Employment Law Counseling and Defense

Employment Law Counseling and Defense

California has some of the most complex and unforgiving employment laws and regulations in the United States. It can be difficult for employers to navigate the ever-increasing body of federal and California laws. Even the most careful and well-intended employers can make mistakes, which can have a devastating impact on business. Alexei Kuchinsky brings substantial expertise in handling a wide range of employment law related matters.

Employment Counseling

Kuchinsky’s counseling approach is to prevent problems before they happen. He works closely with business owners to provide day-to-day counseling on a number of workforce management matters, including worker classification, compensation structure, hiring and firing policies, and workplace discrimination complaints and internal investigations. He regularly drafts employee handbooks, independent contractor agreements, separation agreements, as well as evaluates and updates employers’ existing policies and practices for compliance.

Employment Litigation

With years of experience of working with various industries, Kuchinsky has an in-depth understanding of how employment claims impact employers and how to save employers time and money when resolving employment disputes. When a dispute cannot be resolved informally, Kuchinsky is prepared to protect his clients’ interests in court.  He regularly appears before the California and Federal agencies and the California and Federal Courts, representing clients in the following areas of employment law:

  • Employee misclassification (independent contractors and exempt employees);
  • Unpaid compensation (minimum wage, overtime, premiums for missed meal and rest breaks, mileage reimbursement, split shifts);
  • Wrongful termination on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation;
  • Sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination; and
  • Retaliation for reporting or refusing to participate in unlawful business practices.

 

Some Representative Employment Law Defense Results 

  • Obtained an order in which the Court found that three individual defendants were not personally liable for the Labor Code violations allegedly committed by a co-defendant corporation even though some of these individual defendants owned and operated the business. In this case, seven former employees brought a wage-and-hour lawsuit against the corporation, two current and one former shareholders. After completing oral and written discovery, Mr. Kuchinsky filed a motion for summary adjudication, asking the Court to find that the individual shareholders could not be personally liable for corporate violations. The court agreed with Mr. Kuchinsky’s clients and found no personal liability because all shareholders acted within the scope of their employment.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit brought by a former employee against employer. The employee claimed, among other things, that the company defamed him during an unemployment hearing. Mr. Kuchinsky filed a special anti-slap motion against the employee, asking the court to strike the employee’s defamation claim. The Court sided with Mr. Kuchinsky’s client and found that the alleged defamation statements made during the EDD hearing was a protected activity and that the employee failed to present sufficient evidence he could prevail on his defamation claim. The Court also allowed the company to file a motion for attorney’s fees. The dismissal of his defamation claim and a potential award of attorney’s fees in favor of employee prompted the employee to voluntarily dismiss the entire action, including the underlying wrongful termination claim.
  • Obtained a judgment through a bench trial in favor of an individual defendant, who was sued personally for the Labor Code violations committed by the corporation he owned and operated. This was a wage-and-hour trial and Mr. Kuchinsky was a second chair counsel. Plaintiff claimed that he was owed unpaid overtime, minimum wage for standby time, premiums for missed meal and rest breaks, and other related statutory penalties.  The court found that despite the corporation was wholly owned and managed by the individual defendant, the employee failed to prove that the individual was an “employer” under California law; (2) that he was an alter ego of the corporation; or that (3) he was liable under  “the common law theory of active participation for his  own tortious conduct.

Employment Law Counseling

If you or your business needs legal defense against a lawsuit brought by an employee or if you need an employment attorney to review your employment practices for compliance, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with Mr. Kuchinsky.

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