Employment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct

Kaplan Hecker & Fink lawyers have extensive experience advising and representing organizations in sensitive employment and discrimination matters.  We assist clients with a wide range of matters involving pending or potential litigation, including with respect to Title IX and Title VII claims, independent contractor and Fair Labor Standards Act classification, and development and implementation of policies to ensure a fair and unbiased workplace.

Kaplan Hecker’s practice stands apart, because we are at the forefront of pushing forward the national conversation on creating equitable, inclusive, and safe workplaces. At Kaplan Hecker, we advise and counsel institutions and companies who are committed to building progressive workplaces free of discrimination, harassment, and inequality. We know that ensuring equality is not only a legal requirement; it is also good business. When employees don’t feel safe speaking up, organizations are deprived of valuable ideas. Further, our attorneys understand that workplace disputes can not only disrupt productivity, but also do serious damage to a company’s reputation. We advise organizations on how best to provide a safe and inclusive working environment for their employees, so that all voices are heard and valued.

In addition to its litigation in this area, Kaplan Hecker plays a critical role in standing up for those who have experienced sexual misconduct in the workplace. In 2018, the firm was instrumental in founding the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which supports individuals who have experienced workplace sexual harassment or assault and related retaliation to seek the justice they deserve, regardless of industry, rank, or role. In exceptional cases, Kaplan Hecker will represent individuals who are victims of sexual assault or severe, persistent discrimination to ensure that their rights are fully protected.

Kaplan Hecker is also the “go-to” firm for Columbia University and other academic institutions for their most important Title VII and Title IX matters. Lawyers from Kaplan Hecker have secured the dismissal of several such lawsuits against Columbia that have alleged that the university had not fulfilled its obligations under Title IX or the New York State or New York City Human Rights Laws. Educational settings are unique. The relationships between administration, faculty, students, and alumni create a web of considerations that are meaningfully different from those of corporations and other non-profit organizations. Moreover, the specific culture of each educational institution means that what works for one institution may not work for another. At Kaplan Hecker, our lawyers fully appreciate the careful attention that must go into cultivating a lasting and effective relationship with an educational institution and have the experience and perspective to deliver results to our education clients that are not just successes in the courtroom, but also in the classrooms, faculty lounges, and alumni houses.

Other representative Discrimination and Employment matters include:

  • Advising a public university on Title VII and Title IX issues.
  • Representing Handy Technologies LLC in connection with pending litigation related to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Advising a large media company on employment policy compliance with Title VII.
  • Advising large corporations and institutions on improvement and implementation of workplace policies and procedures.
  • Conducting multiple internal investigations for a large non-profit organization concerning complaints of sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of race.

Prior to launching Kaplan Hecker, some of our lawyers’ representative Discrimination and Employment matters included:

  • Representing the Minnesota Vikings in connection with its settlement with former NFL punter, Chris Kluwe.
  • Representing a large financial institution in class-action Title VII lawsuits alleging gender discrimination.
  • Representing a large insurance company in class-action Title VII lawsuits alleging race discrimination.
  • Conducting internal investigations of discrimination and hostile work environment allegations at two different Fortune 100 companies.