Services & Practices - What we do
When employers do need to hire additional workers, they have decisions to make about who and how they want to hire. Clearly they want the most qualified employees, but do they want them as permanent hires or as temporary or independent contractors who might be hired through an agency? Shankar Ninan & Co. attorneys work with clients to draft and review appropriate applications and offer letters, and guide them through any background and reference checks that might be used. We work with companies to train those conducting interviews on asking questions lawfully and thoroughly. They also provide guidance on any privacy issues that might be breached as a result of online reference checking vis á vis the Internet and social networking sites. They will work with human resources to ensure that current employees are appropriately notified and considered for positions when they are available. If pre-employment screening tests are required, Shankar Ninan & Co. will review them to ensure they comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
Companies that hire unqualified candidates run the risk of working with problem employees who fail to meet needs and expectations. A more serious consequence is inadequately screening employees who turn out to be violent or dangerous, thereby opening the employer up to charges of negligent hiring practices. Shankar Ninan & Co. helps companies protect themselves by developing and reviewing employment applications and background check procedures and training people to use proper interview and hiring techniques.
Once hired, employees may need to be trained. Shankar Ninan & Co. works with corporations to evaluate their training needs and develop and implement appropriate training programs.
Many companies perform evaluations of their employees. Issues can arise when employers provide incomplete or inaccurate reviews of an employee's performance. Shankar Ninan & Co. trains supervisors on how to conduct evaluations fairly, consistently, lawfully, and in a timely manner.
Performance evaluations need to be documented, as do incidents of employee misbehavior and concerns. If an employee's performance is lacking or if he/she demonstrates inappropriate behavior in the workplace, employers need to document the incident to record patterns of unacceptable behavior and minimize misunderstandings in the future. Shankar Ninan & Co. offers training to help employers determine how to document effectively so that accurate records are kept as a potential affirmative defense.
An employee may need to be terminated because of performance problems or other legitimate business justifications. Prior to the termination, there are steps employers should take to protect themselves from potential claims of wrongful termination. Shankar Ninan & Co. works with employers to guide them through the termination process. This includes drafting severance agreements and releases of claims, working with employers to ensure they are prepared for any questions or problems that may arise during the termination process, and ensuring compliance with post-termination legal obligations.
Shankar Ninan & Co.'s HR assessment audit reviews an employer's handbook, employment applications, offer letters, policies and procedures manuals, employment agreements, review processes, and procedures for discipline and termination.
No matter where a company is in the hiring process, Shankar Ninan & Co. helps them develop and implement best practices to address any employment concerns.
A company's policies and procedures are essential to its operations and to defining the working relationship with its employees. Shankar Ninan & Co. helps employers ensure that their policies and procedures are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
United States Immigration law is often considered a hyper-technical, confusing, ever-evolving set of rules and regulations. Immigration law requires the ability and understanding to interpret numerous federal laws, regulations, and policy. Since U.S. immigration law is constantly debated with new regulations proposed frequently, it creates uncertainly and insecurity among employers who depend on qualified foreign nationals for their hiring needs. Shankar Ninan & Co. is committed to assist clients with any immigration-related matters.
Whether you are a business seeking uniquely qualified foreign professionals with advanced degrees or a family member with the objective of bringing their relatives to America—we are here to help.
Here are just some of the areas in which we can provide counsel:
We work with employers and the applicants to prepare and submit visa applications for temporary employment in nonimmigrant visa categories including, but not limited to:
- E-1/2 (treaty traders/investors)
- E-3 (Australian professionals in specialty occupations)
- H-1B (professionals in specialty occupations)
- H-1B1 (Chilean and Singaporean professionals in specialty occupations)
- L-1 (intra-company transferees)
- O (persons of extraordinary ability)
- P (certain athletes and entertainers)
- TN (certain Canadian and Mexican professionals)
We assist companies supporting employees for permanent residence ("green cards") in all of the Employment-based green card categories, including:
- EB-1 priority workers
- EB-2 advanced degree professionals
- EB-3 professional, skilled and unskilled workers.
We advise clients on the legally complex PERM labor certification process. We help navigate the complex laws and pursue immigration options that do not require labor certification as well, including permanent residence based on an individual's extraordinary ability, status as an outstanding researcher or multinational manager, or impact on the U.S. national interest.
Further, we assist with petitions for permanent residence for eligible dependent family members and prepare applications for adjustment of status in the United States, including accompanying clients at personal interviews with immigration officers in the United States, where possible and permitted.
Moreover, we represent individual U.S. citizens and green card holders in sponsoring their close family members for U.S. Residency. We also represent individuals that are eligible for an extraordinary ability visa.
We prepare and file applications for naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
We provide counsel to dependents involved in immigration processes in the United States. Specifically, we are committed to guiding employers and their employees on the best immigration strategies for accompanying family members. We assist in the preparation of all required documentation for application processing in the United States.
The United States seeks to promote economic development by permitting foreign nationals to invest in an EB-5 regional center or a stand-alone project in exchange for permanent residency for those who qualify under the EB-5 investor visa process.
We offer our clients the highest level of EB-5 service and advice to help ensure that the program assists them in meeting their investment visa goals.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers opportunities for foreign students to pursue higher education in the States. To that end, we assist foreign students who pursue higher education to obtain a student visa, including F-1s (for academics), M-1s (for non-academics) and J-1s (for cultural exchange programs).
We assist in obtaining "fiancé/ée" visas (K-1 Visa) which permits a U.S. Citizen to bring his or her fiancé/fiancée to the United States for the sole purpose of marriage. Moreover, we also assist in spousal visa applications (K-3 Visa), which permits spouses of U.S. Citizens who are awaiting overseas for their U.S. permanent resident petitions to be processed.
We assist small and large businesses in all aspects of business operations and compliance. Whether you have an in-house legal counsel or you are an executive just starting up—we are here to offer assistance in the management of in-house legal affairs at an affordable cost.
If you are considering purchasing a new home or selling your current home, we are here to advise you through the process. Our legal team represents individuals and their families in the purchase and sale of property from the attorney contract review period up to the closing day.
"Estate planning" is the process of arranging your affairs to minimize aggravation and stress to your family at a time of need. Typically, an "estate plan" will involve the creation of several legal documents to implement the plan. One common document is a Last Will and Testament which applies after an individual passes away. In addition, most clients will also execute an Advance Directive for Health Care and a General Durable Power of Attorney to supplement the plan and ensure that the assets or the decision making process can be accessed at a critical point in time. Unlike a Last Will, these documents apply during life and terminate at death.