Practice Areas For Employers
Lipman & Plesur, LLP reviews employment policies and procedures and identifies areas which violate federal or state law. We make recommendations designed to help ensure that employment decisions are based on relevant, objective criteria.
Often, after an audit, employers find it helpful to follow up with supervisor training. Bob Lipman and Allison Plesur incorporated HRTrain in 1996 to provide online training about workplace issues to employers. HRTrain's cost-effective training, which is constantly updated and was developed by Lipman & Plesur, LLP attorneys, helps employers across the United States reduce exposure to the high cost of workplace claims.
Organizations faced with allegations of unlawful conduct must be able to investigate the charges, respond rapidly, communicate persuasively, and, if necessary, handle resulting litigation without wasting valuable resources. To obtain the best possible result, charges must be handled correctly from the outset.
Lipman & Plesur, LLP represents employers in DOL audits and before administrative agencies in areas concerning allegations of unlawful discrimination, wage-hour violations and misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
What is the antidote to a bet-the-company lawsuit over an unforeseen allegation of violation?
Self-Audits Go a Long Way to Insulate You From Unanticipated Pitfalls.
State and federal wage-hour laws and regulations are so complicated that it is increasingly difficult for employers to identify their obligations and methods of compliance. Two questions we often hear from employers are "What does the law require?" and "How do I comply with the laws' requirements?" Without an experienced guide, even good faith efforts to "do the right thing" may have negative consequences. Damages owed for violations of wage-hour laws can quickly become astounding. It is highly beneficial to limit potential liability by identifying problem areas and correcting them before your organization is sued or visited by the Department of Labor. In wage-hour defense, an ounce of prevention is well worth many pounds of cure. We recommend that our business clients, large and small, review their wage-hour policies and practices to ensure that they are squarely in compliance with state and federal law.
Specifically, Lipman & Plesur, LLP will review payroll records and meet with members of management to identify potential violations of federal and state wage-hour laws. The firm will also identify areas where overtime pay calculations exceed the legal requirements. Where indicated, we will recommend steps to strengthen your continuing compliance.
We have tremendous experience defending employers in wage-hour litigation. If there is no way to prevail in court, we will tell you and try to resolve the matter quickly, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. If there are defenses, we will fight for you. An initial game plan is the key to defending wage-hour cases. We can help you develop a good initial strategy, and carry out the plan on your behalf.
Department of Labor Audits
Lipman & Plesur, LLP also represents employers who are visited by the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York Department of Labor. These agencies have become much more aggressive in recent years. Since 1990, our firm has handled hundreds of wage-hour audits. If you don't put your best foot forward early on and clearly state the facts and legal defenses, you may be stuck in a lawsuit against the United States or forced into the twilight zone of the New York Industrial Board of Appeals. To avoid taking a potentially costly misstep, consult a wage-hour lawyer as soon as a Department of Labor investigator knocks on your door.
If your organization has any public contracts, you need to make sure you avoid prevailing wage violations. A small violation can quickly add up to many tens of thousands of dollars and put you on a road to debarment. Figuring out your prevailing wage obligations can be a daunting task. Lipman & Plesur, LLP has helped many employers calculate their obligations and defend their prevailing wage-related actions.
The Top Ten Reasons For Overtime Pay Lawsuits Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Employees work "off-the-clock." Employees put in extra time before or after scheduled shifts tending to their duties or attend meetings without being paid for that time.
- Employees work "on-the-clock," but are not paid for all of their work time. This often occurs where work time is unlawfully rounded to conform to the scheduled shift. The law requires every hour actually worked to be recorded and paid.
- Workers are misclassified as exempt from overtime pay requirements.
- Employees are not paid for breaks lasting 20 minutes or less.
- Employees work through lunch without pay.
- Employees entitled to overtime pay are misclassified as independent contractors and denied overtime pay.
- Shift differentials, commissions, bonus payments and other payments are not correctly included in overtime pay calculations.
- "Volunteers" and "interns" are not paid as required by law.
- Employees are not compensated for required training time.
- Employees can file a collective action under the FLSA or a class action under state law.
Lipman & Plesur, LLP represents employers in both state and federal court. We believe that our experience and size enables us to litigate the most complex issues in a cost effective manner.
We take pride in our ability to handle matters efficiently. Unfortunately, many large law firms currently judge their attorneys' success based upon their ability to meet billing quotas, not by the results they achieve for their clients. We believe this practice results in inflated client costs.
At Lipman & Plesur, resources are spent on the resolution of matters, not on excessive interoffice memos and unnecessary meetings among lawyers assigned to the same matter. We do not charge clients for the cost of computerized research. We have successfully represented employers in wage-hour cases, discrimination cases, enforcing restrictive covenants such as non-compete agreements and contract cases.
Lipman & Plesur, LLP tailors legally required notices and user-friendly employment policies to your organizational culture. We guide employers through the different options available to them. We believe that your handbooks should not look like an encyclopedia. In general, a handbook should not be more pages than the number of employees in your organization.
In almost all cases, this rule will serve you well. We believe in tailoring handbooks to your workplace. Your handbook should be clear, concise and inform your employees about the notices required by law and the company's policies they need to follow or that may impact their employment.
Lipman & Plesur, LLP has written thousands of employment contracts that protect intellectual property and ensure fair competition for employers of all sizes. Organizations should assess whether confidentiality agreements, non-solicit agreements, non-raiding provisions and non-compete agreements should be used to protect valuable assets.
Similarly, expectations about the use of social media user names - both during and after the employment relationship - may need to be set. Employment contracts can also be used to help recruit and retain key employees.
The use of alternative dispute resolution techniques can often facilitate a cost effective and speedy resolution of a matter, as well as provide an opportunity to explore innovative solutions. Lipman & Plesur, LLP supports alternative dispute resolution and will work with employers to fashion creative means to resolve disputes.
Because we represent both employees and employers, we have a unique perspective in this area. Our unique ability to understand both sides of employment disputes provides us with an opportunity to foster enhanced credibility with mediators.