Collectively, The Axelrod Firm’s attorneys have provided major corporate clients with employment advice and counseling and defended them in discrimination matters for over a decade including in sexual harassment actions, wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law equivalents, Department of Labor Audits, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims, and in Whistleblower claims. More recently we have provided advice related to COVID-19.
We work with employers collaboratively, engaging with their Human Resources departments as a team. In recognition of our skills, and the way we handle cases, the Human Resources Director of a global employer with a large base in Philadelphia transitioned all of the employment cases under her purview to us.
Where an early resolution is not feasible, we defend employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and in court. We have an outstanding track record of shutting down virtually all employment claims at the administrative agency level.
We also represent employers in related employment areas including, but not limited to, responding to subpoenas and counseling and claims concerning their social media policies.
The attorneys in The Axelrod Firm have handled the following representative matters:
- Published Trial Concerning A Non-Compete Agreement and Claimed Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Visiting Nurse Group, Inc. vs. Gaudite, PCCP Docket No. 110601804 – Successfully represented Carmelo Gaudite (“Gaudite”), who had owned one-third of the shares of a nursing company, Visiting Nurse Group (VNG), in an action brought against him by VNG. Before the lawsuit was filed, Gaudite had leased another nursing company, ACT Home Health Services, Inc. (“ACT”), the nearby building from which it operated. When VNG found out about the lease, VNG purchased Gaudite’s shares in VNG in exchange for him signing a non-compete agreement with it. In the lawsuit, VNG claimed that Gaudite breached his fiduciary duty to it during his term as a VNG shareholder, by leasing ACT its offices. VNG also claimed that Gaudite violated the parties’ non-compete agreement by funneling nurses to transfer their employment from VNG to ACT. This matter went through a completed trial before the Honorable Albert W. Sheppard (deceased), in which counsel from The Axelrod Firm won Gaudite a defense verdict on all claims. The case was published in Pennsylvania Jury Verdict Review and Analysis, which covers the largest cases in Pennsylvania. Plaintiff VNG never appealed.
- Discrimination Claims: Represented an employer in a gender discrimination action involving claims of unequal pay. This matter went through heated written discovery (including e-discovery) in which we obtained a Confidentiality Agreement and managed to trim down the plaintiff’s voluminous discovery requests through filing motions for protective orders. A number of depositions were taken and the case nearly went to trial before it was amicably and confidentially resolved.
- Trade Secret Claims: The Axelrod Firm successfully represented three non-party witnesses, managing to protect their highly valuable and zealously guarded trade secret, confidential, and proprietary work product over purported subpoenas. The parties seeking the clients’ information and documents were represented by a conglomerate of major law firms, a number of which filed multiple motions against our clients, refusing to enter into a confidentiality agreement until ordered by the Court to do so. Had these parties prevailed, they would have been able to not only obtain our clients’ protected information and work product, but widely distribute it.
Through briefing and argument on the motions, the Firm demonstrated that if the information and materials sought were released beyond the confines of the case at hand and/or ever used by our clients’ competitors, our non-party client-witnesses would suffer great economic harm. We were also able to convince the Court to greatly limit the scope of what was sought, and to compel the parties to sign a strict Confidentiality Agreement fully protecting the few materials and limited information our clients then produced in the action.
- Both of The Axelrod Firm Partners are Settlement Masters / Mediators and both are AAA Arbitrators. They bring their settlement and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) skills to bare in resolving employment matters. As a result, The Axelrod Firm has worked out many severance and other settlement agreements and thereby, avoided the administrative process and court proceedings altogether.
- Successfully led a corporation through a crisis involving one of its facility’s administrators, after evidence arose that she embezzled monies from the corporation and may have started a fire at the facility to cover up her embezzlement. From the time the administrator was charged with embezzlement to the time she pled guilty of it, The Axelrod Firm drafted press releases for the company: (1) discussing our client’s cooperation with the authorities; and (2) calling out the behavior with which the administrator was charged, as unacceptable. Our approach of being transparent and holding the administrator accountable, paid off. The community’s support and level of engagement with the corporation rose rather than fell.
- Strategically counseled a large company that, among other services, provides housing. A woman claimed that when she sought housing, an individual in a position of authority at the site demanded that she provide him sexual favors in return. There were allegations that this individual made these demands to dozens of women who sought housing. Managed to amicably resolve the one claim through a settlement requiring confidentiality, payouts extended over the length of the Statue of Limitations for others to bring claims, signed Affidavits of compliance with the confidentiality provision, and the bulk of the settlement monies being paid after the Statue of Limitations on other claims had run. During this time, no other alleged victim made a claim.
- Shepherded a corporate client through a crisis in which one of its sporting coaches appeared to admit, immediately before being fired, that he harmed a minor, and there were concerns he might have harmed other children. Successfully counseled the client to report the entire matter to the authorities and to convene the parents to tell them all the client knew. No claims have been made against the client since, and this happened years ago.
Successfully represented a large employer in claims brought by a former employee who was fired after violating the employer’s strict, no drug use policy after testing positive for Oxycodone.
We also have experience handling a wide array of employment-related matters including:
- Department of Labor Audits.
- HIPAA and GINA compliance work in responding to subpoenas for personnel files.
- Providing our prized 180 degree reviews, looking back to provide our clients with guidance as to how the liabilities they faced can be avoided in the future.