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How to Handle a Wage and Hour Case

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A panel of experts provides a comprehensive look at wage and hour cases, from the perspective of the New York State Department of labor, the US Department of Labor, the plaintiff and the defendant.

Lecturer Bios

Terri Gerstein

Ten; Gerstein Deputy Commissioner for Wage and Immigrant Services, NYS Department of Labor Terri Gerstein joined the Labor Department in March, 2007. Prior to her current position, Ms. Gerstein worked in the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office. She was an Assistant Attorney General from 1999 until 2004, and Deputy Section Chief of the General Labor Section from 2004 through 2007. Before working at the Attorney General's Office, Ms. Gerstein was a Skadden Fellow at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami. She is a 1990 graduate of Harvard College and a 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School.

Louis Pechman

Louis Pechman represents both employers and employees before federal and state courts and government agencies in all areas of workplace law, including employment discrimination, union-management relations, employment contracts, ERISA, non-competition agreements, independent contractor issues, and wage/hour disputes. As a practitioner for over twenty years in the labor and employment field, Mr. Pechman offers both individual employees and employers practical guidance on improving the employment relationship and, where appropriate, terminating that relationship. Prior to forming his partnership ten years ago with Laurie Berke-Weiss, Mr. Pechman has worked as a labor and employment attorney at three Manhattan law firms, as in-house labor counsel with the New York Daily News, and as a Field Examiner with the National Labor Relations Board. Admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars, he is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Fordham University School of Law.

A frequent contributor to the New York Law Journal and other business and legal publications, Mr. Pechman often gives presentations on employment law topics, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment, and the development of human resource policies and procedures. He has lectured at the Fordham University School of Law, New York University, the Extension Division of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the American Bar Association. From 1994 through 1998, he was Chair of the New York County Lawyers' Association Committee on Labor Relations and Employment Law. Since 1996, Mr. Pechman has developed and moderated NYCLA's annual program on "How to Handle an Employment Discrimination Case."

Lou Greer, Esq.

Lou Greer has been with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division for over 32 years. He was born in 1951 and raised in the Bensonhurst Section of Brooklyn. He attended New Utrecht High School from 1966 through 1969 and was elected president of the student body in his senior year. He attended Hunter College from 1969 through 1971 and was graduated from Brooklyn College in 1973 with and BA Degree in Philosophy and English Literature. He was hired to work in the Oklahoma City Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division in 1978 and spent 23 years serving the people of Oklahoma City. He was stationed there on April 19, 1995 when the Murrah Building was bombed. In July of 2001 he was promoted to the position of Assistant District Director/Director of Enforcement in the New York City District Office, the position he currently holds. Lou worked as a taxi driver from 1970 until 1977 at several New York City garages, including the Dover Garage at Hudson and Christopher, which was the setting for the TV show “Taxi”.

John S. Ho

John exclusively represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law, with specific experience in wage and hour matters including the FLSA, New York Labor Law, federal and state prevailing wage audits, the Hospitality Wage Order including tip credit, sharing and pooling issues, the Miscellaneous Industries Wage Orders, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Public Employee Safety and Health Act, misclassification of independent contractors, federal and state Department of Labor audits, discrimination claims, workplace investigations and arbitrations. He served as a prosecutor with the United States Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, where he prosecuted numerous FLSA and OSHA cases and was part of the litigation team that recovered approximately $4 million under the FLSA on behalf of New York State Environmental Conservation Officers. While at the Department, John also received a Commendation from OSHA's Regional Administrator for his prosecution of a discrimination complaint under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. John's practice often includes assisting employers from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit health care agencies with internal wage and hour audits and Labor Department compliance audits including independent contractor issues with New York unemployment filings. He has defended numerous types of employers including a number of national retail stores in the apparel industry, restaurants, non-profits, and public sector employers against dual filed collective actions under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law. John is also a member of the Wage and Hour Defense Institute covering the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. John frequently lectures on FLSA, OSHA and Labor Department audits including before the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Lorman, and the Society for Human Resource Management. He has taught Business and Employment Law at the Pratt Institute and the New School as an adjunct professor. John was a contributing editor to The Fair Labor Standards Act, 2002-2005, Cumulative Supplements published by BNA Books. He served as chapter editor for the 2006-2010 Cumulative Supplements and an associate chapter editor for the 2011 and 2012 Cumulative Supplements. John also served as a wage and hour track coordinator for the ABA’s 6th and 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference. He was also the author of "Ask the Experts" in HR Now, the Official Publication of the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and co-author of the Construction Safety Software Corporation's Monthly Safety Newsletter from 2009-2011.

Michael J.D. Sweeney, Esq.

Mr. Sweeney has been a Professor at the Fordham Law School since 1998, teaching courses in Civil Procedure; Professional Responsibility; Introduction to the U.S. Legal System; International Human Rights; International Humanitarian Law; and Rights of Displaced Persons under International Law. He also serves as Legal Counsel to the 29-member New York State Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections appointed by Chief Judge of New York State Judith Kaye (March 2003 – present). In that capacity he was principal draftsperson of the Commission’s December 3, 2003 and June 29, 2004 Reports and Recommendations to the Chief Judge. Before joining Fordham Law School, Mr. Sweeney was an Associate with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City where he handled litigation practice in commercial litigation, international arbitration and international human rights. He also directed the firm’s political asylum program. In 1997, Mr. Sweeney served as the founding fellow of the Joseph R. Crowley Center for International Human Rights at Fordham Law School. He has also held a variety of consultancies with organizations including the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and he has led human rights investigations in Guatemala and Turkey. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of The Fund For Modern Courts. Mr. Sweeney was Law Clerk to the Honorable Lee P. Gagliardi, U.S. District Court, S.D.N.

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