Brody and Associates Victories
Brody and Associates prides itself in being “can do” lawyers who get the results their clients need and want. A sample of some of our results are listed below, separated by subject matter. Of course, these results are only samples and cannot be used to predict future results. We also list some of the recognitions we have received from our peers and professional organizations.
Discrimination and Harassment Litigation
We obtained a Summary Judgment Dismissal of a Title VII discrimination case in federal court; an extremely infrequent result in this area of law. For this Indiana client, the victory prevented a trial, saving tens of thousands of dollars of litigation costs, hundreds of hours of business disruption, and eliminated the potential for bad publicity in a small, close-knit community.
We won a victory in the New York Division of Human Rights (DHR) for a restaurant that was accused of sex discrimination. The restaurant fired a female employee for not pooling her tips. She alleged sex discrimination because, according to her, the restaurant did not require her predecessor, a male, to pool his tips. The case went to a trial at DHR, and we convinced the judge, without the benefit of supporting documents, that the male predecessor did pool his tips after the restaurant changed its policy. We further showed there were no discriminatory actions or intent on the part of the restaurant. In the face of the evidence produced, the Hearing Commissioner found no sex discrimination and dismissed the case.
A new client in the printing business came to us after the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination recommending a $75,000 punitive/pain and suffering award for what the EEOC believed was a case of failure to promote based on race. We negotiated with the EEOC for less than a month and were able to convince them and the Charging Party that their case was weak and not worth trying. They accepted our settlement offer of $4,000.00.
A leading security company which provides services to Fortune 500 companies was being sued under multiple federal civil rights laws. We filed a motion to dismiss all charges in the early stages of the investigation and won a complete dismissal of all claims, costing our client only a few thousand dollars in attorney’s fees. Had the plaintiff been successful, the recovery could have reached into the hundreds of thousands of dollars including punitive damages.
The same company faced a disability discrimination law suit. Brody and Associates was able to argue that the Plaintiff’s claims did not constitute discrimination, and as a result, the case was settled for only two thousand dollars despite initial claims asking for tens of thousands in damages.
After a default was entered against our client, we obtained an Order denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Default in a case involving claims of disability discrimination. We ultimately resolved the case for less than a quarter of the original settlement demand prior to even filing an Answer to the Plaintiff’s Complaint.
An internationally owned car parts manufacturer was sued for age discrimination when its CEO departed. We defended the company in federal court and settled on the eve of trial.
Wage and Hour Litigation and Advising
A small not for profit organization was facing a wage and hour lawsuit from two of its employees. Brody and Associates negotiated a settlement amount of less than a quarter of the organization’s potential liability before it was even necessary to a file an answer to the Plaintiff’s initial complaint. This swift work saved the client significant costs in terms of both damages and attorney’s fees.
A national client uncovered several wage payment issues which arguably violated Federal wage and hour laws. We helped evaluate liability and calculate back pay. We then assisted our client to reach a national accord with the Federal Department of Labor, thus avoiding Fair Labor Standards Act damages including treble damages and attorneys’ fees as well as the numerous state law claims.
A pool plastering company was investigated by the Connecticut Department of Labor for wage and hour issues related to a fund it created for employee wage payments. Brody and Associates was able to convince the Department of Labor to accept this method of payment which reduced the total liability to almost ten percent of the total potential liability.
A bakery was investigated by the United States Department of Labor for alleged wage and hour violations related to non-payment of overtime. The liability could have been well into the six figures. Brody and Associates negotiated with the Department of Labor and ultimately succeeded in brokering payment of less than 25% of the original amount demanded by the government.
We have handled multiple wage and hour cases for clients in the New York hospitality industry. We negotiated favorable settlements and resolved the cases pre-discovery, saving the clients a significant expense.
A manufacturing client asked us to investigate pre-litigation wage and hour claims levied against them by a number of employees. Brody and Associates reviewed the client’s records and determined no violations had been committed. Subsequently, one of the employees sued the client in spite of this finding. Relying on the pre-litigation analysis we had performed, we were able to resolve the case with no liability to the client.
We have resolved multiple wage and hour cases in state and federal courts at the early stages of litigation to avoid the expense of attorneys’ fees and business interruption for our clients.
Agency Charges, Audits, and Investigations
A small business owner was assessed by the New York Department of Labor (“DOL”) nearly $200,000 for wage and hour violations. Brody and Associates handled the appeal. As a result of our negotiations with the DOL, our client had to pay less than a third of the assessed amount in partial payments spread out over a year.
A small private medical practice faced a charge from the New York State Division of Human Rights when a disgruntled employee-applicant claimed she was discriminated against due to her criminal record. Brody and Associates investigated this claim and handled the practice’s administrative response to the Division of Human Rights resulting in a full dismissal, avoiding the possibility of costly hearings.
A small home maintenance business underwent a Worker’s Compensation insurance audit that found a large number of the business’s workers did not quality as independent contractors, but as employees, thereby making the company liable for tens of thousands of dollars in additional insurance premiums. Brody and Associates handled the investigation with the Commission, successfully convincing them that the workers should be classified as independent contractors and the investigation was closed. By fighting for our clients, we saved them significant money while allowing them more time to focus on their business instead of dealing with government bureaucracy.
A large non-profit owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board following an audit. Brody and Associates helped the organization argue that many of its workers should not be classified as Workers’ Compensation eligible employees and helped negotiate a settlement that required the organization to pay only a third of the initial amount owed. We also worked out the settlement in a way that allowed our client to pay the costs overtime, thus further reducing the financial stress placed on their organization.
Two quick service restaurants fired employees for legitimate reasons, yet the employees filed suit for discrimination. Brody and Associates represented both clients before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Our argument to CHRO investigators about each employee’s performance persuaded the investigators that the cases had little to no merit. Our tactic of working directly with the investigators avoided the costly expense of in-person mediation and enabled us to settle these cases for only two weeks’ pay per employee.
Union Election Victory
A major commercial bakery was facing a significant unionization drive. Brody and Associates advised and assisted the bakery throughout the process from initial solicitation efforts to the eventual union election. As a result of our advice, the Bakery successfully avoided the unionization of its workers with less than 25% of workers voting in favor of forming a union.
A large beverage company contacted us when a union filed a representation petition. That was the first time the company had heard of any efforts to unionize its workers. With only a few weeks to prepare for an election, Brody and Associates guided the company through the union campaign, providing management with communication tips and tools to ensure employees understood what a union really meant for them. The company was successful in the election, but during the campaign process the union filed objections and unfair labor practices charges, necessitating a second election. With our guidance, the company won the second election. The beverage company remains union-free.
Our client was a world leader in its manufacturing industry. They received a union petition for the first time in their history. We were called after the petition was filed. We guided the company through the entire election process which resulted in a 55 to 0 win for the Company. The company remains union free to this day.
A major financial institution came to Brody and Associates when it faced a lawsuit by two former employees. One employee filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and both employees sought a declaratory judgment against our client which would strike down our restrictive covenants. Brody and Associates successfully defended the financial institution in both matters. We not only had the EEOC charge dismissed, but were able to win a large settlement where the plaintiffs paid the defendants, our clients, for violating a non-compete.
Years later, three employees of the same company went to a competitor to create a miniature version of our client and provide the same services in the same market space. Brody and Associates obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the employees from soliciting customers and employees of our client. Eventually, we were able to secure a settlement agreement with a six-figure settlement amount and no solicitation for nine months.
We successfully enforced a national client’s No-Solicitation Agreement before a New Jersey Trial Court. We obtained a preliminary injunction that not only prohibited solicitation of our client’s current employees, but also of employees who recently resigned.
We successfully defended our client against a claim for breach of a covenant not to compete filed with the American Arbitration Association in Connecticut. Through a novel legal theory, we convinced the arbitration panel to deny the plaintiff’s $2 million claim in its entirety, as well as award our client over $33,000 on a counterclaim.
While primarily a management side labor and employment firm, Brody and Associates also counsels high compensation executives on separation and non-compete agreements when leaving their jobs. For example, a highly experienced medical researcher was being laid-off by a large pharmaceutical company despite having recently relocated cross-country for his position. Beyond this great inconvenience, the company also wanted to hold him to a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from finding a new position. Brody and Associates counseled the executive on how to negotiate his separation agreement. With our help the executive was able to convince the company to offer significantly higher severance compensation and a complete waver of the non-compete agreement.
Strategic Consulting, HR Consulting and Training
We assisted one of our manufacturing clients with a reduction in force of 68 employees. The reduction went smoothly and successfully without any workplace violence or disruption in production. All of the employees who received releases returned them with no subsequent litigation or adverse publicity.
Brody and Associates was asked to provide union-free training to the management of a large restaurant franchise. We were able to speak to several hundred managers to ensure they understood how to recognize the first signs of a union drive and provide communication tips to ensure employees understand the value of remaining union-free. To date, the organization and its franchisees have remained union-free.
A young advertising communications firm came to us when faced with a sexual harassment issue in the workplace. We worked with management to investigate the claim. With our aid, the company effectively resolved the problem and no charges were ever filed.
A small business client contacted Brody and Associates as it planned to fire an employee and wanted our counsel to ensure there were no legal issues. The company had intended to release the employee with severance pay but without obtaining a release. After reviewing the plan, we advised the client to have the employee sign a release of claims in exchange for the severance. This move pre-empted the litigation we later learned the employee was planning and helped us realize there were other labor and employment practices unrelated to the case that needed to be corrected.
We provide training on all Labor and Employment topics in varying formats including live in-person seminars and webinars. Topics include maintaining a harassment-free environment, a union-free environment, and addressing diversity and other equal employment rights topics.
An unhappy employee anonymously contacted OSHA, instigating an inspection in which several violations were found. After remedying the violations, we were able to successfully negotiate an information settlement which resulted in some citations being reclassified and penalties being reduced by 45%.