The Labor And Employment Law Division represents the City in litigation arising out of the City's role as the employer of more than a quarter-million workers. In representing the City in State and federal courts and before administrative agencies, the Division's attorneys encounter a wide range of employment issues in both individual and class actions.
The issues litigated by the Division's attorneys include claims concerning the First Amendment free speech rights of municipal employees; claims of discrimination and retaliation under Title VII, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the State and City Human Rights Laws; allegations of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act; claims under the Equal Pay Act; and claims brought by both individual City employees and unions based on collective bargaining agreements and the Civil Service Law.
New attorneys joining the Labor And Employment Law Division after graduation are assigned their own caseload consisting of challenges to City administrative agency determinations, known as Article 78 proceedings, as well State court actions. Typically, Article 78 proceedings are made in response to a challenge by a City employee to an administrative decision made by a City agency, including the imposition of disciplinary charges, termination of employment or a transfer or reassignment within the agency. Litigating Article 78 proceedings provides new attorneys the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures of the Law Department’s client agencies and with New York State Court practice. New attorneys are also assigned State court actions, typically brought under the State and City Human Rights Laws alleging discrimination and/or retaliation. New attorneys work closely with supervisors on developing case strategy, but are ultimately responsible for handling their own cases on a day-to-day basis. In addition, new attorneys can expect to work with a senior attorney in the Division on cases brought in federal court in order gain exposure to federal court practice and applicable case law in advance of their admission to the Eastern and Southern Districts.
In the Division, summer interns typically draft between two and four responses to State court complaints, either answers or motions to dismiss and accompanying memorandum of law. Typically, these answers and/or cross-motions will be in response to a challenge by a City employee to an administrative decision made by a City agency, including the imposition of disciplinary charges, termination of employment or a transfer or reassignment within the agency. Summer interns may also draft papers in response to a challenge of an arbitrator's decision to terminate a public school teacher after an internal, quasi-judicial proceeding. Summer interns also typically assist attorneys in research and writing federal court motions, including summary judgment motions and motions to dismiss, and in researching and responding to issues that arise during discovery. With all assignments, interns can expect to work closely with attorneys in the Division and receive substantive feedback regarding their work product. Interns also accompany attorneys to court conferences, oral arguments, depositions, and trials.
Read the Law Department's Annual Reports for More Information about the Labor And Employment Law Division