Traditional Labor Law
The O’Neal Firm represents management in labor disputes and negotiations with labor unions. The Firm’s traditional labor law practice includes representation of management in arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, grievance disputes and other matters related to the employee-employer relationship in the unionized workforce.
The O’Neal Firm assiduously defends employers in the full range of employment law matters, including lawsuits and administrative charges brought in federal and state courts alleging sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, age, disability, national origin, religion, gender, pregnancy, military status, sexual orientation, wrongful termination and retaliation. In addition to claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Firm also defends employers in legal claims alleging violations of the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Act, Sarbanse Oxley, as well as state law claims alleging breach of contract, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation, assault and battery and other ancillary claims. We also have substantial expertise in handling matters relating to trade secret violations and non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.
The O’Neal Firm also advocates effectively on behalf of individuals. Our special expertise in the representation of management and business owners make us uniquely qualified to also represent individuals in the full spectrum of employment discrimination matters, including whistleblower protection and employment discrimination matters. In addition, we negotiate favorable employment agreements, signing and relocation bonuses, executive compensation packages, independent contractor agreements, non-compete agreements, separation agreements and severance packages.
Advice and Counsel
In order to significantly reduce, and in many cases avoid altogether, the expense of litigation, we render advice and counsel to employers on the full range of employment law matters. The strength and depth of our practice is rooted in our ability to provide truly full service labor and employment law counseling. On an on-going basis, we provide our clients labor and employment law counsel covering all aspects of employer-employee relations. For example, we frequently are called upon to advise clients in connection with federal and state drug testing regulations, disability compliance, discipline and discharge procedures, employee leave matters, lay-offs, restructuring, sexual harassment investigations, employee theft and many other employment matters. Our sound legal advice assists clients in navigating complex employment law matters to achieve full compliance with federal, state and local employment laws and create a work environment free from discrimination, harassment and other forms of employee misconduct that can expose a company to multi-million dollar liability.
Prompt, fair and effective investigations of employee complaints of harassment or discrimination are absolutely vital to protecting an employer from potential liability. An employer’s policies and procedures, as well as its investigative response to harassment complaints, are critical in determining its liability in all cases alleging discrimination, particularly sexual harassment cases. Employers should carefully craft and review their policies to ensure they are as effective as possible, both in promoting a non-harassing work environment and in minimizing their risk of legal liability through an effective complaint procedure. Employers should also review their procedures for notifying and reminding employees about the company’s policies and for investigating complaints promptly and fairly when they arise.
The O’Neal Firm has a wealth of experience in conducting internal investigations on the full spectrum of employment-related claims, including sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, employee theft, employee misconduct, workplace violence and workplace drug use. Our investigators conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations designed to discover the truth underlying the claims and position the company to respond promptly and effectively.
The O’Neal Firm provides business owners, executives, managers and human resource professionals throughout the country comprehensive training on every aspect of labor and employment law. We regularly conduct workshops and seminars for management and supervisory employees in a variety of topics that include the full range of EEO compliance matters, including sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, discipline and discharge procedures, employee leave and lay-off, managing a diverse workforce and many others. These programs are designed to help employers minimize exposure to liability by ensuring that their managers and human resource professionals obtain comprehensive and consistent compliance with all applicable federal, state and local labor and employment laws.
Employment Policies and Manuals
To function effectively, every work place needs appropriate policies, procedures, forms and record retention systems. Many policies and procedures are required by law. Other policies and procedures are an essential protection against lawsuits. In both cases, policies are needed to assure uniform treatment of employees --- often critical to an employer’s defense against a lawsuit alleging discrimination. Whether carelessly crafted or innocently incomplete, poorly conceived policies and procedures may expose the company to expense and liability.
The O’Neal Firm has a wealth of legal and practical experience. We understand the types of issues that arise throughout the entire range of work settings and can draft policies, procedures and forms that address particular employer situations and concerns. We draft and advise clients on the development and application of all workplace policies, including hiring, discipline, and termination procedures, personnel policies and work rules, grievance, and arbitration procedures, alternative dispute resolution policies, background check and drug testing policies and employee handbooks. Whether it is drafting a handbook or set of work rules, reviewing a job application or salary matrix, designing a disciplinary or evaluation form, creating a drug-testing or violence-in-the-workplace policy, or crafting non-compete, confidentiality and non-solicitation provisions, we can draft policies and agreements that comply with the increasingly complex rigors of the employment law environment.