Employment Law Litigation
FITCH has enjoyed considerable success representing both employers and employees in a broad range of non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreement cases, employment discrimination actions, and wrongful termination claims.
We fashion strategies for employers calculated to win — whether through litigation, arbitration, mediation, or settlement negotiations — by thoroughly analyzing claims of sex, age, race, and handicap discrimination, or wrongful termination, and by demonstrating our clients’ adherence to the letter and intent of the laws at issue.
We also represent the interests of executives and employees who are negotiating employment and severance agreements or asserting termination-related claims.
Employment Law Litigation Case Results
– Non-competition, Non-solicitation, and Confidentiality Agreements
We have obtained emergency, temporary, preliminary, and permanent restraining orders enforcing non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements on behalf of employers in numerous instances. In one case, we obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing a non-compete and confidentiality agreement against a former executive of a business recently acquired by our client and then successfully defended the injunction against multiple attacks until it expired. The litigation helped our client negotiate a multi-million dollar reduction on the final payment of the acquisition. We have also defended start-ups and employees against former employers seeking to restrict fair competition. In numerous instances, we negotiated swift resolutions, saving our clients substantial legal fees.
– Breach of Contract
We have successfully defended companies against breach of contract and related claims. We have also represented employees asserting their contractual rights. For example, we represented six former executives of a software company in breach of contract cases against their employer’s parent corporation. We successfully and quickly resolved the claims through mediation.
– Discrimination – Race, National Origin, Sex, Age, Religion, Disability/Handicap, Military Service, and Genetic Information
In numerous proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), we have obtained “lack of probable cause” findings on a wide variety of employment discrimination claims against our employer clients. We have also won summary judgment in discrimination cases brought in the state and federal courts.
In a multi-plaintiff case in the Massachusetts Superior Court alleging sexual harassment, we obtained partial summary judgment for our employer client disposing of most of the plaintiffs’ claims on the ground that the conduct alleged was not so pervasive or serious as to constitute a hostile or offensive work environment. We arbitrated the remaining claim and obtained a favorable finding for our employer client.
– Wrongful Termination, Whistleblower, Retaliation
We obtained summary judgment for our employer client accused of firing an employee for conducting a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) investigation and of invading the employee’s right to privacy. We then negotiated a final resolution that involved the employee paying part of our client’s costs.
We represent the interests of the former Chairman of a large international investment company in a multi-count action against numerous defendants in connection with his wrongful termination.
– Wage and Hour Claims, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Massachusetts Wage Act
We help companies avoid litigation by counseling employers on wage and hour compliance, including classifying independent contractors and “exempt” employees. Yet, for those times when it is necessary, we have experience successfully defending against allegations of failure to pay overtime and of employee misclassification.
– Terminations, Layoffs, and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
We obtained summary judgment for an employer in which the plaintiff alleged that she was selected for layoff because she was pregnant. We then successfully defended the judgment on appeal.
– Hiring and Employee Retention Issues
From offer letters to executive employment agreements, we have negotiated and documented employment arrangements on behalf of employers and employees. We have counseled employers on day-to-day employment issues, including reasonable accommodations, family and medical leaves, employee privacy questions, and disciplining troubled employees. We have also advised executives being investigated for workplace misconduct, ranging from frivolous sexual harassment allegations to potentially criminal wrongdoing.
– Employee Handbooks and Policies
We have drafted employee handbooks and workplace policies for employers in a variety of industries. We strive to customize policies to reflect a client’s unique culture and to foster an informed and productive workforce.