Areas of Practice
At Trimboli & Prusinowski, we focus on issues and concerns with employees and business-to-business contracts. As such, we have extensive experience in drafting and issuing employee handbooks, employee contracts, negotiating contracts with vendors and service providers, and shareholder agreements.
We also defend companies in various kinds of litigation such as wage and hour disputes, prevailing wage disputes, discrimination claims, breach of contract issues, trade name disputes, union arbitrations, pension withdrawal liability claims, and civil rights claims among others. We have extensive experience in many courts and agencies of the United States, New Jersey and New York.
More importantly, however, we seek to prevent such matters from arising. By working with your management team and trusted advisors, we seek to avoid the conflicts of litigation through company policies, training, practices and structure.
Construction companies performing work for a state or municipal public entity such as on a state highway, municipal building or other local government property must comply with New Jersey’s Prevailing Wage laws. This requires, among other things, that the contractor be registered with the State of New Jersey to perform the work and employees be paid specific rates based upon the work that they perform. These wages must be paid regardless of whether the employees are members of a union or workers’ association.
Failure to register as a contractor for public works projects will preclude a construction company from performing work on a public project. The Department of Labor performs spot checks at projects to verify that all of the contractors are properly registered with the State of New Jersey and authorized to perform the work. If an employer cannot verify registration, penalties can be imposed by the Department of Labor for violations of the Prevailing Wage Act.
Employees can file a complaint with the New Jersey Department of Labor, Wage and Hour if they believe that they have not been paid the appropriate wage based upon the New Jersey wage assessment. In such a case, the Department of Labor may conduct an audit of the wages paid to that and all employees to verify appropriate payments being made.
In the event your company is being reviewed by the Department of Labor or has been assessed a penalty by the Department of Labor for violations of the Prevailing Wage, then Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist. Trimboli & Prusinowski is experienced in addressing prevailing wage matters including representing contractors during audits, appealing penalty assessments and negotiating settlements concerning alleged violations.
Many contractors and construction companies agree to project agreements with labor unions and employee associations. Often these agreements seem mundane; however, many of them have provisions which are significant in nature and not well spelled out in the one page document. For instance, many project agreements provide that the contractor or construction company agrees to all of the terms of a larger collective bargaining agreement even though the contractor has not reviewed the collective bargaining agreement nor has it been provided an opportunity to negotiate the terms of the agreement. For instance, a project agreement can impose pension obligations on the contractor which last longer than the project based upon the more substantial terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Prior to entering into a project agreement, a contractor or construction company should have an experienced attorney, such as those at Trimboli & Prusinowski, to review the agreement and advise the company concerning its obligations and mandates.
If a project agreement has already been executed, the contractor or construction company could benefit from having Trimboli & Prusinowski review the agreement and provide advise concerning the obligations that have been agreed to pursuant to the project agreement. This can assist the contractor or construction company to anticipate long term obligations to employees it may have as a result of executing the project agreement as well as understand its rights under the agreement.
Often an employee association will seek to enforce terms of a collective bargaining agreement which was entered through a project agreement. If your company has received a notice or demand from a labor union or employee association, then you should contact Trimboli & Prusinowski to assist you in addressing the demand’s claims and advise you concerning the options your company may have regarding the matter.
If a new employee association is created by your employees or a union has been in place for many years, you should obtain legal representation to assist your company in negotiating the collective bargaining agreements between your company and the union. There are many provisions in an agreement which must be negotiated pursuant to law and your company may be best served if experienced attorneys like those at Trimboli & Prusinowski advise you during the negotiations process and conduct the negotiations on your company’s behalf.
If the negotiations reach an impasse, there may be options that your company has by filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) or the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC). Trimboli & Prusinowski has experience in both the federal and state agencies that can assist your company and protect your company’s interests during the administrative process.
Employees and Employers are entitled to representation when an unemployment appeal is filed. There are several reasons for the New Jersey Department of Unemployment approving or denying unemployment benefits. An employee may need representation in an unemployment appeal to assist in questioning the reasons for an initial denial of benefits while an employer may need representation to assist in showing that basis for approving benefits was improper.
Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist both employees and employers in their presentation of facts to an unemployment appeal examiner
Many employers are threatened with having discriminated against an employee based upon sex, age, race, or disability. Employers are often charged with discrimination through the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division on Civil Right (DCR). Finally, an employer can be sued in either New Jersey Superior Court or Federal District Court based upon allegations of discrimination.
If an employee alleges that you or someone in your company has discriminated against them, regardless of whether an administrative agency or court action has been filed, you should contact an employment attorney such as those in Trimboli & Prusinowski. We can assist your company in addressing the claims that have been alleged and help protect the company in the event a charge or legal action is filed.
Many employers receive a complaint from either the DCR or EEOC providing that possible discrimination has occurred. The agency will then conduct an investigation into the allegations. The employer must respond to the demands of the agency. Failure to do so could have adverse consequences for the employer. Our attorneys at Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in providing a response to the agency and act as a gateway between your company and the agency during the investigative process, which can be protracted. This will save you and your employees time and help prevent adverse information from being presented to the agency that may result in a finding of probable cause.
If a finding of probably cause has been assessed by the DCR or EEOC, then your company may need representation during a hearing in the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) or settlement negotiation. Trimboli & Prusinowski has represented many employers during these processes and can assist your company in the event it finds itself in this situation.
In New Jersey, unlike many states, an employee need not file a charge in the DCR or EEOC prior to filing a legal action in Federal or State court. If a complaint is served on your company or employees alleging that discrimination has occurred, then you may need to be represented by an experienced attorney to defend against the allegations. Trimboli & Prusinowski has handled many discrimination lawsuits on behalf of employers. It is well versed in presenting appropriate defenses on behalf of the company or the individual defendants.
In many instances, a discrimination claim can be referred to mediation or arbitration. Trimboli & Prusinowski has handled mediation and arbitrations for companies and individual defendants relating to discrimination claims. A consultation with an attorney from Trimboli & Prusinowski may assist you in finding the best manner to address the litigation and present defenses in various forum.
Every employer, regardless of size, should have an employee handbook in place. Every employee should acknowledge having received the handbook and specific provisions set forth in the handbook. By distributing a handbook, an employer can consistently apply policies. More importantly, United States Supreme Court cases provide that if specific provisions are presented in a handbook, then an employer can present specific defenses in the event a discrimination claim is made against the employer.
A consultation with an attorney from Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in an appropriate employee handbook being drafted by the firm. The handbook will comply with all applicable employment laws and assist in protecting the company.
Trimboli & Prusinowski will also seek to provide your company with information on changes in the law and revise the handbook in the event new laws are passed that impact your company.
When employees are hired for your company, there may be specific requirements and obligations that will need to be imposed upon them as a result of their position. Such obligations often cannot be through a handbook and an individualized employment agreement may be necessary. Such agreements may have confidentiality provisions, restrictive covenants, and other provisions in them. These provisions should be drafted by an attorney who is experienced in such matters. Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in this.
When an employee who has an employment agreement leaves your company, you may need to seek enforcement of provisions in the agreement. An attorney at Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in enforcing the terms of the agreement and assist in advising your company as to steps the company may take to protect its interests related to the employee. Often the restrictive covenants need to be monitored and enforced. Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in doing this.
In the unfortunate event an employee needs to be let go, a separation agreement may be warranted. An agreement can protect the employer from a future lawsuit and reduce the uncertainty related to releasing an employee. There are specific provisions that must be included in a separating agreement to comply with applicable law. Your company should have an attorney such as those at Trimboli & Prusinowski draft an appropriate agreement for your situation and protect the company’s interests in the process.
When a number of employees are released at the same time, a severance or early retirement package may be provided. Trimboli & Prusinowski can assist in the structuring of such packages which are best suited for the employees at issue and the situation at hand.