EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

Gerlach Employment Law has extensive experience litigating in the following areas:

  • Race Discrimination and Harassment
  • Hostile work environment
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Covenants Not to Compete
  • Employment Torts
  • Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Retention
  • Florida Civil Rights Act
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Wage Hour
  • Constructive Discharge
  • Failure to Promote
  • Hiring
  • ERISA
  • Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
  • Whistle Blower Claims
  • Business Mergers/Restructuring
  • Job Eliminations/Reductions in Workforce

GEL litigates employment claims before all federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies. We have earned a reputation for being experienced, knowledgeable, tough, aggressive and fair in the representation of our clients with an outstanding record of success.

In Florida, most cases in federal and state courts are sent to mediation. We know the experienced mediators to use and we are experienced in devising innovative and creative means of resolving claims.

Practice before the FCHR and DOAH:  WE also handle many cases before the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) as well as appeals to the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).

FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) imposes significant restrictions on a covered employer’s treatment of eligible employees who request, take and return from leave. Because the FMLA is a complex statute, with many important medical leave issues still unanswered, the FMLA remains an area where sound, practical, preventive advice can pay dividends to employers.

For many years, Gregg Gerlach has presented FMLA Master Classes around Florida to attorneys and HR professionals.

In addition, we help businesses evaluate and process leave requests and defend  FMLA investigations brought by the DOL (Department of Labor) as well as FMLA lawsuits filed in state and federal courts.

Preparation of Confidentiality and Non-Compete Agreements and Litigation

Gerlach Employment Law protect the investment employers make when they devote time and expense in their employees.  We have developed methods to protect this investment and intellectual property.  We help clients protect customers lists, trade secrets, innovation and technology to preclude piracy of customers, employees and unfair competition.  We prepare the appropriate confidentiality and  non-competition agreements and litigate in state and federal court to enforce those agreements where both injunctions and damages are sought.

OVERTIME PAY (WAGE & HOUR)

Gerlach Employment Law advises employers on compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (the Wage Hour law or FLSA), Florida’s Child Labor Laws, the Florida Minimum Wage Law and the Portal-to-Portal Act.

We assist employers with implementing policies that cover :
• creating, revising, and auditing wage and overtime policies;
• the proper classification of exempt, nonexempt and independent contract workers;
• structuring commissions, bonuses, incentive payments and other compensation programs; and,
• reviewing overtime pay calculations.

We have successfully represented both employees and employers where groups of employees have made claims for unpaid overtime and loss of overtime exemption and therefor know the landscape from all perspectives.

In recent years, Florida has seen a tremendous increase in collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Our experience includes time clock violations, unpaid overtime, record keeping violations, compliance with various exemptions under the FLSA, preliminary and post-liminary work issues, and time clock procedures.

Jacksonville Employment LItigator

EMPLOYMENT COUNSELING

Gerlach Employment Law works with employers before the dispute arises. We try to propose solutions that achieve the Company’s objective, but in a manner that protects from the risks of litigation. In doing so, we counsel with human resources professionals, company owners, presidents, supervisors, personnel directors, and in-house counsel on a daily basis. We help ensure that your company has sufficient grounds to make employment decisions with good documentation that will withstand a jury’s scrutiny.

PERSONNEL POLICIES/PROCEDURES

Gerlach Employment Law has designed personnel policies and forms that promote fair and consistent treatment in the workplace. Our experience representing a wide range of employees across many industry groups allows us to tailor handbooks and policies to individual employee needs.

WORKPLACE HARASSMENT

Gerlach Employment Law has experience in prevention, personnel policies, training and litigation of harassment claims including sexual and racial harassment. We also provide managerial training and separate training for rank and file employees on the Company’s own policies and procedures, as well as on how to protect employees from harassment or retaliation in the workplace.

HUMAN RESOURCE AUDITS

Gerlach Employment Law advises employers by conducting internal HR audits covering a single or larger group Human Resource areas. Depending on your needs, we can custom tailor an audit that is right for you. A normal audit involves phone conversations and the collection of information for review followed by an on-site visit to your facility. We have experience auditing entire HR departments including:

  • Pay Practices and Compensation
  • Employee Benefit Programs
  • Complaint procedures
  • Arbitration Policies and Procedures
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Personnel Policy Manuals
  • The Hiring Process
  • Termination and Appeals
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Safety
  • Incentives and Fringe Benefits
  • Wage and Hour Requirements
  • Record Keeping
  • Vulnerability to Union Organizing
  • Employee Morale
  • Communication Systems

OSHA/SAFETY

Gerlach Employment Law represents employers on OSHA compliance issues, including, developing safety and health programs and policies, advising during OSHA compliance inspections, responding to OSHA citations, handling disputes including trials before the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

We also defend employers against claims of willful violations and of discriminatory treatment under OSHA. Unions attempting to organize often use safety issues as an organizing weapon. Our experience with safety issues allows us to anticipate and resolve these issues before they affect employee morale and attract employees to unionization.

We seek new ways to provide improved services, advice and counselling to our clients in the areas of safety and health, including partnering with experienced safety consultants.

Our preventive  safety programs has assisted employers in avoiding property reporting injuries.

 

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR EMPLOYMENT ISSUES

As a Florida labor and employment law firm based out of Jacksonville, Gerlach Employment Law advises clients in compliance with the specific set of laws and regulations that cover contractors and subcontractors who work under government contracts. This includes representing clients subject to the requirements of the Service Contracts Act, Davis-Bacon Act, and the Walsh-Healey [no “n”] Public Contracts Act. We represent government contractors involved in investigations or litigation with the Department of Labor. This also involves the development and maintenance of affirmative action plans and compliance before the OFFCP.” Also, space needed between 11 and Government in title.

TEXAS LITIGATION

Gregg Gerlach practiced labor and employment law and litigation in Houston, Texas for 8 years before relocating his practice to Florida in 1999. He continues to be an active member of the State Bar of Texas and to consult with Texas clients. Gregg also maintains close relationships with many Texas lawyers in many legal specialties. If you have a legal issue in Texas or under Texas law, Gregg may be able to assist you. Businesses looking to relocate or add locations in either Texas or Florida may contact Gregg.

Collective Bargaining, NLRB Trials and Union Organizing

Gerlach Employment Law works with employers providing practical and legal labor relations advice on issues that arise under the National Labor Relations Act and other workplace laws. We have guided companies to successfully deal with Union organizing drives and election campaigns, concerted activity situations, NLRB representation hearings, NLRB unfair labor practice charges and hearings, 10(j) injunctions, and suits brought under §301 of the National Labor Relations Act. We help our clients cultivate positive employee relations, to minimize their risk of union organizing. We teach your managers and supervisors to be an effective advocate for their employees so that unions become unnecessary.

Gerlach Employment Law negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of employees. Whether its a first time contract or a renewal of an agreement after a relationship with a union for many years, we can guide you through this process which provides maximum management flexibility.

 

SUPERVISORY / MANAGEMENT TRAINING

Gerlach Employment Law has provided specialized training programs for managers and supervisors on a wide assortment of labor and employment law topics. We have found that often, employment litigation is a result of the actions or statements of a frontline supervisor. Whether or not an employee will support an outside labor organization, also depends heavily on his relationship with his immediate supervisor. We take a strong, proactive stance in conducting training to avoid legal costs and litigation for our clients.

The best way to win an employment law suit is not to be involved in one. That is why we stress preventive action including management training and sound personnel policies. We have conducted training programs in the following areas:

  • “Managing Within the Law” a training program designed to educate managers and supervisors on Florida and Federal employment laws.
  • Union Avoidance: How to Stay Union-Free
  • What Supervisors Can and Cannot Say and Do Concerning Unions.
  • Family Medical Leave Act – How Does It Involve You as a Supervisor
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Recent Techniques and Trends in Union Organizing Activity in Florida
  • Conducting Investigations in the Workplace
  • How to Conduct Performance Appraisals
  • The Importance of Documentation and Progressive Discipline
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Policies and Agreements
  • The Bermuda Triangle: Dealing with Medical Problems under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the ADA and FMLA
  • Positive Personnel Practices to avoid Labor Unions
  • How to conduct an Audit of Human Resources
  • Wage Hour Exemptions and Compliance
  • Leadership
  • Motivating Employees
  • Positive Discipline
  • Effective Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Team Building
  • Goals & Goal Setting
  • Business Ethics
  • Work Place Violence
  • Mentoring
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Managing Performance
  • Basic Safety
  • Conducting Effective Meetings
  • Coaching For Exceptional Performance
  • Conflict Management
  • Training Employees
  • Managing Change
  • Decision Making
  • Handling Complaints
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Managing Stress
  • Government Regulations and The Supervisor I & II
  • Interviewing /Legal Compliance

Business Immigration

Gerlach Employment Law conducts internal I-9 reviews for employers.  We have a close working relationship with lawyers that practice exclusively in the area of business immigration, including all of the business immigration issues that arise in today’s global economy. Whether your concern is obtaining specialty occupation Visa’s for professionals or other work Visa’s, I-9 counseling, assisting an individual so that they can work for your company in the U.S. or abroad, we can make sure that you get the help you need to stay in compliance with immigration laws.

Jacksonville Lawyer for Employee Benefit Disputes

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Gerlach Employment Law litigates employee benefits and ERISA disputes. We have also developed close working relationships with attorneys that specialize in preparing and advising employee benefits and other ERISA matters such as 401(k) plans, pension and profit sharing plans, corporate transactions, retirement and deferred compensation plans, medical, dental, life insurance, severance and other welfare benefit plans. We can make sure that you get the help you need to navigate these complex and ever changing issues.