Employment Law

Phifer Pinkham, LLC - Employment LawPhifer Pinkham advises major corporations, family businesses, closely held, small businesses, start-ups, and non-profit entities in connection with their workplace issues.  The firm understands business and the impact of ever-changing employment laws.

The firm aggressively pursues risk management strategies and positive solutions.  We partner with employers to draft and develop policies and procedures which limit disputes and liability.  The firm's strategies, counseling and training help our clients avoid costly litigation, and government investigations.  When complaints arise, we work with clients to provide solutions that are cost effective and results oriented. Whether the firm is counseling on legal compliance or litigating a complex case, the firm provides our clients with highly responsive, personalized service.

 

Employment Counseling

The firm counsels employers in all phases of the individual employment relationship including hiring, discipline and termination. The firm trains managers and supervisors to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, identify and solve personnel issues.  This preventative approach helps management to avoid the filing of complaints, charges or lawsuits and avoid their costly defense and unproductive diversion of time and energy.  Through focused workplace audits, policy adherence, strategic training, and timely investigations, we partner with our clients to design and implement measures to efficiently meet specific business needs.

Employment Agreements

The firm structures, negotiates and enforces employment contracts and related covenants that pertain to executive level and other specific positions in an organization.  The firm also designs and helps implement sophisticated compensation schemes including innovative equity participation and incentive pay programs. 

Our attorneys have expertise in drafting and reviewing restrictive covenant agreements.

Handbooks and Policies

Phifer Pinkham can creates tailored handbooks for its clients to ensure compliance with employment laws and to properly educate their workforce.  We also create policies relating to workplace safety, data security, sexual harassment, pregnant workers fairness act, FMLA, workplace violence, drug testing, credit card usage, vehicle use, dress code, cell phone use to name a few.

If you already have a handbook or policies, we are happy to review, edit and provide practical advice relative to implementation.  

Wage and Hour Issues

When it comes to wage and hour issues, it pays to get it right. A prominent aspect of our wage and hour practice is to advise companies on compliance with relevant laws and regulations, including conducting internal training with key HR personnel.

Phifer Pinkham assists clients avoid wage and hour claims by reviewing clients’ compliance with the myriad and sometimes conflicting state and federal requirements. From employee classification to overtime, from hours of work to travel pay, Phifer Pinkham is there to provide sound advice. Phifer Pinkham attorneys work with clients on a daily basis across a broad spectrum of industries and routinely interact with officials from the Attorney General’s Office and federal Department of Labor.

When litigation is initiated, we have a team of litigators experienced in the defense of wage and hour claims, including attempted class action lawsuits. 

We also assist companies facing wage and hour audits by federal and state government agencies. Should an employer be found to have violated wage and hour laws, our attorneys are skilled at negotiating with government agencies to reduce civil penalties and fines. We can also help businesses with internal audits as part of a risk management program.

Discrimination and Harassment

Avoiding claims begins with proactive counseling and training.  We offer Harassment and Discrimination training and seminars for businesses of all sizes. Having the right policies in place, implemented and enforced by well-trained leaders, goes a long way towards ensuring a productive and harmonious workplace. When an internal complaint arises, our attorneys can guide you through the investigation and resolution process.

Regardless of how carefully a company may manage personnel risks, employment lawsuits still occur often involving discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation issues.  If a lawsuit is brought, we are ready to defend vigorously, and have had much success before state and federal agencies and in court in defeating these claims.

Our accomplished attorneys represent clients on a broad array of such claims in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies.  Our lawyers are consistently prepared to help our clients to successfully resolve these claims.

re governmental agencies like the MCAD and EEOC.

Employment Litigation

Phifer Pinkham works hard to keep our clients out of trouble. But when a lawsuit is filed, we are ready to vigorously defend and practically counsel our clients.  A lawsuit is the last thing a client wants.  We have a legal team that is ready to provide tenacious and committed representation.

Phifer Pinkham litigators understand the scope and stakes of litigation, from single-plaintiff discrimination cases to wage and hour class actions.  Pinkham Phifer understands what clients want – results and value.  The client’s concern becomes our concern, and we helps clients stay focused on running their business while taking care of their litigation.  Phifer Pinkham fights hard, but with the realization that the client benefits from an effective and efficient approach to litigation that provides them the greatest flexibility in achieving their goals. 

For the Litigation team, the greatest reward comes from calling a client to deliver the news of a win, or to let them know that the case that has been keeping them awake at night is over.  Our attorneys are highly skilled in mediation, arbitration, and related alternative dispute resolutions. 

Discipline/Termination/Separation Agreements

We provide counseling and advice to our clients to relative to employee discipline.  We draft or review and revise performance improvement plans and warnings.  Before termination, many employers contact us for advice as to how to properly handle an employee termination.  We review the risks and provide guidance as to the potential liability.  We also provide sound, practical advice as to the logistics of termination and best practices.  Lastly, in the event that it is a high risk situation, we draft separation agreements to avoid future litigation.  We also review Separation Agreements for executives when they are in transition from employment.

Unemployment

Ever want to know if your employee is eligible to collect unemployment when they separate from employment?  Give us a call.  Want to ensure that your former employee does not collect unemployment, we can let you know if that is possible.  We counsel employers relative to unemployment compensation and provide representation at unemployment appeal hearings.  

Seminars and Training

Workplace problems can often be avoided through proactive training and education.  We provide managerial training and education.  Whether training one or two managers or HR professionals or a group of 100, we can provide seminars or training on crucial issues that impact your business.  From basic sexual harassment training to pay equity to leave issues, our attorneys help supervisors, managers, and executives understand not only their legal obligations but also the practical dos and don’ts of leadership in the workplace.

Our skilled trainers lead engaging and interactive sessions, tailoring each program to the client’s individual needs. 

Investigations and Audits

Allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace or educational institutions can generate an internal crisis or a high-profile scandal.  Our skilled and experienced investigators get to the bottom of what happened promptly and effectively, and they help develop strategies to calm troubled waters, restore morale, and stave off lawsuits.

The facts and dynamics of each investigation are unique, and our team can quickly assess the best way to find out what happened in any case.  Working with the client, we develops a tailored investigative plan, determines what laws or policies are at stake, identifies key witnesses and documents, and conducts thorough and efficient interviews.  After thorough evaluation of the relevant evidence and separating fact from fiction, we prepares an investigative report on which the client can rely with confidence and use as the foundation for corrective action.

We also can audit any employment area of concern at your workplace.  Whether you want to conduct a pay equity audit, an overtime audit, a classification audit or an I-9 Audit, we are happy to come audit your practices and provide solutions and assistance with implementation of compliance, if necessary.

Employer Sponsored Immigration

Phifer Pinkham provides legal services in a variety of immigration areas, ranging from obtaining both temporary (including the H-1B and TN visas) and employment-based permanent immigration visas for foreign nationals to solving problems with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) faced by employers. Temporary employment visas for foreign nationals, primarily relating to the employment of nurses (H-1A visas), specialty occupation workers (H-1B visas) and Canadian professionals and business persons (TN visas), as well visas for foreign traders or investors (E visas), exchange program participants (J visas), business visitor or tourist (B-1/B-2 visas) and intracompany transferees (L-1 visas).  Employment-based immigrant visas providing unlimited employment authorization and permanent residence in the United States (the "Green Card")

The firm advises and trains employers about compliance with Form I-9 employment authorization requirements and employer sanctions, as well as potential defenses to such sanctions, and assists employers in preparing and handling ICE audits.

Areas of Concentration

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Background Investigations
  • Compensation Issues
  • Conducting Investigations
  • Confidentiality and Covenants Not to Compete or Solicit
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Contract Negotiation and Enforcement
  • Disability Accommodation/Undue Hardship
  • Discrimination
  • Drug and Alcohol Screening
  • Employee Discipline
  • Employee Testing: HIV/AIDS, Drugs & Alcohol
  • Employment Contracts
  • Employment Law Counseling
  • Employment Law Litigation
  • Employment Policies
  • Employee Privacy Rights
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Executive Compensation and Incentive Arrangements
  • Immigration
  • Handbook Preparation
  • Harassment
  • Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Retention
  • Non Competition Agreements
  • Personnel Policies and Employee Handbooks
  • Personnel Records
  • Privacy Issues
  • Reductions-in-Force, Plant Closing and Mass Layoff Counseling and Litigation
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Selection and Hiring Procedures
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Substance Use
  • Technology and Employee Rights
  • Termination, Retirement and Severance
  • Trade Secret Protection
  • Wage and Hour Laws
  • Worker's Compensation Law
  • Workplace Harassment Counseling, Training and Litigation
  • Workplace Violence
  • Wrongful Termination