We focus on problem-solving; the phrase “it depends” is not in our vocabulary.
When our clients call us, we typically respond within the hour. We don’t write lengthy memos or opinion letters; we will provide you with answers. Our goal is to help you create a workplace environment that furthers your objectives and minimize HR disputes. At any given minute, during every workday, on weeknights and on weekends, we are actively engaged in assisting HR professionals and in-house legal counsel with the entire spectrum of personnel law concerns. HR professionals are on the front lines, and we love being in the trenches with them and having on-the-ground contact. Even if it’s a simple termination, it’s prudent to call us first.
In providing proactive advice and counsel, our hundreds of years of collective experience and singular devotion to employment and labor relations law is most pronounced. We quickly and economically identify key legal issues and create practical, effective solutions. Moreover, we immerse ourselves in your business – in your way of doing things. Hiring-related concerns, review and drafting of employee handbooks and contracts, regulatory issues involving compensation and protected leaves, disability accommodation questions, reorganizations and reductions-in-force, and discipline and termination decisions are among the range of problems that we help our clients work through, always with an eye toward effectuating your mission and minimizing your legal risk.
Wage & Hour
We devise creative and strategic solutions to your state and federal law compliance issues.
Our wage and hour practice group is headed by specialists in state and federal wage and hour law. Wage and hour litigations are typically complex, high risk, and bet-the-farm cases. As we advise our clients, however, it’s essential to have proactive and preventive compliance approach in place before issues arise. We will counsel you on various strategic approaches to achieve your goals and minimize your legal risks. In addition to providing day-to-day advice and counsel, we specialize in performing compliance audits, including exemption classification audits, on both a large and small scale. We create and review compensation plans and policies to further your goals while ensuring compliance with the law. We help you become an expert, too, by providing training to managers and human resource professionals on topics ranging from wage and hour basics to overtime exemptions to conducting classification audits.
To ensure your business or organization is in compliance with the myriad and complex set of rules that make up wage and hour law, we provide practical and effective assistance and demonstrate why we have earned our reputation as leaders in this field.
Traditional Labor Services
We know how to help you with labor relations and union issues.
As one of our large, unionized clients recently commented, “When we really need to win a big arbitration, Hirschfeld Kraemer is the firm we call.” We are confident that the services we provide will help you implement and achieve a labor relations environment that will maximize employee morale and productivity.
With partners whose prior job experiences range from serving as a union president of a large East Coast teachers’ union to serving as a supervising attorney at the National Labor Relations Board, we are uniquely qualified to work with you, side-by-side, to obtain the labor relations objectives that you need in order to operate as efficiently and profitably as possible in an increasingly competitive environment.
Whether you are faced with a union organizing petition filed with the NLRB, the subject of an unfair labor practice charge, or facing challenging union negotiations, we will provide you with advice and counsel from experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who have practiced in this highly specialized area of the law for over three decades.
We help navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with your school’s mission.
As outside counsel to over 100 private and public colleges and universities nationwide, we are constantly on the front lines of universally important legal, social and political considerations, and we enjoy the energy and optimism of the college campus environment.
We provide legal assistance on matters including faculty and staff discipline and terminations, faculty tenure issues, implementing personnel and student policies including codes of conduct, employee and student disability issues, at-risk students, union organizing and collective bargaining, campus workforce reductions and reorganizations, executive employment agreements, and discrimination, campus violence and harassment matters. We are known nationally for our experience in immigration support for educational institutions and provide immigration support for international students and scholars.
Moreover, we deal with accreditation matters and work with government agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Title IX Compliance
Our trauma-informed team knows how to offer nuanced and specialized advice.
As attorneys who conduct campus sexual assault investigations and revise and update campus policies, we are uniquely positioned to offer nuanced and specialized advice on responding to and investigating allegations of sexual violence. Our trauma-informed Title IX team regularly advises on required policy elements, Title IX and Clery requirements, responding to campus sexual violence, best practices in fact-finding and decision-making, and ensuring access to resources and accommodations.
Workplace Violence Assessment and Response
We know resolving threats is your paramount concern.
We are on the front lines in assisting employers with threat assessment and intervention concerning “troubled” employees, and we provide invaluable experience in coordinating relevant legal issues, including fitness-for-duty and disability accommodation advice, with the paramount practical concerns of resolving threats while ensuring the welfare of the affected workplace.
We help you gather and analyze the data you need for compliance and recruiting.
Whether your organization wants a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent or is focused on risk avoidance, our pay equity practice can provide the necessary assistance and expertise. Both at the federal and state levels, lawmakers and regulatory agencies have made pay equity an important area for compliance audits. Our experienced team will work with your in-house resources to efficiently gather and analyze your data while providing work product and attorney-client privilege protections at critical phases of the analysis and during the strategic planning for any needed adjustments and modifications. Our attorneys will employ their extensive knowledge of preventative, remedial, and litigation defense (solutions/best practices) for your organization.
Proprietary Information/Restrictive Covenants
With employees on the move, we protect your proprietary information and trade secrets.
With escalating competition for skilled employees with technical knowledge and sales experience and an increasingly mobile workforce able to change employment quickly, our job is to maximize the protection of your trade secrets and proprietary information in the context of inevitable employee transition.
We have significant experience representing employers in disputes over unfair competition, covenants not to compete, duty of loyalty, trade secrets and related issues surrounding losing – or hiring – key employees. Even more importantly, however, we focus on minimizing these risks before an employee departs. We provide counsel preparing agreements to protect your confidential information and employee inventions and restrict as broadly as possible post-employment competition and solicitation. But our efforts need not stop there. We can review your policies and procedures, training programs, compensation and related agreements with an eye toward making your organization the employer of choice for talented workers and avoiding the loss of key employees in the first place.
Moreover, when you’re hiring a key employee, you may become the target of the former employer. In this context, we provide advice on minimizing the risk of any breach of an enforceable agreement with a previous employer or a violation of any trade secret law and avoid becoming the target of litigation. At the same time, using our deep knowledge and experience with unfair competition and trade secret law, we will aggressively resist any improper efforts to limit the employment scope and effectiveness of your prospective hire.
Neutral Investigations Services
We are discreet and even-handed; we do not shy away from making tough, necessary decisions.
We are leaders in helping companies nationwide prevent, investigate and resolve employee and institutional misconduct. When we are retained to serve as a neutral investigator looking into allegations of serious misconduct, we know these are high-profile and sensitive matters. The types of claims mirror the breadth of clients served – internal discrimination and harassment complaints, corporate fraud, workplace threats and ethics violations. We have the know-how and resources to deal with the most difficult and confidential investigations.
We pride ourselves on being discreet and even-handed. We make difficult and necessary decisions. For this reason, for the past six years, we have been under contract with the City of Los Angeles to serve on its panel of investigators concerning discrimination and harassment claims made against elected officials. No other law firm has our unique combination of skills and experience serving as neutral in the high-stakes environment investigations present.
Our experienced, senior attorneys have served as neutral investigators on hundreds of matters, assisting a broad range of employers in dealing with the most difficult and significant of their internal personnel complaints. You can rest assured with our vast experience: we have conducted investigations of claims made against senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, chief administrators of public utilities and large municipalities, and university presidents, and concerns involving front-level supervisors and non-supervisory personnel.
Workplace and Data Privacy
We ensure that you comply with a myriad of complex regulations.
We work with employers to help ensure that their HR systems, policies and practices fully comply with the myriad federal, state, and local laws regulating the oversight, collection, maintenance, access and usage of confidential information concerning their workplace. These services include compliance with all of the complex regulations issued by the European Union and its member states.
We are on top of your employment-based immigration matters.
In the current political climate, our immigration expertise is particularly valuable. We are passionate about our clients’ global business initiatives and internationalization. We will help you make strategic decisions, guide you through the documentation process, and comply with all state and federal regulations. We have extensive experience with employment-based immigration matters, and we advise our clients on immigration compliance, best practices, audits, and self-audit, applications for immigration benefits, and international student and scholar services for institutions, nonprofits and NGOs, and businesses.
We work with general counsel, executives and investors, HR directors, international education advisors, recruiters, and others responsible for immigration compliance for institutions, organizations, and businesses. We handle wide-ranging immigration issues such as H-1B and permanent residency applications for faculty and researchers, L-1 petitions for executive managers and specialized-knowledge employees at multinational corporations, establishing new U.S. business entities for international companies, advising general counsel and HR directors on immigration questions for employees, executives, students, and scholars, I-9 self-audits for HR departments, review of immigration sponsorship policies, and applications for F-1 certification and J-1 designation for schools to sponsor international students and exchange visitors.
Inspired by recent events at Fox and Uber, the Society of Human Resource Management recently published a series of videos and articles featuring subject matter experts on “When HR Gets It Wrong.” HK Partner Glen Kraemer was interviewed on issues related to challenging investigations and working with individual leaders to create a harassment-free culture.Read More ›
The employer seeking our assistance had what is now an all too familiar story: after over 25 years of seemingly satisfactory employment, a current employee, not under discipline, walked into his workplace and systematically killed three co-workers, injured five more, then took his own life. And as always happens in the wake of such a horrific event, the questions plagued organizational leaders: what was his motivation, what warning signs were missed, was there anything that could have been done to prevent this devastation?Read More ›
Before retaining our firm, this company was inundated with grievances and lawsuits, most of which lacked any merit. However, the company had in most cases concluded that it was easier and cheaper to settle them quickly, regardless of merit. And when the cases did go to trial or arbitration, they’d often lose because they weren’t willing to commit the necessary resources to defend these cases because of their perception that the costs outweighed the potential liability.Read More ›
Hirschfeld Kraemer has expertise in higher education that few firms can rival. We are always mindful of the human dynamics in academic settings. In representing higher education clients, our attorneys take on a variety of roles – including legal counselor, consultant, and confidant – and come up with creative solutions. Our goal is to be responsive, whether the matter is a long-term engagement requiring advanced planning or a sudden development that needs immediate attention.Read More ›