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Understanding Employment Law 2017


Speaker(s): Allyson L. Belovin, David M. Wirtz, Dylan S. Pollack, Jill L. Rosenberg, Jordan A. Thomas, Laura S. Schnell, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Nicole A. Groves, Rachhana T. Srey, Raechel L. Adams, Robert M. Hale, Robert S. Whitman, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr., Valdi Licul, Vicki R. Walcott-Edim, Wendy C. Butler
Recorded on: Apr. 13, 2017
PLI Program #: 185792

Valdi Licul is a partner at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C., 565 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10017, a leading firm representing employees in all aspects of employment law, including executive compensation, discrimination, breach of contract, non-competition, whistleblower and defamation matters. 

Valdi has extensive appellate and trial experience.  He has argued before New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals in Albany, and practiced before the United States Supreme Court.  Valdi has litigated employment matters before federal and state courts, and has arbitrated and mediated cases before the NASD, the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, JAMS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor.  Valdi is a member of the Second Circuit's Pro Bono Panel and has also been invited to serve as pro bono counsel in employment mediation matters by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Valdi is currently the co-chair of the Employment Litigation Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Disability Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  Valdi has spoken to numerous organizations about employment law matters, including the New York City Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute.  He also co-authored an article published for the New York Law Journal on retaliatory lawsuits by employers.

Prior to joining the Vladeck firm, Valdi was a member of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service for the Appellate Division, Second Department, representing the disabled in civil rights matters.  He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lois Bloom, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Valdi received his B.A., with honors, and M.A., cum laude, from the New York Institute of Technology and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the New York State courts.

Since 2011, Valdi has been Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School where he co-teaches "Gender and the Law."


Allyson L. Belovin (Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, B.S., 1993; Georgetown Law School, J.D., 1996) joined Levy Ratner in 2000, after several years representing unions, workers and benefit funds in the building and construction industry. At LR, Belovin represents labor unions and individual employees in a variety of industries including health care, utilities, brewery, postal service, cultural organizations, typography, hotel and restaurant, maritime and academia. She practices before the NLRB and other administrative agencies, and has substantial experience in arbitrations and collective bargaining negotiations. Belovin also litigates individual and class action cases in federal and state court under various employment statutes, including Title VII and FLSA. Additionally, she represents unions and candidates in union elections and other internal union matters. Belovin has been on the Board of Editors of the well-known treatise How to Take A Case Before the NLRB and is a contributing editor to the seminal labor law publication, The Developing Labor Law. Belovin is the co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor Relations Committee, and an active member of the American Bar Association’s Committee on the Development of the Law Under the NLRA and the AFL-CIO’s Lawyer’s Coordinating Committee. She has authored and presented workshops for the ABA, the NYSBA, the AFL-CIO LCC and the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations on various subjects, including arbitration of employee discipline cases, deposition techniques in labor cases, successorship and the labor law implications of corporate restructuring. Belovin also conducts training sessions for union organizers and rank-and-file activists on a variety of issues including grievance handling, arbitrations, and sexual harassment. - See more at: http://www.levyratner.com/attorney.cfm?ID=70#sthash.ITMoxsBP.dpuf


Jill L. Rosenberg, an employment partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in New York, is a nationally recognized employment litigator and counselor.  Ms. Rosenberg has significant experience defending and advising employers in discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, wrongful discharge, affirmative action, wage-and-hour and traditional labor matters.  She handles complex individual cases, as well as class actions and systemic government investigations.  She represents a broad range of companies, with a focus on employers in the securities industry, banks and financial institutions, accounting firms and law firms.  Ms. Rosenberg also has particular expertise in the representation of nonprofit entities, including colleges, universities, hospitals, foundations and cultural institutions.  She frequently speaks on employment law issues for employer and bar association groups.  Ms. Rosenberg has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading employment lawyer. Ms. Rosenberg is the firm-wide Partner in Charge of Pro Bono Programs and serves on the firm’s Personnel Development, Risk Management and Diversity Committees.  She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Leadership Committee of the New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.  She is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of New York Legal Assistance Group, a legal services organization serving New Yorkers in need.  Ms. Rosenberg graduated from Princeton University, and earned her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.


Dylan S. Pollack is Director & Counsel at Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, based in New York.  He is responsible for providing Employment Law advice and counsel to hundreds of managers in the United States, Canada and around the globe concerning all aspects of the employee-employer relationship including hiring, separation, compensation, family and medical leave, disability accommodation, wage and hour, worker misclassification, reductions-in-force, social media and electronic communications, performance management, discipline, workplace policies, internal investigations and whistleblowing. Mr. Pollack has represented Credit Suisse in dozens of mediations, arbitrations and court proceedings and is also a subject matter expert in the field of Employment Law training, having conducted hundreds of dignity-at-work and EEO training sessions for thousands of Credit Suisse employees worldwide. Mr. Pollack joined Credit Suisse in 2010.  Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Mr. Pollack practiced Labor & Employment law with Proskauer Rose LLP, where he represented employers in numerous union and non-union industries including financial services, professional sports, publishing, television and transportation.

Mr. Pollack received his law degree from the Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Fordham Law Review.  He earned his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.


Jordan A. Thomas concentrates his practice on investigating and prosecuting securities fraud on behalf of whistleblowers and institutional clients. As Chair of the Firm's Whistleblower Representation practice, Jordan protects and advocates for whistleblowers throughout the world who have information about possible violations of the federal securities laws. He created, and serves as the editor for, www.secwhistlebloweradvocate.com, a website dedicated to helping responsible organizations establish a culture of integrity and courageous whistleblowers to report possible securities violations-without personal or professional regrets.

A longtime public servant and seasoned trial lawyer, Jordan joined Labaton Sucharow from the Securities and Exchange Commission where he served as an Assistant Director and, previously, as an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division of Enforcement. He had a leadership role in the development of the SEC Whistleblower Program, including leading fact-finding visits to other federal agencies with whistleblower programs, drafting the proposed legislation and implementing rules and briefing House and Senate staffs on the proposed legislation. He is also the principal architect and first National Coordinator of the Commission's Cooperation Program, an initiative designed to facilitate and incentivize individuals and companies to self-report securities violations and participate in its investigations and related enforcement actions. In recognition of his important contributions to these national initiatives, while at the SEC, Jordan was a recipient of the Arthur Mathews Award, which recognizes "sustained demonstrated creativity in applying the federal securities laws for the benefit of investors," and, on two occasions, the Law and Policy Award.

Throughout his tenure at the SEC, Jordan was assigned to many of its highest-profile matters such as those involving Enron, Fannie Mae, UBS, and Citigroup. He successfully investigated, litigated and supervised a wide variety of enforcement matters involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, issuer accounting fraud and other disclosure violations, audit failures, insider trading, market manipulations, offering frauds, and broker-dealer, investment adviser and investment company violations. His cases resulted in monetary relief for harmed investors in excess of $35 billion.

Prior to joining the Commission, Jordan was a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, where he specialized in complex financial services litigation involving the FDIC and Office of Thrift Supervision. He began his legal career as a Navy Judge Advocate on active duty and continues to serve as a senior officer in its Reserve Law Program. Earlier, Jordan worked as a stockbroker.

Jordan is a board member of the City Bar Fund, which oversees the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association. He also serves as the Chair of the Investor Rights Committee of the District of Columbia Bar.

Throughout his career, Jordan has received numerous awards and honors. Most recently, Jordan was named a 2015 Top Thought Leaders in Trust by Trust! Magazine and a 2014 Superstar by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2012, he was named a Legal Rebel by the American Bar Association Journal in recognition of his trailblazing efforts in the legal field. Ethisphere Institute, an internationally recognized think tank, selected Jordan as a Rising Star in its listing of 2012 Attorneys Who Matter, which recognizes leading practitioners in the world of corporate ethics and compliance. While at the SEC, Jordan received four Chairman's Awards, four Division Director's Awards and a Letter of Commendation from the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He is also a decorated military officer, who has twice been awarded the Rear Admiral Hugh H. Howell Award of Excellence-the highest award the Navy can bestow upon a reserve judge advocate. Jordan has received an AV Preeminent rating, the highest attorney rating available, from the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.

Jordan is a nationally sought after writer, speaker and media commentator on securities enforcement, corporate ethics, and whistleblower issues.


Louis has practiced labor and employment law for more than 35 years and is managing member of the firm's New York City office.

Louis represents employers and management in all aspects of labor and employment law. His areas of experience include collective bargaining, workplace investigations, NLRB proceedings, labor audits, supervisory training, wage and hour issues, arbitration, jury trials in both state and federal courts, wage incentive plans, OFCCP audits and proceedings, employment litigation before the EEOC and the Human Rights Division and alternative dispute resolution techniques. Louis also serves several insurance companies as panel counsel (e.g., AIG and Chubb) with respect to employment litigation matters. From 2002-2004, he served as General Counsel and Secretary to Agway, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company.

Louis co-authored the FDCC Quarterly article entitled Employers' Settlement Agreements with Departing Employees Under Attack, Vol. 57, No. 3, Spring 2007. He also co-authored a complete guide for business managers and HR professionals written in plain English entitled, What Every Business Manager and HR Professional Should Know About ... Federal Labor and Employment Laws and a two volume treatise entitled Corporate Counseling (1988) and was a contributing author to Public Sector Labor Law (1988). Louis is also on the editorial board of the two volume treatise entitled New York Civil Practice Before Trial (2001). He has authored and co-authored numerous articles on various labor and employment law topics. Louis' published articles include: "Enforcing Employer-Employee Arbitration Agreements After Circuit City", 18 Fordham University Law Journal 27 (2001); "Forging a Strategy to Combat Sympathy Strikes", 29 Syracuse Law Review 847 (1978); "Mid Term Bargaining Over Unit Work Transfers", 45 CCH Labor Law Journal No. 7 (1994); "The Growing Menace: Violence in the Workplace", 67 New York State Bar Journal  1 (Jan. 1995); "Civility and Professionalism", 68 New York State Bar Journal No. 1 (Jan. 1996); "Workers' Compensation Discrimination in New York: Is It Really LoDolce Vita?", 32 New York State Bar Journal 220 (June 1982); "Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment After Ellerth and Faragher", 6 Duke University of Gender Law & Policy No. 1 (1999); two articles on Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics, 6 Journal of College and University Law 61 (1980); "Screening Applicants for a Safer Workplace", HR Magazine, p. 55 (March 1995); "After-Acquired Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases", 19 New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Newsletter No. 2 (1994); and "Employer's Responsibilities Under 1986 Immigration Act and COBRA", The CPA Journal p. 32 (May 1988). In May of 1996 Louis was interviewed extensively in a Forbes Magazine cover story on Sexual Harassment. In their January 2003 issue, the Corporate Legal Times described him as the "Great Negotiator". He was also featured in the United Educator's video entitled "Sexual Harassment in Academia, No Real Winners", and has been quoted in several publications including Business Week.

Louis has been a key speaker at numerous seminars throughout the United States and other countries on a wide variety of Labor and Employment Law topics. In addition, he has lectured to: various university groups, including the College and University Personnel Association; local, state and national SHRM Conferences; and a number of national and regional business association.


Rachhana T. Srey is a partner at Nichols Kaster whose practice is primarily dedicated to national wage and hour complex class and collective action litigation. Since joining the firm as an attorney in 2004, Rachhana has been a zealous advocate for thousands of employees in recovering their unpaid wages under federal and various state wage and hour laws. She has had the opportunity to represent a wide variety of employees including nurses, home health aides, field service technicians and engineers, satellite and cable technicians, and hourly call center and processing plant workers.  In February 2015, after winning affirmative summary judgment on the company’s liability, Rachhana tried a collective action damages trial in the W.D. Texas, and secured a significant award for her clients who were improperly classified as exempt. This was Rachhana’s third wage and hour trial in four years.  One of the favorable verdicts from one of her wage and hour trials is up at the United States Supreme Court on the defendant’s cert petition.  In addition to her W&H class action practice, Rachhana is also currently litigating a 3600+ age discrimination class case venued in the EEOC.  

Rachhana’s exceptional litigation, trial advocacy and case management skills, hard work ethic, and dedication to her clients have earned her the respect of her clients and of her colleagues in the legal community.  Rachhana is very active in several organizations, including the National Employment Lawyers Association and the ABA Labor and Employment Law Group, taking leadership roles to help plan continuing education programs, and is often invited to speak nationally and locally on a wide range of topics including wage and hour litigation, class and collective action litigation strategies, discovery issues, recent developments in the law, and age and gender discrimination. 

Admissions

United States Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court – District of Colorado

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. District Court – Minnesota

U.S. District Court – Western District of New York

U.S. District Court – Western District of Tennessee

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin


Raechel L. Adams is a Supervisory Trial Attorney in the New York District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where she has worked in the Legal Unit since 1999. After working as a Trial Attorney for 11 years, Ms. Adams was appointed to serve as Acting Supervisory Trial Attorney in 2010, Supervisory Trial Attorney in 2012, and Acting Regional Attorney in 2015. In October 2017, Ms. Adams also joined EEOC’s Litigation Management Services, where she assists the Office of General Counsel (OGC) in field coordination matters. In this capacity, she is responsible for implementing and improving OGC information systems and guidance materials for the field. Raechel works with EEOC litigators nationwide to facilitate sharing of internal work product, litigation best practices, and institutional knowledge. 

Ms. Adams has litigated and supervised litigation of employment discrimination cases for the EEOC throughout New York State, New Jersey and New England, including enforcement actions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Ms. Adams has litigated several notable class and systemic cases during her tenure with the New York District Office, including EEOC v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a pattern-or-practice case involving sex discrimination in pay and promotions, EEOC and the United States v. New York State Department of Correctional Services, an Equal Pay Act case involving a discriminatory policy of switching female employees from paid workers’ compensation to unpaid maternity leave, EEOC v. Bloomberg LP., a global sex/pregnancy pay discrimination case, EEOC v. Carrols Corp., a nationwide sexual harassment case, EEOC v. FAPS, a race discrimination in hiring case, EEOC v. Princeton Healthcare Sys., a fixed-leave policy case filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and EEOC v. Day & Zimmermann NPS, an Americans with Disabilities Act retaliation and interference case. Raechel supervised a three-week jury trial in EEOC v. Texas Roadhouse, a nationwide age discrimination in hiring case, which, after the jury deadlocked, resulted in a $12M public settlement.

Ms. Adams also served as the New York District representative on the EEOC’s National Diversity and Inclusion Council. She also participates as a mentor in EEOC’s mentoring program. Before working in New York, Ms. Adams worked in EEOC’s Headquarters in Washington, DC, in the Systemic Litigation Services group.  Ms. Adams graduated from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and Washington University in St. Louis.


Rob Hale, a partner in and chair of Goodwin’s Labor & Employment Practice, represents employers across a broad spectrum of employment matters.

Mr. Hale’s practice involves representation of clients in employment litigation, including noncompetition, discrimination, wrongful discharge, FLSA and ERISA litigation. He has obtained successful results for employers at all stages of litigation, including in preliminary injunction proceedings, at summary judgment, at trial and on appeal. Mr. Hale is experienced in successfully representing employers before administrative agencies and in labor arbitrations. His practice also includes counseling in numerous areas of labor and employment law, including disability discrimination, sexual harassment and other discrimination matters; noncompetition agreement and other restrictive covenants; downsizing; employment agreements; wage and hour compliance; collective bargaining; and personnel policy development and administration. In addition, Mr. Hale is experienced in providing training for managers, supervisors and human resources professionals.

Mr. Hale is a former employer co-chair of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association. He is a former chair of the ABA's subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act, the ABA's subcommittee on the WARN Act and the Boston Bar Association's Employee Benefits/ERISA Committee. He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).

Mr. Hale was elected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2007. He has also been repeatedly selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers magazine.

Mr. Hale has spoken at a number of seminars, including those presented by the American, Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations, Practising Law Institute and various professional and trade groups.


Rob Whitman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department with extensive experience representing management in the full range of employment law matters.  He has particular expertise in wage-hour litigation, employment arbitration, discrimination and non-compete matters, and preventive employment counseling.

Mr. Whitman is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Labor & Employment Law at NYU Law School.  He has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top employment lawyers in Manhattan in polls conducted by New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Whitman has authored articles on employment law issues for a number of publications, including Corporate Counsel, New York Employment Law & Practice, The New York Law Journal, The Corporate Board and Employment Law Strategist.  He has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg TV and NPR as a commentator on employment law issues and has been quoted frequently in the print media.  Mr. Whitman lectures regularly and leads panel discussions before professional audiences on a variety of labor and employment topics.  He also served as an Editor and Advisory Committee member for Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (CPR, 2014).

Mr. Whitman serves as the Pro Bono Chair in Seyfarth Shaw’s New York office and as a member of the firm’s National Pro Bono Committee.  In 2008, he received the Award for Pro Bono Leadership from Lawyers Alliance for New York in recognition of his pro bono representation of not-for-profit organizations throughout New York City.

After law school, Mr. Whitman was a Law Clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He has also served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as in-house employment counsel for the U.S. Senate.

Education

J.D., University of Michigan, magna cum laude (1989)

Order of the Coif

Book Review Editor, Michigan Law Review

B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (1986)


Vicki Walcott-Edim is Vice President and Senior Managing Counsel, Global Employment Law for Mastercard. She provides strategic direction on the company’s global employment law function and strategic advice and day-to-day guidance on an array of matters to help Mastercard attract and retain top talent. She advises on company initiatives, policies and procedures; compliance with employment laws and regulations; OFCCP requirements; restrictive covenants; diversity and inclusion practices; employee compensation and benefits; corporate restructuring; and immigration. She also manages outside counsel’s representation of Mastercard in litigation and agency proceedings, serves as a resource for Regional Counsel on global employment law issues, and negotiates complex commercial agreements for services, technology, and products Mastercard needs to maintain its competitive edge.

Before joining Mastercard, Vicki served as Senior Counsel, Employment Law with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. She advised on a variety of employment issues and claims concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation, immigration, business reorganizations, leaves of absence, reasonable accommodations, wage-hour issues, and workplace violence. She defended the company in arbitration claims, government investigations, and other proceedings before federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. She regularly conducted training on a variety of employment law topics for Human Resources and other executives.

Vicki began her legal career at Jones Day where she worked as an attorney in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group. Her experience included individual employment disputes filed in court and subject to arbitration as well as complex class, collective, and multi-plaintiff actions, including pattern or practice cases brought by private plaintiffs and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

She graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, where she was an Executive Board Member and Production Editor for the Catholic University Law Review. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from The College of William & Mary.


David M. Wirtz is a shareholder in the New York City office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., the world’s largest employment and labor law firm devoted exclusively to representing management. He has forty years’ experience partnering with private and public sector employers on labor and personnel matters. His practice focuses on litigation prevention/employment counseling, individual and class action defense, arbitration defense, and collective bargaining. He is an active participant in Littler’s Class Action Avoidance and Defense, EEO-Discrimination, Jury Trial and Complex Litigation, Leave and Disability Accommodation, Retail, and Traditional Labor practice groups. His articles on topics ranging from the history of restrictive covenants to retaliation claims have appeared in numerous legal publications, most recently the New York Law Journal. He is a frequent speaker on ethics and labor/employment law issues and has appeared regularly as an expert commentator on employment-related issues for local television and radio stations. He has been awarded the AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, he has long been recognized by the New York Metro Super Lawyers, and he is an Empire State Counsel Honoree for Pro Bono Activities.  He serves as member of multiple committees of the New York State, New York City and New York County Lawyers Associations. He received his J.D. from Cornell University (1974) and his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University with Honors (1969).


Laura S. Schnell, a member of the firm of Eisenberg & Schnell LLP, has practiced employment law in New York City on behalf of employees for over thirty years.  She is a 1980 graduate of Dartmouth College and a 1983 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1983 to 1984.  Ms. Schnell represents employees in all aspects of employment law and has extensive employment discrimination, non-compete and employment contract litigation experience as well as financial industry arbitration experience.  She has served on numerous bar committees and is a frequent speaker on issues involving employment litigation, arbitration and mediation.  She has been a Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers recognized attorney since 2006 and was named the New York Best Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law-Individual for 2012 and again for 2017.


Mr. Rogers, the managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Labor and Employment Law Group, is a graduate of Harvard College (magna cum laude, 1976) and Harvard Law School (cum laude, 1979).  He joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in 1979, and has been a partner of the Firm since 1987.  He has been named the New York City “Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 as well as for 2014 and the 2012 “New York City Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America,  and is one of 33 lawyers in the United States named in “Best of the Best USA 2015” as leading labor and employment lawyers.  In 2017 and for each of the prior nine years, he has been named one of the 100 leading management attorneys in the United States by the publication Human Resource Executive in conjunction with Lawdragon; he is also ranked in the top tier in New York among defendant-side employment lawyers in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (available at www.chambersandpartners.com/usa). He is a contributing author to BNA’s Workplace Harassment Law (2012), is a co-author of West Publishing Co.’s Employment Litigation in New York (1996) and Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resources Professionals (2001), and serves as a lecturer on employment law topics to many groups, including the Practising Law Institute's annual Employment Law Institute and the Federal Judicial Center’s annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.  He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute and of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and has served on the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.


Wendy Butler has over 20 years of experience defending employment-related litigation and advising employers on legal compliance. She focuses on the defense of class and collective claims under various federal and state employment laws. In these high exposure and often high profile cases, she has had repeated success defeating class and/or collective action certification and obtaining favorable decisions on the merits. She also has extensive experience defending individual and multiplaintiff cases under the ADA, ADEA, FMLA, Title VII, ERISA, and numerous state laws. Her practice includes counseling on a variety of employment issues, including Human Resources policies, litigation avoidance, employment agreements, restrictive covenants, reductions in force, wage hour audits and compliance, pay equity audits, and internal investigations.

Wendy has written and spoken on a variety of topics, including wage and hour laws, whistleblower and discrimination litigation, and the defense and settlement of class actions. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Labor & Employment Section, where she has served on the Wage and Hour Committee.


Nicole A. Groves is Director, Senior Counsel at Avon, serving as the company’s Labor & Employment attorney and counsel for Avon’s Puerto Rico operations. In addition to handling all labor & employment matters for the company, including managing outside litigation, Ms. Groves oversees Avon’s internal investigation department and is also involved in the development, implementation, and oversight of the company’s Ethics & Compliance program, including developing and conducting related trainings.  Prior to joining Avon, Ms. Groves served as in-house Labor & Employment counsel for Advance Auto Parts, responsible for managing legal exposure of employment legal matters, including developing and conducting appropriate legal training, defense of state and federal charges of discrimination, and management of employment litigation.  Prior to beginning her in-house career, Ms. Groves counseled employers on employment matters, and represented employers before state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, in all areas of employment law, including defending against discrimination, retaliation, and constructive discharge claims, as well as wage and hour claims.  Ms. Groves routinely speaks on employment legal issues, including preventing and defending against class and collective actions, discrimination and harassment prevention and defending against filed claims, as well as compliance and training best practices.  Ms. Groves earned her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.