Labor & Employment

Our firm is unique in that we represent both employers and employees in a wide variety of employment related matters. Our experience working on both sides of the issues that arise in employment matters gives us unique insights that we employ to help our clients resolve their problems in the most favorable fashion.

  • Corporate/Human Resources Counseling
  • Employment Manuals & Agreements
  • Employment Contracts
  • Employment and Consulting Agreements
  • Separation Agreements
  • Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreements

Representing and Advising Employers

Avoiding/Preventing Lawsuits

We play an important advisory role for businesses in New York and New Jersey, and especially for NYC based businesses.

We advise startups as well as long-standing, established businesses on best practices to avoid litigation and to create a working environment that complies with all employment-related laws. We also have specific experience in counseling and assisting not-for-profit organizations.

Our clients consult with us in setting up employment policies, drafting or updating employee handbooks, and drafting employment contracts or severance agreements. Some examples of matters for which our clients consult with us are best practices policies, medical and family leave issues, providing reasonable accommodations for religious practices and for disabilities, social media policies and appropriate disciplinary measures for violations of employment policies.

We spend a significant amount of time learning about our clients’ businesses and the types of employees they employ. We probe to find out what issues a client encountered in the past and brainstorm with the client to find appropriate solutions. We are always available to answer follow up questions as soon as they arise.

We consult with employers on a variety of employment and HR-related issues, including:

Employment Litigation
When litigation does become necessary, we represent our employer clients in litigation brought in federal and state courts, as well as in the New York State Division of Human Rights, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

We have handled a wide range of cases, including harassment and discrimination of all types under federal, state and city laws, as well as breach of employment contract, failure to pay commissions, minimum wage or overtime wages, and failure to provide paid sick leave.

Compliance with Employment Laws

We often confer with and advise clients regarding compliance with the many employment laws with an eye toward compliance and avoiding liability.

We have a significant amount of experience of interacting and negotiating with state and city agencies.

We are often contacted by our employer clients to assist in addressing investigations by city and state agencies such as the New York State Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division and Workers Comp Division, the New York State Division of Human Rights, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (which encompasses both the New Jersey Wage and Hour Division and Contract Compliance  as well as the Division of Workers Compensation), the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants

We are very experienced and skilled in drafting Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements. We also have significant experience in litigating alleged breaches of such agreements. We advise clients regarding the enforcement of such restrictions and assist them in exercising their rights and preventing loss of key data and customer relationships.

Internal Investigations and Independent Monitor

Our firm has been active in assisting companies in conducting internal investigations. We have seen and dealt with various situations including surprise allegations by whistle-blowers, employee fraud, the threat or occurrence of workplace violence, sexual harassment or assault, and employee illness, injury or tragedy that affects the company and all of its employees.

Our attorneys have also been retained to serve as an independent monitor following investigations by the U.S. or N.Y.S. Departments of Labor for wage & hour violations. We were tasked with periodic inspections to ensure compliance and to report back to the government agencies.

Clergy and Private School Contracts

Our firm also has an expertise in negotiating and drafting clergy contracts. We have an expertise in clergy compensation and benefits. We have represented dozens of clergy members, churches, and synagogues. We have also represented yeshiva day schools and private day schools in negotiating and drafting contracts for senior-level administration, as well as faculty contracts.

Rabbinical Court (Bet Din) Arbitration

We have extensive experience mediating and litigating civil disputes involving contracts and employment relationships in rabbinical courts such as Bet Din of America and Mechon L’Horaya.

Representing and Advising Employees

Employees often contact us after receiving a job offer for assistance in drafting and negotiating an employment agreement.  We advise clients with respect to Executive Compensation. Conversely, we assist clients who have been terminated from their job by reviewing a severance agreement and negotiating a severance package. We provide valuable experience, insight and advice in these areas to give clients assurance that their rights are being protected at a difficult time in their lives. We also assist our clients by advising them regarding non-compete or non-solicitation restrictions.

We represent employees in a variety of employment-related lawsuits including:

  • All types of discrimination cases including: gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religious, disability, and national origin discrimination;
  • Sexual and other harassment;
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) cases;
  • Breach of employment contracts;
  • Breach of covenants not to compete and confidentiality clauses
  • Wage and hour disputes

Mediation

Chaim Book is an experienced mediator on mediation panels in the federal courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is focused primarily on resolving cases involving business disputes, partnership disputes, employment discrimination, employment contracts and wage and hour violations. Chaim brings the perspective of a practicing lawyer who has litigated and tried cases in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration.

Mediation is often a valuable way of resolving disputes. It offers Speed – you typically won’t have to wait years or even months for a resolution. And it generally offers a much more Reasonable Cost than litigation.

Educational Organizations

Book Law represents more than thirty private schools and yeshivas in the Tri-State area.

We draw on our experience of working with private schools for more than fifteen years and advise schools on best practices to comply with all employment-related laws and that will create a harmonious and positive work environment for administration, faculty and staff.

We also have represented schools in mediation and arbitration of disputes before private mediators and arbitrators, as well as in Rabbinical courts such as Beth Din of America and Mechon L’Hoyroa.

Outside “General Counsel”

Our clients consult with us in setting up employment policies, drafting or updating employee handbooks, drafting or updating student and parent handbooks and drafting employment contracts or severance agreements. Some examples of matters for which our clients consult with us are best practices policies, medical and family leave issues, providing reasonable accommodations for religious practices and for disabilities, social media policies and appropriate disciplinary measures for violations of employment policies.

We spend time consulting with our clients seeking to institute best practices and to assist in problem solving.

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