Williams Mullen’s Labor and Employment Section has a nationwide practice that is consistently recognized as a “Leading Employment and Labor Law Firm” by Chambers USA. We pride ourselves on offering “can do” business oriented solutions to clients’ increasingly complex labor and employment issues. Responsiveness, efficiency and client communication are the cornerstones of our practice. Our depth of experience in the labor and employment field enhances our ability to represent clients successfully.

Williams Mullen’s Labor and Employment Section has a nationwide practice that is consistently recognized as a “Leading Employment and Labor Law Firm” by Chambers USA. We pride ourselves on offering “can do” business oriented solutions to clients’ increasingly complex labor and employment issues. Responsiveness, efficiency and client communication are the cornerstones of our practice. Our depth of experience in the labor and employment field enhances our ability to represent clients successfully.

The Labor and Employment Section provides advice to public and private employers of all sizes on human resources issues and assists them to minimize liability and comply with applicable laws and regulations. Our attorneys represent management in all areas of employment law and employment litigation before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and in state and federal courts across the U.S.

With a strong focus on traditional labor law, Williams Mullen’s practice includes representation of employers facing threats of unionization, as well as employers dealing with the challenges of organized workforces. We develop strategies to maintain union-free workplaces, provide advice in the course of initial organizing and decertification election campaigns, defend companies charged with committing unfair labor practices, negotiate collective bargaining agreements and arbitrate grievances arising under those agreements.

Approach to Staffing and Case Management
Williams Mullen approaches litigation with two principal objectives: to maximize our client’s chance of obtaining a favorable result; and to minimize the attorneys’ fees and costs which must necessarily be expended in defending any claim. To accomplish these objectives, our attorneys work in close partnership with clients to evaluate cases and develop and execute case-specific litigation strategies. In appropriate cases, we are strong proponents of mediation or other methods of alternate dispute resolution.

We understand the importance of developing and adhering to a realistic budget. In most instances, one experienced partner and one experienced associate prepare the case for trial. Indeed, strong and skillful trial preparation will frequently lead to an earlier and less expensive resolution. Additionally, we make a conscientious effort to handle the more mundane discovery matters with experienced associates, utilizing the skills of our senior attorneys for oversight, the development of defense strategies, key depositions and motions, and trial.

Use of Technology
Managing large-scale litigation requires an extensive infrastructure where technology, attorneys and staff work in tandem. Williams Mullen leverages leading-edge litigation management tools, including databases, trial presentation software, task-based and electronic invoicing, and extranet access to effectively handle client matters.

Labor and Employment Services 

  • Advise and counsel on sophisticated labor and employment issues 
  • Supervisor and management training 
  • Defense of employment-related lawsuits and administrative complaints in all forums 
  • Drafting affirmative action plans and defending OFCCP compliance audits 
  • Litigating the enforceability of restrictive covenants and other employment agreements 
  • Alternative dispute resolution 
  • Proactive labor management representation 
  • Employment practices audits 
  • Appellate work 
  • Defending unemployment claims 
  • Collective bargaining assistance 
  • Arbitration of union grievances

 

Representative Experience

Advice and Training

  • Conduct labor and employment due diligence for clients contemplating acquisitions and divestitures to ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws 
  • Assess vulnerability of multi-establishment employers to class or mass actions regarding pay selection practices 
  • Advise companies regarding the implementation and management of lawful diversity plans 
  • Train all levels of management in union avoidance, conducting workplace investigations, preventing unlawful harassment and discrimination, implementing successful progressive discipline techniques, using lawful techniques to hire, retain and terminate employees, and performance management 
  • Provide on-going counseling in all areas of human resource management, including, but not limited to, obligations under minimum wage, overtime and record keeping requirements, restrictive covenants, substance abuse policies, OSHA, whistleblowing claims, severance and release agreements, plant closings, relocations and layoffs 
  • Review personnel policies and draft employment applications and agreements for compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws 
  • Advise employers on proposed personnel actions including discipline and discharge and reductions in force

 

Defense of Employment-Related Lawsuits and Claims In All Courts and Administrative Forums

  • Representation in state and federal courts in various single plaintiff, class action and collective actions against companies and executives accused of discrimination, wrongful discharge, violations of ERISA, the FLSA and the Equal Pay Act, breach of contract and employment torts 
  • Represent employers in state and federal court wage claim litigation by individual employees, groups of employees, the DOL and state compliance agencies 
  • Serve as national coordinating counsel for labor and employment matters for publicly traded corporations 
  • Represent companies in federal, state and administrative appeal proceedings 
  • Defend charges of discrimination before local, state and federal anti-discrimination agencies 
  • Assist in audits of employer’s wage payment practices by U.S. Department of Labor and state compliance agencies 
  • Represented employers in several landmark Virginia Supreme Court decisions applying the employment at will doctrine 
  • Develop efficiency metrics to track the historical cost of litigation, including settlement fees and expenses, and to control costs

 

Drafting Affirmative Action Plans and Defending OFCCP Audits

  • Prepare headquarters affirmative action plans 
  • Defend government contractor in OFCCP compliance audits 
  • Defend employment discrimination charges before administrative law judges

 

Litigation of Restrictive Covenants and Other Employment Agreements

  • Represent employers and their executives in injunctive and other trial proceedings to enforce, or prevent the enforcement of, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, employment contracts, confidentiality agreements and restrictions on the use of trade secrets

 

Proactive Labor Management Representation

  • Protect client interests in connection with injunctions in labor disputes, including recognitional strikes, unfair labor practice strikes, and economic work stoppage 
  • Defeat union organizing attempts for clients in major manufacturing sectors, such as steel, paper, health care, printing, construction and mining. Represented clients in decertification of unions
  • Negotiate long-term labor agreements, including work rules and health insurance concessions for Fortune 500 companies 
  • Defend allegations of unfair labor practices before the National Labor Relations Board and representation in appeals of NLRB orders before various U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 
  • Represent employers in grievance and arbitration matters arising under collective bargaining agreements
  • Defended National Discount Retailer of Variety Goods Against Wage-and-Hour Claims
  • Represented Former President of a Company in Claims for Back Pay, Ownership of Company and Patents and Inventions
  • Defended Large Food Service Company Against Discrimination Claims. Defended client against discrimination claims filed before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission under the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
  • Represented Medical Supplies Manufacturer in Trade Secret Action Against Former Employees. Williams Mullen represented a medical supplies manufacturer in trade secret, breach of duty, and business tort claims against former employees, who set up a competing business.
  • Defended Insurance Company Against Race Discrimination Claims - Title VII, Section 1981 race discrimination claims.
  • Designer and Manufacturer of Auxiliary Equipment and System Controls for the Plastics Processing Industry. Defended client in Administrative Law Judge hearing in Washington, D.C.
  • Defended Large Petroleum Company Against Race and Age Discrimination Claims. Defended client against discrimination claims, which included Title VII, Section 1981 reverse discrimination and age discrimination

 

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