Employment & Labor

Sedgwick’s employment and labor attorneys represent public, private, domestic and multinational employers throughout the U.S. and abroad in virtually every area of workplace law. We have defended management in federal, state, and local administrative actions, jury and non-jury trials, arbitrations and mediations, as well as appellate proceedings. We defend employers against class action and other multiclaimant proceedings as well as individual actions involving employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), wage and hour, and unfair business competition claims. We represent clients in whistleblower litigation matters involving common law claims, OSHA and Sarbanes Oxley and assist clients in protecting trade secrets and other confidential information. We represent management before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and counsel clients on labor relations matters. Sedgwick also offers employee benefits advice and transactional services as well as employment and labor law training and counseling. We are often retained by insurance carriers on all areas of employment defense for insureds. As we have long relationships with the insurance industry, we also advise carriers in connection with employment issues impacting their own workforce.

Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Whistleblower and Other Workplace Law Matters

Our attorneys counsel management concerning employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, wrongful discharge and workplace tort claims. We advise employers regarding disability issues, family and medical leave, employee theft, drug testing, employee privacy, independent contractor issues, occupational safety and health, foreign-owned employer issues, employee discipline and discharge, and plant closings and mass layoffs. We represent management in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies and arbitrators in litigations, administrative proceedings, arbitrations and mediations concerning these matters, and defend employers against individual and class action claims.

Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation

Sedgwick helps clients conduct wage and hour audits and works with management to devise a methodology for reclassifying employees in a way that minimizes disruption of operations and reduces the risk of litigation. Sedgwick has defended, as lead counsel, numerous Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) actions in both single and collective actions. We represent employers before the U.S. Department of Labor and state and local agencies. Our lawyers also have extensive courtroom experience successfully litigating overtime pay claims and other wage and hour disputes, including defending wage and hour class actions.

Labor Law and Labor Relations

Sedgwick helps employers defeat union organizing and rebut labor-sponsored corporate campaigns by conducting strategy sessions and formulating detailed plans for communicating management positions in appropriate ways to defeat unionization. We represent management before the NLRB, other government agencies, and federal and state courts in union representation, unfair labor practice, secondary boycott, union violence, unlawful strikes and picketing, and other labor cases. In unionized workplaces, we help employers to achieve success in collective bargaining; counsel management on union contract issues; guide employers in grievance matters; and represent management in labor arbitrations. We counsel employers on project labor agreements, prevailing wage laws, joint and single employer and alter ego issues, and Taft-Hartley employee benefits fund matters. We advise management concerning successorship, accretion, withdrawal liability, and other key labor and employment law issues that arise in mergers, acquisitions, sales, and other business transactions, as well as in bankruptcies. Sedgwick also alerts employers to new and potential labor legislation, including the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition

Our attorneys advise clients on protecting valuable trade secrets and confidential information, including the review, negotiation and drafting of complex employment contracts and consulting arrangements with restrictive covenants. We represent clients in employment-related intellectual property disputes in court, if necessary, or by limiting exposure through preventive counseling and preparation of detailed licensing and assignment agreements. We also litigate employment agreement, restrictive covenant, employee duty of loyalty and partnership dispute matters in federal and state courts and before arbitrators.

Counseling, Policy Development and Affirmative Action Compliance

We work with clients to develop effective employee policies, procedures, handbooks, and forms that minimize workplace risks and protect management when disputes arise. We represent management before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other federal and state agencies. We regularly advise clients concerning federal, state, and local government contracting obligations; help management develop affirmative action plans; and represent employers in compliance review audits and enforcement actions by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Employee Benefits Transactions, Counseling and Litigation

Our attorneys bring to the table a comprehensive understanding of employee benefits law and transactions with an emphasis on employee stock ownership plans and issues governed by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Sedgwick guides clients through the complex process of designing, implementing and maintaining pension plans, profit sharing plans and other retirement benefit vehicles. We also counsel management concerning health and welfare plans and COBRA obligations. In addition, we advise employers on the effect business mergers, other transactions, and bankruptcies have on employee benefit plans. Sedgwick also counsels clients on ERISA duties and requirements, and ensures that decision making procedures are correctly documented.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in successfully representing clients in a wide variety of ERISA disputes. Our litigation experience includes ERISA class actions, and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, in addition to suits brought by individual participants and beneficiaries, dissenting fiduciaries, and labor organizations. We have also successfully defended management against multiemployer withdrawal liability claims.

Workplace Investigations

Sedgwick attorneys are experienced in conducting a full range of internal investigations and routinely assist employers in complying with all legal requirements necessary for effective hotline, discrimination, harassment, and whistleblower complaint investigations.

Training Programs

Sedgwick provides on-site, tailored training to managers, human resource professionals and counsel. Our dynamic attorneys provide effective, interactive training that ensures compliance with state and federal laws while achieving a practical level of prevention of employment and labor law violations.