Employment Litigation

Holistically
practical

Overview

Offering seasoned advice and practical counsel in all employment and labor-related legal disputes, we cater to the unique business needs of our diverse client base. Knowing that when it comes to the complex and often rapidly evolving web of labor and employment law, our team respects that litigation is but one of many possible resolution options to consider when it comes to resolving disputes.

When it comes to employment disputes, companies need a holistic perspective and practical approach to get to the core of the problem quickly.

Grounded in the highest levels of integrity and professionalism, our Employment Litigation Practice includes straight-talking attorneys who serve clients across the Southeast ranging from large, complex corporations with thousands of employees, to mid-level and small businesses with detailed needs.

When litigation can’t be avoided, we work collaboratively to exceed our client’s expectations and treat each engagement with a high-touch level of service, understanding that complex problems can stress a company’s bottom line.

Using this practical approach and solution-driven processes, our team works on matters that touch nearly every area of the employment spectrum, including:

  • Administrative hearings and appeals
  • Employee handbooks
  • Employment contracts
  • Employment discrimination and harassment
  • Employment torts
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) matters
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance
  • Hiring and firing practices
  • Non-compete, trade secrets and restrictive covenants
  • Retaliation
  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Wage and hour compliance

Experience

  • Obtained dismissal of the eight employment-based counts of a nine-count complaint. In a reported opinion, the court dismissed all claims arising from the former employee’s termination. The opinion was the first to address the attorney-client privilege as a basis for the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
  • Obtained dismissal of all claims against an ERISA plan in lawsuits brought by the Department of Labor (DOL) and a class of former employees for alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Achieved victory for the defendant in Cribb v. Spatholt, 676 S.E.2d 706 (S.C. App. 2009), where the plaintiff sued his former employer, Boundary House Restaurant, and its owners seeking substantial damages and alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract and violation of South Carolina’s Payment of Wages Act. The defendant won a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, and the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling. The published case has precedential value in subsequent cases involving personal jurisdiction and South Carolina’s long-arm statute.
  • Represented a plaintiff who sued his former employer alleged religious discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The case involved arcane and complex legal issues regarding an employee’s right to a religious accommodation, undue hardship on an employer and the balance between an individual’s sincerely held religious belief as opposed to a mere personal preference related to religion. This case was unique as the employee requested time off for Good Friday. Few, if any, reported cases specifically address this issue in the employment context, and no Christian denomination requires abstention from work on Good Friday as a doctrinal rule. The magistrate issued a report and recommendation in the employer’s favor. The case was subsequently settled.
  • Mounted a strong defense and settled on favorable terms for two plaintiffs who sued their former employer alleging discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). As with many age-related cases, the alleged damages were substantial, as many older workers tend to earn more than younger workers, thereby significantly increasing demands for back pay and front pay in ADEA cases. This case also involves the unique issue of whether a claimant’s pursuit of Social Security disability benefits renders him ineligible to recover back pay and front pay under the ADEA, as opposed to the more common situation involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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