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Alexander W. Leonard photo - Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP

711 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
t: 212-907-7378
f: 212-754-0330

aleonard@golenbock.com
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Alexander W. Leonard
Partner

Alexander (Alexei) Leonard leads the firm’s labor and employment practice, representing financial services, technology, media, retail, and manufacturing clients, with a focus in the hospitality industry and with emerging/startup companies.  His practice spans nearly all employment counseling and litigation matters affecting employers today, including:

  • Litigating individual and class action federal, state, and out-of-court disputes involving employment discrimination and sexual harassment, wage and hour, restrictive covenants, physical and website accessibility (ADA), as well mass layoff and termination issues
  • Defending audits by federal and state agencies, including the U.S. and New York Departments of Labor
  • Auditing and preparing procedures for compliance with industry-specific wage and hour requirements regarding wages, tips/gratuities, overtime, exemption classifications, commissions, bonuses, and other compensation arrangements
  • Advising on employee-related issues under all federal and state employment laws, including Title VII, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, WARN, FLSA, and NLRA, as well as state and local equivalents
  • Drafting employment policies and forms including handbooks, employment agreements, separation agreements, non-disclosure and restrictive covenant agreements, leave and accommodation policies, discrimination and harassment policies
  • Advising clients on compliance regarding accommodating disabled patrons, data privacy, fair housing, and employment-related aspects of business purchases
  • Providing training on harassment and discrimination, progressive discipline, workplace investigations, and union avoidance

A seasoned litigator with practical knowledge and a keen grasp of current legal developments, Alexei has handled countless employment discrimination suits in various federal and state courts, as well as before administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Commission on Human Rights, New York Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Experienced in mediation and informal dispute resolution, he emphasizes practical strategies that avoid unnecessary expense and acrimony.

Alexei’s clients include small to large employers in a wide range of retail, financial, and services industries, with a focus on the hospitality industry as well as emerging businesses. His philosophy is “to go the extra mile” to learn his clients’ businesses. This involved approach means constantly thinking of his client’s changing needs and objectives, addressing potential issues before they become problems, being available to consult with clients whenever their needs arise, and staying abreast of cutting-edge legal trends and tools that will benefit clients.  His clients appreciate his passion for the law and familiarity with practical solutions that can benefit their operations and staffing. As their advocate, he understands their business and their goals and often takes a pre-emptive approach

Representative engagements (including while with prior firms):

  • Successful settlement (at cents on the dollar) of dozens of wage and tipping litigations and other claims asserted against restaurants and food service establishments
  • Successful appeal to the New York Appellate Division, Third Department, of an independent contractor misclassification determination issued by the New York State Department of Labor
  • Summary judgment in favor of toy retailer against allegations that employer failed to accommodate former employee’s disability and that the employer retaliated against her for making her accommodation request
  • Defeat of union organizing drive against fast-casual food establishment involving the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union
  • Negotiated employment aspects of multiple corporate asset sales involving significant potential labor and employment liability
  • Successfully defended large nationwide WARN litigation in connection with Chapter 7 bankruptcy involving now-defunct major international law firm

Alexei is regularly asked to speak on various employment law topics before trade associations and professional organizations.

Education and Honors

  • Hofstra University School of Law School, J.D.
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo, B.A.

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • District of Columbia
  • S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Prior Legal Experience

  • Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Jackson Lewis P.C.

Awards

  • Included in Super Lawyers’ New York Metro Rising Stars (2014-present)