Employment

  • Overview
  • Practice Team
  • Litigation
  • Confidential & Sensitive Investigations
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Experience
  • News
  • Blog Posts

Overview

Legal issues facing workplaces are at the forefront of the news cycle and require counsel with a deep knowledge of leading issues, proven diplomacy skills and an ability to advocate persuasively in court, arbitration and mediation. We have the breadth of expertise in the issues employers and employees face and the up-to-date information on new issues emerging in employment law to advise our clients on creating, maintaining and protecting safe, equitable and profitable workplaces. We understand that it is often in everyone’s interest to resolve disputes discreetly and routinely advise employers and employees on negotiating separations that avoid costly litigation and unwanted publicity. 

Employment Counseling For Businesses and Institutions

We regularly provide training and advice to clients on a range of employment matters as part of their risk management strategy. We provide real-time advice to clients as concerns about an employee’s performance may develop. We offer training on a variety of employment-related issues, including discrimination and sexual harassment, social media usage, independent contractors, works-for-hire, and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements for employees ranging from C-Suite level leadership to front-of-house staff. Our knowledge of the developing trends and case law by jurisdiction allows us the flexibility and dynamism to engage and educate employees of all backgrounds and experience levels. 

Employment Counseling For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Professionals

Executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals are often particularly concerned about the potential impact on their career and reputation when employment disputes occur. Our team understands the importance of addressing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and devising an exit strategy that allows our clients to move on to new opportunities without the taint of a public battle. We vigorously negotiate severance agreements that compensate clients for the financial consequences of employment disputes while preserving their professional options going forward. We counsel law firm and professional services partners, managers and associates, General Counsel and in-house lawyers, doctors and medical professionals, and C-Suite level executives and business partners on how to navigate a challenging work environment while working towards a resolution, including recovering for harm caused by wrongful discharge or breach of an employment contract.


 

Litigation

Our employment lawyers defend public and private companies in lawsuits alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), harassment, national origin, sexual identity, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or retaliation. We advise clients on issues arising from the Family Medical Leave Act (and state and local counterparts) and represent clients in FMLA cases. We also represent employers in executive compensation and executive contract disputes related to commission payments, employment terms, bonuses, wrongful discharge, and other related contract disputes. Our team counsels employers on enforcing non-compete covenants and protecting valuable trade secrets, such as customer lists and other proprietary information. We also have extensive experience handling cases that involve aspects of electronic discovery and can oversee the review and production of substantial documents. Furthermore, we are experienced handling the public relations challenges that often accompany sensitive matters and work to resolve matters discreetly for all parties.

We have experience with wage and hour cases brought under the FLSA; we have counseled other lawyers when they have handled such cases and have assisted clients with wage and hour audits. Our team members also have considerable experience with EPL policies and performing services for clients who are covered by such policies. Our team members have negotiated EPLI policy terms for clients including providing advice to clients on various issues, particularly selection of counsel and settlements. With respect to handling matters covered by EPL insurance, we have considerable experience as members of our team have spent years working predominantly on employment matters insured by various multinational insurance carriers. As a result, we are also familiar with the budgeting and reporting requirements under which outside counsel work in this context.

Confidential & Sensitive Investigations

On occasion, employers face a particularly high stakes, sensitive, or confidential employment matter that requires an internal investigation and recommendation of remedial strategies. In these situations, clients need someone outside their organization or who is not their regular outside counsel to manage the situation with objectivity and discretion. We conduct discrete, unbiased investigations related to claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation for government, non-profit and business clients. Our investigations ensure a fair outcome for the parties involved while reducing legal exposure.

We also provide organizations with employment counseling and diversity and inclusion training so they are better prepared to comply with their legal obligations, address reporting gaps, and make informed decisions to create an inclusive work culture.

Should litigation arise, our team is also well equipped to advise clients on the best course of action for claims relating to discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, corporate governance, and other employment-related matters. Our team is intimately familiar with handling litigation matters through hearings, arbitration and trials on the local, state, national, and global levels.  

Member Judie Saunders has more than twenty years of litigation experience with a unique focus on representing adult and child survivors of sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse in both criminal and civil court. She is adept at handling internal investigations, pleadings, discovery, negotiations, settlements, jury selection, direct and cross-examination of civilians, expert witness interviews, and closing arguments. 

Member Melissa Hazell Davis focuses her practice on defending employers in litigation arising out of claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and representing employers in breach of contract, trade secret, non-compete and other business related disputes. She also drafts and updates client policies, advise higher education institutions on compliance with Title IX, conduct sensitive confidential investigations, and prepare investigative findings and recommendations for allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. 

 

Diversity & Inclusion

We understand that fostering a diverse workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business. As a certified women owned business, our firm has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and we consider it to be one of the main contributors to our success. We extend this knowledge and expertise to our clients and professional contacts as we are passionate about encouraging a range of experience and thought in the wider legal and business communities. Our lawyers also contribute considerable time and energy to an array of non-profit and civic endeavors around diversity and inclusion, including holding leadership roles in local and national organizations, such as, The National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), The Derby Diversity & Business Summit (DDBS), Ellevate Network, and The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc., among many others.

Diversity & Inclusion Training

We regularly provide training and advice to clients on fostering diversity and inclusion within their organizations. We have trained multiple privately and publicly-held companies, non-profit organizations and government entities on employee compliance with federal, state and municipal employment laws related to hiring and firing, maternity leave, race, age and gender discrimination, LGBTQ rights, accommodations for disabled veterans, and potential employees with criminal records.

We also represent numerous organizations in connection with counseling, training and investigations, including sensitive disciplinary matters involving alleged sexual misconduct and assault. We work with clients to handle these matters in a way that is equitable to all parties and reduces legal exposure. We also provide individualized training to employees, faculty, staff, and students about the educational obligations under Title IX. Through our interactive and rigorous training program, we prepare our clients to comply with their legal obligations, address the tough questions, and help them make informed decisions to manage risk.

Experience

  • Successfully defended multiple Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and officials and nonprofits in discrimination lawsuits.
  • Conducted confidential investigation on behalf of Fortune 500 retailer and prepared report and recommendations in connection with alleged impropriety.
  • Conducted multiple sensitive confidential investigations on behalf of international and local high-profile non-profits relating to allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, LGBTQ+ discrimination and retaliation.
  • Represented several executives of non-profits in connection with separation agreements.
  • Advised national financial institution on diversity, equity and inclusion-related initiatives and conducted unconscious bias training for management team.
  • Created and presented various customized training for public companies, law firms, government and non-profit organizations on diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias.
  • Served as neutral fact-finder in internal investigations, audited and prepared new policies, and advised institutions of higher education of legal obligations under ADA, Title IX, and the Clery Act. 
  • Advised law firms on avoiding and defending claims arising out of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.