News - Tag Archives: Charleston employment lawyers

Hendrickson & Long pledges $25K to WVU Law School scholarship fund

More West Virginia University College of Law students will benefit from scholarship funding thanks to the generosity of two Charleston, W.Va., attorneys.

Lawyers David Hendrickson and Scott Long have pledged $25,000 to the College of Law Class of 1982 and 1983 Scholarship. Hendrickson is a 1982 graduate; Long earned his degree in 1983. They are partners in the law firm of Hendrickson and Long PLLC. Both made the gift in hopes of inspiring more giving to the WVU College of Law.

Hendrickson has provided support to the WVU Alumni Association, WVU Athletics and WVU School of Nursing in recent years, but now is eager to make a contribution to benefit WVU law students.

“Our firm is pleased to be able to help insure the ability of future WVUstudents to complete their law degrees,” Hendrickson said. “We hope this matching grant will encourage the law school classes of 1982 and 1983 to contribute to the same cause.”

This gift from Hendrickson and Long has been made to the fund formerly known as the College of Law Class of 1982 Scholarship. Alumni Charles “Chuck” Bailey of Bailey and Wyant Law Firm and Andy Richardson of Healthsmart Casualty Claims Solutions played an integral role in establishing the scholarship in 2002. The two have agreed to change the name to include 1983, the year of Long’s graduation from the WVU College of Law.

“The Class of 1982 is pleased to partner with the Class of 1983 to increase scholarship opportunities,” Bailey said. “The Class of 1982 long recognized the value of the education we received and wanted to share with others. The combination of the two classes will make our vision even more viable.”

The fund originally was established with a gift of $30,000. The new donors and Jennie
James, WVU College of Law assistant dean for development, hope the $25,000 gift will be matched by more alumni and friends to bring the total to over $75,000.

Hendrickson and Long PLLC was formed in July of 1994 in Charleston, W.Va. Attorneys of the firm have served as national counsel to Fortune 100 companies in industry-wide litigation and serve a broad range of clients, large and small, on a national, regional and local basis.

This gift from Hendrickson and Long was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

Court Decision Marks Important Change in Employment Law in West Virginia

The area of employment law is vast, and is often complicated and drawn out. As a result, lawyers who regularly practice in this field of law try to take advantage of every available nuance and piece of legal information at their disposal in order to benefit their clients, and make litigating an employment claim a smoother process for everyone involved.

Previously, some attorneys tried to achieve this by counseling their clients to include an arbitration clause in many of their agreements. While this advice was undoubtedly well-intended, there was a question about how it would play out as a practical matter in the West Virginia court system. As a recent article published by Legal Newsline reports, a number of decisions made by the West Virginia Supreme Court as of late will likely give new meaning to arbitration clauses.

Court Decisions

According to the article mentioned above, recent decisions by the West Virginia Supreme reflect the idea that, if an arbitration clause is carefully drafted within an agreement that otherwise complies with case law on the subject, courts are more likely to enforce the arbitration clause than they did previously. As a rule, parties must meet basic principles of contract law in drawing up the agreement, which generally include offer, acceptance, consideration, and performance.

The West Virginia Supreme Court took a position against plaintiffs in three separate cases since November 2013, ruling in favor of enforcing arbitration agreements in each case. In one case, the Court decided that, if a plaintiff assented to arbitration when she read an employee handbook that outlined the parameters of an internal dispute resolution program, and signed an acknowledgment form, the plaintiff was bound to the contract’s terms. In another case concerning a residential mortgage loan, the Court upheld an arbitration agreement signed prior to the enactment of a law which would have prevented it. In the third case, the Court upheld the terms of a contract where employees were offered participation in a short-term incentive program if they signed arbitration agreements.

Some legal authorities are saying these cases are an important change in West Virginia employment law, since the Court declined to enforce arbitration agreements in similar situations for the last several years. In light of these decisions, some speculate that many more attorneys will counsel their clients to accept arbitration agreements. When properly executed and enforced, such agreements will greatly benefit employers as a cheaper and more efficient process than taking their claims through the courts. In addition, it provides a benefit to employees in avoiding potentially expensive legal fees.

Employment Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is fighting an employment claim, or is simply looking for advice in this area of law, contact the experienced attorneys at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC today to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter. Our office is located in Charleston, West Virginia.

Expert Employment Defense

At Hendrickson and Long PLLC, our firm defends West Virginia employers against charges of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. An employer’s discretion involving many aspects of managerial tasks is regulated by both state and federal law.

Certain Federal and West Virginia laws act to limit the basis for an employer’s decision. These statutes create protected classes of employees including characteristics like color, race, national origin, gender, religion, pregnancy, disability, age or genetic trait. Additionally, some employment discrimination laws create protected activities including whistleblower shelters for filing claims or making reports. These legal shelters can give rise to retaliation claims should an employee experience an adverse employment action after engaging in a protected activity.

With decades of experience, our firm has established a sophisticated understanding of how to litigate allegations of discrimination and efficiently resolve disputes. Our team of experienced attorneys will act fast to promptly investigate the merits of any employment claim, and, should there be any, use well tested methods to ensure your business’s financial exposure is minimized.

Defense for Discrimination Claims Brought Under Federal Law

A series of statutes serve to create the layout of Federal Discrimination Laws. Hendrickson and Long PLLC offers scholarly counsel regarding any claim brought under any statute. Among them are:

        -Title VII of the Civil Rights Act;

        -The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

        -The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);

        -Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; and

        -The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Proper Preparation Can Be the Best Defense

Written workplace policies should be created consistent with existing laws and applied fairly across the board to prevent allegations of discrimination. Up-to-date legal advice is vital to designing proper hiring, discipline, promotion, and termination procedures that comport with the law. Additionally, workplace sexual harassment policies should be written and distributed to employees to avoid hostile work environment claims. Our firm offers expert advice on designing and implementing new policies, and will evaluate policies already in use.

Discrimination Claims and Defenses

Many different varieties of claims can be brought by employees, each with their own unique legal considerations and evidentiary burdens. Among the most often seen are disparate treatment, disparate impact, retaliation, and sexual harassment claims.

In response to such claims there are several legal defenses, besides demonstrating that the allegations are false, that are available to employers. These defenses include an expiration of the statute of limitations, poor work performance, failure to meet notification requirements, and bona fide occupational qualifications.

Employment discrimination law is a complicated sector of American jurisprudence. It takes a certain level of aggression and familiarity with the law to properly bring complaints to a satisfactory conclusion.

Hendrickson and Long PLLC represents companies of all sizes in state and federal court. We offer direction on compliance with the law and defend against any claims should they be brought despite your most conscientious efforts. Rely on our decades in business to guide you. Don’t hesitate to contact us at our Charleston office at 304-346-5500 and let us know how we can serve your legal needs.