Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy, S.C., brings decades of collective experience in the full range of labor and employment related issues on behalf of employers in the public and private sectors.
We emphasize counseling employers with proactive, practical advice to help our clients foster positive employer-employee relations and avoid costly and time-consuming litigation. Of course, we understand that disputes cannot always be avoided and, when necessary, our attorneys are well-prepared and experienced in defending our clients’ interests in administrative, state, and federal forums.
Our team’s expertise includes the following areas of Labor and Employment Law:
Employment Discrimination Law
Whether we are advising clients on how to navigate the complex tapestry of state and federal employment discrimination laws or actively defending our clients’ interests before the administrative agencies and courts that enforce them, our attorneys have the depth and breadth of experience to assist employers in any situation.
We regularly represent clients before the administrative agencies that handle discrimination claims, such as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development-Equal Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. We also provide clients with guidance on internal policy and handbook provisions to address harassment and workplace discrimination, investigative techniques and strategies, and management training to minimize claims of discrimination.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The FLSA can be a confusing and often counterintuitive body of laws and regulations governing employee wages and hours. As a result, it is one of the single greatest sources of disputes and litigation in employment law.
Our attorneys are experienced in advising employers on these issues, assisting clients with compliance, and – if necessary – defending them in state or federal wage and hour audits or litigation. We make sure our clients understand the rules that determine whether employees should be paid on a salary or hourly basis, whether employees can be paid a salary or must be paid on an hourly basis, whether employees are entitled to overtime, what counts as work time, and how to address other common concerns.
State and Federal Employment Laws
The general employment law landscape changes and expands almost every day, and there is no shortage of state and federal laws, rules, and regulations to which employers must adhere. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable in the full body of state and federal employment laws, including the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, worker’s compensation laws, Wage and Hour regulations, unemployment compensation, workplace safety regulations, and other authority governing the relationship between employers and their employees. We regularly appear before the state and federal agencies that police these statutes and regulations, such as the Department of Labor, the Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Workforce Development, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and more.
Public and Private Sector Labor Law
Our attorneys are experienced in every aspect of state and federal labor laws. We regularly participate in union contract negotiations, represent public employers before the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, represent private employers before the National Labor Relations Board, and advise union and non-union employers alike on their obligations under state and federal law. Our attorneys have represented employers in countless grievance and interest arbitration hearings, prohibited and unfair labor practice complaint cases, union elections, unit clarifications, declaratory judgment actions, strikes and work stoppages, and other labor-management disputes. We also have extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and often can bring an end to labor disputes through negotiated solutions.
Immigration Compliance and Employment
Our immigration practice provides experienced counsel on relevant immigration laws, processing all types of business immigration visas, representing clients in audits, and representing and counseling clients in all other aspects of immigration law compliance.
Restrictive Covenants (Non-Competes)
Wisconsin has very specific statutes and rules that govern the enforceability of restrictive covenants. A poorly drafted contract or one that is not tailored to the specific organization and/or industry can be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce, and can be more of a hazard than a benefit to the organization’s legal interests.
Our attorneys have represented employers both in enforcing and defeating restrictive covenants to protect their business interests. Our attorneys are also experienced in drafting restrictive covenants and in counseling employers on strategies they can use to maximize the benefit of restrictive covenants without turning them into a liability.
Compliance with state and federal laws often requires extensive fact-finding and investigation, but not every employer is equipped to investigate employment issues properly and sometimes an outside investigator is better for legal or practical reasons. Our attorneys are regularly commissioned to perform workplace investigations concerning alleged harassment or discrimination, workplace misbehavior, job performance issues, and off duty misconduct, to name only a few. We provide investigative reports that are prompt, detailed, understandable, and useable, and we stand behind our work when an investigation report need to be used to defend the employer’s chosen course of action.
Management and Supervisory Training
Legal compliance cannot be a purely reactive enterprise; employers need to make sure that their managers and supervisors are trained to counsel and correct, evaluate appropriately, and take proper action when required. Employers also need to develop their managers’ and supervisors’ human resources and employment relations acumen, so that they are as nimble at handling employee concerns as they are knowledgeable about the laws that apply to them.
Our attorneys are skilled trainers and in-service providers, with the background of attorneys who have seen the end result of good planning and bad. We provide presentations with reference materials, informal training sessions, and individualized programming to help our clients protect themselves and learn to be better managers and supervisors in the process.
FOCUS | WISCONSIN
We are also focused on providing legal services in other areas that our clients need, such as real estate, general business law, creditor’s rights, and business litigation.
With over 25+ years of experience, we guarantee that we will be able to guide you through any issue you present to us. We are here for you and look forward to achieving your needs.
Provide efficient client-focused, expert legal services to educational institutions, and public and private sector employers.
Our mission at Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy is giving knowledgable expertise, to those seeking it, with authority, energy and poise.