California Employment Counseling
For More Information
We help our clients obtain the services they need to effectively manage California's complex and ever-changing legal, compliance and human resources challenges. California-based companies and companies with operations in California frequently require quick answers and solutions to complicated California state and federal employment law issues. To meet this need, Morgan Lewis has assembled a team of our California attorneys whose day-to-day practice is devoted solely to advising on labor, employment and benefits matters.
Our team consists of Morgan Lewis attorneys in our San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and Irvine offices who collectively have decades of experience with the nuances of California and federal law. These attorneys provide advice on the full range of employment issues and represent employers in government proceedings, litigation and corporate transactions. The team is well-versed in California's unique approaches to personnel issues, and how its quirky labor code sections and common-law rules can sit quietly as traps for the unwary, snaring corporations that do business in California.
A Central Source for Advice and Counsel
We partner with our clients to quickly and successfully address the day-to-day human resources and employment law issues that arise with respect to their California job applicants, employees and former employees. We can provide such advice under a monthly retainer agreement, as well as regular hourly rate billing. Key specialty areas include:
- Policy and compliance audits
- Policy, agreement and plan drafting
- Executive compensation and employee benefits
- Workforce change
- Corporate transactions
- Investigations, audits and claims with California governmental agencies
- Demand letters and threats of litigation
- Immigration and nationality services
- Training and education
- California employment process review
Policy and compliance audits - We review documents such as employee handbooks and manuals, used by clients throughout the full life cycle of the employment relationship not only for compliance with California and federal employment law, but also for "best practices," in light of legal developments and trends and the California litigation climate. Our attorneys will also work with you to conform your company's procedures, such as the classification of employees as exempt or nonexempt, to legal requirements and best practices that avoid conflict with California law.
Policy, agreement and plan drafting - We regularly review, revise and draft documents that comply with California and federal law, including independent contractor, employment, proprietary information and nondisclosure, noncompete, and arbitration agreements; retention, separation, general release and severance agreements; incentive and discretionary compensation agreements and plans; employment policies; offer letters, disciplinary memoranda and performance improvement plans.
Executive compensation and employee benefits - We work in partnership with your benefits personnel to ensure compliance with ERISA and federal and state tax laws.
Workforce change - We address and help clients manage the broad spectrum of employment and labor issues that arise in restructuring and reorganization situations, including workforce reductions, plant closings and relocations, outsourcing and off-shoring.
Corporate transactions - We address and help clients manage the full range of employment, labor, benefits, equity and executive compensation issues that arise in corporate transactions such as mergers, sales, acquisitions, spin-offs and startups, including the drafting and review of representations and warranties, closing conditions, due diligence and risk assessment; hiring and transitioning of employees; and non-competition, key employee retention and workforce integration.
Investigations, audits and claims with California governmental agencies - We represent and defend clients in investigations, audits and claim proceedings before the myriad of California governmental agencies that have investigative and quasi-judicial authority, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Fair Employment and Housing Commission; the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and Labor Commissioner; the California Employment Development Department; the California Department of Occupational Safety & Health and Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board; and the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board.
Demand letters and threats of litigation - We investigate and respond to letters that threaten litigation against our clients under California and federal law. Because of our years of employment litigation experience, we understand the risks and cost of litigation and the value of avoiding litigation where possible.
Immigration and nationality services - We team with clients to manage inbound visa applications, outbound visa applications, and large-scale movement of personnel. Our immigration attorneys counsel California clients regularly on the most expeditious and productive methods to move employees abroad or facilitate the entry of foreign workers into California.
Training and education - We provide training and education on a variety of employment-related topics and, in partnership with the training professionals in our Morgan Lewis Resources - Workplace Training division, can assist clients with a broad range of employee, supervisor and executive training on employment and personnel management, including compliance with California's mandatory sexual harassment prevention training law, AB 1825.
California employment process review - We will conduct a California employment process review to ensure your compliance with California law and also review documents, policies, and procedures covering the entire employment life cycle from initial employment through termination. At the conclusion, we will assess your specific areas of vulnerability. You will then receive a report regarding those areas requiring attention to California issues.