Employment Law Advice

Employment Law Advice

Shaw Law Group’s employment law advice and counseling practice sets us apart from other firms. We partner with some of the largest employers in the country, small, local businesses, and numerous public entities to resolve their workplace changes. Each workplace has different and unique employment law issues and we collaborate with our clients to deliver practical advice that is both legally sound and tailored to their needs.

Our employment law advice practice focuses on the following critical areas: counseling on day-to-day issues; administrative agency representation; compliance audits; litigation monitoring and support; Title IX hearing services; and expert witness testimony. 

Workplace Law Counseling

We partner with our clients on every workplace issue, including: 

  • Employment agreements, offer letters, and application development and review
  • Handbook and policy development
  • Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution programs
  • Independent contractor analysis and agreements
  • Joint employer risk assessment
  • Exempt/non-exempt classification analysis
  • Commission, bonus, and other incentive plans
  • Paid sick leave and other protected time off
  • Confidentiality, non-disclosure and restrictive covenant agreements
  • Leave of absence management
  • Termination risk assessment
  • Reasonable accommodation analysis
  • Layoff, RIF and WARN planning and execution
  • Separation agreements
  • Litigation risk assessment

Administrative Agency Representation

California and federal administrative agencies investigate a variety of claims, and conduct inspections and audits of our clients’ practices. We represent clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Labor Commissioner, and other agencies.

We regularly help clients with:

  • Position statements in response to agency complaints
  • Representation at informal conferences and hearings
  • Defend against agency audits
  • Public agency disciplinary proceedings
  • Mediation and settlement

Compliance Audits

Of breadth of employment law knowledge allows us to develop and conduct customized workplace audits on subjects such as:

  • Culture work/environment
  • Wage-hour compliance
  • Leave of absence compliance
  • Preparation for and response to agency investigations
  • Personnel files
  • Posters and recordkeeping
  • Litigation vulnerability assessments
  • “PAGA” claim evaluation

We offer several cost-effective audit options based on the client’s level of involvement in gathering and analyzing data. Avoiding one legal claim will more than pay for an audit, and, if done correctly, the audit results are privileged and confidential. 

Litigation Monitoring and Support

Our lawyers have decades of collective experience managing and defending employment claims. We can help make sense of the litigation process and provide independent litigation assessment. We also assess outside counsel’s performance to ensure your organization receives the best possible representation. Services we provide in this area include:

  • Billing analysis
  • Liaison to and oversight of outside litigation attorneys
  • Review of motion papers, discovery, depositions
  • Summary judgment assessment
  • Mediation assistance
  • Trial themes and preparation

Title IX Services

Federally funded colleges and universities are responsible for complying with Title IX, which prohibits sexual harassment in all educational programs and activities, including discrimination, assault, domestic violence, and stalking.  Title IX requires an effective process to respond to complaints in a manner that respect the rights of all parties.  The process includes a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation of the allegations, and a fair and impartial hearing where parties are represented by an advisor. 

Our certified Title IX attorneys assist colleges and universities as: 

  • Independent Investigators 
  • Hearing officers 
  • Party advisors 

Investigations 

Retaining a neutral, third-party investigator sends a message that your institution takes allegations seriously, wants to determine what really happened, and intends to take appropriate corrective action.  Using an outside investigator also mitigates certain risks that may arise from using in-house counsel as an investigator (e.g., inadvertently waiving the attorney-client privilege). 

Shaw Law Group’s attorney-investigators are ready to conduct a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation into even the most sensitive Title IX complaints, using trauma-informed questioning techniques.  We understand the unique needs of institutions subject to Title IX, and we will work closely with your Title IX Coordinator throughout the process.  We organize and document the evidence gathered in a comprehensive, impartial report to provide decision-makers the information they need to make difficult decisions, and our attorneys have the skills and experience to serve as effective fact witnesses at hearings. 

Hearing Management 

It can be costly, complicated, and time-consuming to train internal community members with little or no legal education to conduct hearings following federal guidelines.  Additionally, using an outside hearing officer reduces perceptions of bias by separating hearing management from decision-making.  Our certified Title IX attorneys already possess the necessary knowledge and skills to evaluate the admissibility of evidence and run efficient, respectful, fair hearings. 

Party Advisement 

We understand how difficult and stressful it can be to make or defend a complaint, answer questions during an investigatory interview, and participate in a hearing.  Our certified Title IX attorneys are committed to supporting and preparing their advisees during every step of the process, working with local police and family members as needed.  We prepare advisees for interviews and organize evidence in advance to help them fully and fairly address the allegations.  We also attend hearings with advisees, and conduct thorough and respectful direct and cross-examinations. 

Expert Witness Testimony

Our attorneys have decades of collective experience providing high-quality employment law representation, have published hundreds of articles on substantive workplace issues, trained lawyers and others on a variety of subjects, and litigated hundreds of matters before courts, agencies, and arbitrators. We are ideal expert witnesses.

We offer retained or trial expert opinions on any of the following subjects: 

  • Adequacy of workplace investigations 
  • Adequacy of an employer’s discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (EEO) prevention and correction policies and practices 
  • Interactive process and disability accommodation evaluation 
  • Leave of absence policies and practices 
  • Wage and hour policies and practices 
  • Employee handbook and personnel manual assessment 
  • Human resources policies and practices regarding employee discipline and termination 
  • Negligent hiring, retention, and supervision issues 
  • Course and scope of employment issues 
  • Pre-employment testing 
  • Pay discrimination 
  • Legal malpractice and standard of care in employment law matters 
  • Attorney’s fees motions 
  • Skelly risk analysis 

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