Employment law claims and employee rights are growing regularly. A primary focus of our employment law attorneys is working with employers to prevent legal problems and claims while helping organizations reach their goals. We are equipped to assist with the wide spectrum of employment issues, including interviewing and hiring practices, non-compete and restrictive covenant agreements, employee handbooks, pay and overtime practices for compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws as well as non-discrimination requirements, employee discipline and discharge, promotions, reductions in force, affirmative action programs, safety issues, separation letters (and other communications designed to fend off opposing attorneys), severance and release agreements, unemployment compensation claims, reference responses and other potential defamation issues, and perhaps most importantly, training of managers in preventing problems. Our clients see us as an important partner in their path to success.
Employment discrimination claims can concern a variety of subjects, such as age, disability, race, sex, sexual harassment (and other harassment claims), national origin, religion, citizenship, veteran status, and other protected categories designated by state or local governments. Employment contract issues are also very important today, ranging from creating, defending or distinguishing employment contracts and non-compete agreements to avoiding implied contract claims that can otherwise arise through verbal, e-mail, letter or other communication statements. In addition, retaliation, whistleblowing and wrongful discharge claims are increasing and warrant guidance. We regularly advise our clients on avoiding problems in these areas as well as defending claims that do arise.
We have a successful record in defending employers before federal and state courts, federal and state government agencies both in and outside Pennsylvania, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (and its divisions such as the Wage & Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, the Veterans Employment & Training Service).
We are also active in the union area, representing management in both union dealings and union avoidance. We like to help employers do things right and efficiently (which sometimes means avoiding a lot of cumbersome policies that can’t anticipate future events) so employees do not feel the need for protection from them. A notable portion of our clients have union represented workforces, thus we are regularly involved in labor arbitrations, NLRB procedures (including unfair labor practice charges, unit clarifications, and union certification and decertification elections), collective bargaining or union negotiations, as well as general advice and counsel on business decisions (e.g., subcontracting, reductions in force, changes in operational measures, purchases and divestitures, etc.).
In addition to representing employers, we also serve individuals in reviewing and negotiating employment contracts and non-compete agreements, reviewing both the terms and negotiating improvements to severance agreements, advising employees on the legality of pending or actual terminations, and bringing claims over employee terminations.
Houston Harbaugh employment lawyers have strong experience in a variety of employment law and labor law matters in Pittsburgh and nationally, including:
- Represented regional utility company in sexual harassment lawsuit brought by employee who presented graphic videotaped evidence of supervisor engaged in harassing behavior. Through legal advice when this claims was presented and our defense of the employee’s subsequent lawsuit (and the plaintiff’s attorney’s very high settlement demand), we obtained a summary judgment dismissal and no liability for our employer client.
- Advising employers of various sizes and industries to draft and enforce human resource policies geared toward limiting or avoiding liability, from basic employee handbooks to training for both human resources and non-human resources management staff. Handling numerous labor/union matters, including upholding the discharges of many employees, the subcontracting of work, and changes to health insurance coverage terms.
If you are looking for an employment lawyer in the Pittsburgh area, contact us today for a consultation.