Labor & Employment

Ward Greenberg’s Labor and Employment group has been recognized regularly as a Metropolitan Tier 1 practice by The Best Lawyers in America©. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully defending national, regional, and local employers in employment-related litigation, and guiding clients through the maze of federal, state, and local laws governing workplace behavior and relationships. We defend institutional clients in cases involving, among other workplace-related statutes, the:

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Fair Housing Act
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)  
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and parallel state and local statutes, governing age, race, gender, disability, national origin, ethnicity, religious, and sexual orientation claims, sexual harassment, and retaliation
  • Titles VI and IX of the Civil Rights Act, and parallel state and local statutes

With skill and experience in matters involving substandard employee performance, workplace harassment, whistleblower claims, and safety and health issues, our attorneys effectively address and minimize potential employer liability, while simultaneously addressing the risk of retaliation claims and reputational injury.

In addition to litigated employment matters, our group has led companies of all sizes through sensitive and highly confidential internal investigations regarding instances of workplace misconduct, and governmental investigations undertaken by various federal and state regulatory agencies. We also regularly provide workplace training to managers and staff, as well as counsel to clients regarding statutory compliance, and assessment of contractual issues including the enforceability of non-competition, non-solicitation, and anti-poaching covenants. Having litigated a litany of lawsuits arising from these covenants, we have a proven track record of providing solid advice which often successfully avoids litigation, and which sets up our clients for a successful litigation outcome when negotiation fails.

Representative Experience

  • Secured order dismissing all claims, including ethnic discrimination and breach of contract claims brought by unsuccessful tenure applicant against University and Dean of the College. Matter of Vengalattore v. Cornell Univ., 161 AD3d 1350 (3d Dept).
  • Secured dismissal of various False Claims Act-based claims against hospital in qui tam whistleblower action. United States ex rel. Quartararo v. Catholic Health System of Long Island, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50696 (EDNY).
  • Defended hospital and numerous senior administrators in connection with workplace defamation claims asserted by former medical staff member, securing dismissal of all claims. Colantonio v. Mercy Medical Center, 135 AD3d 686 (2d Dept).
  • Obtained orders dismissing False Claims Act claims and related state law claims, and sanctioning counsel for relator, and securing affirmance of those orders on appeal. United States ex rel. Johnson v. University of Rochester Medical Center, 642 F3d 121 (2d Cir).
  • Secured dismissal of complaint filed by emergency room physician alleging discrimination based on race and ethnicity, and breach of contract. Koul v. University of Rochester, 285 F. Supp. 3d 595 (WDNY).
  • Represented employer at the New York Court of Appeals and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in case of first impression, considering availability of Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense to claims brought under New York City Administrative Code. Zakrzewska v. The New School, 14 NY3d 469 (NY Ct App); Zakrzewska v. The New School, 620 F3d 168 (2d Cir.).
  • Defended manufacturing firm in multi-plaintiff race discrimination action, securing dismissal of all claims and affirmance of dismissal order on appeal. Deebs v. ALSTOM Transportation, Inc., 346 Fed Appx 654 (2d Cir).
  • Defended large residential apartment complex owner in multi-plaintiff action brought by minority families alleging racial discrimination under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act and violations of Fair Housing Act. Khalil v. Farash Corp., 277 Fed Appx 81 (2d Cir).
  • Protected client accused of operating website allegedly not compliant with the ADA or the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG 2.0”), and assisted in resolution of all issues without litigation or monetary payment.
  • Defended large privately-held company in action alleging disparate race-based treatment in termination resulting from internal investigation.
  • Successfully defended university in class action alleging violations of the ADA.
  • Investigated a wide variety of claims alleging sexual harassment, retaliation, work rule violations, and workplace misconduct on behalf of manufacturing, financial services, technology, retail, healthcare, and higher education employers.
  • Assisted academic medical centers and technology firms by investigating numerous instances of alleged scientific misconduct, and defending institutions in litigation arising from disciplinary determinations issued as a result of such investigations.
  • Assist employers across New York State and Pennsylvania in connection with complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights, among others.
  • Counsel and train managers and supervisors with respect to the spectrum of employment issues, including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination of all sorts, reasonable accommodations of disabled employees, employee termination and discipline, the employer’s obligations under the FLSA, and retaliation.