"I understand that my clients are seeking, and deserve, risk mitigation strategies for their workforce in conjunction with aggressive and efficient representation in litigation. I aim to understand my clients’ business from a big picture perspective so that I can both defend their decisions from yesterday and effectively guide them on decisions for tomorrow."
— Katharine Batista
Ms. Batista is a Labor & Employment attorney that assists her clients when deciding issues like: If my employee has exhausted her FMLA leave and remains out, am I required to hold her position open? Can I terminate my employee for testing positive for marijuana? Will this non-compete agreement be enforced? She helps her clients answer these and similar questions, and vigorously defends their decisions. She represents businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, banks, retailers and health care providers, in the spectrum of employment and labor claims. Specifically, Ms. Batista successfully defends employers against claims of discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wrongful terminations and wage and hour violations. An employee’s post-separation conduct often requires legal advice and action too. Ms. Batista commonly represents her clients in bringing actions for breach of restrictive covenants and contractual interference, as well as defends them against such claims. Employment and labor law is ever changing. Employers need to feel secure in how they manage their employees so they can focus on their business. Ms. Batista affords her clients that security.
In addition, Ms. Batista:
- Counsels her clients on employee issues such as hiring and termination, disability and medical leave, use of social media, internal complaints, overtime and classification issues, union disputes and non-competition agreements;
- Drafts and revises employment agreements, personnel policies, communications and internal trainings; and
- Presents and trains on topics such as employment law basics, managing sick and injured employees, sexual harassment, internal investigations, Department of Labor audits, legislative and regulatory changes and emerging employment law trends.
Ms. Batista serves on the Board of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management where she plans the programming and presents on employment law topics. In 2017, Ms. Batista was selected by SuperLawyers to the 2017 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list.
- Obtained summary judgment for national bank in breach of contact action filed by former employee seeking substantial severance pay;
- Successfully defended national auto parts retail company in federal court against claims of national origin and race discrimination;
- Obtained summary judgment for national bank in breach of contract action for alleged unpaid recruiting fees;
- Revised and implemented internal investigation policy and process for responding to internal complaints for global chemical and engineering company;
- Successfully enforced arbitration agreement and obtained dismissal of federal court litigation for national department store;
- Successfully advised international company being investigated by department of labor, which was resolved without company owing back wages or a lawsuit being initiated;
- Obtained summary judgment for emergency management and security company against claims of sex harassment and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act; and
- Obtained affirmation of district court decision granting summary judgment for industrial manufacturer in matter alleging workers compensation retaliation and disability discrimination.
Before joining Offit Kurman, Ms. Batista worked at a national employment and labor law firm, representing management exclusively. During her tenure there, Ms. Batista completed a secondment as the only in-house employment and labor counsel at a global chemical, science and engineering company. Ms. Batista also practiced general litigation at a prominent mid-sized firm in Stamford, Connecticut. Before entering private practice, Ms. Batista clerked at the Connecticut Appellate Court for the Honorable Richard A. Robinson, now Connecticut Supreme Court Justice.
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