Our employment attorneys have years of experience advising clients on how to manage human resources most productively, with an emphasis on “preventive maintenance” and litigation avoidance. We assist in formulating effective and dependable procedures for matters such as hiring and recruiting, background checks, employee handbooks and job descriptions, employment applications, offer letters and employment contracts, and non-competition and confidentiality agreements. We are also well versed in issues arising out of performance appraisals and terminations, including litigation risk assessment, and trade secret protection.

We regularly assist clients in developing creative strategies for addressing particular challenges, such as management of sick or disabled employees, substance abuse in the workplace, and sexual or other harassment. Together with our benefits colleagues, we have the expertise to provide fast and cost-effective answers to “quick questions” and the depth to assist our clients with wide variety of employment and payroll related issues including internal investigations, state law payroll compliance, assisting in exempt versus non-exempt employment classification for FLSA purposes, and advising on the often complex issue of employment versus independent contractor status.

When crisis and discord are unavoidable, we are poised to respond promptly and decisively. Our practice group includes seasoned litigators who concentrate in employment-related disputes and adversary proceedings, including issues of unlawful termination, discrimination, breach of contract, covenants not to compete and benefit claims.

Representative Client Work


  • Helped numerous companies rewrite its company handbook and policies to comply with 2016 federal and state rules and regulations
  • Helping a public company make a complete review and reclassification of its workforce under the revised FLSA regulations
  • Saving a dairy company $1 million in back pay by successfully arguing to the Department of Labor that certain employees were exempt from overtime requirements
  • Working with a Fortune 500 company to draft 13 affirmative action plans under revised regulations
  • Providing company-wide sexual harassment training to a mutual fund company
  • Regular counseling of a New York Stock Exchange company regarding a series of potentially high-profile terminations
  • Regular representation of the U.S. subsidiary of an Israeli company in connection with layoffs and terminations
  • Representing the U.S. operations of a Chinese bank in connection with its down-sizing
  • Currently negotiating on behalf of a multi-national private company based in Dublin, the contract for the head of the Company's U.S. subsidiary


  • Helped a manufacturing company secure dismissal of multiple MCAD complaints filed by disgruntled employee
  • Successfully represented a large, privately held company in a myriad of law suits and administrative proceedings in New York brought by former employees in the wake of the client's down-sizing
  • Successfully defended a law firm in a gender discrimination case before the EEOC in Washington, D.C.
  • Represented a former employee in a highly contentious suit in the Southern District of New York in which the former employer accused our client of theft of trade secrets and breach of a covenant not to compete. All claims were withdrawn and the plaintiff's counsel disbarred
  • Represented, along with U.K. counsel, a senior executive based in New York and London, in a contentious termination. Suit was filed in London and about to be filed in New York on the eve of resolution
  • Won a $2.555 million arbitration award on behalf of a leading international bank in a breach of contract suit by a former employee. All of the employee’s claims were dismissed. The award was upheld in district court, DBSI, In re. Karl E. Hahn, Civ. Act. No. 11-cv-11378 (D. Mass. 6/13/12)
  • On behalf of an investment management company, tried case that established, for the first time, the enforceability of a non-competition covenant against a portfolio manager
  • Represented a Midwest-based investment management company in connection with their successful “lift out” of six investment professionals from a Boston-based investment management company, including the ensuing litigation
  • Secured indemnification for former company president in connection with freeze out claims by a stockholder
  • Successfully represented a home furnishings manufacturer in a jury trial in which a former employee was claiming equity in the company and deferred compensation
  • Representation of cloud computing company to protect it against raiding of key executives
  • Defending a media company against wage and hour/overtime claims under FLSA
  • Defended a global consulting, technology and outsourcing company against a former employee’s whistleblower claim in a hearing before the American Arbitration Association. The claimant brought the claim, alleging retaliation, under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The claimant sought past and prospective pay, attorneys' fees, and the originally demanded extra compensation. Sullivan convinced the tribunal that CEPA was inapplicable and that the case did not involve a bona fide whistleblowing claim. We also demonstrated that the claimant was fired for reasons unrelated to his compensation demand
  • Won summary judgment in an employment discrimination suit brought by a former employee under the Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff's claims of discrimination based on age, national origin and race, as well as the claims for hostile work environment and retaliation. The decision was upheld on appeal
  • Following a week long evidentiary hearing in San Francisco, Sullivan secured an arbitration award fully exonerating our client and fully rejecting the claimant’s multi-million dollar claim. The claimant, a former employee, had demanded fees allegedly earned as a result of helping our client obtain $47 million in contracts from a major multinational corporation. Sullivan demonstrated that our client had the discretion to pay (or not) and that it had exercised that discretion in good faith 
  • Successfully resolved a hostile work environment/”improper touching” case
  • Obtained dismissal of same sex discrimination and retaliation claims alleged against company President under Dodd-Frank and New York court Obtained the dismissal of age discrimination claim of Senior Executives in AAA arbitration
  • Received summary judgment of race and national origin claim in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Useful Resources

Employment Regulatory Compliance Checklist

Key Contacts

Related Practices

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