Legal Services

 

EMPLOYMENT COUNSEL FOR ORGANIZATIONS

The Welch Law Firm represents small- to mid-size companies and nonprofit organizations in all aspects of labor and employment law issues. The firm offers advice on an ongoing basis to clients on how to handle employment matters at a most basic to complex level.  

EXECUTIVE AND PROFESSIONAL AGREEMENTS

Most professionals are now expected to sign detailed Employment Agreements that often contain non-competition and complex payment agreements. Welch Law assists executives and professionals with review and negotiation of employment and non-competition agreements. A modest investment “up front” can save you a great deal of money later and protect your ability to work in your chosen market and profession. The Welch Law Firm regularly represents medical professionals and executive employees with complex employment agreements as well as assists with non-compete matters if a professional employee is seeking to leave an employer and work for a new employer.

EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS, POLICIES AND HANDBOOKS

With changes in anti-harassment laws, concerns about sexual harassment, privacy laws, wage and hour laws, leave policy requirements, and the use of arbitration, a good application and handbook are necessities. Welch Law will audit, revise and rewrite your applications, policies and handbooks to make sure they reflect management best practices and that they properly protect your business or organization.

MEDICAL LEAVE

It is mandatory for employers with over 50 employees to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Employers must have a written policy and a thorough understanding of how the leave works. Smaller employers need to abide by their own internal leave policy and be mindful that employees may need time off as an accommodation of a disability.   Michigan law now also requires that employers with 50 or more employees provide paid sick leave up to 40 hours per year.   Welch Law can train you to deal with these complex issues.

ANTI-HARASSMENT TRAINING

Your supervisors need to know how to handle complaints of harassment and how to respond to inappropriate behavior in the workplace.  Welch Law can assist you and your management team with how to best handle complaints and ensure best practices are in place to have a highly functional workplace.

OVERTIME AND WAGE-HOUR COMPLIANCE

Many employers are unknowingly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that governs how overtime is paid to employees.   Often an employer does not learn of this error until a lawsuit is filed or the Department of Labor sends an investigator to conduct an audit.   Common errors include:  (1) mis-classifying employees as “salaried exempt” and not paying overtime when in fact the employee must be paid overtime; (2) classifying a worker as a 1099-contractor when in fact under the law the person is an employee and thus entitled to overtime and other benefits; and (3) not properly calculating the overtime rate to include bonuses and other incentive payments.   Damages assessed by the Department of Labor include full backpay and double damages (for all employees in your work force).  If an attorney is involved, attorney’s fees are also assessed.   The cost of these cases can exceed tens of thousands of dollars quickly, even for smaller employers.     Welch Law can work with you if you are facing an alleged violation and can work with you to ensure your employees are properly paid to avoid future problems.   

Further, if you employ minors, there are specific laws that govern their employment and if you have tipped employees, there are specific rules governing how minimum wage is calculated.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Many employers incorrectly believe that they can avoid worrying about employment issues by simply using “independent contractors” and providing them with a form 1099. However, if you treat these individuals like employees in every way, they really are your employees, in the eyes of the law. You could be liable for back taxes, overtime, and unemployment compensation. To avoid devastating monetary damages, your workers must be properly classified.

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE AND TERMINATIONS

Welch Law can assist you with difficult employee conduct and performance issues and advise you with terminations in a manner that reflects fairness, implements best practices, and mitigates potential liability.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Welch Law can assist you with unemployment claims when an employee has engaged in misconduct or is not otherwise entitled to receive unemployment benefits.

SEVERANCE AGREEMENTS

Welch Law can assist you with presenting and negotiating a severance agreement in exchange for a signed release agreement with current or ex-employees, thus limiting risk of a lawsuit.    

NON-COMPETE, CONFIDENTIALITY AND TRADE SECRET AGREEMENTS

Trade secrets, work product, customer lists and other confidential information can easily escape your control when key employees leave the company, resulting in unfair competition.   This issue has accelerated with the fact that all data is now stored electronically.   These issues can be addressed with a confidentiality and/or a non-compete agreement.

ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGES

Welch Law will help you respond to charges filed by employees with employment law agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the Department of Labor, the Michigan Wage and Hour Division, and the Unemployment Agency.

LITIGATION

If you are sued by a former employee, we will provide effective representation for your company.

CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT LAW

New regulations, changes in the law and the nuances of existing law complicate the relationship between employer and employee. Through regular contact, Welch Law keeps clients informed about their legal rights and obligations.

Contact 

To set up an appointment, contact our office or call 616-454-7618.