Gregory S. Chiarello, Esq.
GREGORY S. CHIARELLO is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP in New York. He is Co-chair of the Family Responsibilities & Disabilities Discrimination Practice Group and a member of the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Practice Group. He represents employees in litigation and negotiation in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, retaliation, wage & hour violations, unpaid bonus claims, professional contracts, and executive compensation.
Prior to joining the firm in August 2014, Mr. Chiarello was an associate attorney at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he litigated a variety of employment matters in state and federal court. Before that, Mr. Chiarello represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal as a staff attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender, arguing more than 20 appeals in the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.
Mr. Chiarello received his B.A. with highest honors from Rutgers University in 2001, and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2006, where he was a Carswell Merit Scholar. While in law school, Mr. Chiarello interned with a number of public interest organizations, including with the Legal Aid Society Guilty Plea Appellate Project, where he drafted an amicus brief in a matter pending before the New York State Court of Appeals.
James D. Esseks, Esq.
James D. Esseks is Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. He oversees litigation, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education around the country that aims to ensure equal treatment of LGBT people and people living with HIV. James is counsel in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., presently before the U.S. Supreme Court, about whether a Virginia school board can bar a transgender boy from the common restrooms. He was also counsel in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that won the freedom to marry nationwide; in United States v. Windsor, the challenge to DOMA; in Schroer v. Billington, where a federal court ruled that the federal ban on sex discrimination covers transgender people; and in successful challenges to bans on adoption and foster parenting by lesbians and gay men in Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri. He and the ACLU have also worked extensively to fight the recent spate of anti-LGBT and specifically anti-transgender bills in the
states and to fight the use of religion as an excuse to harm LGBT people. Prior to joining the ACLU, he was a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., in New York. He graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He clerked for U.S. Circuit Judge James R. Browning on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York.
Ezra Cukor, Esq.
Ezra Cukor is a staff attorney at the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). Previously, Ezra was a staff attorney in the LGBTQ Law Project at New York Legal Assistance Group where Ezra represented low income LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and name change matters. Ezra is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee & the Transgender Law Symposium planning committee. Ezra has a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Michelle E. Phillips, Esq.
Michelle E. Phillips is a Principal in the White Plains office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Phillips is a member of the firm's Diversity Committee. Ms. Phillips handles various types of employment litigation with an emphasis on
sexual and racial harassment and LGBT matters. She also counsels clients on a variety of labor and employment matters concerning Federal and State employment laws. She frequently conducts and advises clients on internal
investigations and leads employment discrimination, diversity, sexual harassment and LGBT seminars and webinars for a broad range of clients. Ms. Phillips is a featured speaker at HRNY, NY, NJ and CT SHRM Conferences, ACC Corporate Counsel, ABA Labor and Employment Conference, Out & Equal Workplace Conference and other prominent organizations. Ms. Phillips conducts training on race, ethnic, intergenerational, interfaith, LGBT & other inclusion issues. She is a national speaker on such issues as an employer's duty to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of employees, sexual stereotyping in the workplace and respecting each individual's gender identity & expression.