Palmer Kazanjian’s attorneys advise and counsel management regarding all aspects of employment law. Our advisory practice includes assisting clients with compliance with all applicable employment laws and representation in matters involving a wide range of issues. Palmer Kazanjian attorneys have extensive experience representing employers before state and federal courts, both trial and appellate. However, we also represent clients before government boards and commissions such as state and federal OSHA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) and the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) and the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
We pride ourselves in responsiveness and efficiency and therefore our services often lead to unique client relationships wherein we provide employment law counsel on a fixed fee basis. Our clients value these types of professional engagements because they can contact us on a moment’s notice in order to obtain advice that will reduce or eliminate liability.
We regularly provide employment law counsel and representation regarding issues such as:
General Compliance Issues and Preventative Counseling
- Confidentiality and Trade Secret Agreements
- Conflicts of Interest
- Discrimination and Retaliation Policies
- Dress Codes
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
- Employee Benefits, e.g. issues involving COBRA, ERISA, HIPAA and Other Related Legislation
- Employment Contracts
- Fiduciary Duties
- Leaves of Absences
- Manuals (e.g. Employee Handbooks) and Other Policy Documents
- Paid Time Off (“PTO”) or Sick Leave and Vacation Policies
- Occupational Health and Safety, i.e. federal and Cal-OSHA compliance
- Severance Agreements
- Sexual Harassment Policies
- Technology Policies
- Union Avoidance Policies (see Labor Law)
- Wage & Hour, e.g. Overtime, Meal and Rest Periods, Bonuses and Commissions
- Workplace Privacy
- Workplace Violence
- Employee Discipline
- Performance Evaluations
- Referrals (Former Employees)
In addition to the above counseling and other services, Palmer Kazanjian regularly provides human resources services for many of our smaller and medium sized clients. These clients engage our firm to assist them with services such as development of personnel policies; supervisory manuals and employee handbooks; total quality management programs; and advice regarding the implementation and maintenance of health insurance, pension and deferred income programs.
Palmer Kazanjian’s employment law–related services also include:
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AUDITS
We review employee files, forms, policies, procedures and employment practices to identify and correct possible exposure to liability under federal and California wage and hour, discrimination, and leave of absence laws, and employment contracts. Palmer Kazanjian’s audits can also be specifically designed to evaluate benefit plan documents and practices to identify operational and structural compliance. Many of our audits uncover possible improvements or alterations that are an effective way to limit or eliminate government imposed penalties.
SEMINARS AND TRAINING
We instruct management and supervisory employees about how to avoid expensive employment claims, as well as key management techniques such as discipline administration and complaint resolution. Palmer Kazanjian conducts seminars and interactive trainings, including sexual harassment training required under California law. This also includes legal update seminars covering the most recent developments affecting California employers.
Our attorneys provide counsel to management regarding federal and California labor laws. Representative labor law clients include agricultural and food-production companies, beverage distributors and importers, construction companies, hospitals, retail businesses, waste disposal companies, wholesale distributors and other organizations.
Palmer Kazanjian’s practice includes helping unionized clients comply with the laws applicable to their particular organization. In particular, our attorneys represent unionized companies in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and other applicable federal and state government agencies.
Palmer Kazanjian offers labor law-related services including, but not limited to the following:
- Collective Bargaining – Negotiation and Strategy
- Grievance Administration
- Representation Petitions
- Section 301 – Breach of Collective Bargaining Agreements
- Unfair Labor Practices Hearings, e.g. before the NLRB
- Affirmative Action Plans
- Contract Interpretation and Compliance
- Employee Discipline Disputes
- Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs, e.g. WARN Issues
- Reduction-In-Force Planning and Training
- Union Election Procedures
- Union Organizing Campaigns
In addition to the above services, Palmer Kazanjian provides labor relations audits. Our firm conducts confidential interviews with management personnel in order to reveal any actual or potential legal risks and potential employee relations problems. Many of our clients use the results of our labor relations audits to put litigation and union avoidance strategies into practice, as well as to gauge worker morale and to make long-term plans regarding benefit administration, compensation, management organization, collective bargaining strategy and supervisory training.
Our attorneys provide a full range of dispute resolution and litigation services, including advice and counseling on how to avoid legal disputes. In particular, Palmer Kazanjian has represented employers in defending all kinds of labor and employment related litigation.
We recognize that favorable results are not enough if they are obtained in an uneconomical manner. The considerable experience of our litigators allows us to efficiently identify issues and generate responsive strategies. We have handled matters in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. We also appear before administrative agencies and private arbitration and mediation.
Some of the areas of law we have litigated include:
EMPLOYMENT RELATED OR “BUSINESS” LITIGATION
Palmer Kazanjian counsels and represents business entities of all sizes. As a boutique law firm, we are small enough to identify with locally owned and operated businesses. We are big enough, however, to represent larger employers, including Fortune 500 companies.
Our trial attorneys have experience in litigating employment and labor related issues including, but limited to:
- Assault & Battery Claims
- Audits by Federal and State Agencies, e.g. Federal Department of Labor
- Bonus and Commission Disputes
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Loyalty and Fiduciary Duty
- Civil Rights Claims
- COBRA Claims
- Collective Bargaining Issues
- Compensation Issues, e.g. Wage & Hour Claims such as overtime and meal and rest period issues
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Defamation and Employee References Issues
- Employment Contracts – Oral, Implied and Written
- Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Injunctive Relief to Prevent Unlawful Picketing/Strikes
- Intentional Interference with Contract and Prospective Advantage
- Leave of Absence Issues, e.g. Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)
- Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA and federal OSHA)
- Plant Closings, e.g. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”)
- Prevailing Wage Claims
- Privacy Claims
- Promissory Estoppel and Other Quasi-Contract Theories
- Sexual Harassment
- Trade Secrets (Misappropriation of)
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
- Wrongful Termination Claims
Palmer Kazanjian has also represented clients in numerous arbitrations, mediations, jury trials in state and federal trial courts, and as attorneys of record in appellate decisions, including cases before the United States and California Supreme Courts.
REAL ESTATE LAW
The firm’s litigation attorneys have extensive experience in assisting developers, owners, subcontractors, and general contractors in disputes including claims for breach of contract, defective construction, ADA accessibility compliance, negligence, insurance coverage, homeowner association disputes, fraud, failure to disclose property condition by seller, lease disputes, breach of fiduciary claims.
ESTATE AND TRUST LITIGATION
Palmer Kazanjian offers defense and petition representation for fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all types of trust and estate planning disputes. Our experienced trial attorneys are able to effectively analyze and resolve trust and estate litigation issues including will and trust contests, removal of fiduciaries and defense against motions for removal, undue influence, fraud, and contract disputes.
ERISA LITIGATION AND COUNSELING
Our attorneys have deep expertise in advising on ERISA and other benefits and compensation related manners ranging from 401(k) plans to non-qualified 409A programs to traditional defined benefit plans sponsored both by single employers and multiemployer Taft-Hartley trusts. Palmer Kazanjian’s litigators defend employers from ERISA claims and lawsuits involving matters such as withdrawal liability, benefit disputes, fiduciary responsibility, U.S. Department of Labor and IRS Examinations.
We also have experience with writs and appeals in matters including business and civil litigation, employment, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith. Our attorneys possess the skill and experience to master any substantive body of law, however complex or subtle.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (“ADR”)
It is understood that often a client’s primary objective is to resolve disputes in the most favorable and cost-efficient manner possible. Accordingly, Palmer Kazanjian provides candid advice and practical guidance to help such clients achieve their goals in resolving a dispute. Because of the firm’s extensive employment law and civil litigation experience, Palmer Kazanjian’s senior attorneys are available to act as arbitrators or mediators.