Labor & Employment Law

Riker Danzig's Labor and Employment Law Group has consistently been highly ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2004 in its publication, noting that "impressive clients display intense loyalty to this firm." Chambers sources said "Responsiveness is excellent.  We need quick answers and that is what they provide." The 2016 Guide notes that the group houses highly experienced trial advocates, who often appear before government agencies and state and federal courts. The group is commended for being “very accessible and knowledgeable, especially in the regional markets.” Our clients describe the group as being “An excellent team with a very good reputation in this area. Also they are incredibly responsive and show a great deal of initiative.” Our Labor and Employment Law Group has also been ranked in Tier 1 for New Jersey firms in the U.S. News and World Report-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings each year since 2012.  We represent businesses in matters involving employee relations; administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies; unlawful discrimination; wrongful termination; employment contracts; unfair competition, including restrictive covenants, duty of loyalty, trade secrets and customer relationships; and recovery under employee fidelity bonds. In all areas, our experience is almost exclusively on the side of management.  See Awards and Honors Methodology.  

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Employee Relations

We regularly counsel our corporate and business clients with respect to all aspects of employment law and represent them on all types of employment matters. Our New Jersey employment lawyers regularly represent employers in connection with non-compete/restrictive covenant agreement disputes. We review and draft policies and procedures for clients, as well as prepare entire personnel policy manuals and employee handbooks. We are frequently called upon to advise clients on how to proceed with the handling of day-to-day situations that arise during the course of employment. We also assist in the conduct of internal investigations of employee misconduct. We encourage our clients to recognize and bring potentially troublesome situations to our attention before they get out of control.

Our employment law counseling covers the full range of employment issues facing employers such as wage and hour compliance; occupational safety and health; AIDS; employee benefits; pension and other deferred compensation matters; affirmative action programs and plans; workplace substance abuse; and terminations of employees. Our employment lawyers have experience in reviewing and designing workplace programs and policies covering all of these areas and, if necessary, handling negotiations and any related litigation with adversarial parties and government agencies.

Employment Discrimination

We are experienced in handling employment discrimination matters under all federal and state laws. We regularly appear in federal and state courts as well as the EEOC and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights to defend various types of discrimination claims. We have represented companies in high profile, sensitive disputes, as well as in the more common, garden variety type of discrimination claims. We recognize that while some of these claims must be litigated to the end, there are others which should be settled promptly. We have assisted clients in conducting internal investigations into allegations of harassment and discrimination so as to minimize the risk of future litigation and exposure.

We have extensive experience in defending discrimination suits, wrongful termination suits and contract and tort claims related to employment disputes in both federal and state courts. Most of these cases are brought by individual plaintiffs, but sometimes these actions are brought on a group or class basis.

Wrongful Termination

With respect to wrongful termination claims, our lawyers advise on general policies and procedures, consult on developing situations, engage in negotiations and litigate in federal and state courts, primarily on the side of management. We have also represented employers in whistleblower-type litigation in a variety of different contexts under both state and federal law.

Employment Contracts

We draft and interpret employment contracts. When disputes arise, we engage in negotiations and litigation. Our work in these areas is often interrelated with issues of wrongful termination of employment.

Unfair Competition

Unfair competition is an area in which we have had extensive experience over a 25-year period. Our employment lawyers in New Jersey continually advise clients with respect to protection of trade secrets, confidential information and customer relationships. We have drafted many restrictive covenants for employee contracts, and when the need for swift action arises, we are well equipped to generate effective court papers in minimal time to support or oppose an emergency application for injunctive relief, and if necessary, file emergent appeals. We litigate non-compete agreements regularly and are the “go to” firm for many leading corporations that utilize non-compete agreements. We are equally experienced at following these matters through to a satisfactory conclusion, which more often than not involves further negotiations after the immediate situation is brought under control. In the course of this work, our attorneys have become familiar with many specialized, technical non-legal subject matters.

Employee Fidelity Bonds

Over the years, we have often prosecuted major claims against bonding companies for recovery of losses resulting from employee dishonesty. Currently, this is an extremely active area of our practice. This is a highly specialized area in which we consider ourselves expert.

Administrative Proceedings

In addition to handling matters before the NLRB, PERC, EEOC and New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (referred to elsewhere in this summary), we have broad experience in the handling of all other employment-related administrative actions. On the federal level, our expertise includes handling matters before the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, the OFCCP, the OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. On the state level, our expertise includes handling of workers compensation claims (on a selective basis), unemployment compensation claims, wage and hour claims and miscellaneous enforcement matters. We are experienced in handling administrative trials before administrative law judges and appeals to the federal and state appellate courts.