OVERVIEW OF EMPLOYMENT LAW
The substantive area of employment discrimination law is rather complex as it involves various Federal, State and local laws that frequently provide different elements of proof as well as damages. Generally speaking, it is unlawful for an “employer” to discriminate against an “employee” based upon a “protected category” such as gender, race, religion, disability, etc. Who is an “employer,” who is an “employee,” and what is a “protected category,” however, is something that may differ depending on the applicable law. Similarly, how an employee goes about proving that she was discriminated against often differs depending on the applicable law. Likewise, it is unlawful for an employer to “retaliate” against an employee who has complained of discrimination or who has raised certain issues that would amount to “whistleblowing.” Again, what constitutes retaliation and who is covered by the various whistleblower laws varies based on the applicable law. In some instances discrimination, retaliation and/or whistleblower laws require that an employee first file with an administrative agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Labor before proceeding in court. Other instances, the law permit employees to proceed directly in court and/or arbitration without any pre-conditions.
In addition to discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower laws, employees also have certain rights that arise from contracts (either written or made orally), handbooks and policies. These types of cases, known as breach of contract cases, do not typically require any filing with an administrative agency and instead permit employees to proceed directly in court and/or arbitration.
It is extremely important to note that all laws have what are called “statutes of limitation” that require you to file an action within a proscribed period of time. These limitations periods are typically strictly enforced and would prevent you from prosecuting an untimely claim. The statute of limitations period typically begins to run from the date of an adverse action (such as the demotion or termination). Some laws require you to file an action in as little as 180 days. Therefore, it is imperative to act promptly.
Deciding whether to sue your employer should not be taken lightly. These days, many people spend more waking time at work than with family and the choices that impact a person’s career are as critical as ever. So, it is very important that you make an informed decision about the potential benefits as well as the risks of bringing a lawsuit against or even raising the possibility of legal action with your employer. At Wigdor LLP, we pride ourselves on spending time with prospective clients before agreeing to represent them.
When you, a prospective client, contact us about a potential case, you should ask yourself the question: “Why am I calling an employment lawyer?” Then, contact Wigdor LLP and let us know that you’d like to speak with an attorney. You will give your name, a personal (non-work) number where you can be reached and receive private messages, and also provide a brief description of your situation or potential case. If you are considering bringing a claim against your current employer, DO NOT call us from a work phone and DO NOT email us from your employer’s computer or from a work email address.
One of our lawyers will follow up with you to discuss your situation and get some background information about you, your workplace, your work history and the basic facts regarding what happened to make you want to file a lawsuit or hire an employment lawyer. After this initial call, a prospective client will usually have an in-person meeting with one of Wigdor LLP’s lawyers.
Before this in-person meeting, if you haven’t done so already, carefully think through the issues and central facts of your potential case. If the attorney you spoke with asks, please write down or type up a chronology of the facts of your case: a history of what exactly happened, when each incident happened and who was involved in the events that prompted you to seek legal help. Of course, this should be done on your time and at home or in private, NOT at work and NOT using your employer’s computer. If you have copies of documents, emails, handbooks or employer policies that relate to your potential case, you should hold onto those documents and ask whether to bring them to the meeting for Wigdor LLP’s lawyers to review.
Then, it’s time for your in-person meeting with a Wigdor lawyer. While at this stage the lawyer you’ll meet is not your legal representative, we treat everything you tell us during this process as protected by attorney-client privilege to the fullest extent permitted by law. However, if you email us from your employer’s computer, the attorney-client privilege may be waived inadvertently. Please contact us only using a personal phone and NEVER email us from a computer, network, or email address owned by your employer.
The in-person meeting is more than a chance for you to tell us about your potential case. It’s also opportunity for you to get to know us, ask questions, and make sure that you feel comfortable with us. Bring everything you’ve collected or prepared to your in-person meeting: a written chronology (if requested), any related emails, documents, notes, handbooks or policies, and anything that might help you remember what happened and when it happened (like a diary or outlook calendar showing events and meetings). It is essential that you DO NOT destroy or erase any documents or information that may affect your case – you have a duty to preserve all documents that may be relevant to your potential matter. Even the smallest digital record or document is potential evidence, and destruction of evidence could result in dismissal of your matter or even sanctions in court.
Please keep in mind that when you are telling us the facts of your case, it is key that you share with us ALL of the relevant information you have, not just the facts that support your potential claims. We have to know everything that affects the potential case – good and bad – so that we can find the best strategy to represent you. Being open and honest with your lawyer is the way to get the best results. There are two sides to every story, so if you have relevant information that shows you in a bad light, it’s better for us to hear it from you, and as soon as possible. Unless you are honest, forthright, and complete during your meeting with us, we will not be able to help or guide you effectively and avoid potential pitfalls in your case.
Once we have received everything you and we believe is needed to assess your matter and have had an opportunity to review it, Wigdor LLP’s Partners will make a decision about whether we can represent you in your matter and on what terms. If we can represent you, we will present you with an engagement letter which is a contract detailing the terms and scope of our role as your legal representative in the matter at hand. Most of our representations of individuals are done on a contingency fee basis in which you do not pay us our standard hourly rates, but instead a percentage of the gross recovery is used as compensation to the Firm. If you don’t recover anything, neither do we. In some cases, we work on an hourly basis and require an up-front refundable retainer. Whether the case is a contingency or hourly case, however, you are obligated to pay out-of-pocket expenses as the case progresses, such as for overnight mail, filing fees, transcripts and expert witnesses.
Once you have retained us as your lawyer in a case against your employer, in most matters we begin by sending a detailed letter to your employer explaining the situation and the potential liability they face. We do this in an effort to resolve your matter amicably and privately. Matters often are resolved prior to instituting legal proceedings. Sometimes, negotiations are conducted with an employer directly. In other instances, an employer may hire outside counsel to communicate with us. Decisions on settlement and process (including, for example, whether to use a third-party mediator to attempt to reach an agreement with your employer or whether to file a lawsuit against your employer) are made after consultation with you.
In some cases, litigation is necessary. A typical single-plaintiff employment litigation matter may take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to reach trial. However, most cases settle prior to trial – perhaps because our Firm is best known for its trial skill and capabilities. During the litigation, the parties will exchange documents and emails (“discovery”) and take sworn testimony from witnesses (“depositions”). All of this requires time given the volume of discovery and the typical necessity to engage in arguments and motions with the other side concerning the scope of documents and information required to be disclosed in the litigation. After discovery and depositions are completed, employers often will make a motion to dismiss the case (“summary judgment”) and the judge will determine whether there are enough disputed facts and evidence to require a trial in the case. If you are successful at trial, the types of damages that may be awarded to you will depend upon the laws and type of harm at issue in your case. Of course, as your attorneys we will keep you in the loop and informed about the litigation process throughout the case.
TYPES OF CASES
Wigdor LLP’s lawyers have handled some of the largest and most high-profile gender discrimination cases in the country, and have been featured on Good Morning America, the BBC and CNBC. We have successfully handled cases against virtually every large Wall Street firm in matters ranging from pay/ bonus disparities, unlawful termination and failure to promote (sometimes referred to as “mommy tracking”). Our cases are certainly not limited, however, to Wall Street. We have successfully litigated and settled gender discrimination cases in all types of workplace settings—recent clients have worked in a wide range of industries, including advertising, law and accounting, sports and entertainment, hospitality and lodging, sales, health care and medicine.
Discrimination based on gender can take many different forms. As a general matter, however, it is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee differently because of her gender. Common claims based upon the disparate treatment of an employee as compared with colleagues of a different gender include being paid a lower salary or bonus, not being promoted despite the elevation of less-qualified colleagues, receiving fewer leads or less desirable assignments, or being laid off. All of these claims require that you prove, by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning that it is more likely than not) that because of your gender you were treated unlawfully. Statistics, gender based comments, and work performance and history are the most frequently used forms of evidence in gender discrimination cases.
Discrimination based on gender is unlawful under federal (Title VII), state and local (e.g., New York City) laws. Whether or not your employer is covered by various laws will depend on the size of its workforce, which sometimes may include independent contractors or even interns. Claims regarding different varieties of discrimination also may be pursued more effectively under some laws than others. For instance, the New York City Human Rights Law has been interpreted as requiring employees to meet a much lower standard of proof in order to establish hostile environment claims. The Firm’s attorneys will discuss with you which claims and laws may best fit your situation during the intake process, as well as in the course of any representation we may enter into with you.
Women should not have to suffer from harassment in the workplace, and it is unlawful to harass a woman not only based upon her gender or in a sexual manner, but also based upon pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition. Harassers may be the victim’s boss or colleague, but also could be someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer. Under federal law, harassment generally reaches the threshold of being illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment (although some state and local laws have different standards). Harassment also is unlawful when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as termination or demotion.
Some of our largest settlement and verdicts come from sexual harassment cases. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and occurs in all industries and at all levels of seniority. Wigdor LLP has successfully represented both executives of Fortune 100 companies as well as minimum wage earners in their fight for justice against sexual harassment.
Federal, state and local laws prohibit sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be categorized into two general forms. The first is called “quid pro quo” which is Latin for “this for that.” Quite literally, it means that if a supervisor asks, requires, suggests or even implies that you need to provide sexual favors in exchange for job benefits (whether it’s working conditions, pay or any other type of promise). The other type of sexual harassment is called “hostile work environment.” This type of sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor or co-worker initiates unwelcome sexual conduct, advances, discussions, and/or verbal or physical harassment. Sexual harassment cases are often proved through documents, emails, Bloomberg or instant messaging, video, telephone voice mails and other employees who are witnesses or were also subjected to similar conduct. However, even in the absence of documentary evidence or witnesses, sexual harassment cases can be established through your own testimony about the conduct to which you have been subjected.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is a reality. Few law firms have the experience of Wigdor LLP in this highly specialized area. Under New York City law, it is unlawful under civil law to commit an act of violence because of gender. While individuals who commit these egregious acts of violence can be criminally prosecuted, the Gender Motivated Violence Act permits you to seek civil recovery for these unlawful acts (in addition to claims of assault and battery). This Act also enables you to recover compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and attorneys’ fees. Wigdor LLP was one of the first firms to utilize this Act in connection with its representation of the hotel maid in the Dominique Strauss Kahn case. We have also utilized this Act in many other matters that have settled privately.
Working mothers should be welcomed back to work and should have the same opportunities that they had before motherhood, the same opportunities as working fathers and the same opportunities as people of all genders who do not have children. In the workplace, pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (whether a job applicant or an employee) unfavorably because she is pregnant/ is perceived to be pregnant, because she gave birth, or because she has a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Pregnancy discrimination is against the law, but unfortunately, some employers haven’t gotten the message. The laws against pregnancy discrimination also prohibit an employer from treating a female employee differently because of unwarranted stereotypes about working mothers. In such cases, discrimination can often be proven through a pattern of discriminatory reassignments or “steering” after a woman becomes pregnant or returns from maternity leave, as well as through evidence such as comments that reflect, for example, skepticism regarding commitment to the job.
Wigdor LLP is frequently called upon to represent women who have been treated differently after announcing their pregnancies; women who have been treated differently once their pregnancies were noticeably visible; and women who were treated differently after returning to work from maternity leave. While many of our pregnancy cases have been successfully resolved through informal negotiation, some of our cases have appeared on national television, including the Today Show, Nightline and CNN.
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), as well as similar state and local laws, forbids discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment, including promotions, job assignments, pay, bonuses, hiring, layoff, firing , training, benefits (including leave and health insurance), and any other employment condition or term.
Employers should treat women who are temporarily unable to perform job duties due to a pregnancy-related medical condition the same way they treat employees with any temporary disability. Some pregnancy-related conditions may be disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and may require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION
Incredibly, sexual orientation discrimination still is not prohibited under federal law. Wigdor LLP is proud to be involved in efforts to change that. However, both New York State and New York City do prohibit treating an employee differently because of his or her sexual orientation (other states and local jurisdictions have similar laws as well). Wigdor LLP works closely with several LGBT organizations and is a leader in promoting workplace equality for employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. We have successfully represented employees from many industries in litigating sexual orientation discrimination claims, whether in high-profile and highly compensated professional and executive environments or in blue-collar workplaces.
Sexual orientation discrimination can take the form of harassment as well as other unfavorable treatment in an employee’s terms and conditions of employment (including pay, promotion or termination). The form of and evidence illustrating sexual orientation discrimination can be subtle, and the Firm’s attorneys will spend the time necessary with you to develop the facts of your situation and determine whether we can help you to pursue claims and vindicating your legal rights.
Age discrimination is one of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace. Rather than reward employees who have given a significant amount of their time to their employer, many employers choose to replace them with younger employees or retain younger employees when faced with a reduction in force. Our Firm has assisted those who have been treated unlawfully because of their age. While age discrimination can occur when an employer terminates an older employer and replaced them with a younger employee or terminated an older employee to save the job of a younger employer, it can also occur where an employer compensates an older employee less than a younger employee. Age discrimination and violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) also occur where employers terminate employees in order to avoid pension or other retirement benefits. Statistics, documents, e-mails and work performance are often utilized in the prosecution of these matters. However, even in the absence of statistical or documentary evidence, age discrimination can be established through your own testimony about the conduct to which you have been subjected.
Wigdor LLP successfully went to trial and won the largest single-plaintiff verdict ever under the Americans with Disabilities Act against Wal-Mart, resulting in a $7.5 million verdict. That liability verdict was sustained by the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and has been cited over 500 times by other courts. Since then, Wigdor LLP has successfully represented many other clients who either are disabled or have been perceived as disabled and treated unlawfully by their employer.
It is important to understand that you do not have to be “disabled” (that is, having a permanent disability of some kind or any medical/physical condition at all) to bring a successful disability claim. Many of our cases, for example, involve individuals who are simply perceived as disabled because, for example, they are being treated for cancer, are HIV positive, or have another condition (or had a condition in the past) which their employer thinks would prevent them being productive or could pose a risk of increased costs or inconvenience. We also handle cases in which employers refuse to grant reasonable requests for accommodation from disabled employees or fail to engage in the legally required reasonable accommodation interactive process in which the employer and employee discuss whether accommodations can be made to aid the employee in performing his or her job. Other types of disability cases involve situations in which employers ask unlawful questions that would reveal a disability prior to making a job offer or retaliation against an employee by an employer for taking medical leave (whether to attend to the employee’s own needs or those of a loved one).
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1964, race discrimination has been unlawful. Unfortunately, racism still exists today. Race discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently with regard to the terms and conditions of employment because of his or her race. This can include anything from termination, demotion, failure to hire or disparate pay practices. Racial harassment is also a cognizable claim. Some of our Firm’s largest and most noteworthy cases have involved race discrimination. Through the utilization of Section 1981of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, many of these cases do not require the filing of an EEOC charge and provide the ability to recover uncapped compensatory and punitive damages – unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Employees should not fear reprisal or retaliation when they make good faith complaints to their employer. As a result, retaliation for engaging in “protected activity” is unlawful under various federal, state and local laws. “Protected activity” is typically a good faith complaint made by an employee that she or someone else has been discriminated against or has been subject to a hostile work environment based on a “protected characteristic” such as gender, race, religion, disability, etc. Unlawful retaliation also occurs where an employee is treated unfairly after participating in an internal or governmental investigation into unlawful discrimination or where an employee is retaliated against because a close personal friend or family member has lodged a complaint.
Retaliation can take many forms. The most tangible forms of retaliation occur when an employee is terminated or demoted after making a complaint. However, retaliation can also include a failure to promote, cuts in compensation, and can include other types of employment actions such asisolation from important team meetings, change of work assignments, or the re-location of your seat assignment.
Some of our larger settlements and verdicts have come in cases involving retaliatory action taken by an employer as a result of a protected complaint. And, we have been at the forefront in using the law to expand the scope and definition retaliation and how it can be proven. One of our recent cases has already been cited over 100 times by other courts.
FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
Wigdor LLP has successfully represented many clients who have been treated unlawfully by an employer as a result of taking a leave of absence due to serious medical issues, care-giving or family emergencies. The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as would apply if the employee had not taken leave.
Eligible employees are entitled to: 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for: (1) the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth; (2) the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement; (3) to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; (4) a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; (5) any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
FMLA cases often coincide with pregnancy and disability discrimination cases due to stereotypes regarding working mothers and preconceptions regarding the abilities of or costs associated with employees who have had medical issues. Wigdor LLP has had numerous newsworthy cases in this area of the law.
The issues surrounding whether the FMLA applies in a particular situation can be technical, and our attorneys can work with you to determine whether or not your situation may be covered by the FMLA or other laws concerning discrimination or the need to accommodate or provide leave to employees.
WAGE AND HOUR LAW
Wigdor LLP has been at the forefront in litigating all types of wage and hour violations including: (1) failure to pay minimum wage; (2) failure to pay overtime; and (3) unlawful withholding (or sharing) of tips and service charges; and (4) unlawful wage deductions. These cases often involve complex analysis of rules, regulations and wage orders from state and federal agencies.
As a general rule, employees are entitled to be paid one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Employees very often believe that they are not entitled to overtime compensation because they are paid a salary and are classified by their employer as “exempt.” However, employers very often misclassify their employees as “exempt” in an attempt to avoid paying overtime compensation. As a result, you may be entitled to overtime and other recovery under the wage laws even if your employer has labeled you “exempt.” Similarly, employers sometimes label employees as “independent contractors” to avoid compliance with the wage laws. Thus, even if you have been treated as an “independent contractor,” you may still be entitled to overtime compensation and other recovery under the wage laws if the classification was improper.
Another common wage violation occurs when employers fail to distribute tips, gratuities and service charges to the service employees. These violations very often occur in the restaurant and hospitality industry as well as in the transportation industry. When a customer pays a tip, gratuity and/or service charges that is retained even in part by the employer, the service employees (such as a waiter, bartender, busboy, taxi/limousine driver) may be being deprived of compensation they are entitled to under the law.
Wigdor LLP has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients who were unlawfully paid and has had numerous cases certified by the courts as class and/or collective actions.
There are a number of different federal and state “whistleblower” laws that protect employees who have the courage to report what they believe to be unlawful conduct on the part of their employer or others (such as colleagues or clients). Wigdor LLP has successfully handled many of these cases, some of which have helped define the contours of protected whistleblower activity.
A series of federal laws protects employees who make reports of or testify about unsafe conditions or other violations to federal enforcement agencies. However, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Dodd-Frank Acts protect employees who report certain types of fraud or violations of securities laws or other legal requirements either to the Securities and Exchange Commission or even internally. Some states have whistleblower protections laws as well, such as New Jersey’s relatively brought Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and the New York Labor Law’s anti-retaliation protections for employees who report acts that endanger public safety or (for those in the healthcare industry) the quality of patient care.
Employees who have learned of and report false charges or claims filed by a company with federal or state governments (such as fraudulent Medicare charges) also may be protected from retaliation as whistleblowers and may have grounds to file a qui tam action, in which the employee brings a lawsuit on behalf of the government and may share in any amounts recovered by or for the government from the wrongdoer.
There are various legal theories under which a bonus that has been denied to an employee by his or her employer may be recovered. First, where an employee or executive is entitled to a bonus pursuant to a written agreement or formula, a claim may be made against the employer on the basis of a breach of contract claim or through wage-hour laws such as the New York Labor Law. In the financial industry, such claims may be pursued through the arbitration process administered by the Financial Industry Regulation Association (FINRA). Even where a bonus is nominally “discretionary,” it often is possible to pursue legal action in order to recover the withheld funds from an employer. For example, such claims may be successful in situations where the bonus at issue represents a large percentage of an individual’s overall compensation and is not tied to the financial success of the firm, but is more dependent upon a formula.
BREACH OF CONTRACT AND RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
Although most employees in the United States work on an “at will” basis, in which the employee or employer can end the employment relationship at any time, many employees have “term” contracts that commit their employer to pay them for a set period. Many other employees have contracts or agreements with their employer that legally require their employer to compensate them a specific amount or according to specific terms (such as set bonuses or based on particular performance metrics). In fact, even your employer’s standard employee handbook and policies may, in certain circumstances, be considered binding contracts which your employer is legally required to follow.
Disputes regarding “restrictive covenants”—such as non-compete and non-solicitation agreements—between an employer and employee also are common. State law varies on the extent to which restrictions on an employee’s future employment and business dealings are enforceable. Factors such as the length and geographic scope of the restriction, the broadness of the activities restricted and the legitimate protectability of an employer’s interests all may be taken into account in determining whether such restrictions can be fully or even partially enforced against an employee. Wigdor LLP can help you to navigate the negotiation of such provisions, challenging the enforceability of restrictive covenants, or in counseling you through the process of being a “good leaver” who parts on good terms with your employer and commences new employment without incident.
CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTIONS
There are often situations where large groups of similarly situated employees are subject to common forms of unlawful treatment. In such situations, we can pursue recovery through class and/or collective action. We have represented thousands of employees in class and/or collective actions who have been subjected to unlawful discrimination or have been victims of wage violations. We have successfully resolved many class and/or collective actions totaling millions of dollars.
It is becoming commonplace for employers to require, as a condition of employment, that their employees agree to resolve any dispute in arbitration rather than in court. Even if you have signed an arbitration agreement and are required to pursue your claims in an arbitral forum, you will still retain the same substantive rights that you would have had in court. Our Firm has had substantial success litigating cases in arbitration, including our Firm’s largest verdict to date for $23,700,000 on behalf of a former executive at Six Flags Entertainment Corp. Although we have had success in arbitration, we also have substantial experience in challenging the enforceability of arbitration agreements when we believe they overreach and violate the law.
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Wigdor LLP has represented many high-profile individuals and famous personalities in connection with their personal legal needs, including contract negotiations, intellectual property disputes and restrictive covenant (e.g., non-compete and exclusivity) issues. Our clients include top chief executives of household brand name companies, international models, authors, television and film actors, reporters and newscasters, celebrity chefs and many others. Our firm is experienced with and well-attuned to the special considerations, delicacy and unique goals that come up in high-level individual negotiations, and we pride ourselves on providing extremely responsive and strategically savvy representation.
Wigdor LLP has been at the forefront of successfully handling catastrophic tort litigation for our clients. These cases involve serious physical injury, dismemberment, burning, and/or death as a result of the negligence of the defendant. While there are many lawyers who regularly handle personal injury cases due to slip-and-falls and automobile accidents, we handle complex cases involving grievous injuries and large defendants such as the Con Edison steam pipe explosion and a case in which a young woman was electrocuted by a fallen electrical wire. These cases require a team of skilled lawyers and a firm infrastructure with the resources to go toe-to-toe with the large law firms that will no doubt be hired by the defendant to try to avoid its obligation to compensate you for your severe injuries or the loss of a loved one.
Our former founding partner Kenneth P. Thompson is now the District Attorney for Kings County (Brooklyn) and founding partner Douglas Wigdor is a former prosecutor himself. Known for its tenacious litigation, Wigdor LLP maintains an active criminal law practice. Doug Wigdor was recently selected by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to participate in hearings regarding the restoration of rights and status after conviction. We are extremely selective in the cases that we select in this area. Most of our cases emanate from the employment setting and thus are considered “white collar.” Our reputation in federal and state court, as well as our abilities in the courtroom, has led to successful results for many of our clients.