Labor Relations & Employment Law
For over thirty years, Keane & Beane attorneys have advised private, public and not-for-profit clients in all aspects of labor relations and employment law.
We routinely defend employers and individuals in federal and state employment discrimination matters involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other federal and state laws. For public sector clients, our firm routinely defends municipalities and public officials in a wide variety of federal litigation, including cases involving constitutional claims relating to employment practices and policymaking. We also offer our clients counseling and strategies on preventing claims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and we have considerable experience investigating and resolving such claims before they become lawsuits.
Wage and Hour Claims
In New York, the number of lawsuits filed in federal court alleging violations of wage and hour laws has increased by over 600% since 2003. These cases can present a variety of allegations, such as unpaid overtime, employee misclassification, the failure to pay minimum wage, and improper tip pooling under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law. Our attorneys regularly handle such cases, including those involving multiple-plaintiffs, and class actions brought in federal and state courts. Critically, we provide our clients with a careful assessment of potential liability and damages as early as possible so that our litigation strategy is tailored to achieve the best possible result.
Public Sector Employment
The breadth of our firm’s labor and employment practice is unique in the scope of the services it provides to both private and public sector clients. Our practice includes many municipal clients, such as counties, cities, school districts, police departments, and other governmental agencies. On a day-to-day basis, we counsel and represent elected and appointed officials, boards and agencies on all aspects of personnel management. We represent municipal clients before the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in improper practice and representation proceedings, as well as other grievance proceedings and arbitrations. We routinely handle issues arising under the Taylor Law, New York Civil Service and Education Laws involving the hiring, promotion and discipline of public employees.
The number of compliance audits conducted by governmental agencies such as the New York Department of Labor has skyrocketed in recent years. Our attorneys have helped clients navigate compliance audits on matters such as independent contractor status and misclassification of employees (exempt vs. non-exempt). We also help employers be proactive about complying with complex wage and hour laws.
Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations
We negotiate collective bargaining agreements with representatives from various unions throughout New York State. We also have experience handling complex ERISA litigation, including cases involving withdrawal liability and unpaid contributions to funds. In the public sector, we provide day-to-day advice to chief executives (both elected and appointed), municipal boards, personnel directors and other municipal officials on contract administration issues and all aspects of labor management.
Employment Agreements and Restrictive Covenants
We counsel clients on matters relating to the employer-employee relationship, such as employment contracts and separation/severance agreements. We also have extensive experience in the drafting and enforcement of restrictive covenants across a wide range of industries, and have litigated cases involving such issues in state and federal court.
Training and Workplace Policies
Litigation often can be avoided through developing and implementing sound workplace policies. Our attorneys have experience advising employers and training managers and staff in the implementation of such policies. For example, we regularly assist employers in drafting employee handbooks, resolving issues relating to excessive absenteeism, leaves of absence, drug testing, harassment, record retention policies, and the protection of trade secrets and/or proprietary information.
Advantages for Clients
The firm’s labor and employment practice has a breadth, depth, and track record that few firms our size can match. Our attorneys are accessible and enjoy longstanding, productive relationships with our clients.