Employment LitigationThe Stark & Stark Employment Litigation attorneys advise clients on prevention, proper documentation and discipline, yet often times, litigation arising from the employer-employee relationship is inevitable.Practice ServicesOur Employment attorneys have substantial experience litigating employment-based claims, including seasoned trial attorneys who stand ready to vigorously defend our clients against employee claims of wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, and other workplace torts before State and Federal courts. We counsel clients through a wide variety of workplace matters, including, but not limited to:Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations and any attendant administrative proceedingsExecutive compensationRestrictive covenantsMisappropriation of trade secretsContract disputesEmployment and severance agreementsEmployment discrimination and harassmentWrongful terminationWhistleblower retaliationExecutive compensation, shareholder and partner disputesInternal InvestigationsOur attorneys provide general counsel and perform internal investigations when allegations of employee/employer harassment or misconduct are made, or when OSHA investigations arise. Internal investigations are conducted to effectively position our clients to avoid litigation and protect our clients from theft, fraud, the misuse of company funds, and other exposure to liability. Internal wage and hour audits are conducted to ensure compliance with the Department of Labor, and our attorneys regularly counsel personnel and human resources departments on strategies for understanding and managing issues relating to harassment, discrimination, and hostile workplace conditions.Discrimination, Harassment, Wrongful Termination and Other Employment LitigationThe Stark & Stark Employment Group has effectively and successfully litigated and arbitrated numerous discrimination and harassment complaints in the courts, before administrative agencies and through binding arbitration. We work with clients to proactively avoid discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination claims by ensuring compliance with Federal and State laws and regulations, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, OSHA, and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, among others. We litigate all types of discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination cases, including the various statutory claims related to age, disability, nationality, ethnicity, pregnancy, race/color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and whistleblower retaliation. In addition, our team has successfully defended clients in multi-million dollar wrongful discharge lawsuits.Executive CompensationExecutive compensation is an important part of corporate governance and can often lead to complicated situations arising between senior executives, the company, and, in some cases, the public. We help clients navigate issues arising from executive termination and take a preventative approach to the creation and negotiation of employment contracts and severance agreements on behalf of executives and employers. Our attorneys constantly research and remain informed about updated comparables, competitive market positions, securities laws, regulatory and compliance issues, ERISA laws, tax laws, and accounting principles to best serve our clients’ needs.Trade Secrets, Non-Competes and Other Contract LitigationMost companies own intellectual property or trade secrets that require protection. Good employment policies and post-employment agreements, including restrictive covenants, can reduce the risk of lost, leaked or misused confidential information and brand identity. Non-compete clauses and confidentiality agreements protect companies by ensuring that former employees do not exploit their confidential information for the gain of a competing business. Our attorneys regularly litigate claims involving trade secrets and the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Additionally, we draft these agreements to reasonably protect our clients’ legitimate business interests and to ensure that these agreements will stand to scrutiny if challenged in court.Shareholder and Partner DisputesWhen business professionals, and in some cases family members, enter into a business venture (whether by way of close corporation or limited liability company), they may establish shareholder or operating agreements that dictate their rights, obligations and interests, including but not limited to, the terms of buy-ins, buy-outs, operations, finance, and other relevant matters pertaining to the business and employment relationship. We counsel clients on the importance of establishing protective procedures in the small business environment and offer conflict resolution through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation when disputes among the owners of the business arise. Our litigators have substantial experience defending majority shareholders against minority oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunity and freeze out claims, and prosecuting such claims on behalf of minority shareholders, depending upon the circumstances, when these internal disputes inevitably arise and lead to litigation.