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We Understand Employment Law Matters.

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It is common for employers to feel uncertain as to what is required under federal and state employment laws. Our employment law attorneys are focused on working closely to provide HR professionals and employers with practical, business-minded guidance on all aspects of the employment relationship. By focusing on employment law solutions and best practices, you can focus on your business - not defending it in litigation.
Consistent with our "hope for the best, plan for the worst" mantra, our employment counseling seeks to help prevent litigation while placing an employer in the best possible strategic position if employment litigation occurs. Our services include:
  • 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.
And if litigation is necessary, we have the trial experience in state and federal courts to defend your interests. This employment law experience includes responding and pursuing claims under state and federal employment laws ranging from claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (PDCRA) and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), retaliation and whistle blower claims, sexual harassment, reverse race discrimination, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)), as well as trade secret misappropriation claims, breach of non-compete agreements, and negligent hiring claims.

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?
In addition to our experience with "traditional" employment legal issues, we also are ready to work with you to address "Employment Legal Issues 2.0." What we mean by this is that technology has transformed the workplace. This transformation has brought new and variations on "old" issues that HR professionals and business organizations must address.security padlock
  • 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
Training for supervisors and managers is an essential component of managing employment law risks. This is because well-trained managers will limit an employer’s chances of being caught in a lawsuit or, if unavoidable, minimize the potential damages available to a plaintiff. Our Michigan lawyers provide supervisors and managers training on a number of legal issues, including: harassment, discrimination, military service and leave, retaliation, wage and hour issues, and  employee privacy. Our attorneys also provide training covering an overview of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)., as well as basic training on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Our attorneys also incorporate how these issues may be affected by technology, such as social media, e-mail, and related issues.

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.
 
E-Business Counsel, PLC
4301 Orchard Lake Road
Suite 180, No. 188
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
P: 248-850-2290
F: 248-850-2212
Also see our new website:
Shinn Legal, PLC for additional legal services
and resources for businesses and entrepreneurs. 

 

Blogs:

Digital Deep Dive

News & Analysis of Internet and E-Commerce Law

Michigan Employment Law Advisor

Leading Insight & Analysis of Employment Law Matters


Recent Buzz

  • Jason Shinn will be speaking at the Berkley Public Library on 2/6/2012 at 10:30 about Social Media Legal Issues: What HR & Employees Need to Know About Social Media. There is no cost to attend or contact Mr. Shinn for a copy of the presentation.  
  • 1/2012 - Our law firm has been selected as counsel for an expanding Michigan Business in relation to negotiating and securing multi-million dollars in investor financing.  
 
 
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