Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys

Employment & ERISA Litigation

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Moore & Van Allen’s Employment & ERISA litigation practice includes attorneys with extensive and varied experience, serving clients in one of the most heavily regulated and scrutinized environments in the U.S. and abroad—the workplace. We practice in state and federal courts and also deal with government audits and investigations across the country. We have litigated cross-border trade secret cases for our clients with international operations. When clients face a filed lawsuit or formal government action adverse to their interests, we are ready to respond aggressively. But we do more than litigate, and that makes a difference. We also work with clients to create and implement thorough and compliant policies and practices; we counsel and advise clients pragmatically to control risk on the full range of employment and employee benefits/ERISA issues; and we bring seasoned negotiation skills and vigorous, knowledgeable advocacy to the bargaining table to avoid or resolve disputes.

Our proactive advice is intended to uncover and resolve potential problems before they become crises. Litigation and government audit experience informs that advice so we can better anticipate the choices a client will face and assess client options. Conversely, by addressing a client’s employment and ERISA/benefits issues we become prepared as litigators to better advocate for the client’s interests because we know the client’s business and history. We help to create a productive workplace that meets our clients' business needs effectively. When necessary, however, we have the resources and know-how to move rapidly and decisively to resolve problems through litigation or other binding dispute resolution.

Trusted and Experienced Counsel

For most clients, workforce talent – the knowledge, skills, and relationships developed in employees and effective management – is a critical ingredient for success. As a savvy and responsive legal partner, we strive to protect that talent and prevent or address claims that undercut our clients’ success. Clients trust us to respond to problems large and small, “to keep the workplace working” for the business, rather than the business being consumed by conflict and litigation. We vigorously represent our clients in defense of claims under Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, FLSA, and the FMLA; enforcement or breach of non-compete and confidentiality agreements; defense of employee common law claims, employee raiding claims, claims for breach of employee privacy, and breach of employment agreements, including non-solicitation covenants; workers' compensation; and claims for wrongful discharge.

A Sophisticated Approach to ERISA/Employee Benefits Disputes

Successful resolution of litigation involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires an experienced guide with specialized knowledge. Our team combines experience in employee benefits law with tough litigation know-how to handle benefits-related disputes ranging from individual claims to investigations to complex class actions. Our employee benefits litigators routinely represent fiduciaries, sponsors, administrators, and service providers for a variety of ERISA plans, including and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), 401(k) plans, stock plans, and welfare plans. These cases include breach of fiduciary duty, prohibited transaction, and denial of benefits disputes, as well as cutting-edge issues such as plan fees, revenue sharing with investment advisors, and ERISA’s often confusing “other equitable relief” claims.

Labor Relations

Our practice includes seasoned practitioners in traditional labor law matters. We have assisted clients in developing and executing strategies to manage complex labor-management relations, including responding to corporate campaigns, union representational proceedings, unfair labor practice charges, labor arbitrations, collective bargaining, and strike contingency planning and execution. We also can provide representation in collective bargaining with a goal of retaining greater management discretion.

Pragmatic, Coordinated Representation

Moore & Van Allen’s employment, labor, and ERISA litigators also have the ability to call on attorneys from multiple other practice groups, including corporate, tax, immigration and public policy. The seamless interaction among our attorneys provides clients one firm for efficient, cost-effective counsel.

A Wide Range of Experience

We have successfully handled litigation matters and regulatory actions in such areas as:

  • Claims relating to federal and state leave laws
  • Wrongful termination and discrimination claims
  • Employee torts
  • Enforcement of employment contracts, restrictive covenants
  • Government audits and investigations
  • Harassment claims
  • Retaliation and whistleblower claims
  • Union claims and labor actions
  • Wage and hour disputes

We regularly advise on policies and problem-solving regarding:

  • E-mail, internet, bring your own device, and other data security policies
  • Hiring, firing, disciplinary actions and decisions
  • Labor laws applicable to union and non-union employers
  • Leaves of absence
  • Overtime and pay practice issues
  • Privacy policies
  • Requests for accommodation, for disability or other protected categories
  • Retaliation issues
  • Workplace safety laws

We draft policies and agreements such as:

  • Executive employment agreements
  • Commission agreements
  • Onboarding confidentiality agreements
  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Severance agreements and other termination releases
  • Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Intellectual property agreements
  • Work-for-hire contracts

Representative Litigation Engagements Include:

  • Represented construction and automobile service clients in cases throughout North Carolina and other states in discrimination lawsuits and administration agency charges, securing favorable settlements.
  • In a recent discrimination class action against an auto club affiliate and subsidiaries, won denial of class certification as well as sanctions against purported class action plaintiffs.
  • Successfully resolved potential multi-million dollar claims on behalf of a national construction and engineering company in a “pattern and practice” collective action case brought by the U.S. EEOC.
  • Obtained injunction and contempt citation against teacher's union for unlawful strike against school corporation.
  • Represented a prominent non-profit organization and its directors in a high-profile termination and compensation dispute with the former CEO.
  • Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against former employee for breach of non-compete and misappropriation of confidential information.
  • Successfully represented an ERISA trustee and sponsor in a defendants’ class action by confirming the client’s right to modify plan benefits and resolved a parallel plaintiffs’ class action brought by retirees and their unions against the plan fiduciary and sponsor.
  • Represented a successor trustee to an ESOP and representative of the ESOP Plan in multi-million dollar breach of fiduciary duty class action litigation against former trustee.
  • Represented a publishing company defending an executive’s challenge of denial of benefits under a plant closing severance plan.
  • Obtained a summary judgment for an employer and individual defendants in an age discrimination and harassment action.
  • Obtained partial summary judgment for defendant, while defeating plaintiff’s cross-motions, in a corporate raiding/misappropriation of trade secrets case before the North Carolina Business Court.

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