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On the Pulse… Employment Law Practice Group Provides Defense Counseling and Training Services to Clients

December 4, 2017

Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 4, December 2017

By Ronda K. O’Donnell, Esq.*

Employment law claims are the stories of headlines, often costing companies big money, win or lose. Every employment case involves a unique set of highly emotional facts—one of actual or perceived indignities suffered, a job lost or accusations of egregious conduct in the workplace. In these situations, the defense matters.

Marshall Dennehey’s Employment Law Practice Group has been representing self-insureds and insurance companies in employment-related litigation for many years. We handle all areas of employment litigation, including claims under the discrimination statutes, federal and state leave acts, the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage laws, employment-related tort claims, such as wrongful termination, defamation, negligent hiring or supervision, breach of contract actions, and actions for violation of wage payment laws. We regularly appear before administrative agencies, like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state and local human relations agencies, as well as the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and federal and state courts that sit in the jurisdictions where we have a presence—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Ohio and Florida. When needed, we also defend employers’ decisions in labor or private arbitrations.

Our experienced litigators approach cases proactively and strategically, making our clients’ objectives and goals primary. If early resolution is important, we leverage our knowledge and familiarity with the jurists in the jurisdictions where we practice to achieve that result. We also have significant experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Otherwise, we work to obtain dismissal of claims at the administrative agency level or, alternatively, through motions to dismiss or summary judgment at the trial court level. If early dismissal is not possible, we provide aggressive and effective trial representation.

 The definition of predictable is the comfort in knowing where things are headed. Unfortunately for employers, the laws and regulations governing the workplace are constantly changing and evolving such that an employer has little assurance that the way a business managed its workforce in years past is an appropriate model for the future. Employers today face not only the challenge of running a successful business, but they must also be certain to remain in compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations. Thus, in addition to providing our clients with vigorous representation in employment lawsuits, our Employment Law Practice Group also provides advisory/counseling services to our clients, keeping them up-to-date on a range of workplace issues affecting the various industries in which they operate.

The goal of our counseling and advisory services is to help employers limit or avoid litigation as much as possible. We regularly advise our clients on issues concerning statutory compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as other federal and state laws. We also offer assistance to personnel management professionals on issues related to hiring, performance, assessment and monitoring, investigations, discipline, discharge, workforce reduction programs and audits.

An employer without clear and effective personnel policies is an employer at risk. We work with our clients to create legally compliant, efficient, and comprehensive employee handbooks and personnel policies. The Employment Law Practice Group also offers training programs on a full range of employment matters tailored to specific client needs or specific employee groups, such as supervisors, managers, human resource personnel and risk managers.

For those businesses with offices and services open to the public, the Employment Law Practice Group also defends and counsels clients with respect to property and service-based compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, the group’s attorneys are experienced in defending housing discrimination cases filed against property owners or residential management companies, including litigating and defending cases filed against our clients by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Representing employers and business clients requires skill and familiarity with applicable federal, state, and local laws that affect employees and the employer-employee relationship, as well as business and property owner operations. Given the complexity of the laws in this area, a company’s best defense is to partner with lawyers who know the law and the forum and who take a proactive approach to solving the company’s issues and exposures. The experienced and well-regarded attorneys in Marshall Dennehey’s Employment Law Practice Group are those attorneys. We pride ourselves in taking care of the defense—when the defense matters—so our clients can focus on the growth and development of their businesses with the knowledge that they comply with current employment laws and statutes.

*Ronda is a shareholder and the chair of our Employment Law Practice Group. She can be reached at 215.575.2697 or


Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 4, December 2017. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2017 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact

Affiliated Attorney

Ronda K. O'Donnell
Chair, Employment Law Practice Group
(215) 575-2697


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