Quick & Efficient Resolution of Workplace Issues
Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai’s Labor & Employment Group is dedicated to guiding employers through California’s maze of labor and employment laws. Our mission is to provide strategic advice and training to employers so that workplace issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. To accomplish this, we tailor our approach to the unique needs of each client.
Our success in assisting employers is widely recognized throughout California. Our attorneys have represented clients in dozens of published decisions involving cutting-edge legal issues. Our attorneys also regularly publish articles on labor and employment law topics and are frequent speakers at conferences around the state.
The most valuable legal advice is that which prevents problems before they arise. The firm’s practice model relies heavily on avoiding litigation through anticipatory advice and training, saving our clients the cost and disruption of lawsuits by employees.
Employers need a quick response from attorneys who know how to solve problems, not just how to recite the law. Our employment attorneys have extensive experience in virtually all aspects of public workplace law and the practical ability to apply the law and solve problems in a timely manner. Most of our attorneys have worked in the public sector and fully understand the practical and political realities that our clients face.
We are skilled at navigating the complicated web of employment laws, collectively bargained contracts, civil service rules, charter provisions, local codes and ordinances, and personnel rules that intersect in public employment.
The types of matters on which we regularly advise employers include:
- Responding to claims of harassment, discrimination or retaliation
- Responding to requests for reasonable accommodation under the ADA
- Managing absent employees without violating the FMLA, CFRA, ADA, FEHA or the myriad of other leave laws
- Discipline and discharge of employees, including assessing risk, advising on due process procedures, and reviewing or preparing documentation
- Internal police investigations and discipline, including compliance with the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act
- Implementing and enforcing drug and alcohol policies
- Developing lawful hiring and background screening processes
- Designing workplace violence prevention programs and managing incidents of violence or threatened violence, including obtaining restraining orders or injunctions
- Drafting employment policies and employment manuals
- Compliance with FLSA overtime standards, including exempt classification issues
- Advising on layoffs and furloughs
Experience with Intersecting laws – California & Federal
California and federal laws often intersect. So, how the employer handles one legal issue can often impact a related case in another forum. The most significant contemporary example is the intersection of ADA law and workers compensation law. Underlying many workers compensation cases is a claim of disability that needs to be addressed through a reasonable accommodation process. Failure to miss that issue can result in significant liability. Conversely, workers’ compensation proceedings are often a tool for addressing issues of disability. Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai has partnered with the preeminent California workers’ compensation law firm, Laughlin Falbo Levy & Moresi, to assure clients of both firms that they are seeing and getting advice on the “whole picture.”
When an employment dispute proceeds to litigation, Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai provides an aggressive, vigorous response. When litigation is filed, we immediately assess both the facts and the law and then identify the strengths and weaknesses of the case. We then work closely with the client in order to develop the litigation strategy that best suits the client’s needs. Once a litigation strategy is set, we implement the strategy in the most cost effective manner possible.
We have litigated extensively before state and federal courts, arbitrators, and administrative tribunals in virtually all aspects of public workplace law. Our attorneys have an impressive record of success at knocking out lawsuits on summary judgment. Where it is necessary to go the distance, we have skilled trial lawyers who are at home in the courtroom and in front of juries. Collectively, we have defended race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, and disability discrimination claims, harassment and retaliation claims, failures to accommodate, wrongful discharge suits, speech and whistleblower cases, defamation lawsuits, negligent hiring and retention claims, FLSA overtime suits, civil service terminations, and tenure denials.
Wage & Hour Actions
California’s wage & hour laws are notoriously difficult to navigate. Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai has assisted numerous public and private sector employers on difficult issues such as whether to classify employees as exempt or non-exempt, whether individuals are properly classified as independent contractors, and how to structure meal and rest breaks. When employers are sued for wage and hour violations, we are often called on to assess the situation and provide a proactive defense. We have extensive experience representing employers in both single/multi-plaintiff actions and class actions under both California and federal law.