Practice Group Details
Labor and Employment Law
Sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, workforce diversity, and other employment practices issues present challenging risk management challenges in today’s litigious society. Schenck, Price, Smith & King provides thoughtful approaches for every organization, regardless of the size or industry.
Two of the most critical employee relations challenges facing human resource departments today are; preventing and correcting employment discrimination and workplace harassment. The appropriate action taken before a complaint occurs is crucial to limiting the organization’s exposure. Further, proper investigative conduct and corrective action enable the organization to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Of course, when claims are made it is essential that a vigorous defense be mounted. Schenck, Price, Smith & King offers a variety of services to enable organizations to achieve these goals.
Help ensure the overall effectiveness of your personnel management program by letting us help you write employment policies and management procedures. Professionally written policies are effective tools toward minimizing an organization’s liability. These policies and procedures will form the foundation of your legal defense by documenting your practices and approaches to addressing employment problems.
TYPES OF CLIENTS
Public and private employers
TYPES OF SERVICES
- Employment audits, including Human Resources and wage and hour audits to identify potential problem areas, as well as suggest preemptive solutions before an actual problem arises.
- Employment training, including management training programs for supervisors to educate them on their legal obligations and to help them develop practical solutions to everyday problems. Topics include performance management, interviewing and selection, accurate and effective documentation, and workplace harassment.
- Employment investigations, including discrimination, harassment, inappropriate or unbecoming conduct and abuse of leave policies.
- Labor and employment litigation, including discrimination, Conscientious Employee Protection Act claims, dismissal, tenure proceedings, grievance arbitrations, unfair practice proceedings, and workers’ compensation.
- Preparation and review of employee handbooks and employment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with current laws and emerging legal requirements, provide specific recommendations for modifications when appropriate, and develop new policies and procedures, including development and analysis of job descriptions and development of employee performance appraisal systems.
- Preparation and negotiation of executive contracts, including restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements. We litigate actions to enforce, and defend individuals against alleged violations of such agreements.
- Collective bargaining and union-related services, including negotiations, unfair practice and restraint of arbitration proceedings, unit clarification petitions and counseling non-union employers on techniques for avoiding unionization.
- Employer counseling, including Family and medical leave issues under Family Medical Leave Act and related issues regarding disability claims and reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Discipline and discharge decisions, such as WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) requirements for large reductions in force.
- Employment discrimination and sexual harassment, including drafting written anti-harassment policies and reviewing existing policies and postings, administering proactive anti-harassment training, including one-on-one training, creating effective complaint intake procedures, providing harassment investigation services and consulting regarding corrective action following a harassment complaint.
PRINCIPAL AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
- Discrimination claims
- Grievance arbitrations
- Unfair practice proceedings
- Contract negotiations
- Severance agreements
- Employee handbooks
- Leave entitlements
- Represent employers in state and federal court and before federal, state, and local administrative agencies, defending claims of wrongful discharge and employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, handicap disability, sexual orientation, and other protected attributes, and sexual and workplace harassment
- Defense of breaches of express and implied contracts of employment, tortious interference, retaliation, and alleged violations of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (the “whistleblower” statute)
- Defense of unfair labor practice charges and representation of public employers in actions before the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission
- Represent private employers in actions before the National Labor Relations Board, including defense of unfair labor practice charges, and representation and unit clarification petitions
- Represent boards of education in tenure dismissal proceedings arising from abuse of students, falsification of leave and sabbatical requests, sleeping during standardized testing, insubordination, theft, and falsifying student grades
John M. Bowens, Co-Chair
- Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney since 1993
- Recognized by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” *
- Recognized twice for Outstanding Achievement as a Prosecutor by the Attorney General
- Presently serving on the Statewide Ethics Committee
- Named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (fewer than 100 Fellows in the State of New Jersey) (2011)
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America® ** and again in 2012 in the field of Insurance Law
- Named as one of the best lawyers in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) and in the nation by New York magazine
Joanne L. Butler, Co-Chair
- Recognized several times by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” * in Schools and Education
- Trustee, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA)—Labor & Employment Sections, and School Law Committee
- Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney since 1994
- Recognized in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” * in Business Litigation
- Court-appointed mediator (2000-Present)
- Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, County College of Morris (2002-2004)
- Former Trustee, County College of Morris Foundation
- Recognized repeatedly by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” * in Schools and Education
- Member, National School Boards Council of School Attorney
- Former Trustee, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys
- Recognized in 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” * in Schools and Education
- Member, National School Boards Council of School Attorneys
- Former President, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys
- Member, New Jersey Association for Justice
- Named as one of Bergen County’s top lawyers in (201) Magazine (June 2011)
- Speaker, Liens Seminar on Workers’ Compensation. “Liens: What You Don’t Know Will Cost You (and Your Client),” New Jersey Association for Justice, (February 26, 2011)
- Graduate, Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Morris program (2006)
- “New Arbitration Law Will Significantly Impact Future Police and Fire Contract Negotiations,” Client Alert, January 31, 2011
- Recognized in 2011 and 2012 by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Rising Star, Super Lawyers” * in Schools and Education
- Vice-President, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys
- Recognized by New Jersey Law Journal in its “40 Under 40” publication.
- Recipient of NJBIZ Magazine’s “Forty Under 40” Award
Anthony M. Tamburello
- Member, NJSBA, Insurance Law Section Programming Chair (2010–Present); Secretary (2011); Insurance Defense Committee (2010–Present)
- Member, Editorial Board, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine
- Recognized in 2012 by New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s “Rising Star, Super Lawyers” * in Employment & Labor
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association; Chairperson, Diversity Committee
- Has lectured on education law topics throughout New Jersey, including on topics related to tenure, student residency and student discipline, as well as public financing and shared service issues, for the National Business Institute (NBI) and New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA)
- Member, Young Professionals Division of Morris County Chamber of Commerce
* For more information about the Super Lawyers selection process, please go to: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html
No aspect of this advertising has been approved by the New Jersey Superior Court.
** (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC). Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor. (For more information regarding Best Lawyers selection, please go to: www.bestlawyers.com)