Employer Advising, Counseling and Training

Our lawyers represent educational institutions and school boards in both state and federal matters. The firm provides counseling on the Alabama Teacher Tenure Act, the Fair Dismissal Act, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act, FERPA, the Alabama Sunshine Act, and No Child Left Behind. Our lawyers defend clients before the Office of Civil Rights, the Alabama State Department of Education, the EEOC and have been involved in arbitrations under the Teacher Tenure Act and the Fair Dismissal Act. We have litigated First Amendment issues, Substantive and Procedural Due Process claims and other allegations relating to the Bill of Rights.

Cases of Note

  • LGWM regularly provides guidance to employers regarding employee counseling issues, including verbal counselings, written reprimands, suspensions and terminations for policy violations and misconduct. These counseling issues routinely involve potential issues of race, sex, age, religious and disability discrimination; violations of Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act; violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); violations of COBRA; and non-compete issues.
  • LGWM routinely assists clients with preparation of employee handbook and other internal personnel policies. LGWM also assists clients with implementing new polices and employee training regarding those policies.
  • LGWM provides guidance to employers regarding employee requests for use of service animals. For example, LGWM provided guidance to an employer regarding a potential hire who requested use of a service animal due to an alleged disability. However, the employee said she did not require an accommodation to perform the essential functions of her job, including use of her service animal.
  • LGWM provides guidance to employers regarding hiring decisions and revocations of conditional offers of employment. For example, LGWM provided assistance to an employer who discovered after extending a conditional offer of employment that the employee had murder convictions in another state.
  • LGWM provides guidance to employers regarding permissible medical inquiries under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, LGWM routinely provides guidance regarding limits to pre-offer inquiries versus post-conditional offer inquiries.
  • LGWM provides guidance to employers regarding leave issues under the FMLA (FMLA). For example, LGWM regularly advises employers regarding requirements for notifying employees of their rights under the FMLA, the requisite medical certification, the employer’s obligations during the FMLA leave period and the employer’s obligations once an employee’s eligible leave under the FMLA has ended.
  • LGWM provides guidance to employers regarding their existing internal policies and practices on a routine basis. For example, LGWM has advised clients regarding grooming and hygiene policies and the potential for claims of disparate impact based on race because of those policies.
  • LGWM regularly assists clients with compliance issues regarding the FLSA. For example, LGWM has assisted clients in preparing for and complying with the 2016 change regarding the salary threshold for exempt employees.
  • LGWM makes recommendations to clients regarding improvements relating to timekeeping practices and software so as to ensure compliance with the FLSA’s overtime requirements.
  • LGWM provides clients with guidance regarding OSHA regulations. For example, LGWM advised a manufacturing company regarding steps to follow in response to its employees’ potential exposure to harmful substances in the workplace.