employment

Employment Law

Conrad O’Brien attorneys routinely achieve favorable settlements or dismissals for individuals and corporations in employment matters involving compensation, unlawful discrimination, harassment, defamation, theft of corporate assets, identity theft, and whistleblowing. When litigation is necessary, Conrad O’Brien attorneys discreetly and confidentially pursue prompt, cost-effective resolutions for our clients. 

 

We guide clients through the challenges that come with hiring, managing, and firing employees. We help clients stay compliant with constantly changing laws and regulations, protect clients’ proprietary interests and investments, and help clients make appropriate employment decisions—and defend their employment decisions.

 

Employment disputes often weigh personally on the people involved. We offer attentive, responsive service, working closely with our clients to resolve matters quickly. Conrad O’Brien attorneys have ongoing relationships with many of our clients, and they feel comfortable reaching out to us at any time to ask about a potential employment issue. This helps our clients prevent litigation, resolve potential disputes before they become heated, and protect the strength and integrity of their organizations.  

Employment Litigation

We support, defend, and strategically advise our clients throughout the pre-litigation and litigation process, from disciplinary decisions or terminations through administrative filings, actions in state or federal courts, and the appellate process.

 

Notable Cases

 

  • Provide ongoing representation for a religious organization and its ranking members who oversee numerous religious entities and affiliated institutions and schools throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, and provide advice and litigation representation for all aspects of their employment matters.
  • Successfully represented a Philadelphia law firm in a claim of sexual orientation discrimination.
  • Represented a regional company in a sexual harassment/constructive discharge matter brought by a former employee. The plaintiff originally sought millions of dollars in damages and then, after completion of discovery, withdrew all claims with prejudice.
  • Represented a large national law firm in a sexual harassment case. Conrad O’Brien achieved a settlement without any payment by the law firm and without publicity surrounding the case.  
  • Represented a prominent Philadelphia law firm in an alleged constructive discharge and whistleblower suit. We were able to litigate and settle the matter with no publicity.
  • Successfully represented a Philadelphia law firm in a claim of sexual orientation discrimination.

Unfair Competition, Trade Secrets, and Restrictive Covenants

Conrad O’Brien prosecutes and defends cases raising unfair competition, trade secret, and restrictive covenant issues. We take pride in our ability to resolve matters early and discreetly to keep our clients out of court and minimize exposure. 

 

Notable Cases

 

  • Represented a global financial advisory company in the first reported decision addressing the scope of a non-compete agreement with telecommuting employees. Through a multi-day trial, Conrad O’Brien secured a judgment allowing the company to continue to employ its recent hires and dismissing the unfair competition claims.
  • Assisted a company avoid litigation exposure as it grew from its startup phase to a multibillion-dollar enterprise. When the startup first began making sales, it did what many new businesses do and hired its initial sales representatives from competing employers. The result was litigation that threatened the startup’s existence. After helping the company to resolve the restrictive covenant and trade secret litigation in which it found itself mired, Conrad O’Brien attorneys created a process for the startup to systematically evaluate the restrictive covenant obligations of its lateral employment candidates and to comply with any enforceable commitments. 
  • Represented an insurance company when a group of its insurance brokers resigned on a Friday evening and began working for a competitor on the following Monday. Conrad O’Brien attorneys filed suit on the insurance company’s behalf and obtained a temporary restraining order against the solicitation of customers. We obtained a substantial monetary payment and a stipulation to ensure permanent injunctive relief for our client.
  • Represented a medical device company who hired a lateral employee from a competitor.  The competitor tried to enforce a broadly worded non-competition covenant. After mounting a vigorous defense, we helped convince the former employer to drop the lawsuit without any settlement payment, to narrow the geographic scope of the non-competition covenant at issue, and to shorten its duration. Conrad O’Brien also helped the new and former employers develop a protocol for handling future lateral hires between them so that potential restrictive covenant disputes could be identified and, hopefully, resolved without the need to file any lawsuits.

Employment Advice, Consulting, and Training

We routinely advise and train our clients’ executives, managers, and employees on employment-related issues to keep them up-to-date on changes and new developments in the law, including:

 

  • Drafting and revising employee handbooks, employment agreements, severance agreements, hiring and reduction-in-force guidelines, and other personnel-related documents. 
  • Developing and presenting training programs for human resources personnel, managers, and executives on anti-discrimination and harassment, benefits, hiring/termination, and compliance issues. 
  • Acting as consultants for employee disputes, reductions in force, employee layoffs, employment terminations, severance offerings, and retention bonuses.