With lawyers in the United States, Europe and Asia, along with a broad network of professional advisors worldwide, we help clients attract and retain workers at every level, enter and exit markets as business conditions warrant, develop and implement effective employment policies, identify and protect trade secrets and other confidential information, and negotiate and enforce a range of employment contracts.
In the United States, we help employers ensure compliance with relevant legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as related national, state, and local legislation and ordinances wherever our clients do business.
In Europe, we support clients’ needs on the full range of day-to-day human resource matters and labor issues related to corporate transactions. Drawing on our strong pedigree, we advise managing directors and corporate bodies on negotiation and termination of service agreements, including in liability-related and co-determination matters.
Our team provides clients with a fully informed appreciation of the potential risks and exposures of their employment policies and decisions. We are regularly engaged in all forms of litigation, including civil trials in matters that involve individual wrongful discharge, ERISA, employment discrimination, related employment torts, and enforcement of or defending against non-competition clauses. We are equally adept at handling labor injunction proceedings and administrative proceedings before governmental agencies such as, the US Department of Labor, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board.
Our diverse set of experiences provides a firm foundation to navigate the risks associated with mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. We also have in-depth knowledge of data-privacy laws, related compliance matters and internal investigations. Clients can rely on McDermott for all of their labor and employment needs across multiple jurisdictions—a necessity for businesses everywhere.
European Labor and Employment
Our employment lawyers in Europe are ranked among the best in their local markets. With professionals based in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, our team serves clients’ needs in all aspects of labor and employment-related strategy and delivers holistic support to a wide range of clients. Our roster includes large listed corporations and medium-sized businesses, their management, supervisory boards and managing personnel, as well as their operations throughout Europe. We provide a comprehensive scope of services covering employment contracts and policies, business reorganizations, international secondment arrangements, redundancy programs, disciplinary and grievance procedures, family-friendly rights, discrimination and harassment issues, automatic transfers of employment under ARD/TUPE legislation, breach-of-contract claims and enforcement of restrictive covenants, workforce disputes and industrial-relations advice, and the resolution of legal disputes.
Our lawyers conduct labor and employment litigation before US federal and state trial and appellate courts, before administrative agencies, and in arbitration and mediation, in a broad range of matters involving individual wrongful discharge, ERISA, employment discrimination, related employment torts, enforcement of or defense against non-competition clauses, and other issues. We represent clients in labor injunction proceedings and administrative proceedings before equal employment opportunity enforcement agencies, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board, and counsel unionized employers in grievance arbitration, elections and maintaining a union-free environment. Our litigation experience allows us to provide clients with a fully informed appreciation of the potential risks and exposures of their employment policies and decisions.
To help multinational corporations, domestic businesses and individual professionals compete in the global economy, we provide a full range of business immigration counseling services. We help clients legally hire and/or transfer foreign executives, managers, specialists and other key personnel quickly and efficiently, working cooperatively and successfully with in-house human resources and corporate legal staff on even the most complex and unusual cases. We advise on corporate transactions with immigration consequences, secure business visas that allow foreign nationals to enter the United States and permit US executives to work in other countries, resolve issues in consulates and embassies around the world, develop special corporate programs, and provide counsel on employment verification and discrimination, government audits, immigration regulation and legislation, and naturalization and citizenship. We also assist individual artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs in obtaining appropriate visas to work in the United States.
Chinese Labor and Employment
We regularly advise Chinese and multinational companies on a broad range of matters involving compliance with labor and employment laws and regulations in China. The lawyers of MWE China Law Offices are unique compared to other law firms, as they are able to not only practice law in China and appear before Labor Dispute Arbitration Committees, civil courts, and the labor and social security bureau as qualified legal counsel, but have established cooperative relationships with members of China’s labor and employment bureaucracy, including labor arbitrators, judges, administrative authorities and members of related groups such as the labor and employment committee of the National Bar Association. Together, we provide advice on issues such as employee relocation, layoffs, labor issues arising out of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations, labor audits, labor and employment dispute negotiation and litigation, and employee benefits and tax planning.
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Chinese Labor & Employment
A US company facing a crisis in China on actions affecting more than a thousand workers in the country, providing guidance on how to manage strikes, restructure human resources in its other branches in China within a limited time and lay off hundreds of employees
A US company whose operations were paralyzed by a strike involving several hundred workers; MWE China worked closely with local government agencies to resolve the crisis, assisted the company in dismissing workers who instigated the strike, and won all labor litigation cases filed by workers organizing or attending the strike through carefully documented notices and communications that were accepted by the court as valid evidence supporting the company’s termination decisions
A China-listed company in a prolonged labor dispute involving allegedly insufficient social insurance contributions and wage arrears; the matter had proceeded from arbitration to the Intermediary People’s Court, where MWE China lawyers persuaded the court to exclude the social insurance benefits issue from the judgment, reject the claim on wage arrears and decide in favor of the company
A multinational company on multiple employment and labor issues arising from its plant relocation program; MWE China assisted the company in multiple rounds of negotiations with several large groups of employees and communications with government agencies, and with our assistance, the company was able to carry out its relocation with minimal interruption to its production, while laying off a large number of employees at a reasonable cost
Numerous US manufacturing and trading companies in China regarding China’s privacy protection rules, including assisting these clients in establishing internal control policies that balanced the benefits of using workplace technology against protection of their employees’ privacy
A global food manufacturer as perennial counsel, including reviewing the company’s rules regarding pension plans, advising on revisions to its internal company rules, review of its growth incentive plans for senior managers, designing its internal employee restructuring plan in China after its acquisition of another global food manufacturer, and monitoring the execution and implementation of said plan
The Chinese subsidiary of a global nutrition products company in completing a substantial review and overhaul of their labor practices, including a due diligence review of its labor and employment procedures, updating the company’s labor contract templates, revising its internal rules and setting up appropriate recruiting procedures, and negotiating the termination of labor contracts for a certain number of its key employees after the new Labor Contract Law came into force
A global drug development company in drafting its entire set of employment documents, including the employment contract, handbook and laboratory rules, and advising on the company’s employment relationships with senior managers, especially non-compete and confidentiality agreements as well as protection of the employer’s intellectual property rights
European Labor & Employment
A global mechanical engineering group on amendments to the service agreements of members of its management board
A global brewery group in the reorganization of its top-level management in France, UK and Germany
A global grocery chain on the implementation of standardized executive contracts in various jurisdictions including the US, UK and Germany
An Irish building materials group on investigations into employee malpractice
A leading European telecommunication group on the outsourcing of certain services
A photo-industrial group in relation to mass-layoffs in France and Germany
A global food group on its US$1.3 billion acquisition of the worldwide cocoa business of a leading cocoa producing company with more than 1,500 employees
A US textile group on its acquisition of a French underwear company from an investment fund
A US snack group on post-merger implementation of acquisition of UK and German snack producer
An automotive supplier with more than 1,000 employees on a significant restructuring
An Austrian real estate group in relation to its acquisition of a German retail group with more than 16,000 employees
The supervisory board of a group operating automobile workshops with more than 10,000 employees on a major restructuring
A retail company with more than 1,000 employees on post restructuring issues and various legal proceedings
A defense engineering group on various employment-related matters and complex internal investigations
A food production company with its asset purchase in the UK involving an extensive information and consultation exercise concerning more than 1000 employees
A US health care company in respect of the share purchase of multiple businesses in the UK
A FTSE-listed company on several high-level board transition matters, including related UK and cross-border regulatory, bonus and benefits issues