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Employment Law

For Employees


Aiken Schenk is a Best Law Firms® Metropolitan Tier 1 (Phoenix) Honoree for Employment Law (Individuals) and Labor & Employment Litigation

Michael J. Petitti

The Best Lawyers in America®: “Lawyer of the Year,” Employment Law - Individuals (Phoenix), 2017

The Best Lawyers in America: 2005-2017

Super Lawyers: 2007-2017

AV Preeminent® Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®

Employment and Labor Law Section, State Bar of Arizona: Past Chair

"Arizona Employment Law Handbook" (Chapter Editor), 2015 Edition, State Bar of Arizona

Who's Who in American Law: 2001-2017

National Employment Lawyers Association

Arizona Employment Lawyers Association

J. Burr Shields II

The Best Lawyers in America: “Lawyer of the Year,” Employment Litigation (Phoenix), 2016

The Best Lawyers in America: 2009-2017

Chambers and Partners, 2015-present

AV Preeminent Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®

Employment Law Articles

"New Arizona Law Brings Clarity to the Use of Independent Contractors," September 2016

"'Deflategate': Brady, the NFL, and a Primer in Labor Law," August 2015

"Analyzing Employment Claims: Frequent Issues" (presentation outline), 2013, 2014

"Drug and Alcohol Testing in Arizona: The Plaintiff’s Perspective," Arizona Attorney, State Bar of Arizona, December 1994


Employment law attorneys

Phoenix Employment Lawyers - for Employees

Employment law attorneys and employee rights advocates Michael Petitti, Burr Shields, Erin Hertzog and Natalie Virden advise and represent employees in virtually all aspects of labor and employment law, employer disputes, administrative proceedings and employment litigation.

Employee Counseling and Representation

Our services to public- and private-sector employees and members of labor associations emphasize counseling them on their rights and responsibilities in disputes against current or former employers.

For workers whose claims may lead to EEOC and other administrative investigations and proceedings, our attorneys represent individuals and groups of employees in matters and class actions involving private and public employers, including the federal government and state, county and municipal employers.

In addition, we frequently assist individuals in negotiating and litigating employment contracts and restrictive covenants.

We have also successfully represented several employees in unemployment insurance hearings to secure their right to unemployment benefits and, in some cases, avoid repayment of benefits.

Areas of Experience

  • Discrimination claims: age, gender, race, disability and other protected categories

  • Employment contracts, non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants

  • Wage disputes, including wage-and-hour and overtime requirements governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

  • Wrongful termination

  • Sexual harassment and hostile work environment

  • ADA violations

  • Civil Rights Act violations

  • Employee benefits, including health and disability insurance

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations

  • Layoffs and reductions in force (RIFs)

  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors

  • Defamation (libel and slander) and invasion of privacy

  • Representation before the EEOC and other federal and state agencies

  • Unemployment insurance claims

  • Union/management issues

  • Whistleblower protection

  • Worker safety

Federal and State Government Resources

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and ensure work-related benefits and rights. Its Employment Law Guide provides information on minimum wage and overtime pay, including overtime exemptions and other important features of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal antidiscrimination laws covering employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, or on the basis of a complaint or charge filed alleging discrimination.

  • The mission of the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office is to enforce civil rights laws, increase public awareness of civil rights, provide dispute resolution services, and offer community services throughout the State.

  • The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is dedicated to ensuring safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

  • The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) is also responsible for safety and health issues in over 130,000 public and private establishments and provides consultation and training as well as inspection and compliance programs.

  • The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) manages programs for unemployment, disability rehabilitation, job search and other employment resources and services.

  • The Merit Systems Protection Board is an independent, quasi-judicial agency in the federal government's executive branch that serves as the guardian of federal merit systems. The Board adjudicates individual employee appeals in Civil Service.

  • Employers and employees alike may be interested in this State Bar of Arizona resource, Your Rights as an Employee, which covers issues from at-will employment and employment contracts to wages and hours, overtime, discrimination, and other popular employment issues.