The employment law group at Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie provides consultation and litigation services. Our lawyers have been at the forefront in defending employment claims, ranging from discrimination claims to sexual harassment suits, and, as a result, have the experience to advise clients as to how these claims can be prevented, and how employers can place themselves in a position to defend lawsuits if they are nevertheless initiated.
Veterans of both the courtroom and the podium, our lawyers frequently conduct seminars on timely and important employment law issues. Educational material is available from the firm free of charge.
We believe that it is a vital part of our practice to assist employers in developing policies and practices which foster a dedicated and non-litigious work environment. Clients are assisted in pursuing business goals in a manner which is designed to achieve success, while minimizing the risk of litigation. Despite best efforts, however, employers will always face the occasional employment lawsuit, and at that juncture, Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie’s lawyers — with each senior attorney having years of solid jury trial experience — are prepared to aggressively defend its client’s interests.
While keeping our contacts fully aware of each step in the lawsuit, and apprised of all of a case’s strengths and weaknesses, our lawyers try to make litigation as stress-free as possible for our clients. An employer should be able to focus on its business, not on lawsuits. Unlike many traditional labor lawyers who have little familiarity with jury trials, the practice of our employment lawyers has always been grounded in the jury trial system — experience which is exceedingly valuable for a client if a case goes to trial.
As with many areas of law, but, particularly in employment law, prevention of legal disputes is of vital importance. If there is a threat or prospect of either a claim or lawsuit, the intervention of counsel at the earliest opportunity is crucial. Often action can be taken which will greatly reduce the litigation risk of a dispute.
When a discrimination claim is filed, for example, a carefully crafted response to the PHRC and the EEOC is exceedingly important, since it will set the tone for the whole lawsuit. If done thoroughly and with foresight, a well-prepared administrative response can lay the groundwork for a successful summary judgment motion if a lawsuit is eventually filed.
Among the areas in which we frequently provide services:
- Drafting, review and negotiation of employment contracts;
- Preparation of employee handbooks, personnel policy manuals and restrictive covenants;
- Counseling and defending clients in discrimination matters including race, sex, age, religion, national origin and claims under the ADA;
- Employee benefits matters including severance plans, golden parachute agreements, profit sharing plans, pension plans and ERISA matters (among the attorneys involved in these areas is an attorney who is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist);
- Independent contractor status;
- Employee performance issues;
- Separation, release and waiver agreements;
- Discipline or discharge matters and wrongful discharge litigation;
- Privacy rights;
- Employee drug and alcohol policies;
- Wage and overtime issues, with a primary emphasis upon the FLSA and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act;
- Unemployment compensation claims, including pre-termination counseling to avoid claims;
- FMLA advice and litigation;
- Equal Pay policies and lawsuits;
- Internet/Technology issues;
- Whistleblower claims;
- Intellectual property;
- Sexual harassment lawsuits.