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Senior Counsel - Employment Law
Refer job# SKZV137553
 
Senior Counsel - Employment Law The candidate serves a critical advisory and risk management function, addressing, among other things, compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and firm policies governing the human resources aspects of the firm s business. The primary responsibility is to provide advice in all areas of employment law to the Americas Talent Team and practice leaders. Activities include: (1) managing and participating in the defense of litigation, mediation and arbitration matters as well as agency proceedings brought under the various applicable federal and local employment laws; (2) reviewing and interpreting restrictive covenants applicable to incoming executive level personnel advising with respect to these and the Firm s own restrictive covenants, and litigating same, if necessary; (3) analyzing and counseling on diversity and inclusiveness initiatives and other projects and policies to support an innovative and evolving workforce; (4) conducting sensitive investigations relating to alleged violations of the respect at work, discrimination, harassment and equal employment opportunities policies, or other allegations of misconduct involving employees and partners. Manage and participate in active Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and state agency proceedings as well as active litigations brought under various federal statutes, including Title VII, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and common law. Manage and participate in employment-related Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) matters -- mediations and arbitrations. Protect firm proprietary agreements, specifically confidentiality agreements. Advise with respect to firm compensation matters (FLSA), benefits policies, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and occasional immigration matters. Advise with respect to and approve firm employment-related policies, including diversity and inclusiveness materials; develop and recommend operating policy and procedural improvements. Provide guidance to Talent Team and business leaders on best practices pursuant to legal guidelines and maintaining a respectful workplace, and assist with the resolution of workplace issues. Create, update and participate in educational training sessions for the firm s practice leaders and Talent Team professionals on current employment laws and their impact on firm policies and procedures (example: Respect at Work). Advise the Talent professionals and business professionals in meeting legal obligations including those associated with employment-related subpoenas served on the practice offices. Conduct internal investigations on issues such as alleged sexual harassment and other alleged discriminatory conduct. Vet proposed terminations and consult with human resource professionals and business leaders to devise and articulate selection criteria for reductions in force (RIF). Provide detailed analysis of the written business cases, demographics and adverse impact of the selected groups to be RIF d to minimize litigation risk. Advise on the legal issues associated with such initiatives as voluntary retirement program, severance program, and involuntary separations. Draft, review and update agreements to be signed by independent contractors. Draft, review and update employment and other agreements for firm employees. Manage outside counsel and actively participate in devising strategy for employment cases referred to outside counsel. Provide advice to the firm s practice leaders and Talent Team professionals on issues arising from actual or anticipated lawsuits. Represent the firm in various employment-related legal proceedings. Negotiate separation packages or settlement terms with opposing counsel; coach human resources professional on discussing same with unrepresented employees. Advise with respect to human resources issues relating to international assignments of firm personnel. Provide advice to practice leaders regarding strategic initiatives such as the acquisition or divestiture of practice groups or businesses or programs to expand specific practice areas through the direct admission of executives who are bound by restrictive covenants. Other projects as needed (example: designing and implementing a program to address workplace violence). Provide creative and timely practical advice which complies with the firm s risk management objectives, while also meeting the firm s business needs and objectives. Oversee the compliance of partners, principals and employees with all relevant federal, state and local employment laws and rules and regulations affecting the human resource aspects of the firm s business. Similar compliance with all firm policies and rules, with a particular focus on process improvement and policy development. Assess completeness of response to subpoenas and regulatory investigations. Provide advice to Talent Team professionals and business professions in meeting obligations associated with subpoenas. Negotiate subpoena compliance terms with attorneys for subpoenaing party. Review existing policies and procedures, identify areas of weakness or improvement opportunity, implement change and disseminate knowledge to Talent Team professionals and others, as appropriate. Operates independently in various matters with decision-making authority. Operates under supervision of more experienced employment law counsel within General Counsel s Office. Manages outside counsel in defense of firm. Provides advice and direction to Talent Team professionals and managing partners. Provides frequent briefings and strategic plans on active cases and important matters to Head of Employment Law in General Counsel s Office. Provides periodic briefings on active cases to Head of Disputes for General Counsel s Office. Provides direction to General Counsel s Office (GCO) Senior Paralegals.

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited 4-year college; top of class preferred. Juris Doctor (JD) from a top law school; top of class preferred. Should have 7+ years of experience as a practicing attorney preferably in a law firm or corporate legal department. Requires membership in the State Bar as an attorney qualified to practice law in New York State. Must remain in good standing with State Bar including being current on individual state Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements. Knowledge: Superior knowledge of federal, state and local employment laws and rules and regulations affecting the human resource aspects of the firm business. Advanced knowledge of trial work, litigation/arbitration and considerable experience working in the legal profession. Knowledge of international employment issues, including immigration and related international mobility issues. Strong organizational skills; demonstrated ability to create, plan and successfully execute projects; the ability to meet multiple deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Should have strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to interface and communicate effectively and diplomatically with all levels of personnel, including firm leadership and managing partners across the Firm.
 
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