rise to every workplace challenge
Lerch Early helps employers throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond prevent and defend against workplace claims. Working with our attorneys is like extending the human resources department without hiring additional people. Business owners and HR representatives pick up the phone to get our advice on avoiding employment pitfalls that create legal exposure and distract management from running their businesses. When employees allege misconduct, we forcefully defend employers against allegations of discrimination, wage and hour violations, and other employment claims.
Lerch Early represents employers in a range of white and blue collar industries, including construction and related companies, transportation, real estate management, professional services, associations, nonprofits, technology, and health care. Many of our clients are government contractors.
We help management get the most from its workforce, empowering executives and human resources managers to effectively and properly hire, direct, compensate, discipline, and terminate employees in accordance with federal, state, and local laws. To reduce the risk of litigation, our attorneys provide counseling and training on legal compliance, develop handbook policies, draft hiring documents such as offer letters, employment contracts, background check forms, and restrictive covenant agreements (non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements), and assist with disciplinary and termination documents including severance agreements. We also help employers navigate laws that provide leave, job protection, and accommodation to ill, injured, or pregnant employees.
When employees file claims, we explore and evaluate alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, including mediation, and we represent employers before all relevant federal, state, and local administrative agencies, and in federal and state court if disputes proceed to litigation. We defend against alleged employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, age, and disability, as well as other bases protected under state and local laws (including sexual orientation and marital status). Lerch Early attorneys also defend management against claims arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage-hour claims (generally, overtime issues) that develop under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state and local laws, wrongful discharge, and other common law claims.
Lerch Early’s employment attorneys place clients ahead of the curve through training, regular suggestions on best employment practices, and updates on local, state, and national employment law developments and trends. We have a strong commitment to understanding our client’s business and hiring needs and reputation so we can contribute to their success and well-being.
Separation and Termination
Other Employment Issues
The U.S. Department of Labor alleged that one of our government contracting clients had not paid its workers the wages mandated under the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia contracts to pay the local prevailing wage for the type of work being performed.
We helped our client to identify the work that was performed on the project and to explain to the DOL investigator why the classifications listed in the applicable wage determination did not apply to this work. We assisted our client to prepare and submit a conformance request to DOL to obtain wage and fringe benefit rates that was appropriate for the work that our client performed. Not only were these rates more in line with the prevailing wage rates for this type of work in the area, they were also substantially lower than the rates the DOL investigator had initially selected. We then assembled a complete package that documented all wages paid and fringe benefits (health insurance, paid leave, vehicle and cell phone allowances) provided by our client to its workers on this project. By including the fringe benefits we were able to further reduce the amount of back pay owed by the client to its workers.
We negotiated an agreement between our client and the DOL on back wages that was more than a 90% reduction from the original back wages demand made by DOL.