We provide preventive employment law and HR solutions for California employers as well as workforce and management training. We also are retained to conduct impartial workplace and other similar investigations and in we represent employers in response to employee claims and government agency audits, investigations and inspections.
California Employers Face Enormous Challenges
Businesses in California operate in an extremely challenging business environment, marked by a complex web of continually expanding and evolving federal, state and local anti-discrimination, wage and hour and other employment laws as well as labor, privacy, and health and safety laws and regulations. This constant state of change in the labor and employment law arena makes it extremely difficult for even the best intentioned and best informed California employers to achieve 100% compliance with these laws.
In addition, California employers face the threat of ever mounting employee claims and lawsuits which are increasingly resulting in staggering jury verdicts and settlements as well as in significant legal fees and costs to defend against them. These challenges can pose obstacles to the very success and survival of a business and California employers often feel that they are under siege.
At Miller Legal Group, P.C., we advise small and medium-sized companies doing business in California on all aspects of employment law and human resource issues. For more information about some of the typical areas in which we practice, please click on the Practice Areas link.)
We Focus on Compliance, Preventive Best Practices and Litigation Avoidance
Miller Legal Group, P.C. recognizes that employment-related litigation is an unwelcome distraction and expense for any organization. Unfortunately, however, employers oftentimes do not to realize the truth and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin’s famous observation: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
In fact, in most cases, employment-related claims and lawsuits can be avoided if employers are simply vigilant and proactive by implementing sound preventive measures and timely and appropriately responding to employment issues – in consultation with experienced employment law counsel – as they arise. At the very least, by following this sound strategy, employers who are forced to defend against employment-related claims are better positioned not only to dramatically reduce their potential liability but also to achieve a speedier resolution of such claims.
Accordingly, the primary mission of Miller Legal Group, P.C. is to help California employers comply with applicable California and federal laws and regulations, minimize employment disputes and avoid litigation. The Firm accomplishes these objectives by working closely with its clients:
- To proactively identify and assess areas of non-compliance and other areas of potential vulnerability to employment-related claims and government agency audits and investigations; and
- To develop and implement preventive best practices and practical human resources or HR solutions.
Employment Policies, Procedures and Practices
Miller Legal Group, P.C. works with clients to implement and/or review and revise employment policies, practices and procedures to ensure not only that they are lawful and up-to-date but also that they recognize and achieve the objectives of management as well as the needs of the clients’ employees. Further, the Firm works with its clients to ensure that such policies, practices and procedures as well as any changes thereto are both effectively communicated and fairly and consistently applied to their employees.
Compliance Reviews and HR Audits
In further support of its mission to help clients achieve employment law compliance and minimize the risk of employment-related disputes, Miller Legal Group, P.C. works with clients to conduct periodic employment law and human resources compliance reviews and audits as part of an overall business strategy. These compliance reviews and HR audits examine an employer’s policies, procedures, operations and systems to identify and assess potential areas of risk and make corresponding recommendations for eliminating or reducing those potential liabilities. By undertaking these “check-ups” on a regular basis, employers will improve both the short and long-term health of their companies and, in the process, will significantly reduce the risks and costs resulting from employment-related claims and government agency audits and investigations.
Employment Law and Human Resource Counseling
Miller Legal Group, P.C. provides business owners, human resource professionals, in-house attorneys, managers, and supervisors with day-to-day advice and counseling about the application and enforcement of issues relating to applicable federal, state and local employment laws affecting all aspects of the employment relationship. Among the many subject areas on which Miller Legal Group, P.C. advises Firm clients, includes:
- Employment application, interviewing and hiring processes
- Background investigations
- Drug and alcohol testing and abuse
- Pre-employment, post-offer medical/physical examinations
- Preserving the “at-will” relationship
- Offer of employment letters
- Employment contracts and agreements
- Agreements for commissioned and non-commissioned salespersons
- Compensation and commission plans
- Agreements to arbitrate disputes
- Employment policies, practices and procedures
- Trade secrets, non-disclosure of confidential/proprietary information and unfair competition laws
- Non-solicitation of customers and employees
- Independent contractors
- Harassment, discrimination and retaliation, including:
- Sexual harassment
- Sex/gender discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Race, national origin and ethnicity discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Leaves of absence (FMLA/CFRA, disability, military, workers’ compensation, etc.)
- Disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation and the interactive process
- Wage and hour issues, including:
- Exempt v. non-exempt classifications
- Overtime, rest breaks and meal periods
- Time card/time keeping issues
- Deductions/set-offs from compensation
- Payday requirements
- Vacation, sick leave and other paid time off
- Government agency audits
- Rights of privacy
- Safety and health
- Performance management
- Disciplinary action and counseling
- Responding to and investigating complaints of misconduct in the workplace and at educational institutions
- Workplace violence and security
- Workers’ compensation (including return from a work-related leave of absence, 132a discrimination claims and “serious & willful” claims)
- Termination of employment
- Reductions in force (WARN, OWBPA, etc.)
- Wrongful termination
(For more information about some of the typical areas in which we practice, please click on the Practice Areas link. For more information about some of the customized employment agreements and HR forms we can prepare for your organization, please click here.)
Importance of the Attorney-Client Privilege
Moreover, our clients enjoy the confidence and piece of mind knowing that their communications with us and the advice and recommendations they receive from us are protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or the “attorney work product” doctrine.
These two privileges protect information, communications and recommendations which are shared/exchanged among and between client and attorney from disclosure or being discoverable in any future litigation or other legal proceeding. In other words, these privileges enable clients:
- To speak freely about employment and HR-related issues impacting their workplace
- To obtain candid advice about various alternative courses of action
- To obtain a variety of different recommendations and understand the benefits and risks
- To knowingly choose (and even reject) a recommended course of action
- … All without fear or concern that the information, communications and recommendations which are shared/exchanged may some day be disclosed or discoverable in any future litigation or other legal proceeding.
While HR consultants and HR consulting firms often hold themselves out as HR experts who can competently advise employers on most aspects of employment law and HR-related matters, employers need to understand that their communications with an HR consultant and the advice and recommendations they receive from an HR consultant are not subject to or protected by the attorney-client privilege. As a result, the information, communications and recommendations which are shared/exchanged among and between an employer and an HR consultant are subject to later being disclosed and discovered in the event of future litigation or legal proceeding.
Management and Employee Training Workshops, Including Anti-Harassment and Discrimination
At Miller Legal Group, P.C., we also offer California employers a variety of training programs – with an emphasis on management training – including but not limited to training on:
- Harassment and discrimination awareness and prevention
- California’s Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors (mandated by California Assembly Bill 1825 for businesses operating in California that have 50 or more employees, agents and/or independent contractors)
- The identification and administration of leaves of absence and related issues
- Disability accommodation and the interactive process
- Performance management, coaching, corrective counseling, discipline and termination of employment
- How to properly conduct a workplace investigation
- Proper handling of employee complaints, including allegations or evidence of whistleblowing or other wrongdoing
- Proper record-keeping procedures
To find out more about our training programs and workshops or about how a Southern California employment lawyer at Miller Legal Group, P.C. can customize a training workshop for your company, please click here for more information.
Independent Investigations of Alleged Harassment and Other Workplace Misconduct
Employers are well-served and, oftentimes, legally obligated to investigate allegations of harassment and other workplace misconduct. While workplace investigations are often handled internally by a member of a company’s human resources department, in certain instances – particularly where the nature of the allegations is highly sensitive or the allegations are against a member of management, thereby increasing the risk of an actual or perceived conflict of interest – the employer may or should elect to retain an outside, independent and unbiased fact-finder to conduct the investigation.
In addition to regularly advising clients and delivering training workshops about how to conduct timely and thorough workplace investigations, Stefan R. Miller, the founder and principal of Miller Legal Group, P.C., serves as a neutral and independent fact-finder to investigate claims of alleged workplace misconduct.
For more information about the nature and scope of the services we provide with regard to workplace investigations, please click on the Workplace Misconduct Investigations link. Alternatively, you can check out our separate website specifically dedicated to conducting workplace investigations: www.workplaceinvestigationattorneys.com. You also may simply contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (310) 426-2650 for more information.
Representation in Connection With Threatened Litigation and Government Agency Actions
Despite efforts to achieve compliance and avoid employment-related claims, we recognize that employers occasionally are unable to avoid litigation and government agency audits and investigations. Accordingly, at Miller Legal Group, P.C., we zealously represent employers in connection with audits, investigations and inspections initiated by California and federal government agencies as well as in response to administrative complaints filed with these agencies by current and former employees.
For example, we represent employers who are the subject of “Labor Commissioner citations” (i.e., wage and hour citations issued by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)) and audits by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) relating to employees who are alleged to have been misclassified by the employer as independent contractors.
Other government agencies taking such actions include:
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
- California Labor Commissioner (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
- California Employment Development Department (EDD)
- California Unemployment Appeals Board
- California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB)
- California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA)
- United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (DOL)
- United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- United States Internal Revenue Service
Likewise, given the often exorbitant costs of defending employment-related lawsuits, we also endeavor to promptly resolve litigation or threatened litigation early on to help our clients conserve resources, avoid unnecessary disruptions to their business and return their focus to what they do best.
By helping clients understand and focus on the importance of litigation avoidance measures, clients are better able to recognize when they have a potentially significant employment issue on their hands and the corresponding need to proactively consult with experienced employment law counsel before taking action.
Innovative and Value-Driven Fee Options
In furtherance of our commitment to help employers achieve the goals of compliance, prevention and litigation avoidance while, at the same time, delivering exceptional value, Miller Legal Group, P.C. offers a variety of innovative, non-traditional billing solutions. These alternative fee options are designed to be individually tailored to better meet the needs and objectives of our clients and to provide more predictability and control of applicable legal costs. Among the various alternative fee options we offer include high-value flat fee, fixed fee, hybrid fixed/hourly fee, and retainer agreements (e.g., monthly, quarterly or annual). We also continue to offer reasonable hourly billing rates.
To learn more about the various non-traditional billing options we offer, please click here.
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Contact a South Bay Employment Law Attorney
For more information about our practice areas or to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Los Angeles and Orange County employment attorney at Miller Legal Group, P.C., please contact us at our South Bay employment law firm by e-mail or by telephone at (310) 426-2650.