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  • May 08, 2020Back to Work: COVID-19 Employment Law Issues

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to present “Back to Work: COVID-19 Employment Law Issues,” a webinar hosted by the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) to address critical employment issues affecting the workforce as businesses prepare to reopen during this COVID-19 pandemic.

    About COVID-19 Employment Issues

    Please join Norris McLaughlin Members Charles A. Bruder, Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Law Practice Group; Patrick T. Collins, Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group; Annmarie Simeone; and the Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) as they cover the following employment law issues developed from the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • CARES Act
    • EEOC Concerns
    • FFCRA
    • Furloughs, Layoffs, and RIFS
    • OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Workplaces
    • PPP Loans
    • Salary Reductions/Unemployment
    • Tax Credits and Assistance Available for Employers
    • Updates on State Leave Laws
    • WARN Act
    • Other Employment Issues on Reopening

    When: Thursday, May 21, 2020

    2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

    Registration: scbp.org

    This webinar is free to SCBP members and $20 for non-members. If you wish to join the SCBP, please click here to learn more.

    We strongly encourage you to submit questions in advance of the town hall to be sure we address your specific needs. Please submit your questions by 1:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, via email to marketing@norris-law.com with “SCBP TOWN HALL QUESTION” in the subject line.

    About the Presenting Attorneys

    Charles Bruder

    Charles focuses his practice in the areas of ERISA, executive compensation, and taxation. Possessing a wealth of experience in all aspects of employee benefits arrangements, he frequently provides counsel to both for-profit and not-for-profit entities regarding numerous employee benefit and retirement benefit arrangements. Charles is regularly involved with issues involving defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans, Code Section 403(b) plans, multiemployer pension plans, ESOPs, and other equity-based and incentive compensation arrangements.

    As many of his clients maintain both tax-qualified and non-qualified arrangements, Charles is often called upon to provide compliance and drafting guidance for deferred compensation arrangements, Code Section 457(b) and 457(f) plans, and similar executive compensation vehicles. Recognizing that education is a key to maintaining successful employee benefit plans, he regularly advises his clients with respect to their group health insurance arrangements, including the ever-changing aspects of compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Charles’s compliance expertise extends to ERISA fiduciary issues, prohibited transaction and controlled group analyses, and government-sponsored correction programs, such as the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program (DFVCP), and the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).

    Pat Collins

    Pat practices labor, employment, and personnel law on behalf of employers and management personnel. He has a wide range of experience in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Pat represents parties in breach of contract claims and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.

    Pat has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.

    A great deal of Pat’s practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions, which will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. He regularly counsels his clients on issues concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. Pat has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, and has drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. He has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.

    Annmarie Simeone

    Annmarie concentrates her practice on labor and employment counseling and litigation. She has a wide range of experience in state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution venues, primarily defending management in claims made by employees under state and federal employment laws, including whistleblower claims, as well as claims alleging harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability. Her work includes the defense of corporate defendants, as well as individual officers, directors, and employees, addressing issues unique to small businesses, as well as challenges faced by larger companies.

    In addition, Annmarie provides advice and counseling to human resource professionals and in-house counsel with respect to a wide range of employment issues, including employee leaves of absence, employee discipline, and layoff and termination issues, including the negotiation and design of severance agreements. She also drafts employee manuals and employment-related policies and procedures. Annmarie has significant experience protecting businesses from liability by conducting training for supervisors and employees. She has presented programs on handling workplace investigations; on acceptable workplace behavior which includes issues of harassment, bullying, and other workplace conduct rules; and on how to properly craft and implement employee handbooks. She also has significant experience in complex commercial litigation, focusing on business disputes such as shareholder actions, commission disputes, and breach of contract matters.

    Rebecca Warren

    Rebecca devotes her practice to labor and employment, business and corporate matters, and general liability litigation. As a former in-house corporate attorney and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, she is acutely aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients. Rebecca has created thousands of customized legal documents for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. She is also well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues and concerns ranging from employment matters to third-party disputes.

    As a former prosecutor, Rebecca is well-positioned to counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, and regulatory and business compliance. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels in multiple states. In addition, Rebecca has extensive experience in insurance defense, white-collar crime, election law, health care, commercial law, estate planning and administration, family law, and real estate.

    Posted in: Annmarie Simeone, Charles A. Bruder, Events, Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.), Labor & Employment, Patrick T. Collins | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • May 04, 2020Back to Work: COVID-19 Employment Law Issues

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to present “Back to Work: COVID-19 Employment Law Issues,” a free, virtual town hall addressing the latest COVID-19 employment law issues facing employers as workplaces begin to reopen and employees begin returning to work.

    About the COVID-19 Employment Law Issues

    Please join Norris McLaughlin Members Charles A. Bruder, Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Law Practice Group; Patrick T. Collins, Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group; Annmarie Simeone; and the Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) as they address topics such as:

    • OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Workplaces
    • CARES Act
    • FFCRA
    • Updates on State Leave Laws
    • WARN Act
    • EEOC Concerns
    • PPP Loans
    • Tax Credits and Assistance Available for Employers
    • Salary Reductions/Unemployment
    • Furloughs, Layoffs, and RIFS
    • Other Employment Issues on Reopening Your Workforce

    When: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

    1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    Registration: Eventbrite

    We strongly encourage you to submit questions in advance of the town hall to be sure we address your specific needs. Please submit your questions by 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, 2020, via email to marketing@norris-law.com with “TOWN HALL QUESTION” in the subject line.

    About the Presenting Attorneys

    Charles Bruder

    Charles focuses his practice in the areas of ERISA, executive compensation, and taxation. Possessing a wealth of experience in all aspects of employee benefits arrangements, he frequently provides counsel to both for-profit and not-for-profit entities regarding numerous employee benefit and retirement benefit arrangements. Charles is regularly involved with issues involving defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans, Code Section 403(b) plans, multiemployer pension plans, ESOPs, and other equity-based and incentive compensation arrangements.

    As many of his clients maintain both tax-qualified and non-qualified arrangements, Charles is often called upon to provide compliance and drafting guidance for deferred compensation arrangements, Code Section 457(b) and 457(f) plans, and similar executive compensation vehicles. Recognizing that education is a key to maintaining successful employee benefit plans, he regularly advises his clients with respect to their group health insurance arrangements, including the ever-changing aspects of compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Charles’s compliance expertise extends to ERISA fiduciary issues, prohibited transaction and controlled group analyses, and government-sponsored correction programs, such as the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program (DFVCP), and the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).

    Pat Collins

    Pat practices labor, employment, and personnel law on behalf of employers and management personnel. He has a wide range of experience in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Pat represents parties in breach of contract claims and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.

    Pat has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.

    A great deal of Pat’s practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions, which will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. He regularly counsels his clients on matters concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. Pat has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, and has drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. He has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.

    Annmarie Simeone

    Annmarie concentrates her practice on labor and employment counseling and litigation. She has a wide range of experience in state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution venues, primarily defending management in claims made by employees under state and federal employment laws, including whistleblower claims, as well as claims alleging harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability. Her work includes the defense of corporate defendants, as well as individual officers, directors, and employees, addressing issues unique to small businesses, as well as challenges faced by larger companies.

    In addition, Annmarie provides advice and counseling to human resource professionals and in-house counsel with respect to a wide range of employment issues, including employee leaves of absence, employee discipline, and layoff and termination issues, including the negotiation and design of severance agreements. She also drafts employee manuals and employment-related policies and procedures. Annmarie has significant experience protecting businesses from liability by conducting training for supervisors and employees. She has presented programs on handling workplace investigations; on acceptable workplace behavior which includes issues of harassment, bullying, and other workplace conduct rules; and on how to properly craft and implement employee handbooks. She also has significant experience in complex commercial litigation, focusing on business disputes such as shareholder actions, commission disputes, and breach of contract matters.

    Rebecca Warren

    Rebecca devotes her practice to labor and employment, business and corporate matters, and general liability litigation. As a former in-house corporate attorney and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, she is acutely aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients. Rebecca has created thousands of customized legal documents for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. She is also well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues and concerns ranging from employment matters to third-party disputes.

    As a former prosecutor, Rebecca is well-positioned to counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, and regulatory and business compliance. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels in multiple states. In addition, Rebecca has extensive experience in insurance defense, white-collar crime, election law, health care, commercial law, estate planning and administration, family law, and real estate.

    Posted in: Annmarie Simeone, Charles A. Bruder, Events, Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.), Labor & Employment, Patrick T. Collins | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Nov 26, 2018Karen Phillips Guest Lectures for University of Michigan Law School Entrepreneurship Clinic

    Karen E. Phillips, Senior Counsel of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented a lecture and discussion for law students in the University of Michigan Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic on November 19.  In her lecture, Philips covered the most common forms of equity compensation utilized by early-stage startup companies, the reasons for choosing one over the other, and the applicable tax and securities law considerations.  The students then worked through a scenario to advise a fictitious client on how to structure equity compensation arrangements for the employees of their startup.

    Michigan Law’s Entrepreneurship Clinic, part of the Zell Entrepreneurship and Law (ZEAL) Program, is an innovative clinical law program that represents and advises University of Michigan student-led entrepreneurial ventures and other entrepreneurial ventures.  The Entrepreneurship Clinic gives law students a chance to gain practical experience by representing real clients.

    “The University of Michigan Law School Entrepreneurship Clinic was started by one of my former law school classmates, Dana Roach Thompson, and is the first of its kind,” said Phillips.  “I’m tremendously proud of the work that Dana is doing with the clinic and am so very grateful that she asked me to assist her students in this Fall’s clinic.  I got so much from my education at the University of Michigan, in both the Business School and the Law School, that I’m happy to have the opportunity to give a little back.”

    Phillips represents clients in employee benefits and compensation-related aspects of corporate transactions, financing arrangements, and public offerings, including negotiation, review and drafting of transactional documents, supervision of due diligence, and identification of issues arising under, and assistance in complying with, the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, and applicable federal securities laws and exchange regulations.

    Phillips also advises clients on the structure, implementation, and administration of non-qualified employee compensation plans, programs, and arrangements, including the associated federal tax implications. She represents clients in connection with the design, administration, amendment, and termination of single-employer and multiemployer defined contribution retirement plans and defined benefit pension plans.  She has designed, negotiated, and drafted equity-based compensation plans, employment, consulting, termination, severance, and change-in-control agreements, and advised clients on the associated ERISA, federal tax, and securities implications.

    Phillips received her LL.M. in taxation, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center, her J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, and her A.B. from the University of Chicago. She is a member of The Alumni Society and the National Association of Women Lawyers.

    Posted in: Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, Karen E. Phillips, News | Tags: , , ,

  • Dec 19, 2017Charles Bruder to Present Webinar on Pitfalls in Executive Employee Separations

    Charles A. Bruder, Member of the  law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Practice Group, will present the webinar “Avoiding the Pitfalls in Executive Employee Separations” in conjunction with Metropolitan Corporate Counsel on Wednesday, December 20, from 1-2 p.m.

    In this webinar, Bruder, will present key issues for business organizations to consider when separating of an executive from employment to avoid litigation and benefit both the employer and the departing employee.  Topics include severance pay entitlement, deferred compensation issues, bonuses, income tax aspects, and employee benefits considerations.  For more information and to register, click here.

    Bruder is experienced in all aspects of defined contribution and defined benefit plans, deferred compensation arrangements, stock option plans, employee stock ownership plans, and other incentive and equity-based compensation arrangements. He frequently counsels clients on plan qualification and administration issues, ERISA fiduciary matters, plan compliance issues, and employee benefits matters in the context of business reorganizations.  In addition, Bruder is knowledgeable in the handling of group health plans, cafeteria plans, and other health and welfare benefits arrangements. He is a frequent lecturer on employee benefits and has published articles in The Exempt Organizations Tax Review and New Jersey Law Journal and has been quoted in The Hedge Fund Law Report. Bruder received his LL.M., with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center, his J.D. from Widener University School of Law, and his B.A. from LaSalle University.

    Posted in: Charles A. Bruder, Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, News | Tags: , , , ,

  • May 17, 2017David T. Harmon Quoted in Ladders Article

    David T. Harmon, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A. and Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group, was recently quoted in an article entitled “New case shows you have to check your LinkedIn contacts after leaving a job,” by Monica Torres on the website Ladders, a media publication on the workforce.

    The article discusses how a former employee of a global recruiting and staffing company was forced to remove thousands of her LinkedIn contacts because the company claimed the relationships didn’t belong to her, but the company. As the details of the employee’s employment contract or any confidentiality or non solicit agreement that may have been signed are unknown, one can only speculate whether she had the right to do so.

    The article continues to offer advice to the reader to avoid such a situation. Harmon offers a key point, stating, “If there’s one message to give to people, it’s really a matter of going in with your eyes and ears open, knowing what the policies and procedures are, asking what they are, so there’s clarification at the outset and really understanding what the agreement says within the restrictions.”

    Harmon focuses his practice on the areas of executive compensation, employment and business law.  He represents senior-level employees of both public and private companies in the negotiation of their employment packages and all associated agreements, whether at the commencement of the employment relationship or at termination.  Harmon’s successful negotiation of employment and severance packages for clients includes employment and post-employment compensation, confidentiality, non-compete, non-solicitation, and garden leave covenants, the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, change of control provisions, and benefits and protections within the structures and strategies for those packages. His representation also includes providing advice and counsel to employers in the negotiation of employment and severance packages with their employees, the design of human resources compliance programs, including employee policy manuals, and counseling and training concerning implementation of those policies. Harmon also provides neutral investigative services in employment matters. In 2012, he launched his blog Transitions in Employment, www.transitionsinemployment.com, which focuses on developments in executive compensation and employment law.

    Harmon is a member of the Business Law and Labor & Employment Sections of the New York State and American Bar Associations, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Wall Street Technology Association.  He received his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and his B.A. from Tufts University.

    Posted in: David T. Harmon, Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, News | Tags:

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