WE THINK YOU’LL LOVE WORKING WITH US. HERE’S WHY.
Labor & Employment Labor & Employment
Practices & Industries Served

Labor & Employment

Protecting your business is our business.

As labor and employment attorneys, we know how hard it is to find, train, and hold on to good employees and great managers—all while protecting your company and growing your business. However, with years of experience in labor and employment law, we know firsthand that it’s more than possible to create and enforce policies that are legally compliant and create a better workplace. And we look forward to helping your company do just that.

We don’t see ourselves as just “the lawyers”—even though we know the law and regulations inside out and upside down. In practice, we work more as partners, providing advice and counsel in addition to guidance about complying with new laws and regulations.

Our team is truly invested in your business and long-term success.

Our clients call us for a lot of reasons: because they can’t figure out how to get themselves out of a jam, because they’re concerned about new laws and regulations, because they’re entering negotiations with a union, or simply because they want to bounce business ideas off an experienced counselor.

No matter what brings you to us, we take the time to understand your issues and consider them in the context of your larger priorities and long-term goals. Then we strategize about the different ways you can handle the issues at hand while keeping your business running smoothly and efficiently.

In our consultative role, we feel a responsibility to provide advice about what you should do, not just what you legally can do. Ultimately, the choice of how to proceed is always yours. But we think clients deserve a candid, informed opinion from someone who’s likely seen this kind of thing before, so we make sure to share ours.

We deliver creative, cost-effective solutions, with an emphasis on fairness for all parties.

Our attorneys are able to recommend the right strategy—not just the expedient or “good enough” one—because of our experience, creativity, and on-the-ground insight. Many of us had careers before becoming lawyers, so we know how to talk to and train employees and managers and inspire positive shifts in behavior.

We also know how to foster goodwill by creating policies that are “fair”—to you, your employees, and a difficult employee’s co-workers. Creating and enforcing “fair” policies can go a long way toward preventing conflicts in the first place, while helping you effectively manage your most valuable resource: your people.

When necessary, our tough, experienced trial lawyers will go to the mat for you.

We work hard to come up with practical solutions that help you comply with the law, protect your interests, actively prevent new disputes, and minimize the need for litigation.

However, sometimes going to court is either unavoidable or in your best interest. If that need arises, we will see your case through to the end. Nearly all of our group’s members are litigators as well as advice and counsel lawyers, with track records of success and the work ethic and drive it takes to win.

 

Industries in which we have particular experience
  • Education
  • Municipalities
  • Health care
  • Social services
  • Nonprofit
  • Financial services
  • Distribution
  • IT services
  • Retail

Our practice includes:

  • HR advice and counsel
  • Litigation
  • Labor negotiations, collective bargaining, NLRB work
  • ERISA, benefits and executive compensation advice
  • Preventative programs and training
  • Post-litigation training to prevent further issues
  • Agency representation
Workplace & campus investigations

Bernstein Shur’s investigations team has the training and expertise to conduct prompt, thorough, and neutral investigations. When hired as your outside investigator, we help your organization or educational institution in making sound, informed, and legally defensible decisions based on clear investigatory findings.

We frequently serve as neutral outside investigators for colleges, universities, and secondary schools and follow the current laws and guidance on sexual and dating violence from Title IX, the Office of Civil Rights, VAWA, the Campus SaVE Act, and the White House. We understand how to navigate the unique challenges and legal issues presented by these types of complaints, including how to conduct a trauma-informed interview, respect student privacy rights, and ensure an equitable investigation for both complainants and respondents.

We regularly conduct investigations related to:

  • Discrimination (age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, national origin, ethnicity)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Title IX and VAWA (sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, intimate partner violence, and stalking)
  • Failure to accommodate
  • Retaliation/whistleblower
  • Employee or student misconduct
  • Wage and hour violations
  • Violence
  • Bullying
  • Embezzlement/fraud

About our team

After years of representing colleges, universities and secondary schools, Kai McGintee launched a workplace and Title IX investigation practice, and now serves as an independent investigator for employers and schools throughout New England. Kai is an approved investigator by United Educators and has received certifications from the Association of Workplace Investigators, Title IX ASAP Training, and ATIXA (Level Two Civil Rights Investigator). Kai also regularly provides consulting services and training on sexual misconduct issues to school administrators. Kai is a frequent speaker and commentator on the topic of student sexual misconduct. She was on a panel of Title IX experts at the Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference in Los Angeles and has been quoted in the Washington Post and ESPN.

Sara Hellstedt has fought for schools, institutions, students and families and has extensive knowledge of employment and student rights and the education system. Sara has represented public and private sector education clients on a variety of matters, and has handled complaints before the Maine Human Rights Commission and the federal Office for Civil Rights. Sara has received training to conduct sexual misconduct investigations by United Educators, and the National Center for Campus Public Safety (developed by the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault.) Sara is a former labor relations manager from the University of Maine System and has extensive experience counseling schools on risk management and consulting on employment, student affairs, and Title IX/Clery Act compliance.

For more information about our investigation services, please contact Kai McGintee at kmcgintee@bernsteinshur.com or 207 228-7116 and Sara Hellstedt at shellstedt@bernsteinshur.com or 207 228-7124.