Practice Area Chair


Robert J. Marks
Senior Associate

John E. Otruba

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The attorneys in our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group are highly experienced in all matters pertaining to the relationship between employers and employees, and assist our clients in dealing with a broad range of issues concerning discrimination, compliance with labor statutes, hiring and termination procedures, and employment contracts. We represent clients throughout New York State, and in other jurisdictions as appropriate.


The attorneys in our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group are thoroughly familiar with both federal and New York State laws prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability, including the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Accordingly, we help our clients structure policies and procedures to prevent discrimination and sexual harassment claims. With our Litigation Group, we have significant experience in defending discrimination claims filed with the EEOC, the Division of Human Rights, and in federal and state courts.


We regularly advise clients regarding proper compliance with various labor statutes, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Plant Closing Act (WARN), OSHA and COBRA, as well as laws governing smoking policies, polygraph testing, drug testing, and whistle-blowers. We assist clients in meeting the requirements of the wage-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as New York State Labor Law. We routinely prepare and revise employee handbooks. We also represent employers for Labor Department audits and other proceedings.

Hiring and Termination Procedures

We help employers structure procedures and develop appropriate forms to use in connection with employee applications, interviews, grievances, discipline and terminations to minimize illegal hiring policies and wrongful discharge lawsuits. We also review and update clients’ employee manuals to ensure that they meet statutory requirements and avoid inadvertently establishing employment guarantees. Our clients also rely on our assistance in structuring appropriate severance agreements and releases to avoid discrimination claims.

Employment Contracts

At Boylan Code, we have substantial experience in drafting and enforcing all types of employment agreements, including non-competition agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and invention assignment agreements designed to protect a client’s confidential information.

Training Seminars

The attorneys in our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group have conducted hundreds of customized on-site workshops to train supervisors on proper procedures to comply with the law and minimize lawsuits in such areas as discrimination, interviewing and hiring, sexual harassment, employees with disabilities, worker’s compensation, leave policies, progressive discipline, and termination. We have conducted other trainings statewide.

Workshops Available

  • Overview of Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Overview of major federal and state EEO legislation
  • Avoiding common mistakes which result in inadvertent discrimination
  • Disparate treatment and disparate impact
  • Remedies for discrimination

Sexual Harassment

  • What constitutes illegal sexual harassment
  • Quid prod quo and hostile environment
  • Recognizing subtle sexual harassment
  • Steps to prevent sexual harassment
  • Handling a sexual harassment complaint

Americans with Disabilities

  • Definition of a disability
  • Understanding essential job functions
  • Making reasonable accommodations
  • What constitutes an undue hardship

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Eligibility
  • Triggering Events
  • What Constitutes a Serious Health Condition
  • Appropriate Notice and Certification
  • Job and Benefits Protection

Interviewing and Hiring

  • Avoiding commonly asked questions
  • Legal alternatives to illegal questions
  • Reference checks
  • Legality of drug testing, medical exams, lie detector tests, credit checks and other tests


  • The five steps of progressive discipline
  • Proper documentation to support discipline and termination
  • How to properly conduct an investigation of misconduct


  • Avoiding wrongful discharge actions
  • How to terminate for misconduct
  • Layoffs and downsizing
  • Avoiding age discrimination claims
  • Conducting the termination meeting
  • Avoiding defamation charges

Wage Hour Issues

  • Federal Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Classification
  • Restrictions on Partial Day Deductions
  • Regular Rate and Overtime Calculations
  • Vacation and Meal Periods
  • New York State Wage Payment Regulations

Employment-Related Torts

  • Defamation
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Negligence
  • Fraud
  • Tortious Interference with Contract
  • Invasion of Privacy

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