Human Resources Counseling
Goldberg Kohn regularly advises employers on how to develop policies and structure transactions in compliance with the increasing number of employment laws and regulations. The firm's attorneys draft and review employee handbooks and take a proactive approach by conducting client training programs and helping company managers, human resource professionals and in-house attorneys to avoid disputes before they arise.
- Acted as temporary in-house labor counsel for a joint venture pharmaceutical firm, providing counseling to company human resource and business departments.
- Represented national financial services firm in a multi-state layoff of employees in a large operating division. The Goldberg Kohn employment team worked with the client in structuring the layoff, conducting impact analyses, reviewing all relevant employment contracts, assuring compliance with all federal, state and local laws, and drafting all relevant agreements, releases, severance plans, and notices. No lawsuits were filed against the company as a result of the layoff.
- Guided a corporate client through a very extensive sexual harassment investigation in which there could have been numerous sexual harassment suits, and none were filed. Goldberg Kohn led company management through the investigative process, showing them how to deal with the allegations in a common-sense fashion, so that on close examination, even the employees' lawyer concluded that the company's response was beyond reproach.
- When an international corporate client had an internal sexual harassment complaint brought against a senior corporate officer by an employee represented by counsel, Goldberg Kohn immediately brought in an outside investigator and simultaneously conducted its own investigation. Even though the employee filed an EEOC charge and threatened to file a civil complaint and criminal charges during the investigation, the firm was able to obtain a settlement under which the corporate client did not make a monetary payment.
- Evaluated various employment law issues relating to the adoption of a corporate code of ethics for a publicly held banking institution, including review of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the USA PATRIOT Act and the privacy laws of 36 states.
- Assisted a medium-sized private company in reviewing and revising job descriptions for all its employees to minimize risk under the FLSA and the ADA. Goldberg Kohn advised its client on whether its job positions were exempt or not exempt under the FLSA and made numerous suggestions to support exempt determinations. The firm also provided advice with respect to the essential functions of various jobs. To date, no related claims have been filed by the client's employees or by state or federal labor agencies.
- Represented a regional company going through a mass layoff in multiple locations and states. Goldberg Kohn guided the client through complex WARN Act issues, and drafted severance and release agreements after analyzing the proper disclosure requirements under OWBPA considering the multiple positions, divisions and plants affected by the layoff. When a former employee filed an EEOC charge of age discrimination, the firm's attorneys were able to convincingly present the legitimate, non-discriminatory basis on which the layoff decision was made, and the EEOC dismissed the charge of discrimination.
- Drafted and advised clients on harassment prevention policies. Goldberg Kohn has also conducted training sessions on harassment issues for supervisors, senior managers, general counsel and other employees.
- Conducted a seminar on the Family and Medical Leave Act for an NYSE-listed company's top 40 human resources managers.
- Drafted and reviewed numerous policies concerning employee Internet and e-mail communications and usage.
- Frequently advise companies who are conducting reductions in force about how to do so in a manner to prevent liability. Recently, Goldberg Kohn has advised many clients about such issues, including federal and state WARN issues, discrimination “impact analyses,” drafting effective policies and severance plan documents, compliance with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, and many other attendant issues. The firm has particular strength relative to competitors combining this advice with sophisticated analysis of a client’s rights in workout/shutdown/bankruptcy situations where a multi-disciplined review of sometimes competing laws is required.
- Effectively serve as outside/inside counsel to numerous clients who do not have internal labor and employment lawyers to guide their day-to-day compliance with the increasingly complex array of state and federal labor and wage hour laws. For example, Goldberg Kohn frequently gives advice to clients on disabilities act (ADA) and leave act (FMLA/USERRA) issues. Many of the firm's clients' human resources managers look to Goldberg Kohn directly for advice on compliance issues and in implementing discipline and terminations in a manner that will prevent successful lawsuits or charges.