Labor & Employment Law
We represent companies of all sizes in a wide variety of industries in virtually every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. We work closely with our clients to create and implement preventative strategies and practices to avoid liability and costly litigation. When litigation does arise, we aggressively defend our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Addressing Stressful Workforce Issues During COVID-19by Anne Chapman on November 12, 2020 at 7:03 pm
The pandemic has created numerous challenges for employers, not the least of which include dealing with a workforce under tremendous stress related to the ongoing events and/or having to manage a remote workforce. Without a doubt, these issues impact productivity and disrupt an employer’s operations. Below are some tips on how to address some of
- Department of Labor Expands Definition of Healthcare Providers to Related to Exemption from Paid Leaveby Ann Breitinger on April 3, 2020 at 1:01 pm
On March 28th, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) expanded the definition of “healthcare provider” for the purpose of determining who is exempt from the leave mandates set forth in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA exempts employers from the requirement to provide “health care providers” “paid sick time” and “public health emergency
- Counseling employers in day-to-day personnel practices and employee relations and disciplinary matters
- Advising regarding compliance with overtime and minimum wage laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as handling related litigation
- Employment litigation defense, including wrongful discharge, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, contract, and all other employment-related claims
- Preparation and revision of employment policies and employee handbooks
- Conducting and supervising interval investigations of clients
- Representation before governmental agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL); Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); National Labor Relations Board (NLRB); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Enforcement of non-competition agreements and the protection of trade secrets and confidential information
- Traditional labor relations matters, including union avoidance, representation elections, unfair labor practice proceedings and collective bargaining
- Assist government contractors with the preparation and maintenance of the mandatory Affirmative Action Programs
Blalock Walters is uniquely qualified to serve the education industry. Our attorneys have extensive experience in representing governmental entities, including school boards. Our firm has over 20 attorneys with experience in areas of law that would be regularly utilized by the by educational institutions including a wide variety of local government issues such as budgeting, contracts, zoning and development, labor and employment, all phases of litigation, student discipline, student activity, Civil Rights, sunshine law, ethics law, special permits, and public records. Attorneys have assisted in school boards in areas related to land use, real estate and contracts. Blalock Walters also has experienced attorneys who can assist with real estate, environmental, and taxation issues.
The agriculture industry is one that requires a very specialized knowledge in a number of different areas: Taxation, Labor & Employment, Environmental, Construction Litigation, Land Use, Real Estate, Family Succession Planning and Estate Planning, and Corporate Farming. Blalock Walters recognizes the specialized services needed for agribusiness, farm producers, and packers and growers. We have many years of agribusiness experience and offer sophisticated legal services that address the unique needs of the industry. Industry Resources:
- American Farm Bureau
- Florida Department of Agriculture
- Florida Farm Bureau
- Manatee County Farm Bureau
- The Gulf Citrus Growers Association
Our integrated law practice areas offer a complete range of legal services for the auto industry, including buying and selling auto dealerships, purchasing real estate and negotiating commercial leases, title insurance, estate and succession planning for family owned dealerships and litigation defense, including defense of lemon-law cases and employment lawsuits. The tax attorneys at Blalock Walters provide corporate formation and tax and business strategies for dealing with changes in the automobile industry to help maximize your company’s tax and financial advantages.
The equine industry includes many different business interests with unique legal needs. Equine law involves the law as it relates to all aspects of horses and horse-related activities. Our team at Blalock Walters understands the unique and specialized needs of the equine industry and those passionate about their horses, and is prepared to offer the specialized services, including tax, business services, litigation, employment, immigration, land use, real estate, business succession planning, and estate planning. Generally speaking, our team at Blalock Walters is able to provide specialized services, addressing the unique equine needs of horse owners, businesses, professionals, associations and facilities with the following:
- Preparing, review, or negotiate equine-related contracts (such as purchase and sales agreements, leases, stallion service contracts, liability waivers/releases, facility use agreements, stallion management agreements, and boarding contracts)
- Establishing businesses, including corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, syndication, or limited liability companies
- Assist with tax planning and resolving tax disputes, including “hobby loss disputes” with the government
- Real estate purchases or transactions
- Handle or resolve zoning and land use disputes
- Litigation matters involving horse related matters
Blalock Walters understands the technical, corporate, and legal concerns related to technology industry related companies including licensing agreements, equipment leasing and purchase agreements, and hosting and internet service provider, as well as non-compete and other employment agreements. Our litigation group handles breach of contract, collections, and contract dispute issues relating to technology-related businesses. Our labor and employment group counsels with information technology companies as to day-to-day personnel practices and employee relations matters, employment agreements and labor relations. We make a difference by understanding our clients’ business goals and technologies. From a quick contract review to complex contract drafting and negotiation, we strive to ensure that contracts and agreements are structured with a good foundation avoiding future surprises or issues.
Today’s manufacturers are faced with increased global competition and rising labor and litigation costs. The industry is focused on process improvement, best practices, and evolving efficient and streamlined internal operations. Blalock Walters represents all types of manufacturing, from small machine shops to top selling consumer goods to sophisticated medical products. Our team of attorneys can assist you in developing strategies for dealing with legal issues in the industry and make a difference in your company’s competitive advantage. Blalock Walters’ attorneys handle issues involving corporate structure, patents, business litigation, contract disputes, collections, labor and employment, immigration, as well and real estate law and litigation, environmental issues, permitting, land use and banking and finance. Our goal is to assist in the successful operations and best practices of your business. Industry Resources:
- Bay Area Manufacturers Association
- Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
- First Coast Manufacturers Association
- Manufacturing Association of Florida
Non-profits and Foundations
Assisting private foundations and nonprofit organizations in our communities has been a focus of Blalock Walters from the beginning. As nonprofits have become more sophisticated and complex through the years, and subject to increasing regulation, our estate planning, corporate, tax law, real estate law and employment law groups have effectively provided guidance and counsel to help the nonprofit environment thrive. We provides specialized legal services in the charitable foundation and non-profit area, including:
- Formation of non-profit organizations and foundations;
- Tax exemption applications;
- Prohibited transaction analysis;
- Reasonable compensation analysis;
- Analysis and planning of corporate transactions involving tax-exempt organizations;
- Corporate governance matters;
- Real estate purchases, leasing and construction;
- Employment matters; and
- Dissolution and liquidation of nonprofits.
With many years involved in the sports industry in our communities, we offer a wide range of legal services to professional athletes and sports-related organizations. Blalock Walters works with Major League Baseball players and organizations, as well as other professional sports industries, in the areas of real estate law, land use, litigation, construction law, estate planning, tax, immigration, labor and employment, contracts, and business operations. Additionally, we assist retired baseball players with their businesses, foundations, and tax and estate planning needs that are unique to the profession. Our knowledge of the industry allows us to keep our clients informed of the significant tax and legal issues that often arise for professional athletes and ensure that we provide the highest quality of service.