Employment & Labor

Gallagher & Kennedy’s employment attorneys develop a team relationship with clients to prevent and resolve labor law disputes. All of our clients desire a fair and safe workplace and work with us to avoid expensive government investigations and costly, disruptive litigation with their places of work.

Who We Help

With over 45 years of experience representing clients ranging from Arizona’s largest employers to international businesses with an Arizona presence, to locally owned and operated companies, and non-profit organizations, we are sensitive to the importance of developing policies consistent with continually changing labor and employment laws.

How We Help

Our philosophy that employers deserve fair and equitable treatment from their employees and the government, supports our mission to help clients achieve their business goals and promote a positive, issue-free work environment. 

We help clients prevent and address claims involving sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful discharge; prepare and enforce restrictive covenants; ensure occupational safety and health; navigate federal and state workplace regulations; respond to charges and investigations by the EEOC and state and local government agencies; and a host of other employment litigation and labor law matters. 


We defend employers charged in state and federal courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Arizona Civil Rights Division, Department of Labor, Industrial Commission, and other agencies on a variety of Title VII charges, ADA violations, unpaid wages, and retaliation charges.


Federal and state regulatory requirements, including ERISA, HIPAA, ACA, and COBRA are complex. We ensure our clients’ employee benefit and executive compensation plans and arrangements are in compliance with these requirements, and advise on reporting and disclosure obligations, fiduciary obligations, and in responding to benefits claims and claims of retaliation.

When issues arise, we represent employers in plan audits and investigations conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). After an audit, we guide clients through IRS and DOL correction programs, including EPCRS, VFCP, and DFVC.

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Serving as outside corporate counsel, we draft and audit employment applications, recruiting and hiring procedures, employment and severance agreements, employee handbooks, policy manuals, and personnel policies regarding absenteeism, vacation, sick leave, discipline, wage payment, etc. In addition, we counsel and advise employers on managing internal complaints and investigations, and on the development, implementation, and administration of drug and alcohol testing programs. 


Gallagher & Kennedy employment and labor law attorneys help employers enforce restrictive covenants to prevent the solicitation of customers and employees and the improper use of the employer's confidential and proprietary information. We also represent employers in litigation to enforce these agreements and help them protect their sensitive information and goodwill. 


We counsel employers on federal and state workplace regulatory compliance with such matters as Fair Labor Standards Act (overtime and minimum wage law), Family and Medical Leave Act, and Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act (plant closing statute). We also represent and defend employers in administrative claims and civil litigation before federal and state regulatory agencies, and in private civil actions by current and former employees.


We defend employers facing lawsuits in state and federal courts alleging wrongful discharge, whistleblower/retaliation, employee discipline, breach of employment contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.


When lawsuits or government investigations arise, we advise clients on their options to mitigate risk, expense, and distraction to the business. We communicate the scope of the problem and suggest workable solutions, avoiding employment and legal jargon that can be burdensome for clients to decipher. As business owners/operators, we are mindful that during and after a lawsuit, our clients still have businesses to run and thus coordinate litigation strategy to ensure that it does not detract from business operations.

When possible and desired, we seek alternative dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration of labor and employment disputes. 


Employers who take protective steps to train supervisors and workers on employment law issues often have a much lower incidence of claims. At G&K, we’re proactive about preventing claims and lawsuits. A significant portion of our practice is dedicated to training employers on avoiding sexual harassment, hiring and firing practices, and complying with state and federal employment laws.

We represent clients throughout Arizona and New Mexico and, in conjunction with associated local law firms, throughout California, Nevada, and other western states to manage businesses’ most valuable asset: their employees.