Ober|Kaler’s Health Law Group offers a dedicated group of attorneys who focus on employment and labor law issues. Their broad experience encompasses human resources issues arising in a number of settings, including the health care industry.
We commonly work for – and with – regional and national health care clients and are actively involved in professional organizations within the health care industry. We advise and represent health care providers in matters related to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, labor relations, wage and hour laws, terminations and layoffs, wrongful discharge, employment and severance agreements, workplace safety, immigration and naturalization, employee benefits, and common law issues related to employment contracts and torts.
Employee Benefit & Pension Plans
The firm represents a broad range of clients in connection with its employee benefits practice. We offer clients extensive experience in documentation and compliance matters for qualified retirement plans, tax-sheltered annuities, employee stock ownership plans and government retirement plans. In this capacity, we work regularly with the Internal Revenue Service on qualification and compliance matters.
We have extensive experience in the new law affecting nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements that has had a substantial impact on "top-hat" plans and virtually all employment agreements.
Ober|Kaler represents a substantial number of non-profit clients and clients in the health care industry. We provide advice on a regular basis on matters involving the new compliance issues for tax-sheltered annuities under Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b).
In addition, we advise clients on health care plan matters including self-funded medical plans, cafeteria plans and COBRA continuation coverage.
Labor Law & Employee Relations
Ober|Kaler represents employers of all types and sizes, including health care providers, construction companies and not-for-profit entities, in labor and employee relations matters before the:
- National Labor Relations Board
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- State and local commissions on human relations
- U.S. Department of Labor
- Division of Labor and Industry of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
We have successfully averted the need for litigation in labor disputes through our participation in labor arbitrations and labor contract negotiations. The firm assists employers during union organization activity, including elections, and we conduct lectures as well as management training sessions for employers in connection with labor relations matters and equal employment compliance in defense of claims. Our attorneys help clients develop personnel policy programs, employee handbooks and grievance procedure mechanisms and guide them in avoiding common pitfalls that can accompany this process. We provide manuals, administrative policy statements and educational materials to assist in training supervisors and middle management in the administration of labor, EEOC and wage and hour laws.
Ober|Kaler has extensive experience representing both employers and employees in drafting and negotiating employment and independent contractor agreements, with a particular focus on health care-sensitive issues involving compensation, nondisclosure and restrictive covenants.
The depth of our experience in the health care arena ensures that the compensation and bonus arrangements our clients structure are designed to meet their most innovative business objectives and to avoid violations of federal or state referral or fraud and abuse laws. We craft confidentiality and nondisclosure covenants that protect both patients and employers from illegal or inappropriate disclosures of confidential patient or employer information, and draft restrictive covenants that protect employers from unfair competition, without impermissibly restricting their employees’ rights to continue working.
We understand the special needs of our clients to address issues such as malpractice insurance coverage (including malpractice “tails”); professional qualifications, licensing and credentialing; Medicare exclusion; and matters under investigation by licensing or other regulatory bodies. Whether we are reviewing an employment agreement for a physician resident about to enter private practice or drafting professional or executive employment agreements for our clients operating health care facilities or business organizations, our skill in managing pertinent health care issues in basic or sophisticated contracts enhances our ability to aid our clients in achieving their business objectives within an appropriate legal framework.