Squire Sanders labor and employment lawyers represent employers across the full spectrum of employee-related legal issues and the business immigration arena. We work closely with other Squire Sanders lawyers in our taxation and benefits, pensions, corporate and litigation practice groups, as needed, to provide comprehensive labor and employment representation around the world.
In litigation, we blend experience with innovation when representing our clients before tribunals, courts and government agencies, proactively working to resolve disputes efficiently with outstanding results. Our success stems from a creative and practical team approach – both internally and in partnership with our clients.
Key Practice Components
We are at the forefront of strategic employment and labor relations issues for our clients, including the enforcement of noncompete and confidentiality agreements, wage and hour litigation, discrimination, collective bargaining agreements, pensions, workforce restructuring and reorganizations. We also advise clients regarding all aspects of employment contracts, handbooks, investigations and internal compliance audits. We advise myriad employers, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small startups, from public entities to high-tech research and development companies, and from heavy manufacturers to service companies and financial institutions. Our clients rely on us for advice in every area of labor and employment law.
In every matter we handle, we provide cost-effective expertise in this increasingly complicated arena. We look beyond the required legal input and identify the big picture irrespective of geography or complexity. Our pragmatic and focused approach means we are able to provide optimum risk management on your behalf.
We are educators as well as lawyers. In addition to writing and lecturing for legal bodies, trade associations and human resources groups, we offer our clients seminars and workshops designed to keep human resources professionals and in-house counsel up to date on the latest developments in all areas of labor and employment, workplace health and safety, and employee benefits law. We also devise and deliver tailored in-house training sessions on a variety of topics for human resources professionals, in-house counsel, managers and employees and put together training programs that can be conducted by in-house managers and then replicated throughout the company.
Experiencia en el Ejercicio
- Securing summary judgment on all race and retaliation claims brought by a former employee against a major US-based foods manufacturer. This very complicated and visible case was featured in the local print and television media and on a radio show syndicated nationally in the United States and was the subject of a dedicated website. The plaintiff alleged that he had been fired by our client because of his race and in retaliation for complaining about discrimination in the company. He also sued four female employees for defamation because they alleged he had engaged in sexual harassment. Further complicating the matter, another supervisor, who was fired at the same time as the plaintiff, sued our client for alleged race discrimination, contending that he was fired to make it look as if the company didn't fire the first employee because of his race.
- Representing the Parma City School District before the United States Supreme Court as to whether the parents of a student with a disability must have legal counsel to prosecute the claims of their child. The Sixth Circuit held that the parents had no substantive rights of their own under the statute and could not represent their child pro se. Working with legal counsel, the parents sought and received a writ of certiorari from the US Supreme Court. After oral argument, the Supreme Court held that nonlawyer parents may proceed pro se in representing the interests of their child in a federal court action under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.
- Defending a multistate fitness-facility company in a collective wage and hour action in which salaried employees alleged that their pay was subject to impermissible deductions.
- Obtaining a 7-1 defense verdict for our client facing claims from a former employee and his wife of wrongful discharge, promissory estoppel, fraud, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium. On the first day of trial, the plaintiffs dismissed the wrongful discharge, promissory estoppel and fraud claims. After the plaintiffs rested, the court granted our motion for directed verdict on the defamation claims but allowed the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim to proceed under the Russ v. TRW theory of "totality of the circumstances surrounding the termination."
- Defending a closet company against a California statewide class action on behalf of its designers. The designers sought allegedly unpaid commissions and bonuses and reimbursements for mileage and other business-related expenses. The court granted our demurrer to three of the eight causes of action, and four of the five defendants were dismissed. The matter ultimately settled on favorable terms.
- Managing and coordinating the defense of complicated wage and hour class actions pending across the United States and in multidistrict litigation against a number of satellite and cable television provider clients. We obtained several landmark federal court decisions applying overtime exemptions to entire classes of technicians based on the federal Motor Carrier Act and Retail Service Commission exemptions.
- Successfully defending a leading maker of engineered bearings and related products in a collective ERISA action brought by 58 of our client's former employees in Connecticut state court. The former employees were seeking severance benefits following the client's divestiture of a manufacturing facility. The plaintiffs alleged a host of common law claims, as well as a statutory claim under a Connecticut law that allowed treble damages for failure to pay benefits. Approximately US$5 million was at stake before trebling, as well as compensatory damages and legal fees. The judge granted our motion to dismiss all claims based on preemption under ERISA.
- Obtaining successful dismissal of an age discrimination claim filed by a discharged employee who reneged on a settlement arising out of a grievance. The 12(b)(1) and (6) motion to dismiss was based on the argument that a public employee cannot pursue a discrimination suit where a collective bargaining agreement contains a binding arbitration clause and the union employee failed to first exhaust contractual remedies.
- Obtaining a motion for judgment on the pleadings in the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on behalf of a chemicals manufacturer accused of race and age discrimination. The district court found the plaintiff had failed to establish an employer-employee relationship with our client and had also failed to establish that either our client or its supervisor had any role in his employment termination. The plaintiff was employed by an independent contractor providing maintenance services to our client at its Georgia facility, and the contract between our client and the independent contractor provided that the contractor was solely responsible for employee hiring and termination.
- Winning a unanimous jury verdict for the defense in a workers' compensation claim for death benefits. The allegations included claims that long work hours and job-related stress caused cardiac arrhythmia. The jury agreed with our arguments that there was no evidence substantiating that the arrhythmia was caused by the individual's employment.
Casos de estudio
When the former vice president of a flooring company's property management division abruptly left the company to work for a direct competitor despite having executed a two-year noncompete agreement, the company turned to our labor and employment prac...
Digital Dish, a leading television satellite dish service company, and two of its representatives faced claims of overtime and recordkeeping violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) involving more than 200 of the company's technicians. Th...
Situation:Cedar Fair, L.P., learned that CBS intended to sell its five US and Canadian Paramount amusement parks through an auction process. If Cedar Fair were able to acquire these parks, it could approximately double its holdings.Challenge:Cedar Fa...
Our client was vulnerable to more than US$25 million in damages when two of its former employees, purporting to represent the interests of a group of its retirees, filed suit in US District Court claiming various violations of the Employee Retirement...
A multinational transportation conglomerate faced a 23-count class action complaint involving 5,000 former employees who sought more than US$200 million in damages for claimed violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The complaint c...