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OVERVIEW

Employment ON YOUR TEAM

We know what keeps you up at night. Whether you employ 300 or 3,000, our labor and employment attorneys can advise on all areas of employment litigation, from wrongful termination claims to class action defense.

We routinely advocate on behalf of our clients before administrative agencies, state and federal courts and labor arbitrators across the nation. Employers count on us to devise effective litigation strategies, pursue alternative methods of dispute resolution or advise them on:

  • Employment litigation
  • Enforcement of non-compete agreements
  • Litigation prevention
  • Insurance
  • Claims-management systems

The Labor and Employment Law group's breadth of experience and bench strength allows us to customize our approach and assign the right number of lawyers to efficiently handle the circumstances of each case. Our network of lawyers located in offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and Washington D.C., give us the opportunity to put together an aggressive team of litigators for complex cases.

Our litigation support staff includes experienced legal assistants, jury consultants, research librarians and computer specialists. These in-house capabilities reflect our continuing sensitivity to the ever-increasing need for sophisticated services, while at the same time controlling the cost of litigation.

Beyond litigation, our attorneys advise clients on a wide range of transactional and preventative matters, including:

  • Employee-sensitive matters relating to corporate governance
  • Sale and/or acquisition of assets
  • Divestitures and/or reorganizations
  • Downsizing
  • Terminations

We also help clients draft key employment-related documents, such as executive employment agreements, arbitration programs, contractor agreements, restrictive covenants, handbooks, severance agreements, and affirmative action programs.

EXPERIENCE
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a global mobility management company in a case involving claims of pregnancy discrimination after a pregnant employee of our client contended that she had been denied the opportunity to return to work after taking maternity leave. The Client argued that it had a policy of only allowing leaves of absence for employees that had been working at its facilities for 1 year or more. After a bench trial, the Federal District Court found that the plaintiff had not proved intentional discrimination. The Seventh Circuit agreed, and affirmed the verdict.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a professional employment recruiting company, in a suit brought by the former company president against parent company, parent’s majority owner, and general counsel. The suit involved a complex contract dispute over former president’s claim that his employment compensation agreements included ownership interest in the company. The suit was successfully mediated early in the litigation process.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a group of restaurant workers who brought suit against their former employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After the owners of the restaurant improperly induced the workers to settle their claims without counsel or court involvement, the clients were able to get the settlement agreements nullified by the court. After defeating the restaurant’s motion to dismiss, the clients received a favorable, and court-approved, settlement. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented appellant NFL Management Council, which challenged the ruling of a New York district court interpreting the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. The Court of Appeals reversed the New York district court’s ruling, holding that the court had improperly exceeded the scope of its jurisdiction. NFL Players Association v. NFL Management Council, 2013 WL 1693951 (2d Cir. April 19, 2013). (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended a major retailer in a former employee's appeal of summary judgment for the retailer in an employment discrimination suit alleging violations of Title VII and section 1981. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a healthcare provider in the defense of an employment discrimination charge. The court granted the client's motion to dismiss with respect to plaintiff's ADA rehabilitation claims and FMLA claims. The parties later stipulated to a dismissal and the case settled very favorably for client.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Venture International, LLC, a business management and executive coaching organization, in a nine-day jury trial in Elkhart County, Indiana, involving claims of tortious interference with an at-will employment agreement and negligence made by a former credit union CEO, who was seeking $1.1 million. The jury returned a complete defense verdict on behalf of our client after an hour of deliberation.
  • Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys represented a manufacturer of grandfather clocks in an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Plaintiff had his right leg amputated due to complications from diabetes and took an extended leave of absence after recovering from surgery. Based on the restrictions imposed by Plaintiff’s doctor, the employer argued that he could no longer perform the essential functions of job as clock repair person and that no reasonable accommodation was available. Based on controlling Six Circuit precedent, firm attorneys prevailed on the employer’s motion for summary judgment and persuaded the district court to find that Plaintiff could not make a prima facie case under the ADA. This case was appealed to the Sixth Circuit but later dismissed by the Plaintiff. Salas v. Howard Miller Clock Co., No. 1:08-CV-103 (W.D. Mich. 2009).
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented firm client, Navistar, Inc., in a racially discriminatory failure-to-hire case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Plaintiff's claim for failure-to-hire for a position of electrician dated back to 1996, and was the sole remaining individual claim (and only hiring claim) carved out of a hostile-environment class action that originated in 2001 and was resolved by consent decree in 2005. After a three day bench trial, U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young issued a ruling in favor of Navistar, Inc. on all of plaintiff's claims on March 29, 2013.
  • Rohler v. Rolls-Royce Corporation

    On April 23, 2013, the Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals affirmed the March 30, 2012 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granting summary judgment on Pamela Rohler's claims of gender discrimination and wage discrimination in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act; Title VII retaliation claims; and a False Claims Act retaliation claim.
  • Since 2006, a Barnes & Thornburg attorney has managed the worker's compensation litigation portfolio for a Fortune 500 company in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. A partnership with client in aggressive claim handling and defense strategy, and a concerted push to close claims early and to return employees back to work wherever possible, has resulted in significant savings and reduction in overall active claims in these states.
PROFESSIONALS

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