Employment & Employee Benefits


The complexity of state and federal laws and regulations governing employment increases the possibility that even well-intentioned employers will run afoul of applicable rules, or stand accused of doing so. Salaries, benefits, and other employment-related costs are among an employer's largest expenses, and an error in administration can greatly increase that cost. It is critical, therefore, that organizations receive competent legal advice at every stage of the employment relationship.

Our Employment & Employee Benefits Practice Group takes an interdisciplinary approach to this fast-growing area of the law, teaming corporate, tax, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), fiduciary, regulatory, and litigation attorneys in a best-practices approach to meeting our clients' needs. We provide technically sophisticated, solution-oriented services to employers, fiduciaries, financial institutions, and senior executives, ranging from counseling and compliance planning to internal investigations and litigation before federal and state courts and regulatory agencies. Our attorneys lecture to industry trade associations and at leading business schools concerning employment law and we also provide our clients with timely in-house training programs and seminars for management, human resources, and legal professionals.

We are regularly retained for employment matters by a wide range of publicly traded and privately held clients, including national and international financial institutions and franchisors, national retail and insurance companies, regional manufacturers, service providers, and a variety of not-for-profit institutions. Senior executives often seek our advice concerning major career developments, including the negotiation of employment and severance agreements.

Areas of Focus

  • Advising employers on personnel matters concerning the hiring, management, and discharge of employees, addressing compliance with federal, state, and local discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Representing clients in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels and government agencies concerning claims alleging wrongful discharge on the basis of race, gender, age, and disability as well as harassment, including hostile work environment and retaliation.
  • Counseling clients regarding federal and state wage and hour laws and representing them in federal and state Department of Labor investigations regarding the alleged violation of these laws.
  • Guiding employers through plant closings, mass layoffs, and related Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act compliance issues.
  • Collaborating with clients to prepare up-to-date personnel manuals.
  • Helping clients design, implement, and defend policies concerning mandatory arbitration of employment claims, document retention and confidentiality, e-mail and internet use, and protection of proprietary information and company work product.
  • Conducting internal investigations, including investigations of leaks of confidential information.
  • Representing employers and senior executives in the negotiation of employment contracts, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, and severance arrangements.
  • Advising corporate clients on the intricacies of the law governing nonqualified deferred compensation.
  • Designing, drafting, and implementing qualified retirement plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, including prototype plans for institutional sponsors.
  • Assisting clients in obtaining favorable private letter rulings and exemption letters from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor.
  • Counseling clients regarding employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) finance and transactions.
  • Advising corporate fiduciaries on a broad range of compliance issues and representing them in contested benefits claims.

Attorneys in the Employment & Employee Benefits Practice Group work closely with colleagues in the Firm's other Practice Groups, including Corporate & Securities, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Tax, providing clients with comprehensive representation.

Team +

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Publications +

FTC Final Rule Banning Non-Competes - What Companies Need to Know - Apr 29, 2024
Protecting Business Interests in the Face of Increasing Hostility to Non-Compete Restrictions - Jun 23, 2023
Navigating the Legal Landscape of AI Hiring Tools: What Employers Need to Know - May 12, 2023
Employment and Litigation Partner, Scott Matthews, Talks to Crain's NY Business About Vaccine Mandates - Sep 13, 2021
Significant Changes in Federal Definition of Employee vs. Independent Contractor Status - Oct 1, 2020
New York Extends Guaranteed Paid Sick Leave - Sep 15, 2020
COVID-19 - Safety Plans and Other NY State Requirements as Businesses Prepare to Return to Work - May 27, 2020
COVID-19 - The Do’s And Don’ts Of Using Your PPP Loan In Order To Ensure That It Is Forgiven - May 8, 2020
COVID-19 - Understanding The Business Risks Associated With Remote Work Arrangements - May 1, 2020
COVID-19 - NJ Legislature Bill To Assist Small Businesses Clears Senate - Mar 19, 2020
New NY Laws Passed for Black Car, Limo and Bus Companies – Insurance, Drug/Alcohol, Seat Belts, and More! - Jan 10, 2020
Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 - Jan 2, 2020
New York Bills Would Eliminate Independent Contractors for All Transportation Drivers - Dec 4, 2019
Rod Honecker, Scott Matthews Dissect New Workplace Risks for Law360 - Mar 5, 2019
Changes to New York Law Regarding Sexual Harassment - Apr 20, 2018
Sexual Harassment Guidance for All Employers: Protect Your Employees and Your Company - Nov 30, 2017
Fair Labor Standards Act Update Increase in the Annual Salary Threshold by Scott Matthews - Jun 20, 2016
NYC Human Rights Law Expanded to Cover Caregivers by Scott Matthews - Jun 20, 2016
Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 by Scott Matthews - Jun 15, 2016
New Department of Labor Proposal for Overtime - Aug 3, 2015
U.S. Department of Labor States Its Interpretation of "Employee" vs. "Independent Contractor" - Jul 16, 2015
Six Employment Issues to Watch in 2015 - Mar 11, 2015
"The Transportation Network Company Litigation Explosion," by Matt Daus - Jan 26, 2015
Scott Matthews, Sharon Klein Provide Legal Update "New York City Overrides Mayor's Veto To Pass Paid Sick Leave Law" - Aug 16, 2013
Scott Matthews, Sharon Klein Provide Legal Update "U.S. Supreme Court Narrowly Defines "Supervisor" As It Applies To Employer Liability For Unlawful Acts Committed By Employees Against Other Employees" - Jul 10, 2013
Scott Matthews Authors Chapter on Employment Law in 2013 for "Inside the Minds" Series - Feb 21, 2013
Scott Matthews Authors "Constructing Solid Employment Agreements" for "Inside the Minds" Publication - Aug 9, 2012
Proper Planning & Considerations When RIFs are Unavoidable - Mar 8, 2012
New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act: Compliance With The Annual Notice Requirement - Dec 1, 2011
Important Worker Classification Tips for Transportation Businesses Authored by Matt Daus and Jasmine Le Veaux - Aug 9, 2011
Rod Honecker writes "A Rarely Used Weapon for Employers: the Computer Related Offenses Act" for the NJ Law Journal - Aug 30, 2010

Practice Subset

Windels Marx is a proud sponsor of the General Counsel Conference – a Corporate Counsel event – featuring Scott Matthews and an esteemed panel focused on employment and related litigation considerations.