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We are 725+ lawyers serving clients from 12 offices located in the leading financial and business centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The world’s leading organizations, companies and corporations choose us to be their representatives in their most critical situations. Our Labor and Employment Department is one of the strongest practices in the world with lawyers across the U.S., U.K. and Europe. We have experience covering every area of labor and employment law and handle the complete range of sophisticated litigation, trial, appellate and counseling, as well as traditional labor relations and collective bargaining matters.
Select recent representations include:
We obtained summary judgment for Major League Baseball (“MLB”), in a lawsuit commenced by Angel Hernandez, a current Major League umpire. Hernandez sued MLB, alleging that he was passed over for multiple crew chief openings and for World Series assignments because of his Cuban heritage. He brought claims of disparate treatment and disparate impact under federal, New York State and New York City anti-discrimination laws. MLB denied that Hernandez’s job assignments had anything to do with his race or national origin. Joe Torre, then Chief Baseball Officer at MLB was responsible for promotion decisions and postseason staffing assignments. Torre testified that in selecting crew chiefs and umpires for the World Series, he placed great emphasis on strong leadership skills, as well as the ability to handle difficult on-field situations. MLB pointed to extensive record evidence that these traits were Hernandez’s most glaring weaknesses. Hernandez argued that he deserved to be promoted because of his seniority and cited favorable performance evaluations, which the Court characterized as “cherry-picked.” Hernandez argued that those factors should have been weighed more heavily than Torre’s subjective view of his performance.
Proskauer serves as primary outside labor counsel for Montefiore Medical Center. We defended Montefiore against the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). NYSNA, which represents 3,000 registered nurses that Montefiore employs, filed a motion for injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Montefiore in April of 2020, asking the court to compel Montefiore to take certain steps to mitigate the risk that nurses would contract COVID-19. Montefiore moved to dismiss the action and opposed NYSNA’s motion for injunctive relief on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction under the Norris La Guardia Act because NYSNA’s requested injunction did not seek to preserve the status quo pending arbitration. U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman agreed with Montefiore, denied NYSNA’s requested injunction and dismissed the suit. We have also represented Montefiore in negotiations with their nursing bargaining unit, and successfully concluded those negotiations, averting a major nurses strike. We represent Montefiore in all issues concerning implementation of that agreement and in a number of significant contract arbitration disputes.
On behalf of the National Hockey League (“NHL”), Proskauer obtained a dismissal of claims brought by two former NHL players, Daniel Carcillo and Nicholas Boynton. Carcillo and Boynton sued the league, alleging that the NHL negligently increased their risk of brain damage, drug addiction and depression by permitting and promoting fighting in games, and that the NHL failed to warn them and misrepresented the alleged long-term effects of concussions. The players brought their claims in the NHL Multidistrict Concussion Litigation class action then pending in Minnesota federal district court. Neither Carcillo nor Boynton elected to participate in the settlement of the multidistrict litigation. When the Minnesota court dissolved the multidistrict proceeding, it transferred the players’ complaint to the federal district court in Illinois. Proskauer is co-counsel with Skadden on the matter.
Proskauer provides McDonald’s Corporation with day-to-day counselling on its most significant and complex employment-related disputes originating at both the corporation and restaurant level. We are currently representing certain defendants in a lawsuit filed by two senior managers against McDonald’s Corporation, McDonald’s USA, and three senior leaders in the Northern District of Illinois in which plaintiffs allege, among other things, a pattern and practice of race discrimination at the company; and continue to represent McDonald’s USA, LLC and/or McDonald’s Corp before administrative agencies and in federal and state courts around the country in actions brought by company employees who assert violations of federal and state laws.
In a growing litigation backlash against industry “disruptor” Netflix, Proskauer is lead counsel to several clients asserting that the streaming giant is deliberately and maliciously interfering with high-level executive employment contracts throughout the entertainment industry. We represent Viacom Inc. in a landmark litigation involving Netflix’s poaching of high-level Viacom executive, Momita SenGupta. In January 2021, Judge Jon R. Takasugi of the Los Angeles Superior Court entered an injunction against Netflix and in favor of Viacom, enjoining Netflix from further interference with Viacom’s employment agreements.
Proskauer heads the defense team representing the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (aka the GRAMMY Organization) in the recently resolved high-profile dispute between the GRAMMY Organization and its former President/CEO Deborah Dugan. Proskauer represented the GRAMMY Organization and its affiliated charitable arm (MusiCares) in a now resolved lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court by the former Vice President of MusiCares, Dana Tomarken. Proskauer has represented the GRAMMY Organization in multiple litigation matters this past year (now resolved) in which several former employees claimed they were wrongfully terminated. Proskauer is also advising the GRAMMY Organization with its ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts.
In November 2020, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued a published decision in favor of the firm’s client The Aerospace Corporation. The appellate decision is among the only published state court opinions on the issue of failure to administratively exhaust class and disparate impact claims. Plaintiff David Foroudi, along with several other former employees, filed an action against Aerospace after the company terminated their employment in 2012 as part of a large-scale RIF. We obtained a federal court dismissal of purported class and disparate impact age discrimination allegations on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to administratively exhaust such claims. Upon remand to state court, Aerospace obtained summary judgment against six employees who were let go in the 2012 RIF and who each alleged discrimination claims. Summary judgement was affirmed in the Foroudi matter, in addition to the other two cased that were appealed.
Proskauer represented MTA-New York City Transit (“MTA-NYCTA”) in a lawsuit brought by current employee, Christine Knight, seeking unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Civil Service Law (“NYCSL”), on behalf of a putative FLSA Collective and Rule 23 Class. In June 2021, the Honorable Vernon S. Broderick granted MTA-NYCTA’s motion to dismiss the Complaint, finding that Plaintiff failed to adequately plead her allegations relating to unpaid overtime under the FLSA, remarking that Plaintiff merely provided “sparse” allegations that did not provide sufficient detail about the length and frequency of her alleged unpaid work. The Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law unpaid overtime claims. The plaintiff has appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the appeal is pending.
Updated Sep 2021