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
Client Alert

PPP Round 2: Newly-Authorized Initial and Second Draw Paycheck Protection Program Loans and Other Changes Benefit Borrowers

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Client Alert

Employee Benefit Provisions in the Recent COVID-19 Relief Bill

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News

Lindsay S. C. Brinton and Meghan S. Largent Negotiate $1.4 Million Settlement for Landowners along Legacy Trail

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Diversity & Inclusion

Fatima G. Khan Elected President of South Asian Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

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Diversity & Inclusion

Apollo Carey Selected for Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD’s) 2021 Fellows Program

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Diversity & Inclusion

Jerina D. Phillips Selected for Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD’s) 2021 Pathfinder Program

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Client Alert

New York State Regulator Discourages Ransomware Payments and Publishes New Cyber Insurance Risk Framework

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News

Jerina D. Phillips Offers COVID-19 Vaccination Advice for Employers in St. Louis Magazine Article

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News

Jeremy P. Brummond’s Article on Waivers of Consequential Damages is Published in Construction Executive

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Client Alert

City of St. Louis 2021 Primary Municipal Election: Meet the Candidates

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Client Alert

Have You Done Your Annual CCPA Housekeeping?

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News

David W. Sweeney Named to Missouri’s POWER List for Lawyer-Lobbyists by Missouri Lawyers Media

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Client Alert

Employers, Start Planning Now – Get Ahead with the Upcoming H-1B Cap Season

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News

Paul R. Himmelstein Joins Lewis Rice Kansas City Office

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News

Lewis Rice Names Brian J. Figueroa Member of the Firm

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News

David W. Sweeney Interviewed in Realtime REALTOR® Podcast on Changes to Elections in the City of St. Louis

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News

Kansas City Office of Lewis Rice Names New Member

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Client Alert

Supreme Court Decision Provides Good News for Creditors

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News

Winthrop B. Reed, III and the Saint Louis Zoo Unveil Name of Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park

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News

Lewis Rice Wins Significant Victory for Atlanta Landowners Impacted by the Belt Line Rail-Trail

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News

Brian P. Pezza Discusses Vaccination Considerations for Employees in Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Article

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