Susan Toepfer represents employers in all legal issues relating to the employer-employee relationship. Ms. Toepfer’s practice is focused on litigation of employment disputes in federal and state court, and before administrative agencies. Ms. Toepfer’s litigation experience includes representing employers in claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage-hour violation, whistleblower violation, FMLA violations, tortious conduct, denial of ERISA benefits, breach of contract or non-compete agreements, and theft of trade secrets.
Ms. Toepfer also counsels employers in connection with developing and maintaining affirmative action programs, and responding to audits by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. She also counsels clients in connection with designing and implementing a wide range of personnel policies and procedures, creating and reviewing employee handbooks, processing family and medical leave requests or addressing other leave-related situations, making and implementing disciplinary decisions, and managing employee terminations and reductions in force.
- Represented a federal contractor in a compliance review of its headquarters location by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), part of the U.S. Department of Labor. During the compliance review, the OFCCP requested extensive documentation on the contractor’s affirmative action plan, outreach efforts, workplace policies and compensation for all 400 plus employees for a one year period, and also interviewed the compensation manager about the company’s compensation policies and practices. After many months, the OFCCP closed the compliance review, stating that it found “no apparent violations” of the applicable regulations, laws and Executive Order 11246.
- Representation of employers, third-party administrators and insurers in ERISA litigation, including breach of fiduciary duty claims and claims seeking recovery of severance benefits, disability benefits, health insurance benefits, and other employee benefits.
- Representation of employers, third-party administrators and insurers in ERISA and non-ERISA litigation by health care providers regarding coverage for alleged services and counterclaims of fraud and abuse by the providers.
- Extensive representation of large health care providers and health care provider systems in employment disputes, including, complex whistleblower litigation relating to alleged Medicare fraud, and claims of discrimination and harassment.
- Obtained summary judgment victories for employers in sexual harassment claims, race, gender, disability, national origin and pregnancy discrimination claims, retaliation claims, and FMLA interference and retaliation claims.
- Representation of large federal contractors in connection with their affirmative action programs and OFCCP audits of same.
- Representation of employers in connection with claims for breach of employment agreements, breach of non-competition provisions, tortious interference with business relations and other tort liability.
- Daily counseling of clients in a variety of industries regarding development of employment policies and employee handbooks, and addressing issues including employee discipline, termination and leaves of absence.
Professional & Community Involvement
- Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management, President, 2008, President-Elect, 2007, Treasurer, 2006, Director of Legislative Affairs, 2003-2005
- South Florida Industry/OFCCP Liaison Group, Member, Board of Directors, 2006-2009, Chair, 2010-2016
- Dade County Bar Association, Board Member and Officer, Young Lawyers Section, 1996-2001
- Florida Bar Association, Member
Publications & Presentations
Enforcement Update - The Latest News From The OFCCP, EEOC and Wage & Hour
South Florida Industry Liaison Group|October 2017
Diversity & Inclusion Programs and Affirmative Action - How They Work Together
South Florida Industry Liaison Group|July 2016
Gender Identity/Transgender Discrimination: A New Federal Enforcement Priority
BeLabor the Point Blog |November 2014
Religious Discrimination: The Balance Between Protecting Customer Relations and Making Employee Accommodations
BeLabor the Point Blog |July 2014
Whiners or Winners? Whistleblowers Who “Tee Off” on Employers
Stearns Weaver Miller’s 24th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar|May 2014
New Focus, New People, New Investigations
Stearns Weaver Miller’s 23rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar|May 2013
Florida Employment Law Manual
Florida Chamber of Commerce|January 2013
Referees Aren’t the Only Whistleblowers
Stearns Weaver Miller’s 22nd Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar|May 2012
Stearns Weaver Miller Presents 24th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar