Levy Ratner, P.C. - New York Attorneys Advocating for Unions and Workers for over 40 Years

News & Analysis

Levy Ratner Women Participate in the “A Day Without A Woman” Strike

In a statement of economic solidarity, women of Levy Ratner went on strike March 8, International Women’s Day, for equity, justice and human rights.

Amicus Brief Filed in the 5th Circuit in Support of Transgender Rights

Levy Ratner’s Micah Wissinger and Robert H. Stroup, on behalf of Oklahomans for Equality, an Oklahoma LGBT advocacy group, filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit in support of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Daniel J. Ratner is 'a labor law powerhouse,' says Brooklyn Law School

Dan Ratner discusses his path to labor law and the victories he has brought home.

Daniel Engelstein Takes on Mandatory Arbitration

Mandatory arbitration of employment claims raises concerns about implicit biases and other cognitive habits that are likely to negatively affect employee claimants. At NYU’s 69th Annual Conference on Labor, Danny Engelstein took on this practice and proposed solutions. Read more here.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act expands the rights of pregnant people in New York City to be free from discrimination or harassment and to obtain reasonable accommodations from their employers. Read the full story for a summary of these enhanced protections.

Levy Ratner’s Gwynne Wilcox Elected as Brandworkers’ Newest Board Member

Gwynne Wilcox has been elected to serve as a board member of Brandworkers, a membership organization dedicated to improving working conditions, recovering unpaid wages, and fighting discrimination against the factory workers who make up New York City’s local food industry.

Suit Against Governor of Alabama Alleges that Blocking Minimum Wage Increase Disproportionately Affected Black Residents of Birmingham and Violated Equal Protection Clause

Levy Ratner’s Bob Stroup is among the attorneys representing Birmingham fast-food workers, the Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries, in a federal civil rights lawsuit charging that Ala. Gov. Robert Bentley illegally blocked a measure that would have raised pay for workers in the predominantly black city to $10.10.

From Professors to Players: When Are Students Also Employees?

We continue to await a decision from the NLRB in Columbia University, 02-RC-143102, on whether graduate student employees are covered by the NLRA. The Board may be poised to overturn the standard in Brown University, 342 NLRB No. 42 (2004), where it held that graduate students who also worked as teaching assistants were not statutory employees under the NLRA. Last year’s Northwestern University, 362 NLRB No. 167 (2015), decision reminds us of the different tacks the Board has taken in these student-employee cases. In Northwestern, the Regional Director held that the football players could petition for a union election under the Act, but the Board refused to assert jurisdiction over the dispute and instead “punted.”

The Cadillac Tax: Don’t Get Taken for a Ride

The so-called “Cadillac Tax,” will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The Cadillac Tax is an excise tax of 40% on the premium cost of “excess” health benefits. Many employers are now claiming that their health plans would be subject to the Cadillac Tax and are asking for givebacks at the bargaining table. They are asking for reductions in health benefits or increases in out-of-pocket costs for the workers participating in the plans. Don’t take the employer’s claims about the Cadillac Tax at face value.

Victory over Domino’s Pizza’s Unlawful Arbitration Agreement, on Behalf of the Fast Food Workers Committee

The Fast Food Workers Committee, represented by LR’s Micah Wissinger and Gwynne Wilcox, earned a major win in their fight on behalf of fast food workers nationally. In December 2015, the NLRB ruled that Domino’s violated the law by maintaining an arbitration agreement that required employees, as a condition of employment, to waive their rights to pursue class or collective actions involving employment-related claims in all forums, whether arbitral or judicial.

Settling Employee Who Refused to Comply With Non-Disparagement Agreement Could Potentially Face Jail Time

Many negotiated severance agreements contain confidentiality provisions and non-disparagement clauses. In a reminder that these provisions must be taken seriously, a federal judge has held a former Genzyme Corp. employee in contempt – with the possibility of incarceration – for her repeated refusals to comply with those provisions of her settlement agreement with Genzyme.

Levy Ratner and LDF File Amicus Brief in 11th Circuit Case Concerning Equitable Tolling of Discrimination Claims

Levy Ratner’s Dana Lossia and Bob Stroup, on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, filed an En Banc Amicus Brief in Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. (11th Circuit). They argue that the 11th Circuit should affirm its long-standing precedent that a plaintiff who has no reason to believe he has been the victim of discrimination is entitled to equitable tolling of his claims until he knows or reasonably should know the facts sufficient to make out a discrimination claim.

Daniel J. Ratner is presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award by Brooklyn Law School’s Labor & Employment Law Association

Brooklyn Law School’s Labor & Employment Law Association has selected LR’s Dan Ratner to receive its 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. Dan serves as General Counsel to 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest health care local in the nation.

Gwynne A. Wilcox receives the 5th Annual “Tying Communities Together” Labor Award presented by New York Amsterdam News and Bill Lynch Associates

New York Amsterdam News and Bill Lynch Associates honored LR’s Gwynne Wilcox by presenting her with the 5th Annual “Tying Communities Together” Labor Award. This award celebrates the accomplishments of labor leaders and advocates who fight tirelessly for the welfare of everyday workers. Also honored were Chris Shelton, International President of CWA; Governor Andrew Cuomo; Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of NYCC; Henry Garrido, Executive Director of DC 37; and Fast Food Workers across the country.

When Employers Cite HIPAA, Unions Have the Law on Their Side

Management attorneys often use HIPAA as a basis to refuse to provide requested information. While HIPAA generally prohibits disclosure of protected health information, there is an explicit exception for employment records held by a covered entity in its role as employer. Thus, the HIPAA privacy rule generally does not apply to information requested in connection with union grievances, arbitrations, NLRB proceedings or collective bargaining. This exception is critical for union lawyers to bear in mind, particularly when representing unions in the healthcare industry.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Prevails Against Columbia Memorial Hospital

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, represented by LR’s Susan J. Cameron, prevailed in its challenge to Columbia Memorial Hospital’s discriminatory discipline of a union activist.

$400,000 Settlement Reached for Restaurant Workers in Wage Violation Case

Judge Ronnie Abrams has approved a settlement of more than $400,000 for claims of, among other things, unpaid overtime and minimum wages by seven workers represented by LR’s Allyson L. Belovin and Susan J. Cameron.

Gwynne A. Wilcox recognized by the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers

At its annual dinner, the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers recognized Fellow Gwynne A. Wilcox upon her completion of six (6) years of dedicated service and commitment to its Board of Governors.

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