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Labor / Employment

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The Responsiveness Employers Need

We know that most employers have a strong commitment to an honest, fair workplace. Yet their companies can still unwittingly run afoul of complex labor and employment laws, or face an unsupported allegation of misconduct. McNair labor and employment lawyers know how to identify the problems that can become employment lawsuits, and work to prevent problems or resolve controversies. If you are faced with an employment lawsuit, we’ll work to resolve it.

Our clients typify the full range of business diversity throughout the Carolinas, such as manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, retailing, construction and health care. We have counseled companies of Fortune 500 size but more typically represent mid-range businesses with 50 to 1,500 employees. Our lawyers work directly with CEOs, CFOs, department heads and human resource personnel. They call us with confidence, knowing we understand their businesses and will answer their questions.

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Labor and employment problems often involve high stakes and intense time pressure. That’s why our lawyers are committed to giving you responsive service. When you call, we’ll respond – promptly and without fail, with straightforward advice from an experienced lawyer.

Issues like sexual harassment and workplace violence demand immediate attention, and we provide it. If you’re in the middle of a dispute over an organizing drive or an unfair labor practice complaint, we know that you need responses at once. Our lawyers will speak with you whenever necessary, day or night. Accountability and accessibility are our watchwords, as you get direct access to the person who can solve your problem or answer your question.

Example of our Services
One of our lawyers has been employment law counsel to a South Carolina manufacturer for 20 years. Recently he received a matter-of-fact call from the company’s president, who had just been freed after being held at gunpoint by a former employee. Having handled the former employee’s termination, our lawyer understood the situation and immediately drove two hours to the manufacturer’s plant while in constant mobile phone conversation with the local sheriff and the court judge.

By the time he got to the plant, our lawyer had ensured that the former employee was committed for 30 days to undergo mental testing. McNair’s client hadn’t asked us to come or to remove the immediate threat of danger – but we knew it was the right thing to do.

Our labor relations counsel can be crucial to helping you maintain a competitive workplace that treats employees fairly, minimizes conflicts and maximizes your management flexibility. If you face a union organizing drive, count on our help to maintain a positive working environment and communicate fully with all employees. We’ll make sure you comply with National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election law, and counter aggressive unionizing efforts without creating a “union-busting” controversy.

Example of our Services
During the past 15 years, we have helped one client maintain a union-free environment through two different organizing drives. Our counsel during the union organizing drives led us to representing the client in a discrimination case. Our knowledge of the company, its people, its values and its mission was important in jury trial of allegations that one of our client’s HR managers had not properly responded to an employee problem. We put the manager on the stand, asked him to explain his actions in light of the company's values, mission, people and policies then asked the jury in summation: “Can you believe this person and this company did what they were accused of?” The jury’s answer: "No."

The best approach to employment law problems is to keep them from occurring. And we think the best way to do that is daily application of a tongue-twister, but down-to-earth business rule: “prior proper planning prevents poor performance.” Our lawyers will help you develop and implement a sound strategy for relationships with your employees in a way that identifies potential problems before they become concerns for your company.

We visit your workplace, learn what you do and how you do it, and ask you the right questions about how better to fulfill your responsibilities to your employees. Our goal is to help you eliminate the problems, avoid the risk of a lawsuit, and comply with the law. You get a review and revision of your existing policies and procedures, or creation of a new employee handbook for your company from scratch. Then we’ll help your managers effectively implement the policies, making sure they become part of everyday business practices as we maintain a long-term counseling relationship with you.

Example of our Services
For 15 years, a McNair lawyer has counseled a very large medical practice on everything from general employment issues to specialized staff concerns. She has developed such a close working relationship with physicians and staff members, become so knowledgeable about the business of the medical practice, and saved the practice so much money, that she has become an advisor about other legal aspects of their business while continuing to advise on complex medical staff and credentialing issues.

Disputes over partnership agreements or non-compete agreements often pit a company’s managers or executives against each other. Our lawyers are skilled at handling the time-sensitive injunctions and restraining orders that often are important parts of these disputes, and we have defended the interests of employers on all sides of such controversies. You can get our help to secure your legitimate ownership rights, whether to sensitive information or to the entire company and its operations. There are also plenty of other workplace controversies that our lawyers help resolve. Your company might face tort allegations involving everything from workplace defamation to infliction of emotional distress. In these and many other controversies, we’ll defend you in administrative forums and in state or federal court.

Example of our Services
Our client’s business partner, who had responsibility for day-to-day operations of the business, tried to buy out our client's 51% ownership interest for substantially less than its actual value. The client refused to acquiesce and sought McNair’s help when the business partner set up a competing business the day after our client declined the offer.

We brought suit on our client's behalf, alleging, among other claims, breach of duty and loyalty against the other partner. The judgment that we won in favor of our client was the first ever secured on these grounds in South Carolina.

Your potential labor and employment controversies are as wide-ranging as the many federal and state laws and regulations that you operate under, and we can defend and resolve them. We have represented many employers in complaint investigations and administrative proceedings by state agencies, and by such federal agencies as the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Employers increasingly face lawsuits claiming back pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime pay exemptions, and we work to make sure your employees are properly classified while mounting a vigorous defense against any claims. Any protected class of your employees – by age, race, gender, disability, religion – could bring suit under the discrimination statues, and we have successfully litigated and resolved all types of discrimination matters.

No matter what the dispute or controversy, we prepare your defense by going to the workplace, reviewing all the documents, interviewing all the relevant people, and asking the right questions to understand the claim. Every strategy we recommend and each action we take is with your business objectives in mind. We don’t litigate for the sake of litigation, but we’re not afraid to litigate a dispute on your behalf when it’s warranted – and we make sure all your relevant personnel are fully prepared in depositions or at trial.