Ogletree Deakins is uniquely positioned to provide technology employers and consumers (“TECHPLACE™”) with labor and employment advice, compliance consulting and litigation services that incorporate innovation and mitigate legal risk. Through our Technology Practice Group, we support clients in researching, inventing and/or implementing new and emerging technologies to address the unique and emerging labor and employment issues present in the workplace.
Areas of focus
Members of Ogletree Deakins’ technology practice group have extensive experience advising and consulting, providing compliance assistance and representing clients dealing with workforce issues presented by modern technology. We use our vast resources to provide TECHPLACE services centered on eight main focus areas:
AI and emerging labor and employment practices
TECHPLACE is at the forefront of emerging labor and employment practices. Whether it involves artificial intelligence (AI), biometrics, or social media and newer communication tools in the workplace, innovation comes with risks. We help our clients anticipate these risks through collaboration, advice and counsel, and ongoing education and training. We offer more than 50 annual programs that cover the latest national and global developments in labor and employment law, and arm TECHPLACE employers with the tools they need to innovate with confidence.
Automation and relocation of workers
Innovation means change. Robotics, automation, and other improvements in the workplace can mean reductions in force (RIFs), relocation of workers, and retraining of workers. Our lawyers develop RIF policies, selection documents and benefit plans that help TECHPLACE employers avoid the risks of change, including avoiding disparate impact, ensuring ERISA compliance and anticipating the impact of the federal tax code on RIFs, mass layoffs and plant closings.
Biometrics, data privacy and security
Nothing is more important to TECHPLACE than preventing the improper disclosure of information created, collected and maintained about products, customers, employees and others. We understand that data can accumulate quickly and be transmitted easily. As the law adapts to technological advances such as biometrics in the workplace, we help our clients keep up with new developments and adopt best practices to protect the privacy of the data their business collects and stores. Our attorneys are experts in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, country-specific data privacy laws, and many other issues raised by the ever-evolving data security and privacy landscape.
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) drives innovation and is central to the success of the modern TECHPLACE. We assist our clients in creating, implementing and managing D&I programs, including performing in-depth analyzes of diversity data and identifying meaningful indicators and metrics. We offer tailored D&I training for boards, managers and employees and have extensive experience advising, consulting and representing TECHPLACE on equal employment opportunity policies and practice development as well as litigation avoidance.
Employee mobility and unfair competition
Employee mobility at TECHPLACE is growing. Today, the typical employee works for a company for four years before moving on to another job. And technology has made it easier to move confidential information with employees. TECHPLACE must be vigilant in protecting private information and maintaining relationships and goodwill with customers, suppliers and employees. Our team of more than 100 experienced unfair competition and trade secret litigators help protect corporate assets through proactive preparation and advice, as well as defensive litigation.
Global technologies, cross-border and immigration
Because TECHPLACE seeks the most qualified employees, regardless of where they are located, the recruitment and retention of employees may involve immigration and cross-border issues. We have one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provide a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residency on behalf of foreign employees. We provide strategic solutions to key challenges arising from managing a global TECHPLACE and support growing businesses undertaking international expansions and transactions. We offer multinational clients a full range of employment services designed to help promote consistent management practices worldwide.
The gig economy
The gig economy puts old questions into brand new environments. Is your remote worker an employee or an independent contractor? How do you meet pay and hour requirements? How do you defend against lawsuits? Minor variations in decisions and practices can make the difference between compliance and non-compliance, which can have significant financial consequences, including late payments, fines and penalties. If left uncorrected, non-compliance can lead to costly litigation, particularly class and collective litigation. We have extensive experience in advising and litigating these matters in the unique technology environment.
VR, robotics and workplace safety
TECHPLACE faces ever-evolving workplace safety issues. Whether it’s the safety of employees using mobile devices, portable devices and other “smart” personal protective equipment; the availability of autonomous vehicles; or the use of virtual reality (VR) in education, there are many safety issues. Our national group of occupational safety and health attorneys advises, complies, inspects and represents technology employers and users before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, relevant OSHA state plan enforcement agencies and the appellate courts.
Ogletree Deakins’ Technology Practice Group is focused not only on providing legal advice and de-risking consulting, but also on identifying and driving TECHPLACE business solutions.