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Understanding Employment Law 2014


Speaker(s): Bertrand B. Pogrebin, Debra L. Raskin, Dylan S. Pollack, Harry I. Johnson, III, Jill L. Rosenberg, Jonathan Ben-Asher, Keisha-Ann G. Gray, Laura S. Schnell, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Matthew W. Lampe, Michele R. Fisher, Raechel L. Adams, Robert M. Hale, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr., Vicki R. Walcott-Edim, Willis J. Goldsmith
Recorded on: Mar. 28, 2014
PLI Program #: 51734

Prior to his appointment as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, Harry I. Johnson, III was a partner with law firm Arent Fox LLP, a position he held since 2010. Previously, Mr. Johnson worked at the Jones Day law firm as a partner from 2006 to 2010 and as an associate from 1994 to 2005. In 2011 and 2013, he was recognized by The Daily Journal as one of the “Top Labor & Employment Attorneys in California.”

Mr. Johnson received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A.L.D. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Johnson was sworn in as a member of the National Labor Relations Board on August 12, 2013 for a term that expires on August 27, 2015.


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.


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 a member 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.


Jonathan Ben-Asher is a partner in Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP in New York.  He represents executives, professionals and other employees in employment disputes, including those involving employment contracts, executive compensation, whistleblowing, retaliation and employment discrimination.  He also has particular expertise in disputes concerning executive compensation in the financial services sector, Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing cases, and cases under the False Claims (Qui Tam) Act and Dodd-Frank Act. 

Jonathan is former Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section (2013-14).  He has also held numerous leadership positions in the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, in which he is a member of the Section's governing Council.  He has been Chair of the Section's CLE / Meetings and Institutes Committee; Employee Chair of the Section’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee; Employee Chair of the Section’s Sixth Annual CLE Conference (2012); and Employee Chair of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee’s Contracts and Executive Compensation Subcommittee.

Jonathan was formerly Vice President of the National Employment Lawyers Association / New York, and a member of its Executive Board.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of the New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law. Jonathan is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. 

He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and has repeatedly been named as a New York Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America and in the New York Area.   He is a frequent speaker on employment law issues for professional groups, including the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, the Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges of the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, and the Practising Law Institute. He has been quoted on employment law issues in the New York Times, the National Law Journal and the American Lawyer.

He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law (1980) and his B.A. from Columbia University (1974).


Keisha-Ann G. Gray is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department in the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP, specializing in employment litigation and arbitration. She serves as the co-head of the Policies, Handbooks & Training Practice Group at Proskauer. As a seasoned trial counsel and litigator, Keisha-Ann draws from her experiences in the courtroom before juries to help inform her clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, on issues pertinent to employment law and complaint prevention.

Keisha-Ann graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1998. Prior to joining Proskauer in 2007, Keisha-Ann was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and a former federal law clerk, having served two years in the Chambers of the Honorable Jaime Pieras Jr., Senior Judge in the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

Keisha-Ann has been recognized by The Legal 500 US, The Network Journal, The New York Law Journal’s Rising Stars and YWCA of New York’s Academy of Women Leaders as a leading labor and employment attorney. Additionally, Keisha-Ann frequently speaks and writes on trial practice and employment discrimination defense matters; she is the resident Legal Clinic Columnist for Human Resources Executive Online Magazine and a contributor to the SHRM Blog. Keisha-Ann is also a member of the Board of Directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students “Pals,” which enhances the careers of minority law students.


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.


Matt Lampe represents employers throughout the country in class action and other complex litigation, including cases under the FLSA, ERISA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and numerous state discrimination, wrongful discharge, and other tort laws. He has extensive experience leading the defense of clients facing employment class actions across multiple jurisdictions. Matt also defends companies in EEOC, DOL, and other agency investigations alleging systemic discrimination or pay practice violations. In addition, he counsels clients across a broad spectrum of employment law and litigation avoidance topics.

Matt is co-chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He speaks frequently throughout the country on employment-related topics, including class action defense and wage and hour compliance and audit strategies. He is a contributing author to Labor & Employment N.Y. (LENY), the official blog of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, and a contributor to The Fair Labor Standards Act, Second Edition, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Matt was named one of the "Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" by HR Executive magazine and Lawdragon. In 2012, Matt was recognized as a "Client Service All-Star" by BTI Consulting Group, which commended him for "extraordinary dedication to client service during a time of increased pressure and client demands." He is a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a life member of the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and a member of the New York City Bar Association and the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.


Michele Fisher is a managing partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and the Chair of the Firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm.  She has dedicated her career to litigating wage and hour cases in an aggressive, creative, and strategic manner. She is one of the leaders of a practice group that has been described as a "powerhouse" for mass wage and hour litigation and arbitration.  Michele has the experience, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size.  She has handled several jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee rights and prides herself on the firm's reputation as a leader in national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. Michele has litigated hundreds of class and collective actions involving positions such as home health aides, loan officers, retail salespersons, oil and gas workers, assistant managers, field service engineers, call center representatives, exotic dancers, inside sales representatives, restaurant workers, insurance adjusters, property specialists, property managers, installers, service technicians, and road construction laborers.  Michele is active in several organizations. She is the Co-Chair and a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's Revenue and Partnership Development Committee, and a wage and hour track coordinator for the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual conference.  She has also served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee FLSA Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. She has been named to the Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, and Top 10 Wage and Hour Lawyers, and has been named a Lawyer of Distinction.  Michele volunteers as an attorney for a foster child through the Children's Law Center.


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.


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.


For more than 40 years, Willis Goldsmith has represented management before state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters arising under the NLRA, Section 301 of Taft-Hartley, ERISA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and OSHA, as well as in injunction, breach of contract, and employment cases. He also regularly represents management in collective bargaining and in labor contract administration.

Among his noteworthy matters is Chamber of Commerce v. Brown, which Willis argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court, reversing an en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit, held that a California statute that prevented employers from using state funds to lawfully deter union organizing was preempted by the NLRA, noting federal labor policy favoring employer speech regarding union organizing.

Willis was Partner-in-Charge in New York from 2008 through 2012, when he was required to step down from that position pursuant to the terms of the Partnership Agreement; from 1991 to 2006, he chaired the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; a Member of the Labor Law Advisory Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; an Advisor, American Law Institute Restatement of the Law Third Employment Law; a Member of the Advisory Board of the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Labor and Employment Law sections of the New York State Bar Association (Section Secretary, 2013-2014) and of the ABA. He is a Director of the Corporation of Yaddo, the upstate New York artists' retreat, and a Member of the Board of New York Appleseed.


Debra L. Raskin graduated from Radcliffe College magna cum laude in 1973 and received her law degree from Yale in 1977.  She worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1977 to 1981, serving in 1981 as Supervisor of Employment Litigation for that organization.  She served as law clerk to Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1984.  From 1984 to 1986, she served as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York in the Civil Rights Bureau.  She joined the Vladeck firm in 1986, and became a partner of the firm in October 1988.  From 2014 to 2016 Ms. Raskin served as the President of the New York City Bar Association.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has taught at Columbia and Fordham Law Schools and has lectured and written on employment law matters for the New York State Bar Association and the Practicing Law Institute, among other groups. 


Bertrand B. Pogrebin is a shareholder in the New York City office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., the world's largest employment and labor law firm exclusively devoted to representing management. He focuses his practice on corporate compliance related to anti-discrimination laws and the National Labor Relations Act. He works with many public and Fortune 500 private sector employers throughout the country on labor relations and employment law issues. His clients include newspapers and magazines, universities, finance companies, and investment firms. Bert has been an adjunct professor of labor law at NYU Law School and Hofstra Law School, and a visiting lecturer at Yale University Law School. He is a founding member of the Appleseed Foundation, which supports projects to provide equal access to justice. Bert is a member of the New York Law Journal Board of Editors, a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and the recipient of many other honors and recognitions. He is co-author, with Professors Jack Geman and David Gregory, of Labor Management Relations and the Law.

About Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson is the world's largest emplqyment and labor law firm exc!usive/y devoted to representing management, with
over 1000 attornrys in over 60 offices throughout the U.S. and the Americas.


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.