Steven F. Pockrass

Shareholder || Indianapolis

Steven (“Steve”) Pockrass is a proactive and practical advisor and litigator who helps companies reduce risks and resolve their employment and labor challenges.  During his nearly 25 years of practice, he has successfully handled a wide range of matters, with a particular emphasis on federal and state wage and hour laws; medical leaves of absence; disability accommodation; unfair competition and trade secrets; positive employee relations in both the non-union and union contexts; protecting against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; and multi-state compliance projects.  He regularly provides guidance to clients in both the public and private sectors, ranging from multinational Fortune 100 companies to small businesses, non-profits, and trade associations. A seasoned litigator, he defends against charges filed with federal and state administrative agencies; litigates single and multi-plaintiff lawsuits, including class and collective actions, in federal and state courts; and represents management in employment and labor arbitrations.

Practice Areas: Wage and Hour, Employment Law, Litigation, Class Action, Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets, Traditional Labor Relations, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Investigations and Whistleblower Response

Industries: Retail, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Hospitality, Defense Contracting Industry, Staffing/PEO, Trucking and Logistics

Wage and Hour

  • Co-Chair of Ogletree’s Wage and Hour Practice Group (2008-2019)
  • Member of Ogletree’s Wage and Hour Steering Committee
  • Creates and revises bonus, commission, and other compensation plans for multi-state employers
  • Coordinates and conducts wage-hour audits for Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-hour law compliance, including:
    • Exemption analysis for purposes of overtime and minimum wage laws
    • Employee/independent contractor analysis
    • Regular rate and compensable time analysis
    • Payroll practices analysis
  • Creates and revises wage-hour and timekeeping policies
  • Represents employers in U.S. Department of Labor investigations
  • Defends employers in single-plaintiff, collective and class action litigation

Medical Leaves of Absence

  • Advises employers regarding the interpretation and application of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state laws, including the interplay between the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and worker’s compensation
  • Creates and revises leave of absence policies, procedures and forms
  • Conducts FMLA training
  • Represents employers in U.S. Department of Labor investigations
  • Represents employers in matters filed with the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana
  • Defends employers in litigation

Disability Discrimination and Accommodation

  • Creates and revises job descriptions
  • Creates and revises disability accommodation policies, procedures and forms
  • Counsels employers on compliance with the ADA and state and local laws and ordinances
  • Conducts ADA training
  • Defends employers against disability-related charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and local agencies
  • Defends employers in litigation

Employment Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

  • Advises employers regarding compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act
  • Creates and revises anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation policies
  • Conducts and provides guidance on internal investigations
  • Provides anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation training
  • Defends employers against discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Defends employers against discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges filed with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and local agencies
  • Defends employers in litigation

Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets

  • Drafts and revises agreements containing restrictive covenants, including non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation provisions
  • Advises employers regarding the enforcement and enforceability of restrictive covenants
  • Advises employers regarding best practices and safeguards for protecting against the misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information
  • Litigates restrictive covenant cases in state and federal courts

Steve is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive. He has been recognized as an Indiana “Super Lawyer” every year since 2010 and has been named to Best Lawyers every year since 2013.

A frequent speaker and writer, Steve is a former appendix editor of the FMLA treatise published by BNA Books.  He also is one of the editors of the second edition of the FMLA Guide published by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee and has been a contributing author of several annual Midwinter Meeting Reports of the FMLA Subcommittee. He also is a member of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana and has served on the DTCI Board of Directors and as chair of the DTCI Employment Law Section.

Steve earned his Eagle Scout badge as a youth and has volunteered with the Scouts throughout his adult life.  A recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, he has served for many years on the Executive Board for the Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America, and on various Council committees. He is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Scouts BSA Troop 180 at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis and a former Cubmaster of Pack 180.  He also is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Day Nursery Association (now Early Learning Indiana) and is a former member of the Indianapolis Equal Opportunity Advisory Board.

Prior to attending law school, Steve worked as a newspaper reporter for The Indianapolis News, as a free-lance writer, and as Communications Director for the Indiana Housing Finance Authority.

 

Learn more about Steven F. Pockrass

Education

Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section; Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee; Family and Medical Leave Act Subcommittee; contributing author, FMLA Subcommittee Annual Reports, 2000 – present)
  • Appendix Editor, FMLA treatise (published by BNA in 2006)
  • Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (Former Board of Directors; past chair of Employment Law Section)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Indiana State Bar Association (Employment Law Section)
  • Indianapolis Bar Association (Employment Law Section)
  • Indianapolis Equal Opportunity Advisory Board (former)
  • Day Nursery Association Board of Directors (former)
  • The Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors

Speeches

Insights by Steven F. Pockrass