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Employment Defense Attorney

Employment Defense Attorney

Large corporations and small businesses alike can face lawsuits by employees, even after devoting time and money to creating a healthy working environment. When disputes arise, hiring an experienced employment defense attorney is critical to minimizing the potential harm to your company.

At Scarinci Hollenbeck, we help employers navigate the complex legal landscape and maintain a productive workforce. We also defend clients against a wide range of employment-related claims, including wage and hour violations, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and retaliation.

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Businesses Need a Proven Employment Defense Attorney in Their Corner

In today’s heightened regulatory landscape, employment disputes are often inevitable. Our clients rely on us to devise strategic solutions to their most sophisticated labor and employment issues. 

When litigation is necessary, we fight for our clients at every stage of litigation, from pre-trial negotiations to post-trial appeals. We have handled claims in courts at all levels and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), state civil rights divisions, and various other state and federal agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, New York State Department of Labor, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

The Broad Capabilities of Our Employment Defense Group

Our employment attorneys serve as trusted partners to businesses of all sizes, providing expert counsel regarding the ever-changing maze of regulations, administrative rules, and court decisions impacting the employment landscape. We routinely advise employers and defend litigation involving the full spectrum of employment issues, including:

  • Benefits and compensation
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Discipline and termination
  • Disability accommodation
  • Diversity and inclusion matters
  • Drug testing and cannabis in the workplace
  • Job advertisements, employment applications, and background checks 
  • Employment agreements, including non-disclosure agreements, non-competition agreements, non-solicitation, and arbitration agreements
  • Executive compensation
  • Hostile work environment and retaliation claims
  • Internal investigations
  • Leave policies and procedures
  • Wage and hour claims

Because prevention is often the best way to avoid liability, we also provide counsel on employment law compliance, including policy review and drafting and employee training.

Workplace Discrimination

Employers must understand their obligations under discrimination laws at the federal, state, and local levels. Because many of our clients are located near our offices in New Jersey and the NYC metropolitan area, our employment attorneys are intimately familiar with the rules and regulations impacting employers, such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). 

From pre-employment and throughout the employment process, employers must follow the nondiscrimination provisions of all applicable anti-discrimination laws. Here are some aspects of business that employers should be prepared to explain and defend when facing a lawsuit:

  • The hiring process
  • The testing process
  • Employee transfers
  • The handling of investigations of complaints of harassment and discrimination
  • Employee layoffs
  • Determination of employee compensation
  • Issuance of employees’ job titles and descriptions

The members of our employment defense group are well-versed in defending organizations that face workplace discrimination claims that may arise from the aforementioned processes. We guide clients through the process of investigating and resolving claims, working diligently in close partnership with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome.

Sexual Harassment Investigation, Training, and Defense

When it comes to sexual harassment claims, the best defense is often prevention. Scarinci Hollenbeck has the experienced professionals you need to advise your management and staff on how to prevent sexual harassment complaints or lawsuits. Sexual harassment is not taken lightly, nor should it be, and you need to make sure your employees are aware of the laws and consequences. If a sexual harassment complaint or suit has been filed, an employment defense attorney can help you conduct the necessary investigations by all applicable employment laws and devise a strategy that limits your potential liability.

Claims Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that protects the rights of persons living with disabilities. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees facing physical or mental impairments. Our employment defense attorneys have extensive experience defending companies against ADA claims and their state and local equivalents.

Wage and Hour Claims Defense

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that protects the rights of all employees by ensuring they are paid the federal minimum wage and overtime, if applicable. In most cases, employees file lawsuits after employers fail to pay them the minimum wage, for overtime work, or when the employees are misclassified. The employment defense lawyers at Scarinci Hollenbeck routinely help employers navigate the wage and hour litigation process, working tirelessly to limit their liability.

Wrongful Discharge Defense

Most employees can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. If your company wants to terminate an employee but is afraid that the employee might file a wrongful discharge lawsuit against you, we can help. Our experienced employment attorneys can advise you on the steps necessary to avoid claims of unlawful discharge. If you are already facing a claim, the lawyers of our employment defense group can examine the claim and develop the best defense strategy for your business.

Hiring and Firing

When running a business, establishing clear hiring and firing procedures is crucial. Of course, you want to make sure you are fostering a strong and competitive workplace environment, but you also need to make sure that your practices are in line with ever-evolving state, local, and federal employment laws. We counsel our clients on how to avoid wrongful termination, discriminatory hiring practices, and related claims. When disputes do arise, we work to resolve them with the least disruption to your business.

Labor Management Relations

While unions are nothing new, unionization movements are expanding to virtually every industry. You can trust the experienced labor-management relations attorneys at Scarinci Hollenbeck to handle any matters relating to your labor-management relations. If you own or manage a business that currently does not have unionized workers, we can advise you on how to handle any groups looking to organize a union, as well as advise you during an already-underway unionization. We also represent clients in cases, or potential litigation, that involve dealing with the National Labor Relations Board, and state, or federal courts.

Policies, Procedures, and Handbooks

Building a solid workplace culture is an art form. Our employer defense attorneys can help you make sure that you stay within the law while also creating a productive and healthy work environment. 

Our team understands that keeping up with the growing number of state and federal employment laws is enough to make any business owner’s head spin. We work diligently to lessen your burden and protect your business from potential lawsuits by drafting and implementing clear employee policies and procedures. Whether drafting an employee handbook or structuring an employee leave program, we tailor our guidance to comply with the laws governing your workforce, industry, and location. As you continue to draft new policies and update older ones, you can rely on our attorneys’ advice to make sure you are protecting your business and creating a workplace culture with clear expectations.

Workplace Violence Prevention

While your business hopefully never has an incident of workplace violence, it happens more often than expected. Workplace violence prevention starts with your hiring process, your candidates, and the environment you create. However, to best protect your employees and limit liability, your business not only needs to have certain policies in place but also must communicate those policies effectively. Our legal guidance regarding workplace violence prevention involves risk assessment, employee training, and establishing an action plan in the unfortunate event of an incident. 

Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, and Unfair Competition

The rate of business change has never been faster. Companies at the forefront of their industries in today’s world must deal with changing trade secret laws as well as restrictive covenant issues and unfair competition challenges. By retaining Scarinci Hollenbeck, you are giving yourself an advantage — taking steps to protect your confidential information, retain top talent, and mitigate as much risk as possible in terms of unfair competition suits. 

Should litigation arise, you are giving yourself the peace of mind a strong defense team provides. Our attorneys help your business with trade secret audits and protection, the creation of programs to educate employees on proper trade secret protection, acquisition due diligence, analysis of the enforceability of restrictive covenant and confidentiality agreements, and constant counsel on the changing legal landscape.

Scarinci Hollenbeck provides comprehensive and personalized counsel to employers of all sizes. With extensive knowledge of the laws governing the jurisdictions and industries in which our clients operate, our employment attorneys provide tailored strategies that minimize risk and maximize human capital. 

We don’t just defend employment claims, but work to prevent them. Working closely with our clients, we provide clients with practical solutions to day-to-day issues, as well as develop long-term policies and procedures that help avoid and resolve disputes. Our employment law team also makes it a priority to ensure that our clients stay up to date on new legislation, regulations, court rulings, policies, and emerging trends and make any changes necessary to remain in compliance. When disputes arise, your employment defense attorney will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible result quickly and efficiently. 

FAQ about Employment Defense Attorney

Yearly. Companies in New York State must provide interactive sexual harassment training once per year for all employees. Training must also be provided to new employees upon their start with the company. Because these requirements may change, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced New York employment attorney.

Under many state laws, employers may not ask about an applicant’s criminal record until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Once an employer offers the applicant a position, it can ask about and consider the applicant’s criminal record. However, the company may not inquire about arrests that did not lead to a conviction (unless it is still pending and not adjourned in contemplation of dismissal) or any sealed convictions. A member of our employment defense group can help you determine the specific legal requirements for your company.

Just because an employee is paid on a salaried basis does not mean that the worker is not entitled to overtime compensation. Rather, the nature of the job and/or the type of employer determines whether or not a worker is entitled to overtime.

It depends. NY Labor Law Section 195.5 requires employers to notify employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer’s policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays, and hours. Generally, where an employee handbook provides that vacation days will be paid, or if the handbook is silent, such time must be paid out upon termination. It is important to note, that if the policy provides that vacation is not paid upon termination, the policy must be adhered to to avoid a pattern and practice claim.

Worker misclassification occurs when a bona fide, common law employee is classified to be an “independent contractor.” In some cases, employers intentionally misclassify workers to avoid tax withholding, overtime pay, and insurance requirements, such as Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance. However, misclassification can also occur simply because the employer fails to properly understand and apply the law. States, including New York and New Jersey, have established legal tests for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Because even innocent mistakes can lead to significant legal liability, it is worthwhile to work with an experienced wage-and-hour attorney when classifying workers.

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* The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

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Dedicated attorneys

When your livelihood is on the line, having an SEC investigations attorney well-versed in securities law and the ever evolving regulatory landscape is paramount. At Scarinci Hollenbeck, our dedicated attorneys boast multiple decades of extensive experience handling cases tied to securities investigations.

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We offer strategic

We offer strategic legal counsel that acknowledges the distinct challenges faced by officers, directors, and companies embroiled in SEC, DOJ, or AG investigations.

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