In her more than twenty years of employment law practice and management defense, Penny Lechtenberg has seen and experienced a lot. The scope of human behavior revealed in the workplace never ceases to amaze and requires careful, strategic and timely management from the perspective of the human resources professional.
Defense of Discrimination Charges: The receipt of a Charge of Discrimination filed with the EEOC or other administrative agency can be a daunting experience. Immediate and definitive actions are necessary. We have more than 20 years of experience in aggressively defending employers against all types of discrimination charges filed by employees and third parties based on race, disability, gender, national origin, harassment, retaliation and other allegations.
OSHA Investigations: We frequently help employers navigate and overcome complaints and other OSHA investigations. Notable cases have involved many issues, including but not limited to workplace death cases (falling materials, roofing accidents), fall protection, machine guarding violations, trenching accidents, air quality and airborne disease complaints and other allegations. You want to make sure that you have experienced counsel with you throughout the administrative OSHA process, from workplace inspections, to initial response to complaints and proposed fines and penalties, to informal conferences with OSHA personnel, worksite investigations and representation at administrative hearings in cases that cannot be resolved through OSHA’s informal resolution process.
Internal Compliance Audits and Counseling: It’s good to get ahead of the game whenever possible, and internal audits on a variety of issues can be an excellent tool to assess potential exposure and improve internal procedures. We offer compliance audits in numerous areas, including but not limited to I-9 employment verification files, wage and hour record keeping, job description reviews, employment application forms, employee handbooks, employment contract drafting and review, FLSA wage and hour exemption determinations, and FMLA and ADA interplay as they apply to particular workers. With our assistance, employers have found and corrected weak areas, saved money and increased workplace compliance, safety, morale and organization in advance of any government inquiries. Our development of effective protocols for dealing with government inquiries and other workplace events is another key approach to minimizing an employer’s risks, creating positive results and increasing order in the workplace.
ICE Raids and HSI Investigations: Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) has the ability to investigate and conduct raids at employer sites; some industries find themselves targeted more often than others. Notable industries include meat packing and food preparation, temporary staffing and manufacturing. When ICE or Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) contacts your company for an inspection or raid, you want experienced counsel to guide you through the process. Deadlines are extremely tight; and consequences for missing them are costly. We have assisted numerous clients through the administrative process of responding to audits and their aftermath, including communications with government officials in all matters, prosecuting cases through the federal administrative process and resolving Notices of Intent to Fine (NIFs).