Labor and Employment


The workplace is ever changing, becoming more diverse, highly regulated and volatile resulting in complex challenges and risks for employers impacting their operations on a global basis. As a result, clients need skilled counsel to manage risk, assist them with labor disputes, litigation avoidance and defense, and to guide them in devising and implementing effective workplace policies and procedures.

Dechert’s labor and employment team has the ability to provide rapid, integrated solutions to any employment, benefits or labor matter. We work closely with companies of all sizes in virtually every industry to assure that their interests are protected. Our lawyers navigate clients through the ever-changing landscape of federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the workplace, assisting them with structuring and implementing effective workplace policies and procedures, preserving their intellectual property, addressing the full range of labor and employment law issues, and guiding them through the challenges of litigation.

Dechert represents clients as advisers and advocates, devising solutions to preserve the efficiency and productivity of their workforce. We regularly defend companies against individual claims and class actions, as well represent them before state and federal agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance, and various state agencies throughout the United States.

Prevention Advice

Clearly, the best solution to an employment problem is prevention. To that end, we counsel clients on establishing and reviewing personnel practices, developing and implementing employee relations programs, and drafting and negotiating employment contracts and policies. We address problems by applying practical, timely strategies to minimize risk and prevent employment disputes from arising in the first place.

Legal Services on Three Continents

Dechert’s U.S. labor and employment practice has national presence with offices located in several major U.S. commercial centers, including Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

We have a strong labor and employment presence in Europe and Asia with attorneys strategically located in Beijing, Brussels, London, Luxembourg, Munich, Moscow and Paris. We advise on domestic employment matters, cross-border matters and issues facing U.S. clients with overseas operations. We have advised on and coordinated many collective consultation programs in the United Kingdom and across Europe and Asia.

A Diverse Practice

Our services include litigation defense, labor-management relations, and preventive and compliance counseling on every conceivable workplace issue including:

  • Hiring and firing
  • Personnel and affirmative action policies and practices
  • Employee discipline/discharge
  • Reduction in force
  • Wage and hour practices
  • Medical and other leaves of absence

We also handle grievance investigations and compliance with regulatory requirements impacting employers. We represent clients of all sizes from those with fewer than 50 employees to those with more than 5,000.

Dechert trial lawyers defend clients in all types and phases of employment actions:

  • Individual and class action employment discrimination suits (age, race, gender, national origin and disability)
  • Sexual harassment litigation
  • Wage and hour litigation
  • Non-competition litigation (trade secret, noncompete, non-solicitation, defamation, tortious interference with contract, unfair competition)
  • Privacy and data protection and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims
  • Wrongful discharge and termination cases
  • Employment torts
  • Employee contract, benefit disputes and ERISA litigation
  • WARN Act litigation

On the traditional labor law side, we represent employers in all aspects of management-union relations, including union avoidance and election campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations and proceedings under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and courts throughout the United States.

Our Approach to Client Service

Our priority is making sure our clients manage their employee relationships effectively with minimal disruption to their day-to-day business operations and long-term business plans. There are times when workplace problems demand immediate attention and action, while other situations call for thorough investigation and careful planning. In some cases, we must defend our clients against workplace-related claims or actions brought by employees. Our legal team works closely with our clients to assess their workplace challenges, legal needs, and business strategies to determine the best course of action.

Our labor and employment attorneys often partner with Dechert lawyers skilled in other areas, such as employee benefits and executive compensation, corporate transactions, restructurings, regulatory, intellectual property and tax matters to provide the most comprehensive, cost-efficient service. Dechert has the resources and geographic reach to provide clients with truly integrated service both in the U.S. and abroad.

The Right Results for Clients

We strive to get the results that best meet our clients’ needs effectively and efficiently. We know that not all employment claims are alike. There is no “one size fits all” legal strategy. Our employment lawyers are highly skilled at assessing client matters and determining the strategy and tactics that will produce the best result for each individual client. Experienced in trying some of the most complex and high-stakes matters, we have had great success in obtaining summary judgment and other early dismissal of lawsuits, negotiating settlements, and resolving conflicts using alternative dispute resolution techniques.