Employment Law

Arizona’s top law firms for employers are populated almost exclusively by the Phoenix offices of large multinational, national and regional firms. But Coppersmith Brockelman’s unique approach to employment law makes us a sought-after local stand-out. The reasons are the four tenets that guide our employment group: we focus on avoiding disputes; we seek prompt and creative resolution to disputes that do arise; we craft thorough, efficient litigation strategies that seek full vindication of our clients’ position; and we’re excellent stewards of our clients’ resources.


With these drivers guiding our team, we devote a substantial portion of our practice to keeping employers out of litigation and other disputes. We believe that many potential employment claims can be avoided with the exercise of sound practices and judgment, promptly applied. The counseling services we regularly provide include:

  • Preparing employee handbooks and related policies and procedures, and assisting employers with regular review and updating of these documents.
  • Preparing offer letters and employment contracts (including contracts with post-employment restrictive covenants, and confidentiality and intellectual property agreements).
  • Advising employers regarding medical leaves of absence and reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities.
  • Counseling employers about employee discipline and termination issues.
  • Assisting employers with the planning and implementation of workforce reductions.
  • Negotiating and preparing separation and severance agreements.
  • Providing guidance on appropriate classification of workers and other, often complex, wage and hour issues
  • Conducting workplace investigations into allegations of unlawful activity or other wrongdoing.
  • Training managers and supervisors regarding maintenance of a lawful workplace environment and other legal issues.
  • Providing advice and risk analysis regarding employee hiring and departures in situations involving post-employment restrictive covenants.
  • Advising employers about drug and alcohol testing and Arizona’s medical marijuana law.
  • Counseling employers regarding compliance with a myriad of federal and state employment laws, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Arizona Civil Rights Act, Arizona’s Employment Protection Act, the Arizona Trade Secrets Act, and the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Our nimble nature and wide breadth of knowledge has allowed our team to function as an in-house employment law department for a number of employers, ranging from companies with a few dozen employees to national companies with tens of thousands of employees in several states.  We sometimes undertake these arrangements pursuant to flat-fee retainer agreements, thus providing our clients with cost certainty, responsiveness, and sophisticated problem solving.

Adversarial Proceedings

We also handle lawsuits in state and federal courts, defend employers in arbitration proceedings, and represent employers in dozens of administrative proceedings each year before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Arizona Civil Rights Division, and the Arizona Department of Labor. Examples of cases include:

  • Defended a national telecommunications company against claims made by a current employee for sex and age discrimination; we obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defended a national health care company against whistleblower and wrongful discharge claims made by a former executive; we sought and obtained an early and cost-effective resolution.
  • Defended a large mining company in a putative class action claiming wrongful denial of ERISA benefits; we obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented multiple Phoenix-area law firms in disputes with departing partners and associates.
  • Defended a large health care company against claims made by a former employee for alleged violations of the ADA and FMLA; we moved the case from federal court into arbitration and then prevailed on summary judgment.
  • Defended a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 business process outsourcing provider against claims of race discrimination, retaliation and unpaid wages; we prevailed at arbitration and also obtained dismissal of second lawsuit filed against the parent company and individual witnesses.


Kent Brockelman
Email Kent | 602-381-5477

Jill Chasson
Email Jill | 602-381-5481

Katherine Hyde
Email Katherine | 602-381-5471

John Kelly
Email John | 602-381-5497