Employment Counseling, Advice and Compliance

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Reinhart's Labor and Employment attorneys represent both private and public sector employers in all areas of labor law. We regularly counsel employers on a wide range of important labor issues facing companies today, providing creative legal solutions to help prevent employment-related challenges from arising. At all points of engagement, we work to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation and keep companies focused on what they do best – running their business. We advise clients on virtually every area of law concerning employer-employee relations, including the following:

Reinhart attorneys help employers understand and comply with their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and analogous state laws, such as the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. Our experience includes counseling employers on their obligation to reasonably accommodate the disabilities of qualified applicants or employees.

We are experienced in counseling employers on the implications of downsizing and reduction in force decisions. When the decision is made to downsize, we advise our clients with respect to the implementation of that decision including, but not limited to, compliance with all applicable federal and state plant closing and mass layoff laws.

Our attorneys are well-versed in both federal (the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act or "WARN" Act) and state counterpart laws, which require advance notification of mass layoffs or plant closings. We counsel employers on how to avoid being subject to the triggering provisions of these laws, which can subject an organization to significant back-pay liability and fines.

We counsel employers with respect to the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the various federal agency regulations concerning drug testing. We help employers structure and implement drug and alcohol testing programs to minimize exposure to claims for disability discrimination and invasion of privacy.

In keeping with our philosophy of helping clients minimize the occurrence of expensive employment-related lawsuits, we draft and review employee handbooks and employment policies, both to ensure their compliance with applicable law and to ensure that our clients retain their right to discipline and discharge employees not meeting acceptable standards.

We help clients develop policies concerning, among other things, compensation and fringe benefits; discipline; equal employment opportunity; sexual harassment; use of e-mail, telephone and other communication systems; workplace safety and violence; caregiver background checks; family and medical leave and the use of recreational equipment on company property.

We prepare employment agreements for executive, managerial and sales employees providing a wide range of benefits (e.g., stock options and severance payments) and obligations (e.g., noncompete, confidentiality and trade secret clauses). We also prepare stand-alone noncompete, confidential information and trade secret agreements to help employers protect their customer relationships and preserve their confidential and trade secret information.

Reinhart's Labor and Employment attorneys have extensive experience counseling clients as to their rights and obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) and analogous state laws. These are complex, pro-employee statutes, and our attorneys help clients understand when to grant or deny leave without subjecting themselves to penalties and costly litigation. Furthermore, our attorneys assist clients in developing procedures which can ensure compliance with these acts.

We advise employers as to their obligations with respect to the completion and retention of Form I-9s. Among other things, we counsel clients as to the documents they may accept to verify an employee's identity and employment eligibility.

Our attorneys are experienced in assisting employers with internal investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate workplace behavior.

Reinhart's attorneys counsel employers on the wide range of employment-related issues that result from mergers and acquisitions, including resulting changes in key managerial and employee positions, work force reductions and reorganizations, wage and benefit changes and, where a work force is unionized, potential bargaining obligations.

Reinhart's attorneys counsel clients in all aspects of traditional labor law, including assisting with negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA); interpreting and applying CBA provisions; defending clients at grievance arbitrations; and complying with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

We are experienced in counseling employers as to their obligations with respect to reemployment of returning service members, including their obligation to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disabilities of veterans under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and other applicable law.

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