Labor & Employment
Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel’s Labor and Employment Group handles a broad range of labor and employment law issues. We work with clients in developing policies and procedures that comply with federal and state employment laws and make good business sense. As issues arise, we are available to provide prompt legal and practical advice. Much attention is given to “preventive maintenance” - counseling clients on employee relations issues before problems arise. We work to not only tell you what the law is, but to also provide recommendations on the best course of action, considering the legal risks and practical business considerations.
Employment Law & Workers' Compensation. We work with our clients on a broad range of labor and employment issues, including workers’ compensation; preventing and defending discrimination claims under federal and state statutes (such as Title VII, ADA, FMLA and USERRA); preparing affirmative action plans and handling audits conducted by the OFCCP; developing personnel policies; conducting management training (including union avoidance); wage and hour compliance; developing and administering substance abuse testing programs; structuring layoffs; preparing noncompetition and severance agreements; negotiating collective bargaining agreements; and representing clients in labor arbitrations and in matters before the National Labor Relations Board.
The members of our labor and employment group regularly handle jury and nonjury trials in state and federal court. We have also handled numerous administrative complaints and investigations before federal and state agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and United States Department of Labor. Over the years, we have developed good working relationships with officials at each of those agencies.
Safety and Health. We work with our clients to ensure compliance with state and federal safety regulations, including those under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). We regularly advise on issues relating to inspections and citations, safety and health standards, training and documentation, and employee safety.
Representative Matters and Client Services
- Assisted major automotive manufacturer in implementing safety standards in compliance with federal and state occupational safety and health laws
- Successfully represented manufacturing client in defense of multiple citations under Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Successful representation of major manufacturing firms in OFCCP compliance reviews (including corporate management reviews or "glass ceiling" audits)
- Successful defense of manufacturing client in suit for alleged violations of ERISA and FMLA (Case No. 1:01-CV-291, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee)
- Successful defense of manufacturing client in $2,000,000 wrongful termination suit (Case No. 3:03-CV-00041, United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia)
- Successful defense of Hamilton County Department of Education in multiple suits by school system administrators alleging statutory violations and breach of contract in connection with merger of City and County Schools (reported at 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 64 and 2004 Tenn. App. LEXIS 171)
- Successful defense of manufacturing client in suit by independent distributor alleging misrepresentation and violation of state statute prohibiting false advertising for labor (Case No. 04-CV-51, Circuit Court of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin)
- Successful defense of manufacturing client in suit for race discrimination under Title VII (reported at 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 21505)
- Annual Employment Law Seminar attended by over 100 clients (seminar is complimentary to clients and guests)
- Seminars for manufacturing clients on Union Avoidance
- Seminars for individual clients on illegal discrimination and harassment issues
- Special briefings for clients on more complex FLSA, FMLA and ADA issues
ERISA and Employee Benefits. Our attorneys also advise and litigate for our clients on issues related to employee benefits such as group life, health and disability insurance, and severance retirement plans regulated by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). This work includes defense of lawsuits brought to recover benefits, prosecution of plan claims for reimbursement of benefits from third parties under subrogation agreements, and counseling and defending against claims related to COBRA continuation coverage. Our attorneys also advise clients with respect to qualified plan design and compliance, HIPAA portability and privacy, and accountability requirements.