Employment & Labor

Our employment and labor lawyers represent businesses of every size in such industries as automotive, manufacturing, construction, retail, hospitality, restaurants, healthcare, technology and education.  We offer comprehensive employment law services, from counsel regarding all personnel and human resources issues, to litigation of all employment-related claims.

Employee Benefits & ERISA

Our employee benefit lawyers advise businesses regarding many types of employer-sponsored plans, including retirement plans (401(k)), defined benefit plans, pension plans, SIMPLE plans, and ESOPs), welfare and fringe benefit plans, profit sharing plans, incentive and bonus arrangements, cafeteria/flexible benefit plans, severance pay and health plans.  We also help businesses navigate the complexities of ERISA in connection with employee benefit plans and executive compensation, and COBRA in connection with termination of employment.

Employment Contracts

We expertly advise, negotiate, draft, enforce and litigate all employment-related contracts, including:

  • At-will and for cause employment agreements
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Commission contracts and sales representative agreements
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Independent contractor and consulting agreements
  • Non-solicitation, non-compete and other restrictive covenants
  • Physician and executive employment agreements
  • Separation and release agreements

Employment Discrimination

Couzens Lansky advises and represents businesses in a variety of discrimination and harassment matters, including those based on age, gender, race, religion, disability, marital status and veteran status.  Whether you are seeking advice regarding a particular employee situation, or are seeking representation for the defense or prosecution of a discrimination or harassment claim, we have the knowledge and experience to assist you.

Executive Compensation

We advise employers, executives and commissioned sales representatives on a multitude of issues surrounding executive compensation, including:

  • Bonus and commission plans
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Executive employment and consulting agreements
  • Incentive plans, such as stock option plans, stock appreciation rights and employee stock purchase plans
  • Independent contractor and consulting agreements
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation agreements and IRC §409A and ERISA compliance
  • Phantom stock, vesting rights and other equity issues
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Split dollar agreements and other life insurance-related arrangements

Human Resources / Personnel Policies & Issues

We advise employers on day-to-day personnel, management and HR issues, including:

  • Counseling and ensuring compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Title VII laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Counseling on a variety of employment issues, including harassment, drugs and controlled substances, employee misconduct, unemployment compensation, social media use, trade secrets, leaves of absence, discipline and termination and workplace safety
  • Dealing with employee violence and other misconduct
  • Ensuring compliance with employment discrimination laws
  • Ensuring compliance with overtime and other wage and hour regulations
  • Preparing and reviewing employee handbooks and personnel policies

Labor & Employment Litigation

Our employment lawyers thoroughly and aggressively litigate discrimination, harassment, restrictive covenant and other employment-related claims in the state and federal courts of Michigan and throughout the Midwest, as well as before the EEOC, NLRB, Department of Labor, OSHA and other agencies.

Management Labor Law – Collective Bargaining & Withdrawal Liability

We advise and represent employers on a number of labor issues, including:

  • Advising on withdrawal liability
  • Analyzing and negotiating collective bargaining agreements
  • Defending against union organizing campaigns
  • Handling unfair labor practice charges, elections and other proceedings before the NLRB
  • Representing clients at grievance and arbitration proceedings

Restrictive Covenants

Our employment lawyers have vast experience drafting, reviewing, counseling and litigating issues surrounding non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, as well as uniform trade secret and tortious interference claims.

Workplace Health & Safety (OSHA/MIOSHA)

Our employment lawyers help clients navigate the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), including:

  • Preparing employers for inspections
  • Handling negotiation, litigation and resolution of citations
  • Counseling to improve safety and health performance and ensure compliance
  • Representing employers against employee/union complaints and charges