Serena S. Wilson-Griffin is an associate practicing labor and employment law in the Litigation Department. She has more than 10 years of experience advising employers on employment and labor law. Having served as the sole in-house employment attorney for a publicly traded company with over 6,000 employees in the United States, Asia, Canada, and Mexico, as well as a major regional health care employer with over 30,000 employees in four states, Serena has significant experience in employment and labor law. As a former human resources (HR) professional herself, she is uniquely aware of the challenges faced by HR professionals and business leaders. Serena uses her extensive background to partner with business leaders and HR professionals to reach practical and cost-effective solutions to their workplace problems.
Human Resources Counsel
While employment and labor law seemingly requires significant reactionary measures, prevention is the best way to address workplace problems. Given this, Serena encourages employers to proactively address potential workplace liability. As part of her HR counseling practice, Serena helps employers update their handbooks, personnel policies, and job descriptions, and she conducts proactive internal audits. Additionally, she informs clients of updates in employment and labor law, and she regularly conducts on-site training for company management and HR personnel on topics such as conducting appropriate employee interviews, medical leave, sexual harassment, workplace investigations, and employee performance management. In the event an employer wishes to end an employment relationship, Serena also provides termination counseling, including counseling regarding reductions in force and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
Employers are routinely faced with responding to an employee's request for medical leave and/or request for an accommodation. Properly responding to such requests requires an understanding of the relationship between the employer's workplace policies and federal and state employment law, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). When addressing such requests, Serena partners with HR professionals and business leaders to conduct a fact-intensive analysis and formulate a response consistent with their goals, organizational culture, legal obligations, and employee's needs.
Employment Litigation & Compliance
Although proactive workplace initiatives may reduce the likelihood of lawsuits and charges, litigation is sometimes unavoidable. Serena has favorably resolved pre-litigation disputes for her clients utilizing mediation and negotiation. She has also represented clients in administrative investigations, government audits such as OFCCP audits, and litigation in federal and state court.