Legal Services

Labor & Employment Law

Since its inception, Archer has represented management in its practice of labor and employment law. The lawyers who comprise the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department are involved in every aspect of the labor and employment law practice. The most basic representation involves day-to-day advice and counsel to personnel and human resource departments with respect to the numerous labor and employment matters which arise from daily operations. In many cases, the firm is involved in assisting clients in proactively minimizing discrimination or wrongful termination charges, in addition to offering advice as to decisions affecting personnel policies and collective bargaining agreements.

A labor and employment lawyer is often called upon to review employee handbooks and manuals for New Jersey and Pennsylvania businesses, not only from a legal, but also a human relations standpoint. Such a review from an experienced lawyer is recommended on a periodic basis in order to assure compliance with the ever changing federal and state employment laws, and to avoid unintended employer liability.

Our lawyers spend a significant amount of time in labor and employment litigation, which includes the defense of employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases in federal and state courts, arbitration proceedings, the defense of individual employment contract actions, and proceedings before various state and federal administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, United States, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Departments of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and OSHA.

Our attorneys have assisted employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, whether as lead negotiator or in an advisory capacity. Our employment lawyers have obtained injunctions and have instituted suits for damages and other relief for struck employers and have counseled employers faced with boycotts, slowdowns, union organization and other forms of union activity. We have counseled employers in a number of highly complex and specialized areas such as ERISA, and have been involved in the litigation of ERISA cases involving not only pension plans but other benefit plans as well.

The Department has defended numerous federal and state wage and hour audits and lawsuits and OSHA citations. Department members have appeared before the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and have drafted and defended affirmative action programs on both the federal and state level.

In conjunction with lawyers in the Firm’s Tax Group, the Labor and Employment Law Department has developed an expertise in employee benefits matters. The Department has handled ERISA and other benefits-related litigation and has extensive experience in drafting retirement, Section 401(k), cafeteria/flexible benefits and other employee welfare plans. Attorneys in the Department also have handled reductions in force and the individual and group severance plans and agreements.

Our practice involves the representation of employers based and operating in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Indeed, we serve as labor and employment counsel to numerous employers with respect to business operations nationwide.

Among the firm’s labor and employment clients are Lockheed Martin, Orrefors/Royal Scandinavia, Inc., Bancroft NeuroHealth, Heritage Dairy Stores, Inc., Associated Press, Sprague Energy Group, Tandy Corporation, Samaritan Hospice, Delphi Technology, United Medical Corporation, Quest Diagnostics, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey, Princeton University, Rowan University, the Delaware River Port Authority, the City of Philadelphia and other government entities.

The Employment and Labor Department’s attorneys are well known to businesses and lawyers throughout the region. They are frequent presenters at CLEs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and regularly lecture for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Council on Education in Management, various chapters of the Society for Human Resources Management and other bar, business and civic groups.

Experience

EXPERIENCED EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS

  • Implemented policies, procedures and decisions regarding all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, firing, promotions, compensation, leaves and reasonable accommodations.
  • Our labor lawyers have developed employee handbooks and policies, employment contracts, and non-competition and separation agreements.
  • Served as co-counsel in Heffner v. Septa in securing a jury defense verdict in an age discrimination trial.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a sexual harassment complaint at the pleading stage on behalf of a national trucking company.
  • Obtained an arbitration award on behalf of a hospice in a contract dispute with a staffing agency as well as reimbursement of all of the client’s legal fees.
  • Obtained a labor arbitration award in favor of a local Transit Corporation which denied a union grievance alleging a suspension without just cause.
  • Obtained a judgment in a bench trial on behalf of a laboratory testing company in an employee commission dispute.
  • Received defense jury verdict in three-week whistleblower case filed against Fortune 500 laboratory testing company.
  • Received defense jury verdict in race discrimination case against Fortune 500 utility company.
  • Defended the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Commissioner of Police on multiple labor relations disputes and grievances.
  • Represented the City of Philadelphia in Act 111 labor negotiations and arbitration proceedings.
  • Received favorable and novel reported decision from New Jersey Federal District Court interpreting provisions of a Federal law offering long term care insurance to employees and retirees, which rejected a retiree’s claim that the Federal law violated disability discrimination laws.
  • Received favorable and novel reported decision from New Jersey Federal District Court upholding protections of attorney-client privilege in employer in-house investigation of discrimination complaints.
  • Received favorable decision from New Jersey Federal District Court dismissing age and disability discrimination claims of former employees involving comments not previously addressed by the Federal Courts in the applicable Circuit.
  • Represented citizens group in election redistricting case in Pennsylvania, by stepping in as appellate counsel obtaining reversal of unfavorable lower court judgment, on appeal to Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. As part of this case, assisted local school district with unprecedented re-districting trials, a special general election and the redrawing of thirty-plus year old election boundaries.
  • Represented a multi-state chemical company in binding commercial arbitration arising out of the sale of chemical plants • and the alleged breach for the failure to provide several promised chemical supply contracts. Assisted client in receiving arbitration award in excess of $10,000,000 following weeks of hearings.
  • Defending employers in “donning and doffing” wage and hour class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the trial courts and all appellate levels.
  • Securing defense summary judgments in favor poultry processors in multiple lawsuits alleging fraud, breach of contract and violation of RICO and protecting those victories through all appellate levels
  • Serving as counsel for companies in litigation relating to commercial contracts and business disputes.
  • Defending banking and trust companies against claims of breach of fiduciary duty;
  • Representing both individuals and corporations in employment agreement and restrictive covenant disputes.
  • Advising employers on day-to-day compliance with labor and employment laws and regulations.
  • Representing employers in union negotiations and related proceedings under collective bargaining agreements.

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