Biography

Brian P. Pezza spends most of his time working to keep employers in compliance and out of trouble. He partners with executives and with HR professionals to reach pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to difficult workplace situations.

Medical Leave

Brian's clients rely on him to help navigate complex medical leave scenarios and to evaluate reasonable accommodation requests. Often these situations involve how various laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act, intersect with workplace attendance and conduct policies. Recognizing that every employer and every medical leave is unique, Brian probes the details, parsing FMLA certifications and physician correspondence. Together with HR personnel, Brian develops a communication strategy between the employer and health care provider. And if FMLA has been exhausted or does not apply, he helps construct the fact-specific steps of the ADA's interactive process. Over time, this exposure allows Brian to augment his clients' institutional knowledge and to manage leave and accommodation requests more efficiently.

Human Resources Counsel

Employment law counseling is not always a case-by-case proposition, however. Smart employers update their policies and review their job descriptions periodically. Brian helps employers keep their handbooks up-to-date and reviews job descriptions to ensure that employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt. As Ben Franklin observed, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." To this end, Brian regularly conducts on-site training for company management and HR personnel alike on topics such as diverse as medical leave, sexual harassment, and affirmative action.

And when working with organized employers, Brian strives to understand his clients' priorities and goals so that he can negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that both faithfully reflects management's vision for the enterprise and enables both sides to work together productively during the contract term.

Workplace Safety

Brian also regularly assists heavy industrial, manufacturing, and construction clients with their workplace safety and health programs. He coordinates crisis communication and response strategies, and conducts on-site investigations into workplace accidents. When clients face claims of safety violations, Brian oversees responses to OSHA inquiries and advocates to reduce or eliminate citations in order to protect clients’ resources and reputations within their industries.

Employment Litigation

Sometimes, of course, even thoughtful and well-executed HR practices will not dissuade an employee from filing a lawsuit or discrimination charge. Brian has represented a diverse range of employers: from a Fortune 20 pharmacy chain to a technology startup, from a national bank to a family-owned tree trimming business, from a large public school district to a small sheriff's department. Brian tries cases in state and federal courts, and he represents employers in administrative investigations and government audits of many kinds.

Practice Areas

Firm Highlights
News

Lewis Rice Recognized as Top M&A Firm by BTI Consulting Group

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News

Michael R. Thiessen Recognized as Pro Bono Spotlight by KCMBF for August

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Client Alert

Supreme Court Limits Ability to Compel Access to Private Property Without Compensation

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News

Lewis Rice Wins Nearly $500,000 in Compensation for Sarasota Landowners

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News

Neal F. Perryman Named to Missouri’s POWER List in Employment Law by Missouri Lawyers Media

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News

Brian P. Pezza Quoted in SHRM Articles on Employee Vaccination Status Disclosure and Employer Vaccination Policies

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Client Alert

Property Owners Can Push the Issue Under Illinois Mechanic’s Lien Law

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News

Lewis Rice Wins $1.5 Million in Compensation for Covington Landowners

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News

Michael D. Mulligan Publishes Article in ACTEC Law Journal Comparing Sales to an Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust and a to Beneficiary Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust

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News

John C. Bodnar Named BTI M&A Client Service All-Star

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News

Matthew J. Haas Offers Commentary for Inside P&C Article on Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

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Client Alert

FTC Adds Teeth to the ‘Made in USA’ Rule

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News

Lauren R. Carey Creates New Blog for Social Media Influencers

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News

Four Lewis Rice Attorneys Named 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers

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News

61 Lewis Rice Attorneys Named Best Lawyers for 2022, 16 Named Ones to Watch

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Client Alert

Missouri Now Requires Employers to Provide Leave and Accommodations for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

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Client Alert

OSHA’s New Guidance Regarding Indoor Mask Wearing, COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates, Regular Testing of Unvaccinated Workers, and More

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News

David W. Sweeney Represents Advantes Group in $7.2 Million Apartment Project

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Client Alert

FTC Reverses Course on Treatment of Debt Payoff Under HSR Act

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Diversity & Inclusion

Golf Foundation of Missouri Awards First Larry L. Deskins, Sr. Scholarship

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