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Labor and Employment Law

Contacts: David Rothfeld

"Employers today are faced with a myriad of laws and regulations that make every employment decision increasingly complex and fraught with obstacles."

In today's litigious climate, disgruntled employees, former employees, unsuccessful applicants and labor unions are more likely to utilize laws protective of employees' rights to seek remedies for real or perceived wrongs in the workplace, such as claims of reasonable accommodation for a person's disability and a sexually hostile work environment.

Kane Kessler’s Labor and Employment Law practice group attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients with all aspects of labor and employment laws and regulations. Our objective is to deter litigation. However, if litigation arises, we provide vigorous, cost-effective representation.

While we represent clients across many different industries, we have a particular specialty working with companies in the hospitality field.

Labor Law

For clients with a unionized workforce, our services include negotiation of collective bargaining agreements for individual employers and multi-employer groups. This includes, where appropriate:

  • Developing strike contingency plans for continued operations
  • Assistance in the administration of collective bargaining agreements, including representation at grievance and arbitration proceedings and advice on contract interpretation and compliance
  • Representation before the National Labor Relations Board, including judicial enforcement proceedings
  • Representation at unfair labor practice proceedings

We also assist in developing and implementing strategies for those clients exposed to union organizing campaigns.

Employment Law

We represent management in employment discrimination litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), State and local human rights agencies, and in State and Federal Courts. We also represent employers in actions under the Labor Management Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and numerous other provisions of federal, state and local labor laws.

We represent clients at all stages of litigation, from receipt of the complaint, through discovery, trial and appeal. The attorneys in the Labor and Employment group work closely with and benefit from the broad trial expertise of Kane Kessler's Litigation group.

Compliance/Guidance

We regularly provide advice to ensure compliance with applicable local, state and federal employment, labor and wage-hour laws. Review and analysis of employment decisions at an early stage is often the best safeguard against employment discrimination and other employment-related litigation.

On a day-to-day basis, we counsel our clients on compliance with the increasingly complex laws and regulations governing employment, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, WARN, COBRA, ERISA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, OSHA, National Labor Relations Act, and the equivalent state and local laws and regulations.

We assist clients in drafting employment policies and employee handbooks, employment applications, drug testing programs, individual employment agreements, plant closing notices and agreements, termination notices, separation agreements and conduct investigations of a wide range of employment matters such as harassment and discrimination, and corporate governance including securities matters involving insurance fraud, conflict of interest, whistleblowers, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other suspected improper conduct.

We conduct seminars for managers and supervisors on such sensitive workplace issues as employee discipline, sexual and other forms of harassment and employment discrimination, workplace violence and other workplace issues.

ERISA/Employee Benefits

Our labor and employment attorneys serve as co-counsel on Taft-Hartley Employee Benefit Funds and provide counsel to employers on all forms of employee benefit programs and matters.

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Representative Engagements

  • Represented a major shoe manufacturer in a race discrimination suit in federal court and obtained summary judgment dismissing the case in its entirety.
  • Represented an international retailer of luxury goods in an age discrimination case in federal court and obtained a jury verdict for the employers.
  • Represented a hotel in an age discrimination suit in federal court brought by 2 former executives, obtained summary judgment and an affirmation of the judgment on appeal.
  • Represented a restaurant in a national origin discrimination complaint brought by 8 former employees before the New York State Division of Human Rights and obtained a judgment for the restaurant following a public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
  • Represented a restaurant in a wage and hour suit brought in federal court by the U.S. Department of Labor and obtained a favorable settlement.
  • Represented a major hotel in a religious and national origin discrimination suit brought by the EEOC on behalf of 12 individual employees and obtained a favorable settlement.
  • Negotiated a collective bargaining agreement for a large multi-employer bargaining group in the New York City hotel industry covering 25,000 employees engaged at approximately 100 hotels.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement with the New York State Department of Labor for a restaurant regarding distribution of banquet service charges.
  • Prepared an employee handbook for an international restaurant chain.
  • Conducted a wage-hour audit for a client