

  • Represented an equipment contractor in a claim from a trustee for benefit contributions to union benefits fund, resolving the claim for substantially less than the claimed damages.

  • Represented a clothing consignment store before the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board in a successful appeal of the decision of an administrative law judge.

  • Obtained a dismissal of a disability discrimination case in the US Court for the Northern District of New York for a group of individuals. 

  • Drafted and negotiated an employment agreement for a not-for-profit CEO.

  • Represented a third-party staffing agency in third-party indemnification action related to an underlying race and national origin discrimination and retaliation case in the US District Court for the Western District of New York. Obtained judgment on the pleadings in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

  • Represented a staffing company in a disability discrimination and retaliation case in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a rubbing flooring manufacturer in connection with a US Department of Labor (USDOL) investigation concerning claims by current and former employees for unpaid wages.

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for an addiction treatment center in a gender, conviction record, and parolee status discrimination case before the NYS Division of Human Rights.

  • Obtained partial summary judgment worth $750,000 against two former cardiologists who violated their noncompetition agreements and successfully appealed to the NYS Appellate Division, Fourth Department for attorney’s fees worth an additional $200,000.

  • Represented an industrial automation distributor against claims from four former managers for unpaid bonus compensation under the NYS Labor Law, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Settled with the plaintiffs on the claims, including protections for the company in connection with the sale of its assets to an unrelated third party.  

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for a fast-food restaurant in a race discrimination case before the NYS Division of Human Rights.

  • Represented a hardware store against a seller who violated restrictive covenants for breach of contract, breach of the duty of loyalty, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other related claims. Settled with the defendants, agreeing to honor the restrictive covenant obligations and pay $35,000. 

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for an addiction treatment center in a gender discrimination and retaliation case.

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for a behavioral health provider in a race and criminal conviction discrimination and retaliation case.

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for a behavioral health provider in a disability discrimination case before the NYS Division of Human Rights. 

  • Conducted a sexual harassment investigation for a human services provider that involved claims against a co-worker, supervisor, and the human resources department.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a childcare provider in an age discrimination and retaliation case, and subsequently prevailed on appeal.

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for a public university in an alleged race and national origin discrimination case before the NYS Division of Human Rights.

  • Served as counsel to a NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) chemical-dependency treatment program in a case of first impression, creating precedent from a NYS appellate court that chemical-dependency-treatment clients who participate in licensed chemical-dependency residential treatment programs are not entitled to an eviction proceeding or substantive due process prior to discharge.

  • Successfully represented a public charter school against claims of racial and gender discrimination, including preparing a detailed position letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the NYS Division of Human Rights, participating in an investigatory conference, and submitting a summary letter. The court found no probable cause and dismissed the claims. 

  • Represented a company in an appeal of unemployment insurance benefits with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) claiming that independent physicians and all others in similar roles were employees. 

  • Represented a behavioral health provider in a sexual harassment and retaliation case, obtaining a no probable cause determination.

  • Obtained a no probable cause determination for an employer in a disability and predisposing genetic characteristic discrimination and retaliation case.

  • Represented a dentist in connection with an audit CAP negotiation, negotiating a retroactive amendment spanning 28 years to conform the plan document to the operational practice, avoiding restorative contributions potentially in the seven-figure range.

  • Successfully represented a charter school in a case filed by a former employee alleging the school had violated various provisions of the NY Labor Law, including requiring kickbacks of wages. Obtained a dismissal of the claims for failure to state a claim for which relief could be granted. 

  • Successfully obtained a dismissal of a premises liability action against an insurance company after the trial in which the plaintiff sought over $1 million in damages. 

  • Obtained summary judgment in a toxic-exposure and NYS Labor Law case with significant injuries claimed.

Knowledge

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  • Attorney Ben Wilkinson Joins Barclay Damon
  • Four Barclay Damon Practices, Seven Partners Earn Chambers Recognition

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