Our Labor & Employment group provides the full range of legal counsel to employers nationwide in dealing with employee related issues. We represent publicly and privately held companies; not-for-profit organizations; financial services firms; governmental entities; health care providers; law firms and other professional service organizations; and insurance, manufacturing, real estate and development, and retail businesses.
We provide timely updates on human resources developments and trends via a monthly e-newsletter titled Employment Practices Newsletter.
Advice & Counseling
A substantial portion of Hinshaw’s labor and employment practice is devoted to proactive counseling and advising management in employment and labor matters, including discipline and discharge issues; wage and hour issues and audits; and the interaction between various federal and state laws. Our attorneys draft and review separation and non-competition agreements, as well as employee handbooks and employer policies and procedures. We also provide in-house training to management on hiring, discipline, unlawful discrimination, and retaliation and other workplace issues.
While proactive counseling can successfully minimize an employer’s litigation risk, at times, claims alleging wrongful discharge, civil rights violations, sexual harassment, violations of employee leave laws, or contract and tort claims are filed against our clients. We advise clients on alternatives to litigation, but when necessary, Hinshaw attorneys are vigorous and nimble in the courtroom, defending employers before state and federal courts.
Hinshaw’s attorneys have extensive experience in employment law litigation in claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other anti-discrimination legislation, ERISA, COBRA, and the Railway Labor Act. Our experience extends to handling complex claims brought by individuals or as class actions, and we provide employers with aggressive representation through all phases of litigation, from charges pending in federal, state or municipal agencies through federal, state and appellate courts.
The firm’s immigration attorneys assist employers in pursuing immigrant visas, or permanent residency, for their foreign-born workers, including obtaining labor certification, filing for permanent residency on behalf of the employer, and, upon approval of the permanent residency petition, assisting the employee in adjusting his or her status to immigrant. Additionally, Hinshaw’s immigration attorneys regularly advise employers on conducting the I-9 procedure; responding and preparing for Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits and investigations; responding to inquiries from the Social Security Administration; and avoiding and addressing charges of discrimination based on national origin.
Labor & Employee Relations
Several of the firm’s labor and employment attorneys devote a significant portion of their practices to management/union issues. Hinshaw’s attorneys regularly represent management before the National Labor Relations Board, labor mediators and arbitrators, and in issues that arise under the National Labor Relations Act. They represent management in collective bargaining negotiations from the preparation of management proposals and evaluation of union proposals, to defending management in any disputes that arise from agreements. Hinshaw attorneys work closely with clients in responding to union election campaigns and organizational drives, and have successfully advised many employers how to legally prevail in union representation elections. They also litigate election results; handle decertification matters and employee polling; defend unfair labor practice charges; and defend jurisdictional disputes among competing unions. Additionally, Hinshaw attorneys represent employers in secondary boycott issues that arise in union job actions, and advise clients concerning employer options with regard to picket line issues and violence.
We provide comprehensive counsel and advice to clients in a wide range of complex employee benefits matters involving qualified retirement plans, ESOPs, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation and employment agreements, as well as other employee benefits. We also represent clients in matters involving governmental investigations, and have provided counseling and litigation representation throughout the United States to business corporations, tax-exempt organizations, local governmental entities and individuals.
Workers’ Compensation Defense
Hinshaw’s workers’ compensation attorneys represent clients in a wide range of defense matters, including exposure claims and complex compensability disputes. We have assisted clients for more than 40 years in claims before state industrial commissions, common law and appellate courts, and have handled some of the most complex and high financial exposure workers’ compensation, class action and third-party liability cases involving fatalities, catastrophic injuries and toxic tort exposures.