Employment and Employee Benefits Law

Menaker & Herrmann LLP has focused on employment law issues since the early 1980s, and has guided clients through the many developments of the past three decades in this complex area. The Firm provides counsel to employers concerning compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, and has worked with human resources departments in creating employment manuals and policies and in addressing a wide range of individualized employment questions. We help our clients maintain sound relations with employees and address grievances by providing experienced judgment based on detailed familiarity with applicable law.

The Firm represents both corporations and executives in the structuring of employment agreements, including the negotiation of compensation, benefits, tax qualified incentive and non-qualified stock options, qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation programs, employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), and confidentiality and non-competition provisions. We assist for profit, not-for-profit and governmental employers to plan and implement qualified and non-qualified employee benefit programs, comply with applicable regulatory law (including ERISA, IRC, and COBRA) and agencies (including IRS, PBGC, and DOL), and resolve issues related to these programs as they arise.

The Firm is also experienced in employment separation situations resulting from mergers, retirements and other voluntary and involuntary terminations of employment. We have negotiated severance agreements involving executives from Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions and privately-held entities, as well as withdrawals from partnerships and professional associations. The Firm’s foreign clients rely on us for guidance in trans-national employment issues.

When an employment-related dispute arises, the Firm has the expertise to manage the case through to resolution. The Firm has handled administrative proceedings with all the relevant agencies including the EEOC, the Federal and New York State Departments of Labor, the New York State Division of Human Rights and New York City Human Rights Commission, and various out-of-state agencies. Our litigators have handled employment cases before judges and juries in State and Federal Courts and before arbitration panels. While we settle far more cases than we try, we have the experience and capacity to take a case to a verdict if circumstances require it.

Representative Matters
Counseling

  • Negotiated employment agreement for chief executive officer of Fortune 500 company, including application of new Internal Revenue Code Section 409A to non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.
  • Prepared Internal Revenue Service submission under voluntary compliance procedures for correction of operational document deficiencies for tax qualified pension plans.
  • Revised accounting firm’s restrictive covenants for partners/principals to comply with New York law.
  • Negotiated severance packages for terminated executives in insurance, media and financial industries.
  • Revised tax qualified deferred compensation plans to comply with changes in applicable law.
  • Reviewed summary plan description of medical benefit plan for compliance with ERISA and COBRA.
  • Advised financial services client regarding income tax issue resulting from recent NYS law that extended medical dependent coverage to children under age 29.

Litigation

  • Obtained a temporary restraining order for a bank holding company enforcing non-competition agreements following departure of certain executives who had joined one of its banking subsidiaries as a result of a merger, followed by a consent non-competition order from the court.
  • Obtained federal court injunction on behalf of international student exchange organization prohibiting competitor from interfering with relationships with employees and independent contractors and from misappropriating confidential information.
  • Represented private financial services company in successful mediation of pregnancy discrimination claim by former employee.
  • Prosecuted to favorable settlement claim against accounting firm partner who joined competing firm and took clients with him in violation of partnership agreement.
  • Defended health care company in sexual harassment action brought by former employee.
  • Represented former president of company in connection with breach of employment agreement.

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