We Understand Employment Law Matters.
Employment compliance consulting;
- Drafting employee confidentiality, invention and non-competition agreements;
- Employment best practices and audits: We review all employment practices to ensure compliance and to recommend "best practices" to reduce the risks of litigation;
- Drafting employee handbooks, manuals and technology policies. We also are available to update existing HR policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance with current state and federal law or in advance of emerging tends; and
- Supervisor, manager and employee training: We are available to provide training on sexual harassment and other important topics to all employees, including advanced training for supervisors and managers.
Our attorneys also assist and often take the lead to investigate employee misconduct, especially when such misconduct involves computer, Internet, and digital information. Attorneys at E-Business Counsel have even lead such investigations while related criminal charges against current and former employees were being pursued by state and federal authorities.
Also, we provide our clients with an opportunity for a "lessons learned" after every litigation matter. The purpose of this services - which is provided at our costs - is to provide an understanding of the circumstances that lead up to the litigation and what could have been done to prevent the litigation. With this post-litigation insight, our goal is to make you better prepared going forward.
Technology evolves. Shouldn't the way you and your employees manage it as well?
- E-mail & Technology Policies: Employers routinely face situations where they must investigate an employee suspected of misconduct. Such investigations increasingly – if not always – involve email. But do employers become guilty of misconduct or otherwise risk liability if they access an employee's email account? Does it matter if the company has a policy regarding email privacy? What if the policy is inconsistent or not enforced? Does it matter if the the email account is a company provided account or accessed using company computers/Internet connections? We work with companies to answer these questions (which is made more confusing by the different answers given by courts).
- Misappropriation and Unfair Competition Claims: Willie Sutton, the infamous bank robber, when asked why he robbed banks is credited with responding "Because that's where the money is." In today's market place, the money is in a company's information, e.g., customer lists, pricing, methodology, know-how, research, development, and related proprietary and confidential information. And like the banks in Mr. Sutton's day, companies are increasingly finding they are being robbed of their information by unscrupulous departing employees and competitors. But nowadays, the get-away-car for these intellectual assets is often a laptop, thumb-drive, or other portable media. Business leaders understand they cannot afford to have this "mission critical" information walk out their doors. And we work with those leaders to implement proper and reasonable measures for protecting such information.
- Technology and Use Policies: Having the appropriate policies in place minimize risks that range from on-line defamation claims, disclosure of confidential information, liability for employee's wrongfully downloading content/software, and inadvertent contract formation.
- Social Media/Networking: The widespread use of social media sites - think MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook - give employees and prospective employees a platform to post information about themselves, to stay in touch with friends and meet new ones. These sites also hold a goldmine of information for employers for qualifying and screening potential hires. But the other side of the coin is that an employer may learn about information that may later become a cornerstone in a discrimination lawsuit. There are also other regulatory and security issues that make these sites a buffet of legal and IT risk that business organizations must address.
- Employee Privacy: It is increasingly common for companies to require employees to use "web-based" company portals to access company information, such as HR policies, training materials, wage information, 401K accounts, and processing applications. This is in addition to personal information, e.g., social security numbers, contact information, drivers license numbers, etc., that companies maintain in company databases. The use of such measures provide numerous benefits, including cost-savings and providing employees with convenient access to such information. But employers increasingly find they are walking a tightrope when it comes to balancing employee privacy concerns, information protection laws, and avoid providing ammunition to prospective retaliation claims by current or former employees.
- Temporary/Project Agreements: Companies routinely rely on contract or temporary workers for short-term or project based initiatives. We work with companies to put in place the appropriate agreements to maximize such relationships, including drafting "work-for-hire" agreements for software development, web-design, and other vendor agreements.
- Telecommunications and Dispersed Workers: For employers, technology has extended the physical location of the work site. Employing remote workers, however raises numerous issues for business organizations, which include insuring against risks off-site, protecting business assets/customer information, complying with state and federal record keeping requirements for remote employees. e.g., under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employers must record hours worked by a non-exempt employee. We work with business leaders to identify and address these risks.
- Information Security: Securing information is rapidly emerging as a "mission critical" component for business organizations. This is because virtually all of a company's daily transactions and all of its key records are created, used, communicated, and stored in electronic form using networked computer technology. We work with business organizations to implement best practices for securing information, security auditing, trade secret protection plans, including drafting non-disclosure agreements, and working to place the organization in the best possible strategic position if litigation occurs.
Manager & Supervisor Training
Our goal in offering employment law training is to collaborate with you and your managers and supervisors to help ensure a workplace free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. This is especially important because if an employee proved in court that a supervisor or manager did discriminate, harass, or retaliate against that employee, an employer can protect itself by showing that it provided that supervisor with the proper training so that he knew his actions were in direct violation of company policy. While training for new managers and supervisors is critical, it is also important for regular training to keep up with changes in employment law and court decisions.