The Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York
State Bar Association is pleased to welcome Section members and
visitors. Our Section brings together members from across the full
spectrum of labor and employment law, including representatives of labor
organizations, management and individuals; neutrals; academics; and
government representatives. We invite everyone with an interest in
workplace issues to join our Section, benefit from our experience and
expertise, and enjoy our camaraderie. New members are always
welcome. (You can join online here.)
We hope you will take the time to explore the many features of our
website (some of which are accessible only to Section members), which
include: access to online case research through Loislaw, a searchable
directory of members, the Labor and Employment Law Journal, and papers
and presentations from recent CLE programs. For information on
recent legal developments, check our blog and
follow us on LinkedIn.
If you have questions about
the Section and the benefits we offer, please contact John Gaal, our Section Chair, Jon Ben-Asher, our Chair-elect,
or Alyson Mathews and Molly Thomas Jensen, Co-Chairs of
our Membership Committee. We hope you will join us.
The LEL Section is dedicated to enhancing diversity
within our Section and within the profession. For a number of
years we have sponsored Diversity Fellows as a way of helping to achieve
those goals. The deadline to be considered as a 2013-2014 is June
30, 2013. Click here for
Meet our current Fellows, Mariam
Manichaikul and Asad
Employment Law for the General Practitioner and
On June 12,
New York City, and on June 19,
Albany and via webcast, the Section will be presenting an all day CLE
program entitled “Employment Law for the General Practitioner and
Corporate Counselor.” This event, which will provide 6.5 CLE
credits, will cover Hiring Issues; Discrimination, Harassment, and
Retaliation; Wage and Hour Laws; Workforce Reduction Issues; and Social
Media Issues. For more information and to register, click here.
Fall Meeting 2013
It is never
too soon to plan…..our Fall 2013 program will be held in
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, October 4 to 6, 2013. Detailed
program information will be available in July, 2013. Please keep
in mind that if you plan on attending this meeting you will need either
a passport or an enhanced driver’s license to cross the
LEL Mentoring Program
The members of our Section take great pride in
mentoring lawyers new to the profession. We recently institutionalized
and expanded our efforts in this regard by establishing a formal
Section-wide Mentoring Program for new attorneys interested in a career
in the field of labor and employment law. This program introduces new
lawyers to the Section and provides them with increased exposure to
seasoned labor and employment law lawyers.
Recent events for our current class of 27 mentees have
included an oral argument sit-in and discussion with Judge Denny Chin of
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A group of mentors and
mentees met with Judge Chin before oral arguments for an overview of the
day's cases and an explanation of some of the procedural aspects of oral
argument before the Court. The group observed oral arguments in five
cases before a three-judge panel comprised of Judges Raggi, Leval, and
Chin, including a case involving employment issues related to HIPAA.
After the arguments, Judge Chin took questions from the group, commented
on oral argument in the Second Circuit, and provided general appellate
practice and advocacy tips for the group. The event provided an
extremely interesting "inside" look at the Court.
In addition, in September, the Program hosted Regional
Attorney Elizabeth Grossman and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin
of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a
discussion regarding public sector legal careers. Ms. Grossman and Ms.
Curtin discussed how their career paths led them to EEOC and some of the
benefits of working at the Commission, including trial experience and
the ability to engage in substantive legal work early in their legal
careers. Ms. Grossman also explained how cases move through EEOC and
recommended some best practices for parties working with EEOC
investigators and attorneys. Ms. Grossman and Ms. Curtin provided the
mentees with a valuable perspective on legal careers in
We hope you can join us for cocktails and hors
d'oeuvres with L&E Section members, as well as remarks from Hon.
James C. Francis of the Southern District of New York, along with
cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with L&E Section members. The
event will be held on June 18th at 6:30pm at Paul Hastings LLP (75 East
55th Street, Room 701 New York, NY 10022) RSVP by June 13th to firstname.lastname@example.org
The LEL Section is a very active section that provides
a number of opportunities for practitioners to both learn and become
The Section’s recent Fall meeting included CLE
programs on workplace speech, joint and other employment relationships,
learning disabilities in the workplace, the impact of the Supreme
Court’s Amara decision, NLRB developments, ethics and the
effective use of technology in trials and hearings. (If you are a
Section member, you can access program papers here.) Held at
the Kaatskill Mountain Club at Hunter Mountain, the meeting provided a
wonderful opportunity for members to not only hone their legal skills,
but to share some quality time socializing.
In November, the Section hosted two additional CLE
programs. The first, co-hosted with Hofstra’s Labor and Employment
Law Journal, focused on Social Media and the Public Sector. Later in
November, the Section co-hosted a webinar on the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act with the Health Law Section.
In January, we hosted a program in conjunction with
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on
“Helping the Pro Se Litigant Mediate Employment
On February 6, 2013, the Labor and Employment Law Section’s
NewLawyers Committee hosted Karen P. Fernbach, the Regional Director of
Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), for a discussion
and cocktail reception with participants in the Section’s
Mentoring Program and members of the Committee. Sullivan &
Cromwell’s New York City office hosted the event. Director
Fernbach discussed career paths and opportunities with our Mentees, and
encouraged those in attendance to participate in Bar Association
activities as a way to meet and get to know both “friends”
and “adversaries” alike. In addition to allowing our
Mentees to socialize with more senior members of the Section, the
evening provided new lawyers with an interesting and valuable
perspective on legal careers in government.
A cocktail and networking reception for our current and past
Diversity Fellows was held on March 4, 2013 at the offices of Orrick
Herrington & Sutcliffe. Approximately 60 people attended and met
with our featured guest, Chai Feldblum, a Commissioner of the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission.
Please continue to check this site for news of more events.
This January, our Annual Meeting Program was held at The Hilton New
York on Friday, January 25, 2013. CLE programs were offered covering
developments in wage and hour law, ethics and e-discovery, ADR and
neuroscience, expats and secondees in the United States and related
immigration issues, restrictive covenants, and government mergers and
consolidations. Our luncheon speaker on January 25 was the
Hon. Mark Gaston Pearce, Chair of the National Labor Relations
Papers presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting are now available to
Section Members here.
The section would like to thank all of our sponsors for the Annual
Meeting. See a complete list here.
At our Business Meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting
Program, the membership elected Ron Dunn as Section Chair-elect.
Ron, of Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O’Shea in Albany, will begin
his term as Chair-elect at our Spring Executive Committee Meeting, at
which time current Chair-elect, Jonathan Ben-Asher, will take over as
Chair. Congratulations Ron!
The LEL Section, together with the Commercial and
Federal Litigation Section, submitted a report to the NYSBA House of
Delegates entitled New York WARN: A Flawed Statute That Can and Should
Be Fixed. This report highlights a number of concerns regarding the
drafting of New York’s WARN statute and provides concrete
“fixes.” We are pleased to announce that the report
was adopted by the Executive Committee of the NYSBA and will be
presented to the New York State Legislature. To read a copy
of the report, click here.
Papers and Presentations
Papers and Presentations from our 2012 Annual Meeting
and our 2012 Fall Meeting, as well as select earlier papers, are
available to Section members here.
Labor and Employment Law Journal
Section members can access back issues of the Labor
and Employment Law Journal here. Check
out articles on unemployment insurance eligibility, labor arbitrations
in NYC teacher cases, family responsibilities discrimination after the
EEOC’s enforcement guidance, ethics and more.
Also available for review, without Section
Membership, is Disability Rights Law For Labor & Employment
Attorneys in New York, by Mark H. Leeds, Esq.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Section’s January Annual Meeting this year, we awarded our
inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Designed to recognize significant
contributions to the Labor and Employment Law Section, our first
recipient is Frank Nemia. Frank, who currently is with
Coughlin and Gerhart and who has practiced Labor and Employment Law for
more than 50 years, was instrumental in the founding of our Section in
1975. From roughly 40 original members, we have grown to nearly
2600 members. Thanks, Frank, for not only getting us started, but
for all of your contributions in the years since then.
Margery Gootnick Commemorative
In April of 2012, the Section lost one of its true
treasures with the passing of Margery Gootnick, long time Section and
Executive Committee member. It was announced at this year’s
Annual Meeting that beginning in January of 2014, we will honor
Margery’s memory with a designated Commemorative Lecture as part
of each year’s Annual Program.
Writing Competition and Scholarship Award
At the luncheon for our Annual Meeting, we
announced the following writing competition and scholarship award
Stein Writing Competition
- 1st Place Winner ($3,000): Andrew Midgen
– 3L, St. John’s University Law School, “The
Future Scope of the Antitrust Exemption in Professional
- 2nd Place Winner ($2,000): Amanda Jaret
– 3L, St. John’s University Law School, “Other
Mutual Aid Or Protection”: Collective Legal Claims As Concerted
Activity In D. R. Horton, INC. and Beyond”
- 3rd Place Winner ($1,000): Jon Dueltgen
– 3L, University of Pennsylvania Law School, “Mezonos
Brooklyn Bakery: A Bridge Too Far for Hoffman
Kaynard Award Winners
- 1st Place Winner ($3,000): Amanda Jaret
– 3L, St. John’s University Law School
- 2nd Place Winner ($2,000): Alyssa
Zuckerman – 3L, St. John’s University Law School
- 3rd Place Winner ($1,000): Elizabeth
Sprotzer -- 2L, CUNY Law SchoolInterested in Participating?
If you are interested in becoming more engaged in the
Section, consider joining one of our many committees. You can do
so here. In the coming months, we will be
providing more specific information on each of our
Upcoming Committee Meetings
The following Committees held meetings at The Hilton
New York on Friday, January 25, 2013, in conjunction with our Annual
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Continuing Legal Education
Employee Benefits and Compensation
Equal Employment Opportunity Law
International Employment and Immigration Law
Legislation and Regulatory Developments
Technology in the Workplace and Practice
Wage & Hour
Minutes from the Meeting of the
Workplace Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2-21-13, 6
Andre Castaybert, Chris D’Angelo (by phone),
Sheryl Galler (by phone) , Dennis Lalli, Mark Leeds, Mariam
Manichaikul, Larry Moy, Don Sapir (by phone), and Steve
Restrictive Covenant program at
Annual Meeting in January 2013
Well received. Capacity
crowd. Presenters were Sheryl, Andrez Carberry, and Ethan
Will work on posting papers for this
program to a link as part of the NYSBA website. Sheryl is
already in touch with Beth Gould about posting her paper. Sheryl
will also put Ethan and Beth in touch with each other for the same
Website description of our
All of the Committees are responsible
for providing such a description to add to the NYSBA website.
Don Sapir had put together an excellent
draft, which was discussed. Feeling is that we are
essentially the miscellaneous committee, but perhaps we should embrace
that notion. Focus on non-union workplace is
Can list statutes under our
jurisdiction – such as Dodd-Frank, whistleblowing,
Mark mentioned other statutes
that our Committee could possibly address, including proposed City Law
(Bill 814-A) prohibiting discrimination against unemployed people.
The mayor has promised to veto this bill, and Christine Quinn has vowed
to seek to override such veto.
discrimination law. State has under consideration a caregiver
Also a bill before City Council
re propriety of seeking waiver of Human Rights Law.
Paid sick leave
Discussion regarding EEO Committee and
its focus on discrimination statutes.
Dennis will revise the current draft,
and add references to some of the statutes on which our Committee is
expected to focus.
Mark – Project
idea. Forms sought by employers asking if prospective
employees have limitations, and some of these forms not
Group that combines LEL, Health and
Disabilities Comm of NYSBA to work together to look at the various
forms, consider the statutes and other laws and reasons those forms are
out there, and work with the state medical society to come up with
modified forms, or possibly provide better directions to physicians and
patients so that information that is necessary and appropriate can be
E.g., employee with difficulty working
where there is excessive dust will go to allergist/physician.
Employee says that if I didn’t have to work in certain areas, I
could keep working, but employer wants something in writing from the
physician. What is an appropriate form for that physician’s
Could assist in simplifying the
process, e.g., identifying when it is appropriate torequire an employee
to present a note or form from a physician, and when it is
Guidance for lawyers and for
Dennis – knows doctor who is
often asked to speak to FMLA accommodation issue.
Larry – Perhaps before starting
right in with as project, would be helpful to present a
program. That could stimulate interest and potential
volunteers. Might also focus us in on what an appropriate project
would be, e.g., eventually moving towards preparing a manual with
Mark will send proposal to Dennis and
March 1 deadline for proposals for Fall
Conf in Canada.
Steve would look at doing a first
Dennis – good topic would be
Labor Law Sec 193 and revision to what may be permitted as deductions
from employee wages. Sunsets in 2015 and can’t implement
until state issues regulations. Those regs will come out in 30
days or so.
Discrimination against the
unemployed? Perhaps that’s an EEO program? Mariam may
write on this topic as well.
Andre and Mariam will go onto roster to
write next blogs after Steve and Larry.
Dennis – invited by
Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Committee to do presentation re
state payment of wages law and union issues. Will try to make that
a co-sponsored program.
Don – They may want you to speak
about intern issues too.