Employment and Labor Law
Jones Waldo maintains a broad labor and employment law practice. We represent employers in all industries and virtually all areas of employer-employee relations, including risk avoidance, equal employment opportunity, fair labor standards (wage and hour matters), immigration and wrongful termination. Services we provide to employers in these areas include litigation, arbitration, mediation, administrative proceedings, training and general counseling. We have significant experience representing employers in the computer industry and other high-technology areas. Our lawyers are very active and hold numerous leadership roles in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and its Utah affiliates.
Planning & Policy Making and Employment Audits
In labor and employment decisions, a company's most effective loss prevention tool involves advance planning and prevention practices. We work with employers of all sizes to plan programs, prepare and review appropriate policies, manuals and handbooks and prepare for personnel actions such as discipline and discharge. We have conducted and assisted with employment law compliance audits, downsizing plans and pre-termination reviews. Our legal counseling and analytical skills have been employed in planning and prevention roles in each of the substantive areas described below. In addition, we have prepared a self-audit package that allows clients to measure their own compliance program in consultation with Jones Waldo lawyers.
Training – The Employment Law and Management Center
The courts and government agencies have recently emphasized training as a tool employers can use to prevent and minimize liability for employment law issues. We have assisted numerous public and private employers in training their supervisors and employees regarding employment law compliance and sound legal management practices. The firm is one of the founders and a joint sponsor, along with the Utah Chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management and others, of the Employment Law and Management Center, that organizes and presents training programs on these important issues. Our lawyers regularly make presentations at national employment law conferences on a wide range of employment law issues.
Title VII/EEO/Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") Laws
Jones Waldo's attorneys defend employers against charges of discrimination, sexual and other harassment, retaliation and violation of the ADA. In addition to court litigation on these subjects, our attorneys regularly deal with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Anti- Discrimination and Labor Division of the Utah Labor Commission (UALD). We also help employers minimize liability through counseling managers and developing personnel policies and practices and in preparing and administering affirmative action plans.
Wage, Hour & Leave Matters
Employers today are faced with a maze of federal and state laws regulating employees' wages, hours and leave, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Davis-Bacon Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), worker's compensation laws and others. We assist our clients in complying with these laws and defending both administrative and judicial claims arising from them. Our lawyers have been notably involved in developing the computer industry-related exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Computer and other high-tech companies often seek to employ foreign nationals, many of whom come to the United States for specialized university training, and then seek to remain and work for local industries. However, in order to hire these individuals, the employer must first obtain the necessary work authorization from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the "INS"). We provide a full range of immigration services, and have worked with many companies to obtain H-1B and TN work visas for skilled personnel such as software developers, programmers, engineers, systems administrators, testers, translators, etc. We also have experience in obtaining L-1 visas for international executives and managerial transferees that come to work in the U.S. from related foreign companies or subsidiaries. In addition to obtaining these types of temporary visas, our attorneys assist employers in negotiating the labor certification process to obtain permanent residency (known as a "Green Card") for their key employees.
Wrongful Termination Actions
In just the past few years, the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine in many states has resulted in growing numbers of wrongful termination, tort and defamation lawsuits by former employees. The size and frequency of jury awards in favor of plaintiffs in these cases has increased alarmingly. We have substantial experience in defending these claims. Jones Waldo attorneys also help managers in avoiding such claims by counseling with respect to discipline and discharge policies, reductions in force and individual terminations.
Labor-Management Relations and NLRB Matters
We represent management in dealings with unions, unfair practice proceedings, organizing election campaign planning and execution, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, contract administration, arbitrations and maintenance of or retaining non-union status. Our labor and employment practice includes litigation and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Employee Benefit Matters and Workers Compensation
We handle all phases of litigation (ERISA) and plan drafting, development, tax planning, and implementation regarding employee benefits. We also regularly assist clients in dealing with workers compensation and unemployment compensation issues
AttorneysMichael Patrick O'Brien (Group Leader)
Bruce E. Babcock
Timothy C. Houpt
Vincent C. Rampton
Brady L. Rasmussen
Marci B. Rechtenbach
Paul R. Smith
Nathan D. Thomas
Mark D. Tolman
Jessica P. Wilde