Jonathan L. Sulds is a member of the Hall of Fame of American Labor and Employment lawyers established by Lawdragon and Human Resource Executive magazine. They also have named him both one of the Nation's Most Powerful Employment Lawyers and as one of the Nation's Top 20 Lawyers in Traditional Labor and Employment Law.
Jon has been representing leading employers since 1974 in virtually every aspect of their engagement, protection, management and reward of workforce resources. He 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 and harassment 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 frequently involved in the labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions and class and collective actions that arise in those contexts. From 2010 through 2018 Jon co-chaired the firm's Global Labor and Employment Practice which was twice named a Law360 Employment Group of the Year during that tenure. He currently co-chairs the Labor & Employment Practice’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation group.
Some of Jon’s recent victories for clients include, Thomas v. Bed Bath & Beyond, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27904 (S.D.N.Y. 2018), granting summary judgment in a Fair Labor Standards Act case, sustaining the Company’s use of the Fluctuating Work Week methodology to pay overtime; dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action, Martone v. Whole Foods Market Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133703 (W.D. Tex 2016), followed by dismissal of an amended complaint in the same matter, Martone v. Robb, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122014, (W.D. Tex. Aug. 2, 2017) with that decision affirmed on appeal by the Fifth Circuit, 902 F.3d 519 (5th Cir. 2018); dismissal of a NLRB complaint alleging that no lawful impasse had occurred in negotiations Jon had led as chief spokesperson where the terms of the employer's last and final offer were implemented (Time Inc, JD(NY)-30-16, 2016 NLRB LEXIS 574), followed by his negotiation of 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," (New York Post, September 30, 2016); 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; and UPS Supply Chain Solutions, JD(ATL)-23-15, 2015 NLRB LEXIS 951, in which a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge found lawful the Company’s declaration of impasse and resulting implementation of periodic changes to a company-wide healthc are plan.
Since the 1970s, Jon has been involved in many 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 several nationwide wage and hour class and collective actions seeking to challenge the exempt status of nearly every managerial position at the company, and represents that employer in wage and hour class actions in various states. Jon is also lead counsel for a leading retailer in several separate but overlapping class actions raising novel issues. 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 resolved for one of the country's largest supermarket companies a putative ADA leave class action. Avoiding years of discovery, he pioneered use of judgment on the pleadings with attached administrative record to gain judgment on the pleadings, affirmed by the Second Circuit, dismissing contingent worker benefits claims. He represented the alleged employer in one of New York’s leading cases establishing independent contractor status, from administrative hearing through argument before New York’s Court of Appeals. Jon also 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 for the same purpose.
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, 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)