Employment and Labor Group

Our Employment and Labor Group focuses exclusively on representation of management in all aspects of the employer/employee relationship. We advise clients on significant employment decisions and help resolve day-to-day problems with employees in a practical and economically rational manner. In employment matters, we find that an ounce of prevention (counseling during the decision-making process) is worth a pound of cure (litigating employment issues).

PRACTICE FOCUS

Employment Contract Disputes

We assist clients in negotiating, drafting, interpreting and, if necessary, litigating disputes arising out of employment contracts. The increasing prevalence of employee ownership rights, such as stock option agreements, means that the stakes in employment contract litigation are higher than ever before. Our attorneys have significant experience in litigating these matters, which gives our clients an edge.

Wage and Hour

In California, wage and hour laws are different, and the difference operates to the detriment of employers. When disputes arise over compensation issues, most commonly involving claims for overtime compensation by salaried employees, our attorneys have the real world experience, personal contacts and in-depth technical knowledge of California's wage and hour laws necessary to assist our clients in navigating this treacherous area.

Wrongful Termination

The phrase "wrongful termination" is an umbrella covering a variety of situations and legal theories, all of which are united by a single common element: an employee who believes his or her employment was illegally terminated. Whether the employee pursues discrimination, public policy or contract theories, our attorneys have experience and knowledge in litigating these issues that allows us to provide valuable counsel to our clients about how to avoid disputes and, when necessary, the resources to prevail in litigation.

Discrimination

In California, more people are protected by employment discrimination laws than anywhere else in the country. Our Employment and Labor Group has extensive experience representing management in discrimination disputes, whether in negotiating directly with employees, practicing before administrative agencies such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or litigating in the state and federal courts.

ERISA

ERISA is a federal body of law that governs all employer-provided retirement, health and welfare benefit plans.  It is a highly regulated and ever-changing area of the law.  Mullen & Henzell can assist with all aspects of plan design, drafting, and implementation. 

Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most significant piece of federal legislation enacted in the past 50 years.  It individually impacts most US citizens and also overhauls the rules governing employers who provide group health coverage to their employees.  

Executive Compensation

Mullen & Henzell regularly counsels clients on designing and implementing non-qualified executive deferred compensation arrangements, whether self-standing or as part of executive employment or separation agreements.

Harassment

Employment harassment cases present some of the most potentially explosive issues in the law. Because the concept of "harassment" is so nebulous, employers are often uncertain as to how to deal with harassment claims or situations in which there is arguably an element of illegal harassment. We have extensive experience advising clients on how to avoid harassment lawsuits and, when necessary, litigating such lawsuits to a successful conclusion.

Union Campaigns and Negotiations

When employers face the prospect of a union campaign or negotiating with a union, getting experienced help makes all the difference. Our attorneys have been involved in nearly 100 traditional labor cases, ranging from small-employer union campaigns to multi-state corporate campaigns and negotiations. Our hands-on experience litigating before the National Labor Relations Board and dealing with local and international unions allows us to provide our clients an advantage in the campaign and negotiation process.

Mediation/Arbitration

In recent years, there has been a push towards using "alternative dispute resolution" to dispose of employment-related conflicts without resorting to litigation. Whether it is through voluntary agreements reached in mediation or through third-party decision making in the context of privately administered arbitration, our attorneys have the experience to maximize our clients' advantage.

Litigation

Despite the best efforts by management, some employment disputes end up in court. When that happens, Mullen & Henzell's Employment and Labor Group has the experience, knowledge and resources to win cases for our clients, while keeping in mind the economic realities attendant to the litigation process. We listen to our clients and find solutions that make sense from both an economic and moral perspective.