O’Neill, Heinrich, Damkroger, Bergmeyer & Shultz, P.C., L.L.O. is extensively involved in the practice of labor and employment law throughout the United States in both the public and private sector. We assist employers in finding solutions to complicated human resource issues. Our expertise and experience cover most major industries including distribution, retail, manufacturers, high-tech, construction, transportation, finance and commerce, energy development, insurance, government, medical facilities, utilities and communication media.
This area of employment law has expanded very rapidly in recent years. Changes in the law have imposed severe burdens on employers. We advise employers on employee handbooks, policies and procedures to avoid litigation, and mitigate exposure to these significant legal risks. We not only counsel employers in preventative maintenance measures, but also defend clients in both federal and state courts and alternative dispute resolution procedures.
Although discrimination laws have been on the books for many years, employers are experiencing an increase in litigation under these laws. Areas such as sexual harassment, age discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act are increasingly important to employers. We represent employers in discrimination matters. We assist in investigations by agencies, and in developing programs to lessen the incidence of litigation.
Labor Union Matters
OHDBS Law has an extensive practice before the National Labor Relations Board in its various regions throughout the United States. This includes both unfair labor practice charges and representation election proceedings. An important part of our practice is counseling employers on legal and tactical considerations involving dealings with unions. Our expertise is often given while working with human resources personnel or with in-house company counsel. It is important to maintain a close working relationship with our clients to make our input and assistance cost effective.
Many of our clients have been successful in maintaining union-free relations with their employees. We have extensive experience in assisting employers to develop employment procedures and policies designed to foster continued union-free status following applicable requirements. We work closely with management in organizational and decertification campaigns, and conduct management training programs dealing with pertinent legal considerations.
At times, employers wish to use employment contracts. In such instances, it is very important to have a document which clearly reflects the agreement of the parties and provides adequate protection to the employer. The attorneys at OHDBS Law are frequently called upon to draft or interpret employment contracts.
Regulations concerning the employer-employee relationship have expanded significantly and attorneys at OHDBS Law regularly counsel clients on compliance with statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, along with other statutes. In addition, many states have passed statutes which govern the employer-employee relationship from the time the initial I-9 form is filled out until the exit interview is held. We monitor continuing developments under all of these statutes and provide representation and counseling for both public and private sector clients in all of these areas.
Labor Negotiations, Contract Administration And Arbitration
Our lawyers counsel clients on all aspects of contract development from the initial bargaining process through grievance resolution and arbitration and represent clients at the bargaining table. We represent our clients in the arbitration process, handling these cases both expeditiously and cost-effectively. In day-to-day labor relations, we are often involved in the interpretation and application of collective bargaining agreements, and counsel our clients on both the legal and practical aspects of the union relationship.
OHDBS Law attorneys speak on labor and employment law issues and conduct seminars and workshops on preventative maintenance measures for client companies and local, state and national industry associations.
Strikes, Picketing And Boycotts
This is one of the most important areas of our representation of clients because of the potential economic impact it can have on the employer. OHDBS Law has the capability of responding immediately anywhere in the United States to represent our clients’ interests. We pursue injunctive proceedings in both state and federal courts for the prevention of mass picketing, violence, or illegal work stoppages in violation of statute or contract clauses. In the case of secondary activity or jurisdictional disputes, we commonly pursue proceedings through the National Labor Relations Board and necessary auxiliary federal court proceedings. We not only address security issues, but also replacement programs and other steps necessary to facilitate operations during a strike or boycott.
Occupational Health And Safety
At OHDBS Law, we demonstrate significant experience under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and similar state acts. We are prepared to counsel clients in connection with regular agency inspections, as well as inspections growing out of serious accidents or fatalities. Our attorneys also counsel on measures to avoid violations. We assist employers in developing and conducting training programs appropriate to their occupational health and safety concerns.
Employers frequently seek the advice of attorneys at OHDBS Law on the development of employee handbooks, personnel manuals and a variety of employment policies. We have extensive experience in reviewing and drafting personnel policies, employee handbooks, and a wide variety of personnel forms ranging from employment application forms to the exit interview form. Many employers are interested in preserving at-will employment status and our attorneys can review personnel policies, forms and other documents to provide advice and counsel on how to maintain this status.