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Employment-related disputes may have far-reaching implications for a company’s reputation, business and ability to attract and retain talent. Clients turn to Paul, Weiss for our deft handling of the most sensitive internal investigations, high-stakes employment and executive-related litigations, and business-critical trade secrets, non-competition and restrictive covenant disputes.

Our Practice

Paul, Weiss offers unique advantages to clients in the handling of employment- and workplace-related litigation, internal and regulatory investigations, and allegations of trade secrets, non-competition and restrictive covenant violations. Our lawyers in the area bring to each matter a cutting-edge understanding of employment law as well as formidable experience in trying cases and defending clients in significant white collar and regulatory enforcement matters. The team also leverages an extraordinary bench of former prosecutors and senior federal and state government officials to provide strategic advice on the most challenging employment matters.

We are frequently the first to be called in for fast-moving workplace-related crises—such as the high-profile internal investigations that ushered in the #MeToo era—and matters with little precedent, such as our work in overcoming some of the earliest district court and appellate challenges to public and private workplace vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workplace Investigations

We are the nation’s “go to” firm for the most sensitive and important internal workplace investigations. We have led investigations concerning a wide variety of workplace issues, including alleged sexual harassment, discrimination, employment policy violations, compliance issues or the disclosure of trade secrets. We also have deep experience in helping companies and boards investigate and navigate potentially serious allegations of wrongdoing asserted against senior executives. Our work in this area enables companies and boards to take informed and strategic action to address and resolve corporate crises and avoid full-scale regulatory enforcement actions. It can also significantly limit exposure to lawsuits and adverse publicity.

Employment Litigation

We regularly litigate employment- and executive-related cases in federal and state courts before juries or judges and in arbitration or mediation. Our attorneys have defended leading companies and executives in individual and class action discrimination suits, federal and state wage and hour collective and class actions, breach of contract actions, Title IX claims, high-value termination and compensation disputes, as well as harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation claims.

Trade Secrets, Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation & Restrictive Covenants

We have successfully prosecuted and defended dozens of non-competition, non-solicitation and trade secrets disputes for some of the most prominent companies in the world. In fact, two of our lawyers were recently recognized by The American Lawyer for winning a rare preliminary injunction trial victory, affirmed on appeal, barring a former senior executive from accepting a competing position at another technology company. We have litigated numerous actions to enforce confidentiality agreements and restrictive covenants in the merger and acquisition context, often on an expedited basis. Our lawyers also have experience representing companies seeking to hire an executive bound by restrictive covenants as well as individual executives that are bound by or entering into restrictive covenants.

We are deeply familiar with the law and public policy regarding the enforceability of non-competition agreements and regularly brief and argue these issues in court. Our litigators are often brought in during the negotiation of non-disclosure agreements, non-solicitation provisions and non-competition restrictions between companies and executives to advise on the enforceability of such provisions under the latest laws in various jurisdictions.

“No-Poaching” Investigations and Litigations

We have been at the forefront in advising organizations facing criminal and civil liability as so-called “no-poach” agreements have increasingly been targeted by state and federal prosecutors and private plaintiffs. Our team has represented numerous businesses in government investigations targeting the use of these provisions, including the first such probe conducted by the Washington State attorney general. Leveraging our world-class Antitrust Practice capabilities, we have also defended franchisors and their franchisees in follow-on antitrust litigation brought on behalf of franchisee employees, including some of the first putative class actions regarding “no-poach” provisions.

Employment Law Counseling & Training

Our lawyers offer preventative and creative counsel to clients, including employment compliance audits, customized training programs, and the review of in-house employment and whistleblower policies, training and compensation arrangements. Our primary goal is to enable senior management and boards to take informed, proactive and effective action, thereby reducing future liability.

In a natural extension of our advisory work, our first-of-its-kind Sustainability & Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory practice works hand-in-hand with our employment lawyers to help clients navigate evolving ESG standards and expectations, assess ESG risk, and develop and implement initiatives and programs, including sophisticated ESG initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, our leading Civil Rights and Racial Equity Audit Practice offers the proactive, powerful tool of voluntary audits to help ensure that companies and investment firms are delivering on their DE&I commitments, while mitigating potential legal, reputational and business risk.

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