A significant and extensive area of experience involves defending businesses in employment litigation in Federal and State Courts. We have extensive experience handling litigation claims by employees and former employees alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under both state and federal laws, such as the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act, the Florida Whistleblower Act, and others. Additionally, we defend businesses and management against a variety of employment related torts and other claims that often accompany employment disputes.
Clients also rely on us to represent their interests in pre-suit matters, such as when Charges of Discrimination are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, or local EEO agencies. Responding to these intiial charges in a timely, comprehensive, and decisive manner not only sets the tone if litigation follows, but ensures a competent and careful beginning to what is often early litigation.
Representative examples of the types of matters handled are noted below:
Lead Trial Counsel
- Lead trial counsel to a Florida managed healthcare insurance agency defending against alleged putative class of employees in a Fair Labor Standards Act case brought in Federal Court in the Southern District.
- Lead trial counsel to a national commercial building services company defending Fair Labor Standards Act case in Federal Court.
- Lead trial counsel defending a Fair Labor Standards Act case on behalf of Florida swimming pool contractor.
- Trial counsel defending east, central Florida municipality in multiple arbitrations of labor disputes under collective bargaining agreement.
- Trial Counsel to a central Florida municipality defending a jury trial action brought by a former employee involving claims of retaliatory termination under the Florida’s Civil Rights Act and the Florida Whistle-blower Act.
- Trial Counsel defending a national grocery chain against multiple federal and state law claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including based on ethnicity, national origin, disability, and other protected bases.
- Trial Counsel to a marketing company defending claims brought by dozens of employees in multiple Federal Court lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Trial Counsel to a national family restaurant chain, defending against same-sex harassment claims and other state-law tort claims in federal court.
- Trial Counsel to an international golf management company defending claims of wage misclassification and unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Trial Counsel to a significant national financial institution, defending gender discrimination claims pursued in federal court.
- Trial Counsel to a national insurance company defending against claims of disability discrimination raised under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act.
- Trial Counsel to a national financial institution against state law claims for past due wages based on commission policies and practices.
Lead Employment Counsel
- Counsel to ethnic food market company relating to revisions to its employee handbook.
- Counsel to a Florida community healthcare provider concerning consultation on discipline and termination, contract termination, application of employment policies and practices, and a variety of other employment-related matters.
- Counsel to a national family restaurant on matters relating to discrimination and harassment in the context of administrative agency charges (for example, defending against charges filed with the federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the state agency, the Florida Commission on Human Relations), and others.
- Counsel to a national dental products manufacturer and distributer on Florida law employment matters involving its sales force.
- Counsel to a private educational institution on employee discipline matters, policy application on FMLA and ADA accommodations, internal faculty complaints, including complaints alleging gender discrimination in the tenure process.
Substantive Employment Law Experience
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act/Florida Civil Rights Act – Representing businesses and management against claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under these federal and state claims, with a focus on developing a defensive posture geered toward early resolution, when desired, or taking a hard-line defense toward trial.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act – Representing clients against allegations of disparate treatment or discriminatory discharge by its valued older employee population. Given the aging workforce, these claims have the potential to create significant risk to businesses defending such claims in jury trials.
- Americans with Disabilities Act – Representing businesses against claims of discrimination or harassment based on disabilities in state and federal court. Advising and consulting management and human resource professionals in application of leave policies, including additional certification for leave, fitness for duty, return to work, and related matters.
- Family Medical Leave Act – Defending clients against FMLA claims in state and federal court. Advising and counseling businesses on application of the FMLA to requested leave, to employees on extended leave, required certifications, and return to work, as well as the interplay between the ADA and FMLA.
- Fair Labor Standards Act – Defending federal court lawsuits premised on unpaid overtime claims, wage misclassification, and other wage claims by exempt and non-exempt employees. Advising clients on FLSA policies, salary deduction policies, wage review and proper wage classification.