Kristine Sova provides an array of labor and employment legal services in a variety of industries across both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Her labor and employment legal services include:
Policy and Practice Development and Implementation: From stand-alone policies, practices and procedures to the more substantially-sized employee handbooks, Kristine crafts and implements human resources policies and practices that comply with applicable labor and employment laws and are compatible with the realities of business goals and operations. She also develops and advises on the development of pay practices to comply with the myriad of wage-and-hour laws relating to wages, break time, permissible wage deductions, and hours worked.
Employment and Business Counseling: Kristine firmly believes in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To that end, she counsels employers on ways to avoid litigation through business decisions on issues such as:
- • employment applications and other pre-employment inquiries
- • employee relations
- • reference and background checks
- • immigration (I-9) compliance
- • wage and hour compliance
- • effective discipline of employees
- • granting employees time off from work for medical or other reasons
- • investigation of employee misconduct
- • investigation of allegations of harassment or discrimination
- • employment contracts, including non-compete agreements and confidentiality of trade secrets
- • use of independent contractors
- • separation agreements
- • termination of employment
- • layoffs and reductions in force
Administrative Audits and Investigations: Kristine represents employers in audits and investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the New York State Department of Labor, and other governmental agencies. Much of her experience in this area relates to I-9s and employment eligibility, misclassification of employees (W-2s) as independent contractors (1099s) or as exempt from overtime wage requirements, and wage-hour recordkeeping. Kristine also structures and conducts preventative self-audits for employers looking to achieve compliance and minimize possible penalties before actually being noticed for inspection by the government.
Training: Workplace compliance training has the power to protect employers and establish legal defenses that written policies and practices alone do not otherwise offer. To this end, Kristine regularly trains, and also partners with human resources consultants who train, managerial and rank-and-file employees on: harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention, and wage-and-hour compliance. In addition, Kristine provides training on traditional labor law issues – such as how to maintain a union-free workplace, do's and don'ts of employer conduct during a union organizing campaign, and how to effectively manage a unionized workforce – and provides human resources/managerial workshops geared toward the successful implementation of an employer's new policies, practices, and procedures.
Litigation Strategy: Litigation defense is expensive, but it need not be unnecessarily so. Drawing on her many years defending employment lawsuits against employers, Kristine works with employers who do not have any in-house lawyers or any litigation experience of their own to consult with and oversee litigation by other outside counsel in order to keep an employer’s litigation costs as minimal as possible. Kristine also works with litigators – particularly those less-versed in labor and employment law – to help assess, refine and optimize litigation strategy necessary to present a case in its most persuasive manner.
Workplace Investigations: Kristine investigates a wide variety of workplace misconduct, including claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge. Kristine not only conducts investigations on behalf of her own employer clients, but also on behalf of employers with pre-existing employment law counsel in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the employer and its counsel.
Employment Agreements: Kristine represents executives in the negotiations of their employment and termination packages and accompanying agreements.