Practice Areas

RUSPC represents and counsels employees, labor unions, employee benefit plans and non-profit corporations.

Employees:


RUSPC represents individuals employed in the public and private sectors in all types of labor and employment law issues and other areas of the law. These areas include:

› Overtime and Wages
Discrimination and Retaliation
Layoffs
Benefits
Employment Agreements and Severance Agreements
Family & Medical Leave Act
Whistleblower Claims
Noncompetition Agreements
Workers' Compensation/Longshore Harbor Workers Act/Jones Act
Toxic Torts
Personal Injury

Overtime and Wages
RUSPC lawyers have handled numerous cases in federal and state court concerning claims of improper payment or the failure to pay overtime. These cases often arise under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law. The firm has represented individual employees in their claims, but has also represented groups of employees in collective actions. Under Louisiana law, employers are required to pay wages, including commissions and vacation pay, to employees who leave employment, at the risk of having to pay liquidated damages. RUSPC lawyers have frequently represented employees asserting these claims.

Discrimination and Retaliation
Federal and state law prohibit employers from engaging in discrimination based on race, sex, age, national origin and disability and also prohibits employer retaliation for asserting these claims. RUSPC lawyers have represented individuals in these types of claims, as well as claims of sex harassment.

Layoffs
Under federal law, called the WARN Act, employers are required to give employees 60 days advance notice of a mass layoff or plant closure, if the employer has 100 or more employees. RUSPC lawyers have represented classes of employees in asserting claims of improper notice of layoff.

Benefits
Employee benefits such as pension, 401(k), severance pay and disability are often protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (known as ERISA). RUSPC lawyers have represented individuals and have also brought class actions on behalf of employees, asserting that they were wrongfully denied benefits due to them under ERISA.

Employment Agreements/Severance Agreements
RUSPC lawyers have experience in counseling employees about proposed employment agreements, drafting employment agreements for those employees in positions requiring such agreements and reviewing existing employment agreements to determine the employee's contractual rights. RUSPC lawyers have also negotiated severance agreements and have counseled employees concerning their rights under severance agreements proposed by their employer.

Family & Medical Leave Act
Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
• for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
• for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
• to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent)  with a serious health condition; or
• to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
RUSPC lawyers have helped employees attempt to enforce their rights under this statute.

Whistleblower Claims
Federal and state laws protect employees who are discharged or whose working conditions are adversely affected by them and have threatened to report or have reported employer conduct that is improper or unlawful. RUSPC lawyers have represented employees who allege they have been subjected to such retaliation.

Noncompetition Agreements
Under Louisiana law, an employer can require an employee to sign an agreement not to compete with the employer when the employee leaves employment. However, these agreements are subject to strict requirements, and often are not enforceable. RUSPC lawyers have counseled employees about their rights under these agreements. In appropriate circumstances, RUSPC lawyers have represented employees in litigation where employers have attempted to enforce non-compete agreements.

Workers' Compensation/Longshore-Harbor Workers Act/Jones Act
Employees are entitled to weekly income benefits and coverage of their medical claims if they are injured on the job. While most claims arise under state law, if an employee who works as a longshoreman or harbor worker is injured, they are protected under federal law. Similarly, employees injured while on board a vessel may be entitled to compensation under the federal Jones Act. RUSPC lawyers have represented employees in all of these types of cases, before administrative tribunals and the courts.

Toxic Torts
Exposure in the workplace to asbestos, sand, welding rod fumes and other substances may cause serious illnesses, including cancer. RUSPC lawyers are experienced at handling these types of claims.

Personal Injury
Injuries caused by third parties, such as auto accidents, are compensable under state law. RUSPC lawyers have represented individuals in these types of claims.

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Labor Unions:


RUSPC lawyers have been representing labor unions since 1976. RUSPC represents a wide range of unions in Louisiana and in other states, including building trades unions, industrial unions, transportation unions, maritime unions, and public employee unions such as firefighters and teachers. RUSPC lawyers counsel unions concerning their internal governance and member rights, organizing strategies, approaches to collective bargaining and any other issue with which a union may be confronted. RUSPC lawyers have experience litigating before the National Labor Relations Board, state and federal courts, as well as handling discharge and contract interpretation cases before labor arbitrators. RUSPC lawyers also have represented unions before the United States Department of Labor on election and reporting issues. RUSPC lawyers are dedicated to providing the best possible service to unions.

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Employee Benefit Plans:


RUSPC represents numerous employee benefit plans in the private and public sectors in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia. RUSPC represents defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution pension plans, profit sharing plans, multi-employer 401(k) plans, health and welfare benefit plans, vacation plans, and apprenticeship plans. RUSPC lawyers have written trust agreements establishing plans, have written plans and plan amendments, have prepared summary plan descriptions, have prepared forms and procedures necessary for the daily operation of the plans, attend meetings of plan Boards of Trustees, negotiate contracts with service providers and counsel the trustees and the plan administrative managers concerning compliance with the numerous laws affecting the plans. RUSPC assists plans with monitoring participant compliance with subrogation and reimbursement agreements. RUSPC lawyers have represented plans before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor and federal and state courts.

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Non-Profit Corporations and PACs:


RUSPC assists new and established non-profit entities with incorporation, reporting and disclosure, and corporate governance issues. RUSPC counsels unions and other institutional clients in creating exempt organizations to administer real estate holdings, political action committees and activities, and charitable and educational organizations.



Robein, Urann, Spencer, Picard & Cangemi
Representing employees throughout the United States.