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Labor Relations

Royal, P.C. attorneys have nearly 30 years of labor relations experience. The firm represents unionized employers in court and before administrative agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board. Royal, P.C. defends its clients against unfair labor practice charges and at arbitrations in matters involving contract interpretation and employee discipline or discharge. The firm also advises its clients during union organizing, NLRB elections and labor negotiations, interpreting and applying collective bargaining agreements and understanding the types of actions that may constitute an unfair labor practice.

In addition, Royal, P.C. advises its non-union clients on developing the best practices for maintaining a union free workplace. In fact, it is committed to practicing preventive labor relations by counseling on positive communications with employees, developing effective policies and conducting supervisory training.

Litigation Avoidance & ADR

Royal, P.C. attorneys recognize that engaging in protracted litigation is not always the best solution to a problem. Alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration, is an important consideration to litigation, which can become time-consuming and costly. Our attorneys' expertise in litigation avoidance and alternative dispute resolution includes evaluating and advising clients on the advantages of utilizing alternative dispute resolution as an option. When such alternatives are available and worthwhile, our attorneys represent clients during mediations and arbitrations.

Specific Employment Litigation Cases Royal Handled
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a Fortune 500 company in a federal lawsuit in Massachusetts brought by a former employee alleging sexual and disability harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act. 
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel in federal court in Connecticut for a multi-state not-for-profit organization in a lawsuit involving disability and gender discrimination and retaliation and retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a Fortune 500 company in a lawsuit brought by a former employee alleging breach of employment contract, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, defamation, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.      
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel to a company in a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging certain violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a large restaurant group in a class action arising under the Massachusetts Wage Act.  The class action involved allegations of violations of tip pooling, minimum wage, overtime, and off-the-clock work.
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a large not-for-profit organization in a federal lawsuit brought by a former employee alleging interference with the Family and Medical Leave Act and failure to accommodate and discriminatory discharge under the Americans with Disabilities Act and its state counterpart. 
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a municipality in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former employee in federal court in Massachusetts.
  • Royal, P.C. served as defense counsel for a multi-state not-for-profit organization in a federal lawsuit brought in Massachusetts involving alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, misrepresentation, and breach of contract.    

EMPLOYMENT

Affirmative Action & OFCCP Compliance

Royal, P.C. advises federal contractors on contract compliance issues and assists in creating and implementing affirmative action plans. As part of this process, the firm conducts statistical analyses, helps set goals and prepares plan texts, reports, sample policies, notices and letters. The firm also provides training to management to help them better understand their affirmative action plans and obligations under them as well as the procedures for plan development and implementation.

In addition, Royal, P.C. assists clients during audits conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and defends them should the OFCCP issue notices of violation or assert claims of discrimination.

For non-federal contractor clients, we advise on the legalities relative to implementing diversity initiatives and voluntary affirmative action plans.

Data Security & Employee Privacy

Royal, P.C. helps employers develop and implement policies and procedures to safeguard the private information of their employees and customers, fulfilling their obligations under Massachusetts' data security laws and reducing the risk of identity theft. Royal, P.C. attorneys provide comprehensive risk assessments, train management and employees regarding best practices for protecting sensitive information, and help employers develop written information security programs that comply with Massachusetts' identity theft regulations and are tailored to their clients' specific needs.

Royal, P.C. attorneys also advise employers with respect to their obligations to employees under state and federal privacy laws.

Disability & Leave Laws

Employers face significant obligations under state and federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Royal, P.C. works with clients in drafting leave and accommodation policies, responding to requests for leave or requests for accommodation, managing employee absences, and ensuring that hiring procedures comply with the ADA's requirements regarding disability-related inquiries and medical examinations.

Discrimination & Harassment

A myriad of state and federal laws require employers to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment. The attorneys at Royal, P.C. have extensive experience defending employers against claims of discrimination and harassment. Royal, P.C. also works closely with clients to reduce the risk that employees will file claims of discrimination by providing valuable advice in all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, promotion, discipline, and discharge.

When employers receive internal complaints of discrimination or harassment, Royal, P.C. provides guidance in responding to such complaints and assists clients in conducting prompt and thorough investigations and remedying any discrimination or harassment that may have occurred. Royal, P.C. attorneys also provide training to employees and management regarding discrimination and harassment and draft comprehensive non-discrimination and non-harassment policies for their clients.

Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing

Royal, P.C. counsels clients in the development of drug-free workplace policies and drug and alcohol testing procedures that comply with applicable laws such as the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Royal, P.C. attorneys provide guidance regarding whether employees may be subjected to random drug testing and whether "reasonable suspicion" exists to support a non-random drug test for an individual employee. For clients with employees who are covered by the Department of Transportation, Royal, P.C. provides training programs that are compliant with the DOT's supervisory training and employee education requirements.

ERISA and Other Employee Benefits

Royal, P.C. assists in drafting various employee benefits and compensation plans, including cafeteria plans, retirement plans, 401(k) plans, stock option plans and plans for highly compensated key employees. Our attorneys also offer counsel on the potential implications of certain plans and have experience litigating ERISA matters when disputes arise.

Preventive Employment Services

Because we believe that careful planning and counseling can reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit or can at least improve the likelihood for success should litigation arise, we offer a variety of litigation avoidance-related services, such as preparing, reviewing and updating employment policies and handbooks, drafting Affirmative Action plans, conducting audits to ensure businesses are compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and providing employee and management training on a variety of training topics, such as sexual harassment and anti-discrimination, discipline and documentation, the ADA and reasonable accommodations, wage and hour, leaves of absences, electronic issues in the workplace, independent contractor status, joint employment issues and maintaining a union-free environment.

Training Topics
  • Techniques for Safely Hiring and Firing Employees
  • Basic Course in Employment Law
  • Supervisor Training - What Every Good Supervisor Needs to Know About Managing Employees
  • Effective Employee Discipline and Documentation
  • Conducting an Effective Investigation into Employee Misconduct
  • Avoiding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Claims
  • Diversity Issues in the Workplace
  • Record Retention, including requirements for storing and destroying records under the data breach statute
  • Workplace issues related to computers, email, internet and other electronic communications
  • Workplace Violence
  • Wage and Hour Compliance
  • Independent Contractors vs. Employees
  • Joint Employment Issues
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Determining Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Employees
  • Employee Leaves of Absence
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Small Necessities Leave
  • Maternity Leave
  • Military Leave
  • Other types of paid and unpaid leaves
  • Same-Sex Marriages and Employment Issues
  • Employing Registered Sex Offenders in the Workplace
  • Maintaining a Union-Free Environment
  • Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace
Other Services

Employment Counseling, providing proactive advice to companies before making various employment decisions, such as initiating disciplinary action, granting leaves of absences, reducing their workforce/instituting layoffs or implementing policies

Drafting, reviewing and updating personnel policies, employee handbooks and other written materials

Conducting an Employment Practices Audit to ensure your practices and policies are compliant with applicable laws and are otherwise consistent.

Unemployment Insurance Law

Royal, P.C. attorneys provide advice, counseling, and training on Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151A, the Massachusetts unemployment insurance law, including the standards for awards of unemployment benefits and disqualification. We also advise clients on the Division of Unemployment Assistance's (DUA) rules and procedures, explaining how evidence is presented and weighed, the role of witnesses, how witnesses' credibility may be assessed, and the role of the DUA Hearing Officer. The firm has assisted clients in preparing and presenting reasons for termination and appeal in accordance with Massachusetts law and has represented clients both at unemployment hearings and before the Board of Review.

Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets

Royal, P.C. attorneys understand the importance of protecting against unfair competition and offer many preventive services to assist businesses in securing adequate protection, which includes advising on and drafting legally enforceable covenants not to compete, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and non-solicitation agreements; preparing employment agreements for business executives and others in upper management and conducting audits of current business practices.

In addition to our preventive services, we aggressively litigate unfair competition and improper intellectual property disclosure matters. Prior to initiating litigation on our business client's behalf, our attorneys carefully weigh the potential ramifications to the business and the value of seeking court intervention through temporary restraining orders and injunctions.

Wage/Hour: Individual & Class Action Litigation & Compliance

Royal, P.C. attorneys have significant experience defending employers in both individual and class action wage/hour litigation. Our broad expertise includes defense in the following types of wage/hour cases: misclassification of employees as exempt, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay and/or properly calculate overtime pay, failure to pay for all time worked, including donning and doffing issues, failure to pay commissions, improper tip pooling, failure to provide meal breaks and failure to pay for "off-the-clock" time. Our attorneys also represent employers in these types of disputes before the United States Department of Labor and state wage/hour enforcement agencies.

With wage/hour litigation on the rise and the increased penalties for violations, Royal, P.C. offers various preventive services to employers in order to reduce the risk of a viable wage/hour claim and to otherwise comply with applicable wage/hour laws. Royal, P.C. attorneys advise on wage/hour matters, providing counsel on issues related to the classification of workers, calculation of pay, commissions, tips, pay procedures, meal breaks and other state and federal wage/hour laws. Our wage/hour preventive services include audits of companies wage/hour practices, drafting policies and procedures, including legally compliant incentive plans, and conducting management training.

Workers' Compensation

Royal, P.C. represents employers, insurers and self-insurers in the defense of workers' compensation claims. The firm handles all phases of workers' compensation litigation, including hearings at the Division of Industrial Accidents and appeals. In addition to offering litigation services, the firm also assist its clients in developing appropriate claims investigation programs and safety measures in order to help reduce the number and cost of workers' compensation claims.

Workplace Safety and Compliance

Royal, P.C. attorneys have extensive experience designing preventive solutions to ensure that company workplaces are safe under federal and state law. Our attorneys excel at drafting handbook provisions that inform workers of their workplace rights and protect companies from complaints and liability. Additionally, Royal, P.C. attorneys have experience counseling employers on the applicability of federal (OSHA) and state safety regulations, including Massachusetts' and Connecticut's Divisions of Occupational Safety.

Additionally, Royal, P.C. attorneys assist employers with other workplace safety concerns including workplace violence and substance abuse issues. Our firm has extensive experience drafting policies designed to prevent these problems. We also conduct training programs for managers on how to best carry out these policies.