Companies face a variety of employment issues putting themselves at risk of litigation, damages and reputational harm. At MDO Partners, we work with our clients by being proactive and conducting a thorough analysis of a company’s employment law needs and demands. We guide our clients in developing policies, procedures, and strategies to manage the employment risks that may arise. Below is a description of our various employment law services.
Employment Practices Audits
• In order for companies to evaluate the effectiveness of their employment compliance programs, they should conduct employment practices audits. These audits allow companies to identify employment risks that may result in liability. Once these risks are identified, new policies and procedures may be implemented to mitigate these risks in the future.
• MDO Partners can conduct employment practices audits for clients and/or help clients develop their own internal audit programs to meet their demands.
Employee Handbooks, Policies, and Procedures
• In order to ensure that employees comply with applicable laws, it is important to provide them with the right information, including policies, procedures, and guidelines.
• MDO Partners helps clients from the inception by preparing a code of conduct to portray to employees and the general public the company’s ethical standards. We then develop an employee handbook that contains appropriate policies and procedures to provide important guidelines for employees.
Training - Compliance, Ethics, Leadership
• When it comes to compliance with laws, companies must not only provide employees with the right information, they must make sure employees understand such information and that managers correctly implement it.
• Companies must therefore provide employees and managers with the proper training on applicable laws and policies.
• MDO Partners has extensive experience in providing clients with training on various employment law topics as well as counseling clients on training strategies and implementation.
Discrimination and Harassment
• Discrimination and/or harassment occur when a person is not treated with the same equality and respect as his or her co-workers because of that person’s sex, race, gender, nationality, religion, age, or disability or other categories protected by local, state, or federal law. If discrimination and harassment are present in the workplace, companies face the risk of costly litigation by employees.
• It is important for companies to establish a policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace and encouraging employees to treat each other with dignity and respect. It is also important that companies disseminate a reporting mechanism for those employees who feel like they have been unlawfully discriminated against and/or harassed.
• MDO Partners has extensive experience in preparing policies, training employees and managers on those policies, and advising clients on complying with various anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, including, but not limited to:
o Title VII;
o The Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
o The Americans with Disabilities Act; and
o The Florida Civil Rights Act
Wage and Hour Laws
• Companies must comply with wage and hour laws to avoid costly litigation. It is important for companies to be proactive in managing their practices regarding wage and hour compliance. MDO Partners assists companies by conducting wage and hour audits as well as in reviewing existing practices and developing new ones to ensure compliance with these laws, including:
o Fair Labor Standards Act;
o Florida’s Unpaid Wage Act; and
o Florida Minimum Wage Act.
Leaves of Absence and Disability Accommodation, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
• Companies may be required to accommodate employees who are disabled and/or suffering from one or more serious health conditions. The FMLA also requires an employer to provide certain other FMLA qualifying leave under certain circumstances. To help clients comply with the American with Disabilities Act and the FMLA, as well as local and state laws, MDO Partners counsels and trains clients to deal with issues that may arise in these circumstances. Our team also focuses on providing guidance to prepare appropriate company policies and procedures.
• We specifically help companies understand and comply with the following laws:
o Americans with Disabilities Act;
o The Florida Civil Rights Act; and
o The Family and Medical Leave Act.
Hiring, Performance Management and Termination
• Companies focus on hiring the right person for their positions, but the hiring process can be complex. It is important to have an effective hiring process. From conducting interviews, to running background checks, to ultimately offering the position, companies open themselves to an array of different local, state, and federal laws.
• MDO Partners provides the necessary counseling and training for management to make the hiring process efficient to meet companies’ individual desires. We also focus on assessing companies’ demands and creating a strategy that best fits companies’ needs.
• In order to evaluate an individual’s work, companies conduct performance reviews. It is important to know how to conduct a performance review and to properly document any mishaps of the individual employee.
• MDO Partners trains clients on how to conduct these performance reviews and how to properly document them to protect their company’s interests.
• As part of the entire talent acquisition process, companies must maintain proper documentation of the hiring and performance of every employee to determine whether or not to terminate an employee.
• MDO Partners counsels and trains clients to handle the entire employment process that meets the companies’ individual demands. Our team works with clients to satisfy applicable legal requirements.
• Diversity programs help companies advance in the global market. In order to develop such programs, companies must implement strategies that will expand and strengthen their corporate brand while, at the same time, maintain the strong relationships with its customers, stockholders, and the general public.
• MDO Partners guides clients on how to develop a diversity strategy that best fits the company’s needs in order to achieve corporate diversity. Our focus is to satisfy the company’s needs and minimize the risk of litigation.
Employees, Independent Contractors, Agreements
• To best fit their needs, companies’ have a variety of workers ranging from full-time, to part-time, to independent contractors. While this variety helps meet business demands, it also opens companies’ to an array of laws regarding the proper classification of workers. Unaware of the obligations that come from acquiring different types of workers, companies find themselves responsible for these workers.
• MDO Partners works with companies by providing advice on the proper procedures for acquiring and conducting business with these workers. We conduct an analysis of the needs of the company in order to provide the best choices on whom to hire and on what basis. We also help companies develop employment agreements and independent contractor agreements.
Whistleblowing and Retaliation
• New legislation, including the Dodd-Frank Act, provides protection and claims for whistleblowers who may institute claims against employers.
• In order to minimize the risk of such litigation, MDO Partners works with companies to develop and implement policies and procedures that prohibit retaliation against whistleblowers and encourage internal reporting of violations. We create strategies that companies may implement to abide by the laws in this developing area. We also counsel and train management on how to respond to reports and conduct internal investigations.
Agency representation, including OSHA, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Florida Commission on Human Relations, and the U.S. Department of Labor
• MDO Partners provides representation for clients that are subject to investigations from agencies like OSHA, EEOC, the U.S. Department of Labor and/or any state equivalent agency.
International Employment Law
• In our global market, companies continue to expand their borders and develop their services to meet those of the international community. In doing so, companies subject themselves to international laws, specifically when acquiring talent internationally.
• MDO Partners works with clients and local counsel to ensure that companies are in compliance with international laws. We also train foreign managers to adjust to U.S. laws.
• Our immigration attorneys also provide companies the representation necessary to transfer personnel to the United States under a full range of work visas.