Skadden's Labor and Employment Group has been recognized as one of the top-tier firms in the area of labor and employment law by U.S. News — Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2021 and has been recognized as a “powerhouse” in complex employment litigation in the BTI Litigation Outlook. We represent clients across the spectrum of labor and employment litigation matters in trial and appellate courts at the federal and state level and in arbitrations and other dispute resolution proceedings, including in cases involving allegations of wrongful termination, employment discrimination and noncompetition violations. We also have a depth of experience in corporate counseling, investigations and other employment law issues that affect our clients and their employee-related policies and procedures.
With the benefit of a stand-alone labor and employment law practice, the firm advises employers on compliance issues under various labor and employment laws, helping clients conform their workplace practices and procedures to current law. Our attorneys also provide assistance on issues relating to our firm’s general corporate representations.
Our attorneys frequently speak on developing issues in labor and employment law. We also publish numerous articles and author a column that appears regularly in the New York Law Journal on labor and employment law topics.
We litigate in federal and state courts on the full range of labor and employment law matters, including complex class actions. Our attorneys also appear in employment arbitration proceedings, as well as in administrative proceedings before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state civil rights enforcement agencies.
The firm has represented employers in claims involving pattern and practice discrimination, civil rights violations, wage and hour collective actions, enforcement of restrictive covenants, accommodations under disabilities laws and wrongful discharge. We have experience with jury and non-jury trials and in jurisdictions nationwide.
We conduct investigations involving assertions of workplace misconduct, including allegations of sexual harassment, other types of discrimination and financial misconduct. We handle internal investigations directed by company management, boards of directors and board committees regarding these issues and also advise boards and management on investigations and civil, administrative and criminal proceedings brought by regulatory bodies. We have experience in advising clients on #MeToo-related matters, including in providing guidance on policies and procedures for clients to avoid misconduct from taking place, and in properly addressing and remediating any misconduct that may have occurred. Our attorneys have written extensively on the topic, including in two overviews of the #MeToo litigation landscape published in the New York Law Journal in 2019 and 2020.
Our extensive, coordinated experience in the areas of corporate counseling, internal investigations, regulatory proceedings, labor and employee litigation, securities litigation and congressional and other legislative proceedings is often called upon in dealing with — and in many cases is central to managing — a corporate crisis, such as high-profile workplace harassment claims.
We have a long history of successfully representing clients in crisis situations, repeatedly demonstrating our ability to respond quickly and effectively with the right combination of practice capabilities. Together with our clients, we develop and execute targeted strategies for responding to governmental authorities, shareholders, business partners, employees, the investment community and the media.
We advise clients on the myriad of laws applicable to the workplace, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and anti-discrimination laws.
Our work includes:
- drafting employment policies, including those relating to sexual harassment, and providing guidance on their application to specific employee circumstances;
- assisting clients in identifying and avoiding employment-related problems before they occur, including through the use of internal employment audits; and
- advising on affirmative action programs and procedures to enhance equal employment opportunities.
Skadden has experience in advising clients in the complex issues that go into planning and executing reductions in force (RIFs), layoffs and furloughs. In addition, Skadden advises companies on considerations for returning to the workplace in the wake of COVID-19 as clients face a range of new guidance, regulations, statutes and orders issued by federal, state and local governments and agencies. Skadden assists clients in providing advice in connection with implementing COVID-19-related protocols and policies which will vary widely by industry, geography and other factors.
With respect to pay equity analyses, our group has been involved in evaluating compensation and hiring systems to support and improve affirmative action programs, drafting pay equity guidelines for use in various types of employment-related decisions, analyzing pay practices and compliance with equal pay laws and analyzing class-wide compensation data in connection with regulatory subpoenas and discovery demands by plaintiffs’ counsel. Accordingly, we are abreast of and well informed on the various federal and state equal pay laws, and we have diverse experience in data collection and data analytics in employment-related matters. Further, we have conducted, and advised clients in connection with, equal pay audits, and we have strong relationships with several economic consulting firms who have worked with us in these efforts.
Skadden advises clients in dealing with unions from the initial contacts during an organizing campaign to the litigation of unfair labor practices, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and the processing of grievances and arbitrations.
Skadden assists in structuring the employment aspects of trans-actions such as procedures for hiring and terminating employees, the negotiation of new collective bargaining agreements and the assumption of existing agreements. We also handle the labor aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, including renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements and advise regarding wage payment claims.
Skadden advises clients on immigration matters and has filed visa applications on behalf of major U.S. and non-U.S. companies.