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Labor & Employment

Semmes’ Labor and Employment Practice Group represents small, medium and large employers in a wide range of industries in labor, employment and civil rights matters. In this regard our services range from giving a client telephone advice to defense of class action litigation.

Our attorneys have decades of experience in defending against employment-related litigation brought in federal and state courts and administrative agencies. We routinely represent employers in litigation involving allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, religion and other protected characteristics, including claims arising under the following statutes and authorities:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
  • Executive Order 11246 and related affirmative action authorities;
  • The Equal Pay Act;
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act;
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • National Labor Relations Act;
  • ERISA;
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act;
  • Older Workers Benefits Protection Act:
  • Sections 1981 and 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866;
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act;
  • HIPAA;
  • State and Local Discrimination Statutes, Laws and Ordinances; and
  • Federal and State Wage and Hour Matters.

We represent management in traditional labor disputes, including union organizational drives and representation elections, NLRB hearings, collective bargaining, labor arbitration and labor-related litigation and injunction proceedings, as well as matters arising under the wage hour laws, ERISA, and the occupational safety and health laws. Our attorneys also routinely defend employers against state common law claims, including wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Our labor and employment attorneys also provide clients with advice, counseling, and training in all aspects of the employment relationship. We assist clients in the evaluation, development and implementation of employment policies and procedures, handbooks, applications, job evaluation forms, offer letters, drug and alcohol testing programs, employment contracts, and non-compete, confidentiality and trade secret agreements. We conduct training programs for employers specifically designed to minimize and prevent claims, including state of the art interactive programs for supervisors and managers in areas such as workplace harassment, occupational safety and health, union avoidance techniques, employee disability and leave rights, and workplace accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.

We represent management in a wide range of compliance matters, including development, implementation and monitoring of affirmative action programs for federal contractors and subcontractors as required by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) under Executive Order 11246 and its implementing regulations; representation of federal contractors and subcontractors in affirmative action audits instituted by OFCCP; and representation of employers in wage and hour audits instituted by DOL’s Wage Hour Division under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Our attorneys recognize the importance of technology in the workplace. We provide employment law advice to business regarding e-mail and Internet use; the development of interactive multi-media CD-ROMs for employment training purposes; surveillance by employers of electronic communications; potential employer liability for technology-based employee misconduct; employer exposure to defamation, discrimination and harassment charges related to technology misuse; use of technology for the distribution of employee handbooks, company policies, and as an accommodation to disabilities; and advice to employers regarding protection against on-line access to confidential employment information pertaining to personnel records, medical records, customer lists and/or trade secrets.

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