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Labor & Employment
Frilot L.L.C.’s Labor and Employment practice area offers expertise and representation to clients ranging from a Fortune 500 company to individual entrepreneurs. Our attorneys’ expertise is used to regularly advise our clients on how to deal with the myriad labor and employment laws and to build and maintain competent and loyal workforces. The firm’s client base includes healthcare facilities, financial and lending institutions, major oil and gas companies, oilfield support and construction firms, refineries, and retail establishments, among others.
We have a reputation as staunch advocates of management rights in the workplace and in the courtroom. We regularly handle and try cases around the country in state and federal courts involving Title VII, ADA, ADEA, wage and hour, FMLA, ERISA, USERRA, whistleblowing, retaliation, and various state and common law claims. We also represent our clients in matters before state and federal administrative agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The firm is national employment counsel for a close up Fortune 500 retailer with 3,400 stores and 44,000 employees, and has successfully litigated discrimination cases in over 30 states.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in defending class actions and collective actions. The firm’s Labor and Employment section successfully defeated a class action certification on behalf of CITGO Petroleum Co., Inc. in Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., 151 F.3d 402 (5th Cir. 1998) This ruling is the seminal decision in post-1991 Civil Rights Act discrimination cases involving class certification issues.
We also achieved success in a wage and hour collective action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The putative class consisted of approximately 100 present and former employees. The District Court agreed with the defense’s position that the case did not qualify for collective action status, and the case was settled as to the individual plaintiff’s claim for a nominal amount and the claims of the other individuals were dismissed.
Our attorneys also obtained a significant ERISA ruling in favor of employers who supplement their workforce with contractors. The federal District Court held that the defendant employer was not required to provide ERISA benefits to contractor employees, even if they otherwise qualified as the employer’s common-law employees in McLachlin v. Exxon Mobil Corporation et al., Case No. 00-2190 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The Labor & Employment attorneys take an active approach in assisting clients with the many issues that arise in the workplace and aid in the development of employee handbooks, employee benefits plans, personnel policies and worker evaluation systems. To keep clients fully informed about the latest developments in this dynamic field of law, the attorneys of the group regularly publish articles and conduct training sessions for managers and supervisors. Whether assisting clients in preventing disputes or litigating on their behalf in a courtroom, members of the Labor & Employment Group possess a powerful insight and skill to resolve even the most complex matters.
TEAM MEMBERSBenjamin M. Castoriano
Miles P. Clements
Renee G. Culotta
Leslie W. Ehret
Elizabeth H. Emmett
Elliot M. Lonker
Suzanne M. Risey
Max L. Schellenberg
Mary Elizabeth 'Liz' Schonekas
James P. Waldron