Labor & Employment

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction to Nationwide

Contributed by Seyfarth Shaw LLP

For the first time in almost a decade, 78% of CEOs cite 'availability of talent' as a top risk threatening the growth potential of their business, according to PwC’s annual CEO survey. As the economy recovers and the job market continues to heat up, a company’s ability to attract and retain talent will be a key driver of its strategic plan. As in years past, the labor and employment legal landscape continues to directly impact the talent management strategy of Fortune 500 companies, as well as small businesses.

To address these concerns, management should watch the following legal trends which impact how employers attract and retain talent and drive productivity, without the distraction of unnecessary legal risk.

Employment Picture Brightens, Employers Navigate New Recruiting Do’s and Don’ts

As was predicted last year, the EEOC continues to focus on the use of background and credit checks, a practice it believes has a disparate impact on minorities. Despite some litigation losses in 2014, the EEOC appears poised to continue to press its disparate impact cases challenging companies who use background checks in their hiring practices. On the legislative front, laws prohibiting employers from asking about criminal records in the initial application continue to gain traction at the state and local level, with six states and more than 60 cities enacting such prohibitions in 2015.

On the credit check side, a similar trend is emerging as New York City joins 10 states in banning the use of credit checks in the recruiting process. In jurisdictions in which such checks are allowed, there will likely be an increase in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class actions, under which the statutory penalty is $1000 per violation per applicant (such as failing to give applicants the appropriate notices at the appropriate times or failing to follow processes regarding adverse decisions made based on credit reports).

Government Increases Activity in Protecting Employees’ Rights to Complain

Managing existing talent will also become a little more complicated this year. At the end of 2014 and early 2015, the federal government indicated it will continue its expansive view of its ability to regulate existing policies and practices of the average employer. Both the EEOC and the NLRB will continue to take the position that confidentiality provisions in handbooks, policies or severance agreements violate an employee’s right to speak up against discrimination or to engage in concerted activity about the workplace.

Similarly, the creation and enforcement of social media policies will trigger review by these agencies for similar reasons, putting employers in an increasingly untenable position of controlling their brand and their employment culture when addressing disparaging public comments by disgruntled employees. Developments in this area will continue to guide businesses with how best to approach such damaging comments.

The battle will also continue over the NRLB’s new 'ambush' election rules – under which the time between a union’s request for an election and the vote by the potential bargaining unit is shortened significantly. At the beginning of 2015, the US Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging the new rules. Employers may want to watch this case closely while they retool their positive employee relations training and policies.

Employees’ Leave Entitlements Hit a New High 

As the job market improves and more Americans go back to work, employees will benefit from new sick leave entitlements, a trend that has already begun in 18 cities and three states: California, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Other states and municipalities have pending legislation which could be passed this year. While the laws vary with respect to accruals and eligibility, the premise is that employees accrue sick time for hours worked. The fact that the accruals vary will be difficult for employers operating in various geographies to administer. Understanding the difficulty for businesses to comply with a patchwork of rules, there is a countertrend of states passing or attempting to pass legislation prohibiting municipalities from implementing their own sick time laws. A federal solution may be on the way, as President Obama alluded to in his 2015 State of the Union address.

Additionally, new states have joined in legalizing the use and possession of medical marijuana, putting employers with zero tolerance policies in the 36 states that have such laws in untested waters with respect to acting upon positive drug tests results from their applicants or employees. While employees do not have the right to be under the influence of illegal drugs at work, the courts have yet to address how to reconcile the new laws, the ADA and the safety concerns of employers.

How Businesses Can Move Forward 

Now is the time for employers to review their recruiting practices. While companies are innovating the way to use technology and social media to recruit new talent, they should review whether various questions, tests and protocols comply with state and federal rules. For an employer’s existing employees, updating policies, employee relations practices and leave processes is key to retaining talent and avoiding unnecessary government inquiry or litigation. These practices will further productivity, efficiency and ultimately impact the bottom line.

Labor & Employment - Nationwide


Band 1 | Jones Day

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Acclaimed team of labor and employment lawyers counseling corporate clients in connection with an impressive range of matters. Numerous victories secured before the US Supreme Court in wage and hour class actions. Strong capabilities in workforce restructuring.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their reputation is well deserved. They consistently exceed expectations in delivering exceptional advice and guidance."

Work highlights Successfully defended US Steel before the Supreme Court. The court upheld that workers ought not be paid for time spent putting on and taking off clothes before and after work. 

Represented McDonald’s in connection with six lawsuits filed against the company accusing it of wage and hour and collective action violations.

Notable practitioners 

Chicago-based partner Lawrence DiNardo leads the firm's labor and employment practice.

Significant clients BNSF, CITGO Petroleum, Macy’s, McDonald's, Verizon Communications.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Miami, Princeton, New York, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Highly respected representation of employer-side clients with respect to a broad array of labor and employment matters. Impressive track record in the most cutting edge of employment law disputes, with the team regularly succeeding in cases before the US Supreme Court.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a deep bench and a deep understanding of what we do and our culture. They are incredibly responsive and well coordinated."

"Working at the very top with a national footprint, making law and serving the nation's largest employers."

Work highlights Acted for Amtrak in an arbitration concerning the terms of labor contracts with the Brotherhood of Maintenance Way Employees Division and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.

Represented American Airlines in a lawsuit filed against it by a pilot and established that pension benefits are suspended if an employee continues to work past the age of 60 rather than retire. 

Notable practitioners 

Joseph Costello in Philadelphia oversees the labor and employment practice.

Significant clients Amtrak, Citi, Colgate Palmolive, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan Chase.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Prominent practice advising employers in connection with a broad spectrum of employment law matters. Adept at handling cases concerning such issues as wage and hour, discrimination and disability access. Demonstrates strength handling the labor implications of bankruptcies and mergers.

Work highlights Represented UBS Investment Bank in dismissing a lawsuit by a former employee alleging racial discrimination and wrongful discharge by establishing that since the alleged incident took place in Switzerland it was outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

Successfully dismissed on behalf of BYD Motors allegations that it had failed to pay temporary workers from China the minimum wage in California, and got national newspapers to report the dismissal and hence restore the company's reputation.

Notable practitioners 

New York-based partner Patrick Shea is the global chair of the employment law department.

Significant clients American Airlines, Bank of America, Disney, IBM, Facebook.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, Newark, Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Handles a broad sweep of issues for blue-chip clients such as corporations, law firms, financial institutions and sports leagues. Areas of expertise include defending employers in class action disputes, managing workforce relations and offering advice pertaining to reorganization during mergers and acquisitions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their level of expertise is phenomenal. They're so well trained and really know their stuff."

"They're at the top of the field in knowledge and experience. Great counselors. They are thought leaders in a variety of employment areas. The firm overall is very client service oriented."

Work highlights Represented Major League Baseball, successfully achieving the dismissal of an appeal by player Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for the duration of the 2014 season for using performance enhancing drugs.

Advised Manhattan School of Music during collective bargaining negotiations with employees of the precollege faculty.

Notable practitioners 

New York partners Joseph Baumgarten and Gregory Rasin co-head the labor and employment law department.

Significant clients Carnegie Hall, Credit Suisse, The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, RBS.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Serves an array of clients including financial institutions, retailers and government agencies. Experienced at protecting employers from discrimination class actions such as age, disability and wage and hour litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The firm is a full-service firm. They are extremely responsive and provide excellent advice. They are practical and commercial."

"I appreciate the depth of their working groups. This makes them able to not only staff matters efficiently, but also to respond quickly to our questions and issues."

Work highlights Represented Kaplan Higher Education in a claim filed by the EEOC that accused it of racially discriminative background screening when recruiting employees.

Advised Sterling Jewelers in connection with a gender discrimination class action submitted by the EEOC on behalf of 19 female employees.

Notable practitioners 

Lisa Damon in Boston heads the labor and employment department.

Significant clients Costco, Deloitte Touche, Prudential Insurance, US Foods, Wells Fargo Bank.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Boston, Cleveland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

What the team is known for Respected representation of corporate clients across the nation with respect to labor and employment law matters. Sector-specific experience pertaining to a wide range of industries including banking, healthcare, retail and mining.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a nationwide presence and they're very good lawyers."

Work highlights Acted for See's Candy Shops in defense of a wage and hour class action alleging that the company had transgressed California law by rounding hours worked to the tenth of an hour.

Successfully defended CHG-MERIDIAN USA in connection with a lawsuit brought by a former account manager alleging age discrimination and failure to pay wages and commissions.

Notable practitioners  

Firm chair Vincent Cino, located in the Morristown office, is a key contact.

Significant clients Advance Auto Parts, Boehringer-Ingelheim, IBM, Pfizer, Toys R Us.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Broad labor and employment practice offering legal guidance to corporate employers in such areas as retail, energy, real estate and sport. Demonstrates strength in class action litigation and workforce management.

Notable practitioners 

Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, based in Philadelphia and San Diego respectively, are key contacts at the firm.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta, Greenville, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Memphis, Denver and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Delivers legal solutions to employers in many market sectors including retail, sports, healthcare and entertainment. Handles the full range of labor and employment matters including advising on regulatory compliance and defending management in class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"This firm provides great employment law representation throughout the entire United States."

"The lawyers are also top-notch employment lawyers who dedicated their craft to employment law."

Work highlights Acted for Lyft, a car sharing service, in dismissing a class action brought against it in California contending that it violated the California Labor Code by classifying drivers not as employees but as independent contractors.

Notable practitioners 

Kim Ebert in Indianapolis is a key contact.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Houston, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans.

What the team is known for National labor and employment boutique noted for its representation of employers with respect to such matters as unionization and allegations of discrimination. Deep knowledge of numerous industry sectors including healthcare, real estate, financial services, retail and transportation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a client first model with very talented individual attorneys that are very responsive."

Work highlights Represented CHRISTUS Health in successfully dismissing a claim by a former employee asserting that injury compensation was wrongfully withheld.

Acted for the Ivy League universities, the American Association of Universities and MIT in offering the National Labor Relations Board an amicus brief concerning the potential unionization of football players at Northwestern University.

Notable practitioners 

Roger Quillen in Atlanta is managing partner of the firm and a key contact.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Reputable practice handling a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters on behalf of corporate clients. Litigation is a forte, with attorneys skilled at assisting employers in dealing with class actions and breaches of contract.

Work highlights Acted on behalf of UBS Financial Services in convincing the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reverse a ruling that had made unenforceable arbitration agreements containing a class action waiver clause.

Represented ABF Freight in defense of union claims that it had violated ERISA by failing to make necessary contributions to multiemployer pension, health and welfare plans.

Notable practitioners 

Los Angeles-based Catherine Conway and DC-based Eugene Scalia cochair the labor employment group.

Significant clients AlixPartners Holdings, Farmers Insurance Exchange, PwC, UBS, Walmart.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Los Angeles.

What the team is known for Respected team representing clients in a host of industry sectors including retail, technology, education and financial services. Applauded for its capabilities in tackling contentious challenges such as trade secret violations and discrimination class actions.

Work highlights Represented Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in connection with age discrimination class actions brought against it by laid off employees.

Represented Time Warner in dismissing an age and gender-related claim brought against it by an in-house counsel.

Notable practitioners 

Mike Delikat in New York heads the global employment law and litigation practice.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Time Warner.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.