Mr. Pape’s practice involves guiding public and private entities through complex civil rights and employment issues; and when those issues result in a lawsuit, he defends these entities in litigation. Mr. Pape regularly assists employers in reviewing and drafting employee handbooks for legal compliance, developing policies and procedures to prevent inconsistent or unlawful employment practices, counseling administrative employees to ensure implementation of procedures, and complying with federal and state laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Labor Relations Act, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition to serving in an advisory capacity, Mr. Pape’s practice consists of defending employers in litigation involving wage and hour claims (including nationwide collective actions); FMLA retaliation and discrimination claims; and employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, or disability.
A large part of Mr. Pape’s practice consists of working with school boards to navigate complex employment, constitutional, and equity matters. In 2014, Mr. Pape began working, extensively, on Huntsville City Schools’ desegregation litigation, Hereford and the United States v. Huntsville City Board of Education. Mr. Pape was instrumental in litigating this matter in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Following the court’s order to mediate this matter, he was an integral part of the team of lawyers that represented the Huntsville City Board of Education in court-ordered mediation. As a member of that team, Mr. Pape helped craft the joint proposed consent order between the United States and the Huntsville City Board of Education. By participating in mediation and by presenting the proposed consent order to the court, Mr. Pape developed extensive knowledge about the design and implementation of equitable desegregation devices, such as school zone lines, magnet programs, and majority-to-minority transfer programs. Mr. Pape uses this experience as he works with school system administrators to ensure faithful implementation of such measures.
Additionally, Mr. Pape’s experience provides him the insight to help clients craft proposed legislation designed to effectively further his clients’ political and strategic goals. Recently, legislation on which he worked has been adopted by the Alabama legislature.
Collaborative guidance is at the core of Mr. Pape’s practice. Whether he is working alongside human resources professionals and managers in implementing employment law best practices, guiding a large urban school system down the pathway to unitary status, or working with clients to change the law in Alabama, Mr. Pape’s focus is on working with his clients to achieve their goals in a creative and personable way.