Kasowitz’s Employment Practices and Litigation Group brings a respected and feared presence to the courtroom, the boardroom, and the negotiating table. Our arrival as counsel often generates quick and favorable outcomes, and deters frivolous claims.
Our group is comprised of trial-seasoned former prosecutors and other talented litigators who leverage their employment litigation know-how and experience to achieve extraordinary results early in cases, or by taking the case through discovery to trial and verdict. We serve as employment litigation counsel and trusted advisors for many large and small employers, including:
- Northwell Health, New York State’s largest hospital and healthcare provider serving NYC, Long Island and Westchester.
- Douglas Elliman Real Estate, one of the largest national real estate brokerage firms with over 7,000 affiliate agents and 113 offices.
- CareOne, a network of over 50 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities primarily located in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
- GXO Logistics, a national provider of logistics, warehousing and supply chain services.
- Yellow, a national LTL (less than truckload) and freight brokerage firm.
- Marc Fisher Footwear, designer and manufacturer of footwear by Marc Fisher, Easy Spirit, Nine West, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.
- Elie Tahari, the international fashion designer and manufacturer.
- The Witkoff Group, real estate developers in the hotel, commercial and multifamily space.
- SERHANT., the innovative independent real estate brokerage firm.
Our lawyers have experience in all areas of employment litigation and arbitration including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; enforcement and defense of non-competition agreements, confidentiality agreements, and breaches of fiduciary duty; wage and hour issues under the FLSA, New York and California Labor Laws and other statutes; disciplinary matters before FINRA and other regulators; and disputes under executive employment, consulting and severance agreements.
- The New York Law Journal named our group as its 2019 Labor and Employment Litigation Department of the Year.
- We are recognized as leaders in employment litigation by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation.
- Mark W. Lerner, Co-Chair, is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and The Legal 500. He has been named an Employment Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, a Labor and Employment Star by Benchmark Litigation and one of the Most Powerful Employment Lawyers in the U.S. by Lawdragon.
- Jessica Taub Rosenberg, Co-Chair, was named a Notable Woman in Law by Crain’s, is recognized as a leading employment litigator by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation, recognized on Lawdragon’s 500 Leading U.S. Employment Lawyers list, shortlisted as a Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year by Euromoney, and named a Woman Worth Watching by Diversity Journal.
- The Burton Awards recognized Mr. Lerner and Ms. Rosenberg for exceptional legal writing for their article “When Sexual Harassment Is Also a Crime,” published by the New York Law Journal.
Non-Competition Agreements and Restrictive Covenants
Northwell Health, one of the largest hospital systems in the U.S., in multiple successful matters relating to restrictive covenants.
mGage, a global mobile messaging company, in obtaining a preliminary injunction enforcing restrictive covenants and enjoining former employees from working for a competitor or soliciting employees or client of mGage.
GXO Logistics, in multiple matters enforcing restrictive covenants in the transportation and technology industries.
Douglas Elliman Real Estate, in a successful trial against a former manager and her new competitor firm involving a wrongful scheme to move a dozen agents to the competitor firm. Kasowitz won a $3.8 million jury verdict on behalf of Elliman, including $2.5 million in punitive damages.
Triad Life Sciences, an early stage biotechnology company, in a non-competition, non-solicitation and trade secret dispute.
Celebrity real estate broker Ryan Serhant – of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing - in his separation from Nest Seekers, his prior employer, and in founding his new independent brokerage and media company, “SERHANT.”
Indus Capital Partners in defense of a claim that a portfolio manager could not compete in a certain space.
Insight Global, a national staffing company, in reaching a successful settlement of litigation brought in the Southern District of New York against a national competitor arising out of the competitor’s alleged employee-poaching scheme and misappropriation of Insight Global’s trade secrets.
JDS Development Group, a major real estate developer, in defending a lawsuit by Corcoran alleging that JDS breached a non-solicit and non-compete provision in the listing agreement for a premier residential apartment building on 57th Street in New York City.
Geneva Energy Markets in defense of claims that the firm hired employees with enforceable non-competition agreements.
Perella Weinberg Partners, a leading independent financial services firm, in navigating issues involving post-employment non-competition and non-solicitation covenants.
SVP-Singer, the iconic sewing machine manufacturer, in enforcing restrictive covenants.
Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
A manager at Dentons, the international law firm, in defending highly publicized sexual harassment allegations.
Easy Spirit and Marc Fisher in defending of allegations that the companies’ websites were not fully accessible to sight-impaired individuals.
The New York Post in defending a race discrimination lawsuit brought by two reporters, resulting in summary judgment dismissing all claims.
Quinn Emanuel, the international law firm, and its partners in defense of a claim of national-origin discrimination and retaliation.
Godiva, the international chocolate company, in defense of disability discrimination claims alleging inaccessibility of Godiva’s website to sight-impaired individuals.
Yellow, the transportation company, in defense of discrimination and retaliation claims.
Phillips-Van Heusen, a major global apparel maker, in a pregnancy discrimination claim.
Private Equity Compensation and Other Disputes
Saw Mill Capital in defense of claims for carried interest and other compensation by a former partner, resulting in a complete victory for Saw Mill Capital after a trial and on appeal.
John Brice, former Chief Investment Officer and board member of private equity fund CarVal Investors, in a case against CarVal after it terminated Mr. Brice’s employment and threatened to withhold $230 million in compensation. After winning a preliminary injunction, Kasowitz settled the matter favorably.
Senior Managers of Och-Ziff Capital in their dealings with the company’s founding partners and board of directors.
Bregal Partners, in various employment-related matters.
H.I.G. Capital, defending a WARN Act action in the state of Texas.
Wage and Hour Litigation
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in defeating misclassification claims by a real estate sales agent.
Yellow in defeating multiple wage-and-hour class actions in California alleging denial of meal and rest breaks.
Dravier f/k/a DriverDo in defense of a California class action alleging misclassification of workers.
As pro bono counsel, 6 home health aides in prosecuting minimum wage and overtime claims. The case successfully settled, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for our clients.
Contract-related Employment Disputes
The Witkoff Group in multiple litigations relating to the termination of certain executives from a hotel-casino development project.
Three former executives of a $1 billion public international company in securing a $11.2 million arbitration award against the company. The executives claimed that they were entitled to additional payments associated with their departure. The $11.2 million includes amounts for severance, interest, attorney’s fees and arbitration fees.
Elie Tahari, Ltd. in multiple litigations involving contract disputes.
Ryan Serhant in a successful defense of a fraud claim relating to NYC property purchases. The decision provides important protection for New York real estate brokers against liability for certain types of statements made during the sales process.