What is Employment Law?

There are many concerns involved with owning or starting a business. In addition to keeping operating costs to a minimum, one of the most difficult issues owners or managers face is managing their employees. With an ever-growing number of "dos and don'ts" created by new laws and court cases, disputes between employers and their employees are inevitable.

At the law firm of Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, LLP, our partner, Michael Farhi, represents businesses and employees involved in workplace negotiations and disputes. With our extensive experience in employment law and our prominent reputation in the legal and local community, we are confident that we can meet your specific needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Our small manufacturing company has relied on Mike Farhi for more than 6 years to help us with employee issues. He revised our Employee Handbook, prepared confidentiality and non-compete agreements for new employees and severance agreements for those we've let go. Mike has also helped us navigate employee vs. independent contractor distinctions and given us "smart" advice to deal with and avoid other employee problems. In short, he's educated us on our rights and those of our employees. We trust his judgment and his ability as a problem-solver. S.E.

  • Termination: We handle claims of discriminatory and retaliatory discharges and hostile work environments based on sex, race, religion, age, medical condition or sexual orientation, as well as of failure to accommodate disabled employees.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues: An employee and his/her family has specific rights under the FMLA, but there are false FMLA claims that need to be defended.
  • Workplace retaliation: An employee cannot be fired, demoted or otherwise "punished" for taking certain legal actions, such as bringing a discrimination claim or cooperating with an EEOC investigation.
  • Wage & Hour Rights: Most business owners know about their obligation to give non-exempt employees overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 per week. But surprisingly few small and mid-sized businesses have payroll policies that comply with basic overtime requirements. Even fewer are even aware of the large amount of other rules and regulations for compensation of employees. This lack of knowledge increasingly translates into costly employee lawsuits and invasive Department of Labor investigations
  • Confidentiality violations: We represent employers and employees in litigation involving trade secret violations, misuse of customer information and other confidentiality violations.
  • Unemployment Claims: Whether or not an employee was fired for "misconduct" is usually a decision for a Department of Labor hearing examiner to decide. Preparation for that hearing is essential, since there are serious financial consequences for winning or losing.
  • Employment contracts: We draft and review a wide range of employment contracts, including offer letters, noncompetition agreements and severance agreements and represent clients in employment contract disputes.
  • Union Matters: Small employers with unionized employees face difficult issues on a near daily basis as they struggle to run their businesses and manage their workforce while complying with detailed and expansive collective bargaining agreements. Negotiating collective bargaining agreements, extending expired agreements, and defending against unfair labor practice charges by themselves requires skilled and experienced legal representation to successfully navigate these situations.

Economical Business Dispute Solutions

Our goal in employment disputes and litigation is to look at the "big picture." Sometimes, it makes better business sense to settle a claim, or work through a mediator or arbitrator. We've been mediators ourselves and know the value of bringing a dispute before a "neutral" party who knows the law and can provide independent analysis and recommendations. But there are times when it's better to pursue or defend a claim, to avoid setting a precedent or if there's no other alternative.

If you are an employee who feels that you are a victim of employment discrimination - or an employer struggling with a "problem employee," let us help you determine the best course of action. Contact us today. Whether you are a small business, medium-sized business or an employee at any level, you are entitled to representation that can provide you with the tools to protect your rights.

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To make an appointment for an initial consultation about your employment law matter, please call or send us an e-mail today.