The American workplace is replete with rules, regulations, and pitfalls. We offer practical advice and business solutions to employers of all sizes and industries.
Arent Fox’s Labor and Employment Law practice is recognized as one of the premier labor and employment practices in the country. Chambers USA, the leading attorney ranking publication, has described the attorneys in this group as “thoughtful, responsive, creative and diligent.”
We are experienced in helping public and private companies, nonprofits, and international corporations avoid and solve legal workplace problems. We help employers with the management of risk in the workplace, the avoidance of lawsuits, and the development of personnel policies. Our work also includes hiring/discharge, union negotiations, immigration, OSHA compliance, benefits, wage and hour, employment-related litigation, and other labor and employment related issues that might confront a business.
We represent employers of all sizes in a range of industries, including manufacturing, health care, utilities, hospitality, real estate, construction, professional sports, insurance, technology, education, retail, professional services, food products, and financial institutions.
Examples of our recent achievements include:
Wrongful Termination Represented a high elected official in state government in connection with an alleged claim from a former employee accusing our client of wrongfully terminating her employment in violation of public policy. A one-week jury trial produced a favorable verdict for our client.
Sexual Harassment Represented a former White House official charged with sexual harassment in a jury trial in which the plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages. The jury ruled in our client’s favor on the sexual harassment claim and on his counterclaim. The defense verdict imposed no damages against our client.
Equal Employment Opportunity Litigation Represented a government agency in a series of discrimination claims filed in federal and state courts, culminating in a four-week jury trial in which we defended the client from First Amendment, disability discrimination and retaliation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act.
Non-Competition Litigation Represented a client who sold his business and became an employee of the new owner. When our client was terminated for allegedly breaching a noncompetition agreement, we recovered a judgment of $4.8 million for our client.
Legal 500 2012
Arent Fox LLP’s “excellent” Washington DC-based team has a well-regarded employee benefits and, in particular, ERISA practice. The firm is very active in the correction of “problem” benefit plans for companies. The head of the practice is the “highly competent” William Charyk, who specializes in benefits, compensation, and real estate investment vehicles. Quana Jew is “extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of ERISA law” and has the “ability to work with people on all different experience levels and adjust her explanations.” The firm is also active in the representation of tax-exempt organizations, and has been retained by a large church organization to advise on a range of ERISA and employee benefits matters.
The “excellent” Arent Fox LLP impressed in 2011. “The firm’s knowledge of ERISA and client services is exceptional.” Practice head Carol Connor Cohen is “very smart, very responsive” and “is among the foremost ERISA experts in the country,” according to one client. Recent representative work highlights include a matter for Monsanto Company and its cash balance plan that involved four class actions involving seven corporate and plan defendants that were consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois. The Monsanto defendants prevailed on the largest claim in the case – age discrimination in the treatment of prior plan accrued benefits – on summary judgment. The decision in the District Court was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2010, and the United States Supreme Court then denied the plaintiffs’ petition for review in 2011. Nancy Heermans and Caroline Turner English are much admired; the former for her expertise in the interplay between employee benefits and bankruptcy, and the latter for her experience in class action lawsuits and cash balance plan litigation.
Chambers USA 2012
THE FIRM: Arent Fox handles an assortment of labor and employment matters for regional and national clients. The past year has seen it advise a number of government contractors on affirmative action compliance, as well as representing clients on noncompetition agreements, collective bargaining and arbitrations. A large proportion of the work conducted by the firm's nine labor and employment attorneys involves representing companies faced with wage and hour class actions.
SOURCES SAY: “Their strategic and practical advice means that we are very happy with their work.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS: Michael Stevens is currently representing a large technology company in a breach of contract and defamation case. His clients appreciate his ability to “understand the particular needs of the company and discuss strategy.”