Labor + Employment

Robinson+Cole has an experienced labor and employment practice that offers a full array of employment law services to sophisticated clients including clients in the financial services industry. Our services include counseling, training, and representation as it relates to employment, benefits, litigation, and immigration matters and issues. We regularly partner with our clients in the financial services industry on compliance efforts as well as resolution of issues and disputes that may arise. 

Given our depth of understanding of all facets of the employment relationship, we are able to assist clients not only with addressing pressing legal concerns, but in proactively examining policies and practices to minimize future issues and increase compliance with the laws applicable to the employee-employer relationship. We have substantial experience in dealing with the numerous state and federal laws that impact the employment relationship, as well as with the state and federal agencies responsible for enforcing those laws. 

Examples of issues with which we have assisted our financial services clients include:


  • Drafting background check programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and consistent with best practices in the financial services industry.
  • Advising on employee issues including financial misconduct, ethics, and conflicts of interest.
  • Providing sexual harassment, ethics, professionalism, and similar training to employees and senior-level executives.
  • Drafting employee handbooks and policies as well as compliance programs.
  • Serving as outside employment counsel for private equity firms and other financial services clients and providing advice on a variety of employment-related issues.


  • Drafting Internal Revenue Code Section 404(c) and 404(a) required disclosures for a pension consulting firm to be provided to their clients, who are pension plan sponsors.
  • Providing advice and counseling to a large number of financial service firms regarding the impact of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, including compliance with the rule and providing regular updates of changes in the rule.
  • Advising a retail and commercial bank on ERISA compliance matters and preparing a COBRA administration manual to assist in the administration of group medical coverage. 
  • Drafting retirement-specific financial services agreement for an investment consulting firm.
  • Working with a financial institution on the design of its equity compensation program, including tax, employment and securities issues. Tax issues included Section 409A compliance, payroll tax withholding and Section 83 in the context of restricted stock design.
  • Advising a financial institution regarding the design and implementation of a post-sale incentive compensation plan for key employees. 
  • Advising multiple broker-dealers and investment advisors regarding ERISA fiduciary advice arrangements.


  • Representation of several principals and staff members of a business unit of a financial services company in effecting a separation from their employer to set up a competing business despite non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Defending a Global 500 international financial institution against Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation claims filed by a former executive-level employee.


  • Counseling on Immigration Reform and Control Act compliance, including worksite enforcement and audit response in the financial services industry.
  • Providing immigration services including preparing submission to applicable government agencies and assisting clients in the financial services industry with employment eligibility verification and compliance.