Employment Law Advice & Counsel

The experience derived from years of defending employers in labor and employment claims enhances our ability to provide compliance advice to management and human resources professionals that goes far beyond mere recitation of the law. Our advice includes the more practical aspects of how to reduce the risk of employment litigation. Even beyond this, we aid in the documentation of our clients’ compliance efforts for later use as defensive evidence should litigation prove unavoidable.

Employment Agreements * Policies * Forms

The attorneys of Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton have considerable experience negotiating and drafting agreements that govern the employment relationship. These include complex executive employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, commission plans, compensation structures, and nondisclosure and non-competition agreements.

In addition, we draft and review any number of employment-related agreements, policies, and forms, including applications, offer letters, wage deduction authorization forms, background search authorizations, performance appraisal forms, disciplinary / counseling memos, termination notices, exit interviews, and letters to exiting employees regarding their post-employment obligations. We also work with clients in creating employee handbooks and arbitration programs specific to their workforce.

Wage and Hour Compliance & Other Compensation Issues

In addition to assisting employers in the review of job classifications for applicable exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton is frequently called upon by employers, as well as other law firms on behalf of their own clients, to assist in the course of an audit by the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. We also assist our clients in the development and drafting of policies governing compensation, commissions, and bonuses.

Terminations * Reductions in Force * Plant Closings

In the area of workplace separation, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton counsels employers on issues that arise from a single employee termination to the complications of reductions in force, mass layoffs and plant closings triggering obligations under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

In the case of a downsizing, we advise clients through the selection process, preparation of proper documentation, delivery of information to the various employee groups and organizations impacted, and the drafting of exit packages that incorporate appropriate separation and release agreements.

Management-Union Relations

Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton represents management in the traditional labor arena under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Our experience includes representing employers in the process of union organization, union elections, collective bargaining, unfair labor practice charges, union decertifications, labor grievances, arbitrations, and responses to strike violence and other forms of strike misconduct.

Employer Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”)

As employers elect Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton is frequently called upon to assist in their evaluation and understanding of the company’s rights and obligations under the myriad of policies available.

Compliance & General Advice

Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton provides advice on day-to-day employment law issues covering a wide variety of topics:

  • Absenteeism
  • Accommodation
  • Affirmative Action
  • Alcohol & Drugs
  • Applications
  • Arbitration Agreements
  • Background Checks
  • Commission & Bonus Plans
  • Confidential Information
  • Dating Relationships
  • Discipline
  • Discrimination
  • Docking Pay
  • Documentation
  • Evaluation Systems
  • Executive Employment Contracts
  • Executive Order 11246
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Firing
  • Handbook Policies & Procedures
  • Harassment
  • Hiring
  • Independent Contractors
  • Investigations
  • Job Descriptions
  • Leave Policies
  • Libel
  • Military Rights / USERRA
  • Misconduct
  • National Labor Relations Act
  • No Hire Provisions
  • Non-competition
  • Non-solicitation
  • Offer Letters
  • Reductions in Force
  • References
  • Release Agreements
  • Relocation Policies
  • Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Searches
  • Slander
  • Suicide Indications
  • Theft
  • Theft of Trade Secrets
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Violence