Labor & Employment

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Every day, employers are confronted with new, varied and frequently thorny workplace challenges. Going well beyond traditional labor disputes and allegations of discrimination, businesses today are faced with an ever-changing regulatory and legislative environment in areas such as medical marijuana and drug testing policies, wage and hour compliance, collective bargaining, and an expansion of anti-discrimination laws, to name just a few.

Counseling on a wide variety of matters, attorneys in Saul Ewing’s Labor & Employment Group advise companies, organizations and individuals, both domestically and internationally, ranging from publicly-traded companies with tens of thousands of employees to middle-market companies, closely-held family businesses, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs.

Employment Litigation

We handle a broad array of matters before administrative agencies and state and federal courts throughout the country and assist U.S. employers and government contractors with their operations outside the U.S. in areas such as:

  • Employment and disability discrimination (e.g., under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA))
  • Harassment and retaliation
  • Wage and hour violations
  • Restrictive covenants, trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Plant closings and reductions in force
  • Class and collective actions
  • Wrongful discharge claims
  • Whistleblower claims
  • Breach of contract
  • Common law claims

Traditional Labor Relations

We represent management in all aspects of traditional labor law under the National Labor Relations Act, the Railway Labor Act, and related state and municipal laws in areas such as:

  • Union organizing
  • Collective bargaining
  • Grievance and arbitration
  • Strikes and lockouts
  • Unfair labor practice charges
  • Practice before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), public employee relations boards and courts
  • Joint labor management committees
  • Apprenticeship training programs
  • Jointly trusteed benefit plans and withdrawal liability

Employment Counseling

Our Labor & Employment Group attorneys regularly provide counseling and advice across a variety of areas, such as:

  • Regulatory compliance and internal and external investigations under federal, state and local statutes, laws and ordinances, including sexual harassment, whistleblower and retaliation issues
  • Workplace policies, practices and procedures, including medical marijuana and drug testing policies
  • Employee handbooks and policy manuals
  • In–house training
  • Affirmative Action Plans and audits
  • Wage and hour audits
  • Security, risk management and privacy
  • Downsizing, mass layoffs and reductions in force
  • Non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disclosure and other restrictive covenant agreements to protect against unfair competition
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation, including Affordable Care Act compliance consulting

Our team’s knowledge, depth of experience, and creativity enables us to assist clients in responding to new and novel labor and employment issues. We have been nationally and regionally ranked by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment. Our labor and employment lawyers also have been recognized for years by The Best Lawyers in AmericaChambers USABenchmark LitigationWho’s Who LegalSuper Lawyers and numerous other publications. Our team includes Fellows of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and leaders of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law and the Hispanic Bar Association.


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Saul Ewing attorneys have represented clients in these select labor and employment matters:


  • A national retail supermarket company in obtaining summary judgment in a multi-employer hybrid LMRA Section 301/breach of the duty of fair representation case, affirmed on appeal to the D.C. Circuit.
  • An international hotel chain in connection with alleged unfair labor practice charges under §§8(a)(1) and (a)(3), including the trial of such charges before the NLRB.
  • A state-wide system of public universities with respect to labor relations matters, including labor negotiations, arbitrations, and grievance proceedings.
  • Multiple Fortune 500 companies in their collective bargaining negotiations covering “on air” talent appearing in TV, radio, and Internet commercials.
  • A national newspaper company in collective bargaining negotiations.
  • A newspaper for whom we successfully settled claims alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Restrictive Covenants

  • A former employee of a supply chain company in a case seeking to enjoin him from starting work at a new employer that the plaintiff claimed was a competitor. The court entered a temporary restraining order but then vacated after two days of a preliminary injunction hearing, finding the non-compete provision at issue to be unenforceable and the new employer not to be a current competitor of the plaintiff.
  • An insurance company in securing a consent injunction followed by a preliminary injunction enjoining one of its senior insurance industry executives from working for a competitor while on “garden leave.”
  • A federal government contractor in a multi-million dollar judgment in an employee raiding, non-compete and business conspiracy case.
  • Former employees in achieving affirmation of summary judgment on appeal in federal district court in connection with a restrictive covenant action brought by a former international employer, establishing that restrictive covenant was overly broad and could not be blue penciled by adding language.
  • An employer in obtaining a temporary and consent injunction in chancery court against a senior executive, who had resigned to work for a competitor in violation of covenants contained in equity agreements.
  • An employer in enforcing geographic restrictions against a physician, who left to compete within the restricted area.
  • A national manufacturer of electronic components in a restrictive covenant and trade secret disclosure injunction lawsuit.
  • A physical therapy provider in an employee raiding case brought by a bankruptcy trustee.

Employment Litigation

  • A publicly traded insurance broker for whom we obtained summary judgment in an arbitration case brought by a former employee who alleged fraudulent inducement and breach of contract as a result of representations made during the hiring process.
  • A publicly traded financial services technology company for whom we obtained a defense verdict after a seven-day jury trial in federal court involving claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act allegations. A fundraising services provider for whom we negotiated a favorable settlement in a case involving a former employee’s complaint alleging unlawful termination due to disability discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting workplace matters to management.
  • A restaurant franchisee for whom we obtained summary judgment in a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 involving our client’s arbitration agreement.
  • A federal government contractor in a motion to dismiss a religious discrimination case granted by a federal district court.
  • A Pennsylvania university for whom we prevailed in a case in which a terminated employee sued the university for age and gender discrimination.
  • A private research university for whom we obtained dismissal of multiple discrimination and retaliation claims brought in federal court.
  • A federal government contractor in achieving summary judgment in a Title VII case affirmed by the federal appellate court.
  • A university in obtaining a jury verdict in an employment race discrimination lawsuit.
  • A North American restaurant chain for whom we obtained summary judgment in a case in which a former employee sued the franchisor, the franchisee and other entities for workplace injuries.
  • Securities industry clients in FINRA broker/dealer raiding, defection and wage claim arbitrations.
  • A private school in litigation brought by the Justice Department over failures to accommodate students under Title III of the ADA.
  • A hospitality client in federal district court and the court of appeals in connection with a retaliation case raising issues of first impression where the EEOC had intervened.
  • International law firms in obtaining summary judgment in connection with former managers raising discrimination, fraud and other common law claims.
  • A railcar leasing company in successfully obtaining summary judgment in a “first of a kind” retaliation claim brought under the recently passed Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act.
  • A lab company in a class action challenging hybrid compensation system for phlebotomists.
  • An apprenticeship training program in successfully defending it in multiple claims by a former apprentice before the NLRB and OSHA.
  • A university in obtaining dismissal by a state human rights agency after a hearing of disability discrimination claims brought by a parent against the university alleging denial of access to a service animal.
  • A restaurant in successfully obtaining dismissal of all claims by a former employee alleged negligence and violation of anti-discrimination laws following her termination resulting from a physical fight that occurred at the workplace.
  • An employer in successfully compelling arbitration in a case of first impression in which a former employee argued a recent statutory amendment prevented enforcement of an arbitration agreement.
  • An employer in obtaining a defense verdict in a Tennessee state court bench trial in an employee raiding/trade secrets case.
  • A gaming industry company in securing a highly favorable settlement in a high-profile trade secrets/intellectual property case in Oklahoma federal court.
  • A restaurant chain for whom we provided Title III Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) advice and guidance related to policies for deaf or hard-of-hearing customers, along with assisting in design standards for accessible buildings.
  • A government contractor in obtaining dismissal of federal court defamation and tortious interference claims related to security clearance disclosures.
  • A government contractor based in Maryland in obtaining judgment against a former employee for tortious interference, breach of contract and breach of the duty of loyalty after a federal court bench trial.
  • A global asset management firm in an FLSA collective action in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
  • A home electronics retailer in an FLSA collective action in the Southern District of Florida.
  • A health aide company in an FLSA collective action in a Pennsylvania state court with a class of 1,000 members.
  • A diversified financial holding company in an FLSA collective action that included 30,000 members in the class.
  • A regional package delivery company in an FLSA collective action in the Northern District of Illinois that involved hundreds of independent contractor drivers.

Wage & Hour

  • A construction industry employer in defense of multi-party wage and hour litigation in federal court under FLSA and state wage laws involving multiple pay rates, project labor agreements and joint employer issues.
  • A call center operator in defense of a putative hybrid FLSA collective action/state law class action in federal district court and successfully opposing the plaintiffs’ motion for conditional class certification.
  • A major national securities brokerage obtaining dismissal in a multi-party hybrid FLSA collective action/state law class action involving a large class of financial advisers in federal district court.
  • A nonprofit in an FLSA collective action.
  • Multiple government contractors, construction companies, restaurants and retailers in handling numerous wage and hour audits involving the DOL and state agencies, including alleged violations of the Davis-Bacon Act, misclassification of workers, and overtime violations.
  • A mobile radiological diagnostic company in a California state class action lawsuit alleging claims of unpaid overtime and prevailing wage, meal and rest break violations, and claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act.
  • Clients in the food, hospitality, retail, insurance, health care and exotic club industries in defending federal wage and hour collective and state law class actions.
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