Employment Law – U.S.

Cohen & Gresser represents employers, from startups to multinational companies, and executives across the United States and abroad in nearly every aspect of employment law, from risk management and counseling on day-to-day personnel matters, to complex employment litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

On the risk management side, we regularly provide advice on employment policies and practices, including drafting offer letters, employee handbooks, social media and privacy policies, and advising on reductions in force and restructuring, leave management and accommodations, and compliance with state and federal law. We also routinely provide strategic guidance in connection with talent acquisition and on-boarding, termination, executive compensation, compliance with the various state laws on background checks and drug testing, discipline and performance management, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our attorneys are highly skilled in the drafting and negotiation of separation and release agreements, employment contracts, confidentiality, consulting and work for hire agreements, and restrictive covenants.

Our attorneys have conducted workplace investigations for public and private corporations arising from allegations of individual discrimination, harassment, retaliation, hostile work environment and pay equity, as well as for audit committees and other special committees. A key outcome of successful investigations is the creation and implementation of appropriate corrective actions that can help minimize future liability. To this end, C&G partners with its clients to recommend appropriate disciplinary actions, and any necessary policy, operational and compliance changes.

The firm was also appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to monitor the Fire Department of New York and is helping address its hiring and employment practices, including overseeing the recruitment, testing, hiring, training, and promotion of entry-level firefighters.

When litigation is unavoidable, we know how to try cases, and we know how to win. The firm’s U.S.-based Employment Law group advocates for employers and executives in state and federal court actions as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. We have significant experience defending employers and key employees against the full range of federal, state and administrative employment claims. We have successfully handled matters centering on restrictive covenants, trade secrets, wrongful termination, discrimination, wages and benefits, and whistleblowing and retaliation claims.

Key Contacts

All Attorneys

Employer-Related Representations

Represented global financial institution in defeating class action litigation relating to alleged employment discrimination.

Defended cosmetics company against claim of discrimination on basis of race in selection of preferred vendors brought by preferred vendor applicant; matter settled on favorable terms after filing of pre-discovery motion for summary judgment.

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Executive and Employee Representations

Represented former chief financial officer with respect to a complex options dispute with his former employer. Client prevailed both before the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Advised group of physicians in connection with departure from former practice and association with new hospital; reviewed and evaluated non-compete, shareholder, and employment agreements related to previous practice.

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Bonnie J Roe and Sophia Soejung Kim discuss the key components of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020 with the goal of offsetting some of the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karen H Bromberg and Lauren J Salamon examine the key provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Signed into law on March 18, 2020, it provides paid sick and protected job leave for employees who are unable to work because they, or their family members, are impacted by COVID-19, and is applicable to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Karen H Bromberg discusses the recent guidance posted by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding common issues employers are likely to face, or are already confronting, with respect to employee wages when responding to different COVID-19 scenarios.
Karen H Bromberg and Eliza Sheridan discuss the importance of properly handling employee complaints and negative attitudes, as well as the difference between insubordination and protected griping in the workplace.
C Evan Stewart outlines four different approaches for understanding the status of ex-employees as it relates to attorney-client privilege. Can they all be right?
This article addresses the existing Fair Labor Standards Act and  the June 2015 proposed amendments to the Act concerning the “white collar” exemptions under the FLSA including increased salary and compensation thresholds.  These proposed revisions to the FLSA could impact nearly 5 million white collar workers within the first year of implementation.
Melissa H Maxman spoke on a panel, titled “At The Intersection of Labor and Antitrust: New Trends in Non-Poaching Litigation,” at an Antitrust Economics Workshop at the 46th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy hosted by Fordham University School of Law.