Kasowitz’s Employment Practices and Litigation Group takes an extremely practical and results-oriented approach to employment problems faced by our clients. We have extensive trial experience which enables us to take strong positions on behalf of our clients and which gives adversaries pause before filing suit or proceeding to trial. At the same time, our goal is often to help our clients resolve sensitive employment disputes discretely and efficiently whenever possible. We negotiate, just as when we litigate, from the strongest possible position, seeking wins for our clients whether in settlement or by court or arbitrator decision.
Our employment attorneys have extensive experience in all areas of employment law, including:
- discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims;
- claims involving non-competition agreements, confidentiality agreements and other restrictive covenants;
- wage and hour issues under the FLSA, New York Labor Laws and other statutes;
- contract and tort claims;
- regulatory agency matters;
- union matters and government regulations;
- executive employment agreements, consulting arrangements and severance agreements; and
- employment policies and procedures.
We handle complex employment issues for clients across a broad range of industries, including:
- banking, investment management and other financial services;
- real estate brokerage, development and management;
- private equity and hedge funds;
- apparel and retail;
- the press, media and entertainment;
- advertising and marketing; and
We regularly provide training to in-house legal, human resources and other personnel to ensure that our clients and their employees are aware of and comfortable with the latest best practices in employment law. We also provide employee training on sexual harassment and other workplace conduct issues to help our clients strengthen their workplace and minimize litigation risk.
We have frequently handled sensitive internal investigations for corporate clients or boards of directors of numerous publicly held and privately owned companies.
Our Employment Practices and Litigation Group has been ranked as a Tier 1 practice by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” (2015). We have also been named by The Legal 500 (2015) as a leading firm in trade secrets litigation.
Notable representations include:
Employment Discrimination and Harassment Actions
- Fox News Network in defense of a sexual harassment class action filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York federal court.
- Douglas Elliman Realty in an FLSA and NY Labor Law action by a real estate sales agent, obtaining dismissal of such claims; and in defense of same-sex sexual harassment claim.
- The New York Post in defense of an employment discrimination and retaliation action brought by two former reporters arising out of the newspaper’s publication of a political cartoon that allegedly was offensive, in which we obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims.
- Southern Union Company, one of the nation’s leading diversified natural gas companies, in defense of various employment-related matters, including defense of national origin discrimination, age discrimination, whistleblower and retaliation lawsuits, including lawsuits in federal court in Missouri and Louisiana by former employees in which Kasowitz obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims prior to trial.
- Rabobank International in defense of employment discrimination and retaliation actions, including an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in New York federal court brought by a senior executive, in which we won summary judgment on certain claims, and a favorable outcome at trial on the remaining claims.
- MacKay Shields, an asset management firm, in defense of claims by a former senior executive of constructive discharge, disparate pay, racial discrimination and unlawful wage deductions in violation of New York Labor Law in which we obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims, which was unanimously affirmed by the New York Appellate Division, First Department.
- The 92nd Street Y, one of New York’s largest not-for-profit cultural organizations in numerous employment and union matters.
- Phillips-Van Heusen, a major global apparel maker and retailer, in a pregnancy discrimination claim.
- Avnet, one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic parts and components, in litigations involving the protection of its client relationships through the enforcement of employee contracts, and the defense against various employment and trade secret claims brought by a competitor in New York federal court.
- High-profile employers, individual senior executives and groups of executives in connection with non-compete disputes.
- H.I.G. Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm, in defense of a WARN Class Action brought by former employees of a bankrupt portfolio company in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
- A Dunkin Donuts New York-based franchisee, in defense of putative class and collective action claims for overtime, off-the-clock work, tip-pooling violations and misclassification of employees pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.
- Caxton Associates, in its defense of a compensation dispute in New York against the investment management firm and its affiliate by the affiliate’s former Chief Executive Officer who sought an ongoing interest in net profits following his termination of employment and an equity stake, for which we obtained dismissal on summary judgment.
- Godiva Chocolatier, in connection with employment-related investigations, disciplinary actions, and negotiation of key agreements.
- The 92nd Street Y, as primary outside labor counsel, in representing the company in connection with grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board and collective bargaining.
- Shoreline Transit, in negotiations with the city and bus drivers’ union in connection with alleged unpaid contributions to health care and pension benefit plans.