Employment and Labor Law
If you’re a business owner dealing with anything from settlement package negotiations to legal and regulatory compliance, our experienced employment and labor law attorneys can help.
Crain Caton & James’ employment and labor law attorneys represent companies and individuals in connection with employment and workplace issues, including claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Title VII (age, race, national origin, sex and religion), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Texas Labor Code, the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act and other federal and state labor and employment laws.
Our experienced attorneys also handle administrative complaints filed with and/or investigations initiated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Additionally, we handle state and federal trials and appeals resulting from these complaints and from wrongful termination and other employment related lawsuits initiated by or on behalf of employees, including class actions and collective wage and hour actions.
A robust economy, tight job market and technical proficiency make safeguarding trade secrets a top business priority. Our labor and employment attorneys work closely with our intellectual property lawyers to establish policies and procedures to prevent trade secret theft from existing or former disgruntled employees. In the event of stolen trade secrets, we stand ready to defend our clients’ business interest.
We advise our clients on workplace personnel matters every day, including issues such as negotiating settlement packages, preparing employee manuals, pay and worker classification issues, legal and regulatory compliance and recordkeeping matters, pay inequality concerns, and handling whistle blower reports. Additionally, our lawyers provide advice to our clients in connection with governmental audits and inquiries, including by the Department of Labor and other state and federal agencies.
Examples of advice and counsel our Houston attorneys regularly provide include:
- Assisting clients to comply with the myriad of federal, state and local laws and regulations that bear on the employment relationship
- Advising clients on taking action on pay gaps or inequities for women and minorities in each job classification
- Conducting training for managers and supervisors on unlawful harassment, diversity and equal employment opportunity issues
- Conducting employment and workplace related investigations, regarding sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment
- Advising management on employee counseling and discipline and addressing workplace safety risks
- Helping employers develop and revise personnel policies, procedures and manuals
- Advising management on matters including wage-hour compliance, unemployment claims, workplace incidents and job-related injuries, employee leave and return to work issues, affirmative action, employee privacy, plant closing, employee testing, restrictive covenants and trade secrets and employee benefits
- Advising companies with properly classifying its workers, including employee vs. independent contractor status and exempt vs. non-exempt status relating to employee pay practices
- Assisting employers through audits and investigations with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance, Wage and Hour Division and OSHA, the Internal Revenue Service regarding employment tax audits and the Texas Workforce Commission
- Analyzing workforce data and helping our clients comply with the WARN Act and the ADEA Older Workers Benefit Protection Act with respect to designing and implementing reductions in workforce (RIF) programs
- Assisting employers with I-9 internal self-audits, audits conducted by ICE and implementing best I-9 practices and corrective action plans
- Assisting with employee termination and separation agreements and related issues
- Assisting with employment agreements, including non-compete and non-solicitation covenant provisions
Kimberly R. Stuart
Gabriela M. Barake
Michael D. Seale
David A. Polsinelli