Practice of Jonathan D. Levitan, Esquire
Maintain a strong, positive, legally compliant workforce while effectively dealing with the ever growing and complex labor and employment law challenges that can impact your long term future.
Stay focused on improving and growing your organization while maintaining that all-important relationship with your employees by having an experienced counselor advise, audit and review in advance handbooks, policies and procedures, wage and hour issues, disciplines, layoffs, union organizing efforts, CBA administration, requests for leave, accommodations for disability, pregnancy and religion, etc.
Take advantage of ready, routine and affordable access to the expertise you need to come up with the best responses to these matters in real time. Unlike law firms called in after a crisis hits, Jonathan manages potential issues at the ground level – where the real value and savings takes place.
WHY OUTSIDE GENERAL COUNSEL?
EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS AND POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Employee handbooks and policies and procedures require ongoing review and revision to remain legally compliant and set the tone for the organization. Making sure employees and managers know these policies and operate efficiently within them requires continuous monitoring and training. Jonathan tailors employee handbooks and policies and procedures to reflect an organization’s operational model and ethos. He also develops proactive tools to help make sure your employees know all the benefits you provide and how to use them.
EMPLOYMENT ACCOMMODATIONS AND LEAVE
Few areas are more challenging for employers than properly responding to requests for accommodations and leave. Addressing requests for accommodations, light duty, intermittent leave, and leaves of absence related to pregnancy, illnesses and injuries, military leave, religious practices, etc. requires a flexible, yet consistent approach. Jonathan has extensive experience managing the interplay between the ADAAA, FMLA, PDA, USERRA, COBRA, Workers Compensation and state and local laws. He helps create legally compliant policies and procedures, related training programs and navigates clients through this often tricky and vexing subject.
The wide array of federal, state and municipal employment laws and the expansive interpretations of these laws from the regulatory agencies and plaintiffs’ bar make even seemingly simple decisions fraught with exposure. Many of these laws have significant interplay with one another, furthering the complications they present. Jonathan provides training on the full array of exposures employers face, such as general EEO matters, sexual harassment, age discrimination, ADAAA, FMLA, etc. He also works closely with his clients to direct investigations and craft solutions to challenging employee situations where these laws come in to play.
GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS AND CHARGES
The EEOC, NLRB, DOL, OSHA and other agencies are actively pursuing their enforcement agendas. Properly responding to government investigations and charges establishes the foundation for a claim’s defense. Employers need to know their obligations and response options for when a government agency demands information and documents. Beyond providing a cogent, persuasive reply, employers need to understand what documents may be privileged and how to manage the production and retention of documents and electronically stored information in order to avoid potentially serious sanctions. Jonathan guides employers through this process and will produce the organization’s responses to best position the final resolution of the claim.
HIRING AND ON BOARDING PRACTICES
Criminal and credit background checks, the “ban the box” movement, drug testing, lawful interview questions, comprehensive orientation, proper wage notifications, etc. present employers with difficult challenges. The complications deepen with navigating the growing number of local and state laws and tightening federal regulations. Jonathan will help you stay compliant with the latest laws and design your programs and practices to make sure your employees’ introduction lays the groundwork for a positive long term relationship.
HUMAN RESOURCES AUDITS
The workplace is a quickly evolving environment where staying current and updating employment practices is essential. Audits of policies and practices need to be done routinely to ensure compliance and make sure a company has a strong foundation for its human resources practices. Properly maintained, secured and retained documents are the cornerstone to these efforts. Jonathan both conducts audits and directs and oversees audits by third parties, utilizing his expertise to provide maximum effect while protecting the confidentiality of opinions and recommendations.
Maintaining a positive work environment is the best strategy for remaining union free, particularly with the NLRB’s quick election procedures that greatly limit management’s response time after a union files an election petition. Preventive policies and practices require continuous management training and effective messaging to the workforce. Jonathan provides risk assessment tools, management education regarding what actions and messages can be legally directed to employees and on-going counsel regarding effective outreach to the workforce. He also provides legal representation and support in responding to union organizing, corporate and inside campaigns. For organizations that already have unions, Jonathan’s services include negotiating collective bargaining agreements, contract administration, representation in grievances, arbitrations and matters before the NLRB, liaison with the union and quick response services to daily workplace issues.
REDUCTIONS IN FORCE, CLOSINGS, OWNERSHIP CHANGES AND WARN ACT
Employers who need to reduce their work force, close certain operations or undergo changes in ownership have to address multiple complications, which also affect the rights of their employees. Employers who plan carefully can avoid or reduce their exposure to individual or class action lawsuits. Jonathan guides employees through negotiations with unions, compliance with WARN, EEOC analysis and provides legally enforceable severance and release documents.
STRATEGIC LITIGATION MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT
Litigation is increasingly cost prohibitive. Runaway fees and costs can quickly erode even large deductible policies and create damaging claims experience resulting in large premium renewals. Aggressive strategies at early resolution, particularly where wage and hour claims are concerned, are critical. Through careful planning and ongoing management, costs can be contained and overall exposures limited while freeing clients to run their operations. Jonathan has spent much of his career managing high profile employment, medical malpractice and commercial lawsuits. Jonathan helps ensure that claims for available insurance coverage are perfected, necessary legal holds are administered, creative litigation strategies are implemented and overall litigation costs are carefully monitored and controlled.
Ongoing training of staff and supervisors through in-services and frequent messaging is necessary to have a truly effective human relations environment with employee buy-in. Jonathan conducts and designs training sessions for all levels of personnel providing the latest on legal trends, important court rulings and regulatory activity. Trainings are designed to not only teach the law but to develop company tailored processes that allow maximum efficiency. Programs run the gamut from responding to union organizing efforts, wage and hour compliance, general discipline, sexual harassment, leave policies, accommodations, best record keeping practices, etc.
WAGE & HOUR
The rising wave of collective and class action wage and hour lawsuits and enhanced regulatory enforcement are threatening the viability of many organizations. Preventive action and early, effective responses to wage claims are critical to reducing exposure. Jonathan will help you make sure your policies, practices and the managers who administer them avoid some of the common issues that have been exploited by an aggressive plaintiffs bar, such as: misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime, misclassification of workers as independent contractors, improper calculation of overtime, off the clock time, travel time, tip credits, unpaid meal breaks, paycheck deductions, bonuses and premium pay, child labor, timekeeping methodology, notifications of wage and benefit adjustments and recordkeeping.
FLEXIBLE, PRO-ACTIVE FEE ARRANGEMENTS
Tailor the arrangement to what you need now and then adjust for the future.
If you do not have in-house counsel, Jonathan will perform as much service as desired. He will identify those services you want covered on a routine basis and build in a method to expand those services to deal with emergencies, special projects and the growth of your business.
If you already have in-house counsel, Jonathan can work with your lawyer and fill in legal knowledge and practice gaps outside his/her expertise. You’ll get more complete service and free your lawyer to focus on his/her strengths.
If you have special projects, Jonathan can step in to build, update or improve your systems.
How much does this cost? Jonathan will structure a compensation arrangement that makes sure the service is always there for you at a cost that makes sense. Be creative.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
EMPLOYMENT LAW & HUMAN RELATIONS
If you do have a union,
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Portions of this website may include what may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information available on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Each legal event contains its own unique elements and must be evaluated individually. You should consult with an attorney to advise you on your own situation.