Employment and Labor

We strive to provide our clients with comprehensive legal services in an effective, business-like manner. 

The attorneys in our Employment Law Group have significant experience in both compliance and litigation across a wide variety of industries, including: construction; staffing and recruiting; banking and other financial services; pharmaceutical and healthcare services; computers and technology; hotels and restaurants; trucking and other transportation services; manufacturing; automotive sales; entertainment media; gaming; and professional services. 

Our Model Features: 
  • Bundled Mission-Critical Services

  • Single Point-of-Contact

  • Efficient Project Management

  • Trusted Business Advisement

Chair
David J. Sprong, Esq.

Of-Counsel

Christopher M. Leddy, Esq.

Howard A. Vex,Esq. *

 

* Labor Relations Specialist

We strive to provide our employment and labor clients with cutting-edge legal services in a cost-efficient manner. Our areas of specialization include: employment counseling; human resources policy development/implementation; litigation of discrimination, retaliation, harassment and restrictive covenants claims; counselling as to employment and separation agreements; and wage and hour compliance/audits.

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The attorneys in this Practice play a major role in both the firm's Litigation and Business Services Groups, which provides an especially unique value to small and medium-sized businesses that know they need legal support but lack the revenue and volume of legal issues to justify hiring their own in-house general counsel. 

 

Litigation

For decades, our attorneys have represented management in litigation matters ranging from class actions to single-employee suits in various forums and jurisdictions. We have considerable pretrial, trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts in defense of discrimination and harassment claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), as well as in defense of ‘whistle-blower’ and retaliation claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and in defense of claims for wrongful discharge and breach of restrictive covenants. We also have experience in matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Our attorneys have often served as local counsel to out-of-state companies, providing expert insight into the unique, extensive, and sometimes conflicting employment laws in the State of New Jersey. We also have substantial experience in employing alternative dispute resolution methods to employment disputes, such as through mediation and arbitration. 

Recent representations of our employment litigation attorneys includes:
 

  • Wholesale home goods distributor through trial, the Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court in defense of gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims. We obtained a reversal of adverse rulings in the trial and appellate courts from the Supreme Court , and in the process, established significant new law regarding the admissibility of expert testimony and the use of character witnesses in employment cases.

  • Major warehouse corporation in defense of charges of age and race discrimination. Our lawyers obtained a partial summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s claims, which led to a settlement of the remaining claims on a favorable basis to the client.

  • Real estate development and management company against claims of sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. A successful motion for partial summary judgment led to a settlement on terms favorable to the company.

  • Interstate moving company in a trial involving gender and race discrimination claims that resulted in verdict in favor of the company.

  • Fortune 500 company in the successful defense of wrongful termination and breach of company policy claims, through trial, appeal to the Appellate Division and petition for certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

  • Computer manufacturer against breach of employment contract, wrongful termination and discrimination claims through a two-week trial, which resulted in a jury verdict favorable to the company.

  • Litigation support services company in defense of claims of race and national origin discrimination. Our attorneys obtained a summary dismissal of all claims, which had been pursued simultaneously in several different forums.

  • Successful defense of a television industry client against the alleged breach of executive employment agreement before a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association.

  • Architectural firm in obtaining a preliminary injunction and conducting expedited discovery to prevent a former employee from competing unlawfully. The case presented significant electronic discovery and forensic computer investigation issues.

  • Environmental testing laboratory against whistleblower and discriminatory retaliation claims through the eve of trial. Our lawyers facilitated substantial participation by the laboratory’s insurance carrier and obtained a favorable settlement for the client.

  • Large automobile dealership network in defending workers’ compensation, retaliatory discharge and disability discrimination claims. The representation resulted in summary dismissal of all causes of action.

  • Defense of a startup entity against a Fortune 500 company’s attempt to enforce restrictive covenant and non-compete provisions.

 
 

Counseling, Training and Human Resources Policy Management

 

Becker's wide range of counseling, training, and Human Resources Management services are aimed at helping businesses avoid liability for employment-related activities and improve their bottom line. Our counseling services include developing company policies and handbooks, conducting workplace investigations, and implementing and managing internal conflict resolutions.  Also, our business clients rely on us to provide the most up-to-date training for their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and substance abuse testing protocols. Our attorneys have a broad knowledge of all employment-related legislation, both pending and enacted, and save clients considerable costs through education regarding, and ensuring compliance with, all such legislation. We have substantial experience in handling and preparing clients for various federal and state agency audits before the United States and New Jersey Departments of Labor and in the Courts, including the successful resolution of issues involving overtime pay, exempt status, and wage violations.

Recent representations in our compliance:

  • Our attorneys saved a national pharmaceutical outsourcing company substantial sums in potential DOL fines by auditing its HR classification for employee/independent contractor status and implementing a corrective policy.

  • We steered a growing staffing company through a DOL audit, successfully permitting the company to continue to provide transportation for employees and allowing such employees to continue working.

  • Our attorneys significantly reduced the tax exposure of a large defense subcontractor by implementing a revised 'non-exempt' employee policy that brought the company into compliance with New Jersey wage and hour requirements.

  • The firm set up the operating framework that has allowed a national telecommunications company to launch a new multi-million dollar line of business in New Jersey, guiding the company through the complex regulatory environment in the State of New Jersey and providing advice on licensing and HR requirements.

Electronic Discovery

Our attorneys are experienced in electronic discovery issues in employment and labor matters. One such case involved the defense of a national construction company against a sexual harassment claim, which presented complex electronic discovery issues regarding the obligations imposed on companies to maintain electronically stored information on company computers and other media.

 

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