Employment and Employee Benefits
Flora Pettit’s employment and employee benefits lawyers possess a wide range of experience supporting businesses, their owners and managers in stewarding their most important asset – their people. We have worked closely with companies employing thousands of employees to small businesses with only a handful. Our clients also represent a large variety of industries and types of businesses ranging from retailers, manufacturers, and agri-businesses to start-up companies and professional services firms to nonprofit and large institutional clients. There is very little in this practice area that we have not touched, often daily, in our combined years of experience.
Our lawyers enjoy assisting our clients in the proactive and practical management of their human resources. However, when disputes cannot be avoided or resolved, we vigorously defend our clients in administrative proceedings and state and federal court.
• Compliance support in all aspects of employment law, including wage and hour (FLSA), anti-discrimination (Title VII, ADEA, USERRA) medical issues (FMLA, ADA, GINA, HIPAA), labor relations (NLRA), workplace safety ( OSHA and workers’ compensation), immigration (IRCA) and unemployment (VEC) claims. Such support consists of drafting and assisting with employment agreements, handbooks, personnel policies, HR protocols, and disciplinary documentation. We can also provide on-site training for supervisors and management in many areas including: interviewing, hiring, disciplining, appraising, investigating and terminating employees, managing workers’ compensation claims and coordinating leaves of absences, among other topics. Effective annual training is becoming the centerpiece in defending harassment and discrimination cases and our lawyers can provide “in the trenches” training which will make supervisors sit up and take notice.
• Executive and key employee employment agreements, affording executives the compensation arrangements important to them – bonus plans, stock-based compensation (restricted stock, incentive stock options, and nonqualified stock options), 409A-compliant nonqualified deferred compensation (including phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, and ineligible 457(f) plans and the use of funding techniques such as COLI, split-dollar life insurance, and Rabbi trusts), and change-in-control agreements–as well as appropriately protecting the employer’s business through restrictive covenants (such as noncompetition, nondisclosure and nonsolicitation provisions) and assignments of intellectual property rights.
• Retirement plan support in the areas of plan design and drafting of qualified retirement plans (including profit sharing, 401(k) cash or deferred arrangements, and leveraged and non-leveraged ESOPs), 403(b) plans, governmental and nonprofit 457(b) plans, and 409A-compliant nonqualified deferred compensation plans. We also advise retirement plans on fiduciary issues (including 404(c) participant-directed plans), Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor reporting and disclosure, QDROs, voluntary compliance programs (EPCRS, DFVC and VCP) and audits, and issues in mergers and acquisitions (including plan terminations).
• Health and welfare plan support for insured and self-insured group medical plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs); Section 125 cafeteria/flexible benefit plans, short- and long-term disability plans, medical reimbursement arrangements, dependent care assistance, tuition assistance, life insurance/death benefits, employee assistance plans (EAPs), and other fringe benefits. Specific areas of counsel include design and review of ERISA-compliant plan documents, summary plan descriptions and administrative materials; COBRA; Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) coverage and nondiscrimination mandates; HIPAA privacy; FMLA interaction; funding mechanisms (including VEBAs); and Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor reporting and disclosure.
• Litigation support, whether in defense of an employee’s claim before the EEOC, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Virginia Human Rights Council, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Virginia Unemployment Commission, or in state or federal court representing an employer in protecting its business from employee claims or pursuing a current or former employee for their wrongful actions, our seasoned trial attorneys advocate for our clients in an efficient and effective manner.
Michael E. Derdeyn
Attorney at Law
Jennifer E. Shirkey
Attorney at Law
Cathleen P. Welsh
Attorney at Law