Employment & Labor Relations

Gravel & Shea’s employment and labor relations group limits its practice to the exclusive representation of management in all aspects of the employment relationship. While we are available to answer all types of employment-related questions from our clients, our services generally relate to preventive labor and employment strategies, the defense of employment-related claims and dealing with union-organized workforces. Our clients are both large and small companies and have both unionized and union-free workplaces. We can help you take the proactive steps necessary to maintain a productive and meaningful employee relations program and to avoid costly litigation.

Counseling and Advice – We understand that emergencies occur in employee relations that require a company to respond quickly, confidently and appropriately. We provide immediate advice and counseling services to our clients so the best strategies can be implemented in order for employees to be treated fairly and litigation to be avoided.

Compliance Audits – An audit of your employment practices can highlight possible sources of liability. We can assess whether you are in compliance with federal and state record-keeping and notice-posting requirements, affirmative action obligations, federal and state wage-hour mandates and comprehensive family leave programs.

Supervisory Training – The U.S. Supreme Court has told employers that supervisory training is an essential element in determining liability and damages in employment discrimination cases. We provide training to first-line supervisors and their managers on preventing sexual harassment complaints, making accommodations to employees with disabilities, and evaluating and disciplining employees. We also provide human resource training for HR professionals.

Employment Discrimination – We can help implement equal employment practices and defend against charges of discrimination at the state and federal administrative levels as well as in state and federal court. This includes all claims brought under Title VII, the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Wrongful Discharge Litigation – Employers are now threatened with all types of wrongful discharge suits, including those brought by “whistle blowers,” and employees with various types of employment agreements. We have an unparalleled record in Vermont for success in defending against wrongful discharge claims.

Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining – In both the public and private sectors, we have successfully defeated union organizing drives. We also have extensive experience in negotiating union contracts and resolving unfair labor practice charges before both the VLRB and NLRB.

Other Areas – As a full-service employment group, we can help resolve the myriad of problems facing employers today, including the following:

  • Review and drafting of employee handbooks
  • Non-competition and confidentiality agreements
  • Affirmative action plans
  • Wage-hour issues
  • Occupational Safety and Health Laws
  • Plant closings and WARN Act compliance
  • Workers’ compensation issues
  • Family and medical leave
  • Harassment
  • Downsizing and restructuring
  • Privacy issues
  • Business immigration issues
  • Mediation
  • Grievance arbitration
  • Employee benefit plans and benefits litigation
  • Employee drug testing