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Employment Litigation

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Olshan’s employment litigation attorneys litigate a wide-range range of employment cases, including disputes over executive employment agreements and claims based on employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful discharge, wage and hour violations, benefits entitlement cases, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, unfair competition, restrictive covenants, defamation, investigations and employment-related torts.  Olshan handles cases of varying sizes from single plaintiff discrimination or common law actions to class actions that result from the employer-employee relationship. 

By Settlement, Motion or Trial

Our employment litigators regularly try cases and have experience with jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts. We also regularly arbitrate and appear before state and federal agencies.  However, we know that the overwhelming majority of employment cases settle. We approach each employment case with an early assessment to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case and the best way to position the case going forward. We give our client a thorough risk analysis, create strategic options for our client to consider and make recommendations on settlement or litigating. Additionally, employment litigation often personally involves the executives and key leaders at a business. As a result, we carefully partner with in-house principals to ensure the employment litigation strategy fits the needs of the business, provide an early case assessment and budget if needed, and understand as much as we can about our client’s unique needs for work product and legal support. We then effectively consider the options of early dispositive motions, mediation and settlement possibilities. In this highly fact-specific area of law, there is no “one size fits all” approach.  We aim to deliver business oriented, rational and cost-appropriate results. 

Federal Statutory Scheme

We have experience with and expertise in the full range of federal employment statutes such as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Section 1981)
  • the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act (WARN)
  • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),
  • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA),
  • the Equal Pay Act
  • the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Olshan’s employment litigation specialists also deal with the comparable state and local laws which regulate the workplace.

Employment Litigation - Non-Competes and Trade Secrets

Today, protecting and retaining human resources and the intellectual property is critical to most businesses operating in the highly-competitive and dynamic 21st century environment.  With the rapid pace of technological change, it is often mission critical to secure trade secrets and information about proprietary clients.  We routinely help our clients protect these assets by drafting practical, rock-solid and innovative policies that are informed by business needs and state and local laws and precedents.  We have overseen large forensic examinations in order to support allegations of theft of confidential information and have successfully prosecuted trade secret allegations in court. 

With respect to non-competes, Olshan assists clients in both litigated matters in court or ADR and non-litigated matters.  We advise and counsel concerning the ins and outs of hiring and firing employees with confidential information.  We negotiate cessation or settlement of non-competes on behalf of employers and high level executives.  We regularly seek or oppose motions for injunctive relief when a non-compete agreement is at issue and have had repeated successes for clients, enabling them to move forward positively with their businesses.  Most cases settle after disposition of injunctive relief; however, if not, Olshan has the trial experience to deliver positive results taking the case all the way.

  • Defended a New York city garage owner concerning a class action wage and hour claim brought by current and former employees; negotiated favorable post-trial settlement.
  • Defended a nationwide retail chain concerning EEOC charges filed by former employees in various states throughout the United States.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of all claims for a New York based accounting firm in a wage and hour litigation brought by a former employee in the Southern District of New York.
  • Successfully defended a high tech manufacturer and defense contractor concerning a charge of age and national origin discrimination filed by its former President.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order on behalf of a multistate wholesale insurance broker against its former employees and their new employer, a national retail and wholesale insurance brokerage firm.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of all claims for a New Jersey based online marketing company and its consultant in connection with claims arising out of consultant’s restrictive covenant.
  • Defended a high level executive of a U.K. based financial services firm concerning sexual harassment and battery claims brought in the Southern District of New York by the executive’s co-worker; obtained favorable settlement of all claims.
  • Defended a New York based financial institution and won full dismissal with prejudice of a complaint of disability discrimination filed in the District of New Jersey by a former employee.
  • Defended a New York based caterer against sexual harassment claims brought by a former employee; obtained favorable early settlement of all claims.
  • Defended a Texas based airplane manufacturer in a class action WARN claim filed in Federal Court; obtained favorable settlement of all claims.
  • Negotiated settlement of several discrimination claims alleged by former executives of a Florida based body armor manufacturer.
  • Defended a Florida based body armor manufacturer against a breach of contract action brought by former chief executive officer of the company; obtained order staying the action.
  • Defended a U.K.-based insurer and its U.S. consultant in the Southern District of New York concerning claims arising out of a restrictive covenant.
  • Argued and won a temporary restraining order against 14 former employees of a United Kingdom based publishing company, based on theft of trade secret and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • Won dismissal of a complaint filed before the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer by a former employee who claimed discrimination on the basis of his immigration status.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order against former brokers of a national insurance brokerage firm, restricting brokers from servicing and soliciting their former employer's clients based on their restrictive covenants.
  • Obtained a jury verdict, affirmed by the Second Circuit, in favor of a financial services firm, after trial in the Southern District of New York over claims of national origin discrimination, and counterclaims of fraud and self-dealing.