O’Connell, Attmore & Morris provides a broad range of employment law services to protect management from potential claims and to resolve disputes when they arise. Our employment lawyers in Connecticut and Massachusetts craft procedures and develop training material designed to prevent employment conflicts and avoid the risks of employment-related claims.
We regularly advise clients on issues surrounding hiring, firing, reductions in force and termination and severance agreements. When disputes surface, the firm works to proactively resolve them in a cost-appropriate manner.
As a firm with a solid foundation in business principles, our employment law practice area defends management against a range of employment-related claims, including wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment, ERISA violations, and wage and hour disputes. We lead our employment clients through the maze of contractual matters. Our attorneys represent clients in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor.
Our firm’s non-litigation services include establishing sexual harassment training, personnel handbooks, forms, affirmative action procedures, and ensuring that all back office functions comply with tax requirements and employment procedures. For high-level management positions, we work with our clients to draft employment contracts and termination agreements and we are available to participate in the negotiation process. We also represent high-level management candidates in similar positions with the negotiation of their contracts.
Employment Discrimination Claims Defense (EPL)
The significant growth in employment-related litigation makes the selection of an adept Employment Practices Liability (EPL) firm essential. At O’Connell, Attmore and Morris, our attorneys are skilled and experienced in defending EPL claims based on race, religion, national origin and retaliation under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Whistleblower Act, and other related state and federal laws. We frequently defend clients before the EEOC and Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO).
Our clients benefit from the wealth of knowledge that we incorporate into our case assessments. We provide reasoned analysis regarding liability and special defenses, the appropriate measure of any damages, and a full understanding the merits of any claims for emotional distress, tortious interference, and punitive damages. Our skilled handling takes the guess work out of defending these claims, and enhances the likelihood of a successful outcome for the defense.
Cases alleging violations of wage and hour laws continue to increase in volume. These cases include a variety of claims against employers, including unpaid overtime, failure to pay appropriate wages including minimum wage, and employee misclassification. As these claims become more frequent, and involve a sizable number of class members, more employers are being counseled to obtain specialized coverage for these potential losses . Our employment lawyers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts are skilled, knowledgeable and ready to defend these claims.
Non-Compete and Employment Contracts
The attorneys in our employment law group represent both employees and employers on issues pertaining to non-compete, non-solicitation, severance, and employment agreements in Connecticut and Massachusetts. On behalf of employers, we regularly draft such agreements, with the goal of protecting our clients’ valuable confidential information, trade secrets, and customer goodwill, as well as creating clear, enforceable contracts that will stand up to future challenges. On behalf of employees, we evaluate the enforceability of such contracts, provide guidance on the reasonableness of their terms, and advocate for the best possible outcome for our clients.
As we are a full service law firm, our employment lawyers are able to collaborate with the attorneys in our tax and intellectual property groups, thereby providing our clients with complete, accurate, and effective counsel. Where challenges to these agreements arise, our attorneys are prepared to litigate the claims in both state and federal court.
Wage and Hour Law
State and federal wage and hour laws can create significant exposure and liability for both small and large businesses. Our employment law attorneys in Connecticut and Massachusetts provide counsel and guidance on all wage and hour-related issues, including the proper classification of exempt and non-exempt employees, correctly identifying and compensating independent contractors, properly calculating overtime, vacation pay and other fringe benefits, complying with Connecticut’s paid sick leave requirements, providing appropriate break periods, and complying with timekeeping and recordkeeping requirements.
We focus on preventative counseling and compliance auditing, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary and costly litigation. When labor department claims cannot be avoided, however, our attorneys vigorously represent employers against both employee claims and agency investigations.
Our employment lawyers have extensive experience defending Connecticut and Massachusetts employers against claims filed by their employees, whether those claims are filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the Department of Labor, state court, or federal courts. Our attorneys routinely represent Connecticut and Massachusetts businesses and their management against claims for wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, and whistleblower allegations.
We emphasize a cost-effective defense, with the goal of resolving cases as efficiently as possible. Where appropriate, our employment litigators negotiate favorable and effective settlements in order to minimize the costs and risks involved. When early settlement is not in our clients’ best interests, we aggressively defend against employment-related lawsuits through both trial and appeal.