Employment Law & Executive Counseling
Since our firm was founded more than 20 years ago employment litigation and counseling, on behalf of both employers and executives, have been a staple of our practice. The growth in these years of employment law in complexity and scope is fully reflected in our experience: at any time we are likely to be representing employers in litigation alleging discrimination, harassment or illegal pay practices; prosecuting or defending claims arising from restrictive covenants, and negotiating employment agreements for, typically, financial services executives. Our clients are as varied as our practice. We represent corporate employers, from large companies to startups, public sector as well as private, and international as well as domestic. Often our client is the employer, but we also represent executives and entrepreneurs in matters ranging from organizing partnerships to the preparation and review of employment agreements and separation agreements.
On the litigation front we represent clients in court, in arbitrations and in mediations. Much employment litigation arises from employment and related agreements among parties pertaining to compensation, intellectual property and restrictions on competitive activity and solicitation. Other claims are grounded in the web of statutes that protect employees including federal, state and local antidiscrimination and anti-harassment laws; the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to minimum wage and overtime pay, and the federal and state laws pertaining to organized labor activity. We are imaginative and tenacious adversaries when necessary, and we stand ready to craft settlements that favor the interests of our client whenever it is possible to do so. We understand our clients’ concern about the cost of litigation in money and time and we are prepared to work with clients to ensure that fees and expenses remain appropriate to the matter at hand.
Many clients, of course, consult us about labor and employment law issues for the purpose of structuring their business conduct so as to avoid becoming involved in litigation at all. We find that our litigation experience informs our consulting practice in that, thanks to having seen many fact scenarios play out in court, we have a realistic understanding of what kinds of actions are likely to lead to claims exposure and how practically to avoid triggering such problems. This perspective is particularly helpful in guiding our international clients to an understanding of the way in which U.S. laws work that is at once less restrictive than in many other countries (the market freedom implied by “at will employment,” for example, scarcely exists outside the U.S.) and much more restrictive (U.S. antidiscrimination laws and their interpretation that effectively bars conversation about sexual and other personal matters in the workplace is difficult for many people from outside the U.S. initially to comprehend).
All of HNRK ‘s partners and most of our associates have worked in varied aspects of our labor and employment practice. We suggest that clients seeking an introduction to our firm for such matters contact Fred Newman, Richard Reice or Ira Lipton.