Stokes Wagner Law Firm

Who We Are

  • What we do

  • Employment Litigation
  • Preventive Law
  • Agency Responses, Actions & Audits
  • Labor Relations
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Federal Contractor Compliance
  • Hospitality Business Disputes
Employment Litigation

Each year, 15 million new civil cases are filed in the United States. We have your back, should you ever find yourself in a dispute that has devolved into litigation. We have the skill, experience and vitality to achieve the results you desire. And because we are a smaller law firm staffed by industry-savvy professionals, you may rest assured that we will chart an efficient path with your goals in mind. We routinely handle the following types of disputes:

  • Wage & Hour
    • Tip Pooling
    • Meal & Rest Breaks
    • Over Time
    • Wages & Salaries
    • Alternative Workweek
    • Misclassification
    • “California-centric” Issues and Claims
    • Collective and Class Actions
  • Workplace Harassment
  • Retaliation & Favoritism
  • Discrimination
    • Interactive Process
    • Reasonable Accommodations
    • Title VII
    • ADA
    • FMLA
    • Whistleblower
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Preventive Law

As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure.” We understand our primary job is to prevent problems before they happen. Rather than stoking the flames of conflict, we proactively seek to eliminate risk. We search for and continually develop the “best practices” within the ever-evolving world of legal compliance, with one end in mind: to help you create an employment culture that delivers guest service second to none. We are pioneers in the underserved preventive law arena, and we have a keen focus on the customization of everything we do. We are the first lawyers to apply a holistic approach to auditing hotels by using our 360-degree Lawdit® process. We encourage you to speak with us about:

  • Lawdit®/audit
  • Employee Handbooks/Manuals
  • Employee Policies and Procedures
  • Contract Drafting – Including contracts to help minimize liability under the Joint Employer Doctrine
  • Training – Sexual Harassment; Discrimination; Employee Relations; Abusive Conduct/Bullying; Union Organizing
  • Operations counseling
  • Real-time updates on the evolving laws affecting your property.
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Agency Responses, Actions & Audits

Whether it is an unannounced onsite audit by one or several state agencies, a charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or an inquiry by any other state or federal agency, we are there to help. We will partner with you to accomplish the following:

  • Interact with EEOC, DOL, NLRB, OFCCP, OSHA, DOR and other government agencies
  • Responses to Agency Charges
  • Defense against Agency Actions
  • Counseling and compliance efforts for audits and investigations
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Labor Relations

We are proud to have earned national acclaim as preeminent labor lawyers. Over the last 40 years, our firm has represented hotels and institutional food service providers across the county with a variety of union issues and all aspects of labor-related proceedings. Our wealth of experience enables us to fulfill all of your labor law needs, including:

  • A positive approach to union avoidance
  • Collective bargaining advice and leadership at the bargaining table
  • Litigation before the National Labor Relations Board
  • Union Elections
  • Union Grievance & Arbitration Matters
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Labor Management Relations Act
  • Interest Arbitration
  • Labor Harmony Agreements
  • Peace Agreements
  • Card Check Neutrality
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Workplace Investigations

Because we are attuned to the external and internal forces influencing your industry, we are adept at conducting workplace investigations. We routinely apply essential leadership and skill to confidentially uncover and identify the root causes of a dispute or condition. We regularly lead or provide our clients with impartial and efficient investigations aimed to help them make informed, fair and smart decisions. Because the hospitality industry does not work 9 to 5, neither do we. Our investigations are conducted on-site whenever and wherever you may need us. We frequently conduct investigations for our clients to address claims of:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Favoritism
  • Workplace Violence
  • Workplace Abusive Conduct/Bullying
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Federal Contractor Compliance

Federal contractors have to comply with a slew of federal regulations. To make matters worse, federal regulations regularly change without much notice or publicity. We stay apprised of all changes in the Federal Contractor Compliance landscape and partner with our clients to make the most of the federal requirements. We help ensure Affirmative Action Plans are used as a powerful management tool so that you get the most out of your Affirmative Action Program.

  • Preparing Affirmative Action Plans
  • Implementations of Affirmative Action Programs
  • OFCCP Proceedings
  • “Fair Pay & Safe Workplace” executive order (2014)
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Hospitality Business Disputes

The hospitality industry is not always champagne flutes and mints on the pillow. When the need arises for white gloves to be replaced with boxing gloves, we are ready. We handle a variety of hospitality-related business disputes, including the following:

  • Franchise Disputes
  • Non-competition Agreements
  • Booking Contracts
  • Management Agreements
  • Executive and Other Employment Agreements
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We are fluent in hospitality.

Our experience serving your industry has earned us a deep understanding of hotel and restaurant operations. This familiarity enables us to speak your language and get to the heart of your labor and employment law needs. For instance, we know to ask how you handle “service charges;” how you round your time clocks; who participates in your employees’ tip pools; when and how you pay commissions for front-desk upsells; whether your sous chef is classified as exempt; how you handle room credits for housekeepers; whether your employees are “on-call” even when on break; and whether you use temporary labor from an outside vendor. We apply this expertise in every area of our practice to better serve you. We are not a general practice firm; we are a firm dedicated to you.

Served Clients

Our clients are everywhere

Being present is step one.

Whether you find yourself entangled in a legal issue or trying to prevent one, we understand that our presence is usually the first step toward a solution. It enables us to see your needs in context, and better understand the variables, your culture and goals. By understanding the big picture, we partner with you to collaboratively find the best solution.

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