Labor & Employment

The most experienced and respected labor division on the island.  This top-ranked practice group represents management in all areas of labor, employment, and employee benefits law, including union representation and unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB, workers’ compensation, affirmative action and equal employment, as well as traditional collective bargaining and labor arbitration. Fiddler represents clients in local and federal trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies in matters involving federal and Puerto Rico anti-discrimination laws, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, civil rights, OSHA and benefits matters. The firm regularly handles corporate immigration matters, employment-related immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and the preparation of HR policies.

Employment Litigation

Employment litigation is a significant part of our practice.  We represent clients in local and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels in matters regarding all employment aspects including, but not limited to, wrongful termination, breach of contract, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, privacy, defamation, emotional distress, wage and hour and other compensation issues, work-related injuries and health and safety matters.

 

In addition, Fiddler’s employment litigators are well versed in local and federal administrative proceedings, such as unemployment compensation claims before the Department of Labor of Puerto Rico, which include evidentiary hearings and appeals.

 

Employment Discrimination

We advise and represent employers in discrimination claims, including age, race, color, sex, social or national origin, social condition, political affiliation, political or religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, disability, being a domestic violence victim or perceived as a domestic violence victim, and veteran status arising under federal or local laws before local and federal government agencies, state and federal courts, mediators and arbitration panels. Particularly, Fiddler provides counsel and representation in discrimination claims under: Title VII; Section 1983 of the US Code; sexual harassment; retaliation or whistleblower; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; American with Disabilities Act; affirmative action plans and audits conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program ("OFCCP") and Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

 

Labor Audits

Fiddler represents employers in connection with local and federal government audits and investigations of compliance with wage and hour laws, occupational health and safety laws, antidiscrimination statutes and affirmative action plans. Fiddler also provides counsel during inspections, enforcement, rulemaking, and variance proceedings in any legislative, judicial or administrative actions.

 

Labor Management Relations

Our attorneys have broad experience assisting and representing employers in all aspects of labor-management relations law.  Fiddler’s comprehensive representation of employers includes:

• Advice employers on how to lawfully maintain a union-free workplace.

• Counseling employers during union organizing drives and campaigns.

• Representing employers before the National Labor Relations Board and the Puerto Rico Labor Relations Board in representation cases, unfair labor practice litigation, jurisdictional disputes, decertification cases and unit clarification proceedings.

• Serving as spokespersons, legal counselors and strategists during collective bargaining.

• Analyzing and interpreting collective bargaining agreements.

• Advising unionized employers in discipline and discharge cases.

• Dealing with union representatives to resolve disputes.

• Representing employers in contractual grievance and arbitration proceedings, as well as in strikes and labor disputes.

 

Fiddler's attorneys have handled labor relation matters for employers in numerous industries, including governmental agencies, construction, distribution, education, health care, manufacturing, and trucking, and have negotiated industry-wide, company-wide and site-specific collective bargaining agreements.

 

Labor Management Arbitration

Fiddler represents employers in proceedings before mediators and arbitrators successfully resolving a full range of employment and labor related claims, including disciplinary actions, sub-contracting, termination, interpretation of collective bargaining and other labor claims.

 

Employment Arbitration

Fiddler represents employers in proceedings before private and governmental mediators and arbitrators, successfully solving a full range of employment related claims, including disciplinary actions, terminations, interpretation of employment contracts, covenants not to compete and non-solicitation agreements, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and other statutory employment claims.

 

Wage and Hour

Fiddler represents employers in wage and hour claims and investigations before the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and the US Department of Labor, including overtime, meal periods, misclassification of employees, recordkeeping, deductions, garnishments, leaves, etc, arising under Puerto Rico’s wage and hour laws and regulations and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Our attorneys also represent and counsel employers in claims and investigations under Puerto Rico Law 180 regarding vacation and sick leaves and under the Family Medical Leave Act.

 

Worker’s Compensation

Fiddler works closely with employers in providing such services as:

• Assisting employers in handling workers compensation claims and coverage issues.

• Advising employers regarding their rights and responsibilities toward injured workers.

• Counseling employers on the interaction of workers' compensation with state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination due to disability.

• Defending employers against charges of retaliation for employees filing workers' compensation claims.

• Representing employers in all aspects of workers' compensation litigation, including coverage denials for alleged late payment of premiums or misclassification of risks.

 

Employee Benefits

Fiddler counsels and represents employers with respect to employee benefits, pension, welfare and healthcare plans and programs and arrangements including:

• Designing, drafting, administrating, amending and terminating tax-qualified retirement plans, non-qualified plans and welfare benefit plans.

• Designing, drafting and administrating benefit programs for executives and key employees.

• Obtaining favorable tax-qualification status of retirement plans.

• Compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), the Internal Revenue Codes of Puerto Rico and of the United States, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and other federal or state laws that govern or affect benefit plans.

• Drafting summary plan descriptions and other ERISA, COBRA or HIPAA required notices.

• Representation of fiduciaries subject to fiduciary duties under ERISA as they perform their duties.

• Representing retirement and welfare benefits plans before regulatory agencies in the event of investigations or audits.

• Representation regarding claims for benefits and for discriminatory termination of said plans, including before the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

 

In addition, our attorneys handle a variety of litigation involving claims arising under COBRA, ERISA and the HIPAA including claims for benefits and for discriminatory termination of employment in violation of said legislation, including the following services:

• Representing employers, fiduciaries, benefit plans and insurance companies in benefits-related litigation arising under such as:

• claims for retirement and welfare benefits;

• claims for breach of fiduciary duties;

• claims for statutory penalties for failure to comply with reporting and disclosure requirements;

• claims for discriminatory termination of employment in violation of ERISA;

• actions involving the misconduct, negligence or misrepresentations of third party administrators and consultants, among others; and

• claims related to retiree benefits issues.

 

Wrongful Termination

Fiddler represents employers in wrongful terminations claims, including constructive discharge and extended suspension, arising under Puerto Rico Law No. 80-1976, before local and federal government agencies and local and federal courts.

 

Collective Bargaining

Our attorneys have broad experience representing employers in collective bargaining negotiations.  Our attorneys have successfully counseled employers regarding the legal implementation of the employer’s last, best and final offer.

 

Labor and Employment Counseling

In addition to providing general employment advice, we conduct or assist with internal workplace investigations relating to discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and workplace misconduct.  We also assist and defend companies in governmental audits and worksite inspections by, among others, Puerto Rico Department of Labor, US Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  We also provide advice on:

• Drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, Human Resources policies, drug testing policies, domestic violence protocol, and other Human Resources practices and procedures;

• Training management in all labor and employment areas, including, among others, corrective and progressive discipline, documentation, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour and statutory leaves of absence.

• Reviewing training programs for supervisors, managers and employees.

• Advising employers on the interpretation of safety rules enforced by local and federal agencies and assist in the creation and development of safety and health programs.

• Drafting employment agreements, including executive employment agreements, standard employment agreements, confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements, independent contractor agreements, termination agreements and general releases;

 

Our attorneys also provide counsel regarding:

• Mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, structuring and due diligences;

• Public Private Partnerships.

 

Occupational Safety and Health

Our attorneys have ample experience in advising employers on all aspects of workplace safety and health issues, such as: assistance during investigations and onsite inspections and representation in disputes and citation contest.

 

Immigration

Fiddler attorneys counsel companies in preparing and processing applications for labor certifications and permanent residence, as well as all types of temporary visa applications including, but not limited to visa for professionals (H-1B), visa for intercompany transfers (L-1A and L1B), visas for alien with exceptional and outstanding abilities (O-1) and visas under the North American Free Trade Agreement (TN).  We also counsel employers regarding I-9 procedures and audits by the US Department of Labor and USCIS.

 

Office Location:

254 Muñoz Rivera Ave. 6th Floor

Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918

 

Mailing Address:

PO Box 363507

San Juan, PR 00936-3507

 

Telephone and Email Address:

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