Ogletree Deakins is uniquely situated to provide tech employers and users (the “TECHPLACE™”) with labor and employment advice, compliance counseling, and litigation services that embrace innovation and mitigate legal risk. Through our Technology Practice Group, we support clients in the exploration, invention, and/or implementation of new and evolving technologies to navigate 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 counseling, providing compliance assistance, and representing clients that are dealing with workforce issues presented by modern technology. We harness our vast resources to provide TECHPLACE services centered on eight primary areas of focus:
The 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 those risks through collaboration, advice and counsel, and continuing education and training. We offer more than 50 annual programs that capture the latest national and global developments in labor and employment law, and we arm TECHPLACE employers with the tools they need to innovate with confidence.
Innovation means change. Robotics, automation, and other advancements in the workplace can mean reductions in force (RIFs), worker relocation, and worker retraining. Our lawyers design RIF policies, selection documents, and severance plans that help TECHPLACE employers avoid the risks of change, including avoiding disparate impact, assuring ERISA compliance, and anticipating the impact of the federal tax code on RIFs, mass layoffs, and plant closings.
Nothing is more important to the TECHPLACE than preventing 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 advancements such as biometrics in the workplace, we help our clients comply with new developments and adopt best practices for protecting the privacy of the data that their businesses collect and retain. Our lawyers are experts in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, state-specific data privacy laws, and the many other issues raised by the ever-evolving landscape of data security and privacy.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) drives innovation and is central to the success of the modern TECHPLACE. We assist our clients with the creation, implementation, and management of D&I programs, including conducting thorough analyses of diversity data and identifying meaningful metrics and benchmarks. We offer customized D&I training for boards, managers, and employees, and have extensive experience advising, counseling, and representing the TECHPLACE on equal employment opportunity policy and practice development, as well as litigation avoidance.
Employee mobility in the TECHPLACE is increasing. Today, the typical employee works for a company for four years before moving on to another job. And technology has made it simpler for confidential information to move with employees. The TECHPLACE must be vigilant in protecting proprietary information and preserving relationships and goodwill with customers, suppliers, and employees. Our team of more than 100 experienced unfair competition and trade secrets litigators helps safeguard corporate assets through proactive preparation and advice, as well as protective litigation.
Because the TECHPLACE seeks the best-qualified employees no matter where they are located, recruiting and retaining employees can 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 national employees. We offer strategic solutions to key challenges arising out of managing a global TECHPLACE, and we assist growing businesses undertaking international expansions and transactions. We offer multinational clients a full range of employment services designed to help drive consistent management practices worldwide.
The gig economy presents age-old questions in brand-new environments. Is your remote worker an employee or an independent contractor? How do you comply with wage and hour requirements? How do you defend against litigation? Minor variations in decisions and practices can make the difference between compliance and noncompliance, which can have significant financial consequences, including back pay, fines, and penalties. If left uncorrected, noncompliance can result in costly lawsuits, especially class and collective action litigation. We have extensive experience advising and counseling on, and litigating, these issues in the unique tech environment.
The TECHPLACE faces constantly evolving workplace safety issues. Whether it is the safety of employees who use mobile devices, wearables, and other “smart” personal protective equipment; the presence of autonomous vehicles; or the use of virtual reality (VR) in training, safety issues abound. Our nationwide group of workplace safety and health attorneys engages in counseling, compliance, inspections, and the representation of tech employers and users before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, corresponding OSHA state plan adjudicatory agencies, and appellate courts.
Ogletree Deakins’ Technology Practice Group is focused on not just providing legal advice and risk-reduction counseling, but also identifying and driving TECHPLACE business solutions.