Jonathan L. Sulds is Co-Chair of the firm's Global Labor & Employment Practice and the Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group. He has been representing leading employers since 1974 in virtually every aspect of their engagement, protection, management and reward of workforce resources. Jon regularly represents employers in the areas of collective bargaining and traditional labor relations, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, wage and hour matters, discrimination complaints, restrictive covenant, duty of loyalty and trade secret litigation, Dodd Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and other whistleblower matters, global and domestic executive employment arrangements, and corporate campaigns. Jon is also involved in the labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions and class and collective actions that arise in these contexts.
Just recently, for example, as lead counsel, Jon obtained dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action, Martone v. Whole Foods Market Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133703 (W.D. Tex 2016). As lead trial counsel he obtained dismissal of a NLRB complaint alleging that no lawful impasse had occurred in negotiations he had led as chief spokesperson where the terms of the employer's last and final offer were implemented (Time Inc, 02-CA-134835, et al.; JD(NY)-30-16, 2016 NLRB LEXIS 574 (NLRB Div. of Judges Aug. 9, 2016). Then he negotiated a collective bargaining agreement based on those implemented proposals, which the client described as providing it "with the operational flexibility necessary to succeed in today's transformative media environment," and the union lauded for providing "stability." (New York Post, September 30, 2016). Also last year, as lead trial counsel, Jon obtained a complete defense verdict after 20 hearing days before a JAMS arbitrator, dismissing a senior, highly salaried former employee's systemic disparate impact, age discrimination and retaliation claims.
Since the 1970s, Jon has been involved in a variety of additional high profile matters. He negotiated the project labor agreement for the new stadium for one of America's most famous sports franchises. He has been lead counsel for a leading national employer in two nationwide wage and hour class and collective actions seeking to challenge the exempt status of nearly every managerial position at the company, and currently represents that employer in wage and hour class actions in various states as well as a leading retailer in three separate but overlapping class actions raising novel issues about fluctuating work weeks. For one of America’s most watched television programs and its production companies and network, Jon gained EEOC dismissal of a multicomplainant charge targeting consideration of arrest records. He currently represents one of the country's largest supermarket companies in a putative ADA leave class action. Elsewhere, Jon represented the administrative committee of a retirement savings plan for a major energy company in the voting of company shares held in plan participants' accounts in a contested proxy contest, then represented that same committee in a parallel ERISA-based "stock drop case." In addition, Jon gained dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the dominant player in a niche of the financing industry against a startup that had hired the plaintiff's founder and CEO, its CFO and a majority of the plaintiff's sales force. Jon also advised one of America's iconic brands on the strategy it used to end an internet and regulatory agency-based corporate campaign that had sought to sully his client's reputation in order to pressure it into giving in to undisclosed parties' own institutional objectives. In another area, Jon led a 40-lawyer team spanning 10 GT offices advising a major media company on personnel restructurings and a similar team advising a major investment bank in the same area.
In addition, among other matters, Jon represented the nation's leading telecommunications company in several "BlackBerry" wage and hour cases. He also advises a leading national employer on structuring collective bargaining and multiemployer pension plan and health care strategies, successfully negotiating multiple collective bargaining agreements throughout the country, allowing the employer to withdraw from one of America's most underfunded pension plans and then crafting an approach which substantially reduced the original withdrawal liability demand from that fund.
Jon is a frequent lecturer and writer. His breadth of experience is reflected in the treatise that he authors, New York Employment Law (Matthew Bender/LexisNexis, 2d Ed, updated annually).
One major financial services client recently remarked to a leading publication, "for employment litigation we use Jonathan Sulds... We really want experts. Looking for a litigator is like looking for a surgeon. You don't want to need one but if you need one you want to be sure you have the best one." (LA Daily Journal, November 8, 2016)