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How to Try a Wage and Hour Case with a View from the Bench

Total Credits
2 - 2.8
CDs/DVDs Only
This course is only available in CD/DVD format.
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In recent years there has been an influx of litigation in the area of wage and hour claims. Gain an overview of New York State Labor Laws as well as the plaintiff’s and defendant’s perspectives on such cases. Understand how improperly paid employees can recover compensation for missed wages. Learn how employers can make mistakes, such as incorrectly classifying or paying employees, which can lead to costly litigation and tarnished reputation, as well as the steps they can take to develop policies and conduct proper audit procedures to ward off such claims.

Lecturer Bios

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."

Joseph Fitapelli, Esq.

Mr. Fitapelli is a seasoned attorney with extensive experience in state and federal court. He represents individual employees, executives and companies in a full range of employment law related matters including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge and breach of contract. Mr. Fitapelli also frequently appears in the United States District Courts in single-plaintiff, collective and class action lawsuits for failure to pay proper wages, overtime and commissions. In addition to employment litigation, Mr. Fitapelli also negotiates severance agreements, executive compensation packages and limited liability company agreements. He is frequently consulted by companies regarding their employment policies and procedures. Mr. Fitapelli’s litigation experience also extends to other complex, high exposure matters such as products liability, New York City Asbestos Litigation, toxic mold cases, chemical release events and lead exposure claims. Mr. Fitapelli has represented countless individuals from occupations as varied as restaurant and hospitality workers, entertainers including an "A-List" actor and an Oscar winning director, financial services employees, construction workers and teachers. He has also represented Fortune 500 companies, internet companies, insurers, land owners and developers. He has successfully authored and argued appellate briefs and summary judgment motions that have led to new interpretations of the law favoring his clients on issues such as expert preclusion, products liability and landowner liability. Mr. Fitapelli has achieved consistent favorable results at trial, arbitrations and mediations. His successes in handling high profile, complex cases have been featured on television, internet and print media including but not limited to: NY1, The New York Law Journal, various local newspapers and other legal publications. As a result, he is frequently consulted by members of the business and legal communities on an array of matters. A New York Law School graduate, he is also a presidential scholar and cum laude graduate of St. Francis College with a B.A. in English. Mr. Fitapelli is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, the New York State Bar Association and National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) of New York. He is licensed to practice law in New York State, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Fitapelli was named to Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. Less than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in New York were selected to this list.

Carolyn D. Richmond, Esq.

Carolyn is co-chair of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Group. Her practice largely consists of representing and counseling employers in the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants, hotels, caterers, night clubs, lounges and fitness centers. In particular, Carolyn has extensive experience litigating wage and hour class actions, restrictive covenants and employment discrimination cases. She also counsels clients extensively with respect to workplace issues such as the hiring process, diversity awareness training, union avoidance, employee handbooks and other policy initiatives. Carolyn is also counsel to a number of employers in the retail, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing industries. She frequently provides union avoidance and sexual harassment training, and represents employers before a variety of state and federal agencies. Carolyn also served as General Counsel to B.R. Guest Restaurants & James Hotels, where she was responsible for the legal and business affairs for both expanding restaurant operations and the development of James Hotel properties. This experience gave Carolyn an insider's perspective into both the business and legal needs of her clients.

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