Labor, Employment, and Executive Compensation

With over 100 different laws governing the relationship between employer and employee, labor and employment law can be a tricky space to navigate. In such a complex regulatory arena, employers must do more than just manage people—they must manage risk.

Barton’s team of skilled lawyers has extensive experience guiding our clients through the maze of changing labor and employment requirements of federal, state, and local governments. Our primary focus is to work with our clients to develop, implement, and maintain policies and procedures that foster positive employee relations. We believe a successful partnership between an effective human resources program and an informed, well-trained operations team is the best way to avoid the costly litigation and organizing activity generated by poor employee morale.

When problems or complaints arise, Barton assists clients with developing solutions to their labor and employment issues that minimize costs and maximize results. If proactive, informal, or non-adversary solutions are not possible, we offer our clients thorough and committed representation in all of the following situations:

  • Before the various federal administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Before various state administrative agencies, including the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York State Department of Labor, and the Office of the Attorney General
  • In state and federal courts
  • Before arbitrators and mediators, or in connection with other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Labor Law Services for Non-Union Employers

  • Preventive labor relations, including managerial/supervisory training
  • Union avoidance
  • Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges
  • Representation elections and related communications
  • Picketing/boycotts
  • Recognition agreements; neutrality
  • Conducting in depth on-site risk evaluation audits to ascertain vulnerability to union organizing

Labor Law Services for Unionized Employers

  • Collective bargaining
  • Analyzing current labor agreements
  • Grievance resolution and arbitration
  • Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges
  • Strikes, work stoppages, slowdowns, pickets, handbilling
  • Responding to employee initiatives to obtain union-free status
  • Conducting internal investigations concerning allegations of sexual harassment and providing in-depth reports
  • Training managers, supervisors, and hourly employees on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace

Employment Law Services for All Employers

  • Advising, counseling, and training managers and supervisors on all matters of federal law and practice involving employment and workplace issues, including compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (e.g., wage and hour laws, child labor laws) and, where applicable, state human rights laws.
  • Conducting on-site, in-depth “risk review” meetings with managers and supervisors to assess compliance with applicable federal and state anti-discrimination laws, identify potential risks and exposures, and to recommend appropriate, lawful corrective action.
  • Representing and defending management against charges and complaints of unlawful employment discrimination in both administrative proceedings and related court litigation.
  • Drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, supervisory manuals, and personnel policies.
  • Advising management of changes, developments, and trends in the law regarding employee rights (e.g., drug testing, employee privacy, polygraphs, access to personnel files, use of medical information, etc.)
  • Conducting I-9 audits to determine potential financial exposure to fines

Executive Compensation

Barton represents high-level executives, managing directors, and other senior personnel in connection with the negotiation of their compensation and severance arrangements, including deferred or restricted equity, earn-outs, and bonus and stock option plans. We frequently advise and represent clients regarding non-compete and non-solicitation provisions, retention agreements, and post-sale consulting agreements. Clients also often seek our guidance concerning mergers or acquisitions that will affect their employment status and compensation structure.

Work in this Area

Labor, Employment, and Executive Compensation

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Representative Matters
  • Counsel to Companies Facing FLSA Claims
    • Represented various companies against claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Advised Foreign Food and Spirits Producers on U.S. Operations
    • Represented several overseas producers of food products and spirits in connection with their operations in the United States.
  • General Counsel to Mid-Market Companies in Various Industries
    • Served as outside general counsel to numerous mid-market companies, including those in the freight, delivery, logistics, restaurant, hospitality, and wine and spirits industries. Oversaw all aspects of their legal representation including corporate and transactional, financing, employment, real estate, and litigation matters, thus directly contributing to the successful operation and substantial growth of these businesses.
  • Advisor Regarding Creation of Employee Handbooks
    • Has represented several employers in the creation and reviewing of their respective employee handbooks, advising on content and suggesting revisions based on various applicable employment laws.
  • Conducted Risk Analysis of Union Organizing
    • Represented a company with locations throughout the United States and worked with them to target offices which were most likely to be susceptible to union organizing attempts, conduct in-depth risk analyses at these locations, and develop a strategy to successfully maintain union-free status.
  • Defended Clients in Employee Classification Cases
    • Has successfully represented several employers accused of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” or “exempt employees” to avoid overtime pay.
  • Advised Entertainment Company on Child Labor and Overtime Laws
    • Prepared an in-depth survey of all state child labor laws affecting a large entertainment company with locations throughout the United States. In addition, also prepared a survey of all relevant state overtime pay laws.
  • Counsel Regarding Compliance with Neutrality Agreements
    • Trained managers and supervisors of a nation-wide communications company—that had entered into a “neutrality” agreement with two unions—on how to comply with that agreement and still effectively manage the business.
  • Conducted Union-Avoidance Training Programs
    • Conducted union-avoidance training periodically for managers and supervisors of a large, nation-wide communications company.
  • Conducted Sexual Harassment Training Programs
    • Has conducted multiple comprehensive sexual harassment training programs for companies and their employees.
  • Advised on Pension Withdrawal Liability Assessment
    • Has represented multiple companies regarding pension withdrawal liability assessment when collective bargaining-based pension agreements expire, or the company goes bankrupt.