For employers grappling with a dynamic legal landscape, workplace compliance can seem like a moving target. Epstein Becker Green acts as a strategic business partner for your human capital needs, helping you anticipate change and shape solutions in real time.
Employers of all sizes—from start-ups to international Fortune 100 corporations—rely on us for advice in all 50 states and around the world. Whether we’re providing day-to-day counsel, investigating bad actors, or planning for a reorganization, we engage fully with your unique business issues as we help you navigate evolving federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Counsel for Day-to-Day (and Year-to-Year) Needs
Our approach to counseling goes beyond answering one-off questions. Our lawyers commit to your business, learn your operations, and often act as embedded or outside "in-house" counsel. Working closely with human resources and in-house legal teams, we draft policies, procedures, and agreements that inspire engagement and incentivize productivity. We often advise on issues at the leading edge of the law, setting precedent in employment, discipline, termination, leave of absence, and reasonable accommodation policy and practice decisions. We draft and negotiate state-of-the-art employment, consulting, intellectual property, confidentiality, restrictive covenant, separation, and other agreements for employees at all levels. No matter how novel or complex the question, our knowledge of both your business and the relevant laws helps us resolve problems efficiently.
Responding to Emerging Technologies, Social Movements, and World Events
From artificial intelligence (AI), equal pay, and remote/hybrid work to social justice and economic uncertainty, emerging technologies, social movements, and world events profoundly affect the workplace. We help companies anticipate important trends and make the changes employees and regulators want to see in recruiting and hiring policies, agile working structures, and more. Employers also seek our guidance on using AI tools in the workplace, conducting pay equity analyses, handling remote and hybrid work arrangements, planning for pandemics and future emergencies, and creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. In addition, we deliver valuable benchmarking information that shows you options and what’s “market” for employers in your industry.
Handling Business Upheaval
Major business change comes with major people—and legal—issues. We've worked with companies through every stage of the business cycle—and we know how to handle the critical employment concerns in management changes, going public, restructurings, reductions in force, and corporate relocations. We help employers with wage and hour issues (including conducting audits and assessing whether workers are classified properly), employee relations improvements, employee benefit plans, and executive compensation. And when a company wants to stop departing employees from competing against or otherwise interfering with the business, we advise on the use of restrictive covenants, pointing out jurisdictional differences as to their enforceability, duration, geographical scope, and notice requirements. We also prepare you to respond to public and media interest when major business changes occur.
How do you set employment policy for a company doing business in 50 states—and various cities within those states? Talk to lawyers who've been on the ground in all 50. We provide best practices, from hiring and onboarding processes, to required notices, postings, and policies, through employment restrictions and entitlements upon termination of employment. We draw on the knowledge of lawyers across our offices to address the nuances of local and state legal developments and provide consistent, comprehensive solutions.
When an employee makes a claim of misconduct, harassment, or discrimination, employers need to act fast. Whether we lead an investigation or advise a company on how to conduct its own, employers rely on us to help them marshal the facts and make critical decisions. We collect and review documents, conduct interviews, and, if appropriate, draft a written report of our findings. We understand the importance of completing the investigation in an expeditious manner. Companies also hire us to review previous investigations or provide a second opinion. Should litigation or arbitration arise, we use our findings to develop compelling legal arguments and present sound fact witnesses.
- Successfully counseled a highly trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions in its potential onboarding and hiring of more than 200 global partners and members of the executive leadership team in over 20 countries across six continents. We continue to provide due diligence and strategic advice to this client on a global basis.
- Assisted a publicly traded global insurance company in investigating allegations of misconduct by two executives. We also prepared and negotiated severance agreements, termination scripts, internal and external announcements, and notice to applicable regulatory agencies, thus avoiding a costly and disruptive dispute that would have attracted unwanted media attention.
- Provided human resource advice and counsel to a medical sector specialty company in Connecticut on such topics as the acquisition of new businesses, restructurings, confidentiality agreements, severance agreements, and multistate employee handbooks. We continue to counsel this client nationally on employee disciplinary and accommodation matters.
- Advised a water services company on conducting a reduction in force in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other state and federal laws. We acted as the lead labor and employment adviser in this reduction in force, which resulted in substantial cost savings to the company.
- Evaluated, on behalf of multiple clients, artificial intelligence (“AI”) vendors for the clients’ employee recruitment, selection, and onboarding functions. We assisted our clients in assessing the product offerings, reviewing vendor contracts, identifying the appropriate questions to ask the vendors about their AI products, monitoring and testing those products, and evaluating whether those products would raise any legal issues.
- Provide day-to-day employment law services to a growing pharmaceutical company in the Northeast. We have supplied workplace compliance counseling on matters such as employee discipline, leave requests, and hirings and terminations.