Employment litigation has grown tremendously throughout the country during the past decade, and Lightfoot's employment practice has tracked this growth. We regularly represent defendants in employment-related suits and disputes before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and in state and federal courts. The attorneys at Lightfoot have handled all types of employment-related matters, including wrongful termination, retaliatory discharge, race, age, disability and gender discrimination claims, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and non-compete claims. We also have extensive experience in conducting internal investigations of employee complaints and disputes. Our attorneys advise clients on how to avoid such disputes and litigation and provide guidance in drafting employment contracts.
Our attorneys are cognizant of the fact that employment disputes often involve more important considerations than simply which party wins and which party loses. We work closely with our clients in the early stages of litigation to assess the facts and economic realities of each matter and to determine the client's ultimate goals for the case. Our clients' goals dictate our course of action from start to finish.
Lightfoot, Franklin & White's employment lawyers represent a diverse group of businesses in almost every industry. From leading product and textile manufacturers, retail clothing companies, chemical companies and insurance companies to medical practice groups and an intercollegiate athletic department, our lawyers are experienced in the courtroom and understand how to effectively represent clients before juries, judges and arbitrators. Recent examples of our experience in employment litigation include:
- Winning a defense verdict in a "failure to promote" race-discrimination trial in federal court on behalf of a textile manufacturer.
- Successfully defending a class action against a large retail department store chain in which the employee class claimed our client had wrongfully withheld commissions on certain transactions. After an evidentiary hearing on class certification, the trial court refused to certify the class.
- Obtaining summary judgment for a chemical manufacturer in a reduction-in-force ADEA and gender-discrimination suit. Plaintiff had worked for our client for nearly 20 years and complained that several younger male employees who were less qualified and had been employed a shorter time were retained as part of the downsizing. The summary judgment was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Obtaining summary judgment on an ADEA suit brought by a laborer who suffered a back injury that prevented him from performing his job. The summary judgment was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Winning summary judgment in a hostile-environment suit against an insurance company where the plaintiff agent claimed that he had been subjected to racial slurs and inappropriate comments during his employment. The judgment was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Winning summary judgment in a sexual harassment/wrongful termination case against a law firm and in numerous discrimination and worker's compensation retaliatory discharge cases throughout the state.
- Winning summary judgment in a race discrimination/hostile environment suit brought by multiple plaintiffs against a national industrial coating company and its regional subsidiary.