Richard Reibstein's practice covers five areas:
- Employment law, including discrimination, sexual harassment, employment agreements, wage and hour disputes and terminations
- Independent contractor compliance and misclassification claims, including defense of class actions and administrative proceedings
- Non-competes and trade secrets, such as representing companies seeking to protect their key personnel and confidential information as well as businesses trying to lift out talent
- Labor-management relations, including practice before the NLRB
- Commercial litigation and defense of individual and class actions, including claims involving public accommodations
Richard regularly counsels employers how to comply with the law and avoid lawsuits that could arise under an array of labor and employment laws. He also defends employers in claims involving employment discrimination (including workplace harassment, hostile work environment and disability claims), wrongful discharge and workplace torts (including defamation, fraud, invasion of privacy, tortious interference and negligent hiring and retention) as well as ERISA litigation. Richard represents management at NLRB proceedings, arbitrations and collective bargaining negotiations nd advises employers on remaining union-free. He also defends employers in the areas of family and medical leaves, benefit disputes, workplace investigations and the areas of construction and health care labor law.
Richard began his legal career with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., before going into private practice.
Representative ExperienceRichard’s representative experience includes:
Independent Contractor and Wage/Hour Compliance
In the area of independent contractor and wage/hour compliance, Richard has designed programs for more than 60 companies across the country to enhance compliance with independent contractor laws at the federal and state levels, using IC Diagnostics™, a proprietary process developed and refined over the past 10 years. He also defends businesses across the country before administrative agencies in unemployment and other regulatory proceedings and before the courts in single plaintiff and class action employee misclassification lawsuits and claims seeking overtime, unpaid benefits, unpaid expenses and other types of misclassification claims. Richard has represented over 100 clients in an array of diverse industries using various business models including the gig economy.
His most recent class action cases have involved an independent contractor misclassification claim by 1,500 on-demand couriers under California law, a claim for unpaid hours by over 4,000 New York live-in home health aides, an overtime claim in a Florida federal court seeking collective certification of 800 route sales persons located in the Southeast and Gulf Coast, and a nationwide collective and class action claim brought in Massachusetts involving over 1,800 local childcare consultants for an au pair agency.
Beginning in 2010, Richard has published the only legal blog with original content dedicated to independent contractor compliance and misclassification, having written more than 250 comprehensive posts, including a monthly update of judicial, administrative and legislative developments in the area. He wrote the seminal “White Paper” on how companies can minimize the risk of independent contractor misclassification, one of the most viewed legal resources for companies and lawyers seeking information about independent contractor misclassification and compliance. Since 2008, he has written over four dozen articles and has made over two dozen presentations to businesses and industry associations on the subject.
Richard has been quoted on the subject of independent contractor law and other timely labor and employment issues by the media and legal and business press, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times, New York Law Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg and Law360.
Unfair Competition / Trade Secrets / Non-Competition Agreements
In addition, Richard has extensive experience in the area of non-compete and trade secret law. He crafts corporate protection plans and negotiates and drafts state-of-the-art non-compete agreements, confidentiality pledges and other types of restrictive covenants. He counsels clients on securing compliance with such agreements by departing employees and their new employers and, conversely, how to lift-out key employees of competitors who have signed these types of agreements.
Where necessary, Richard litigates controversies across the country involving non-compete and non-solicitation provisions, trade secret obligations and employees’ fiduciary duty of loyalty. He has obtained a number of temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions and secured final relief, including multiple cases with injunctions that restrained a client’s former employees and their new employer from doing business with certain customers and required payment of damages for unfair competition and reimbursement of legal fees and expenses. Richard has also defeated numerous claims brought in court or threatened litigation for alleged use of trade secrets and breach of non-solicitation and non-compete clauses. He has also written a chapter entitled Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants in Leading Lawyers on Terms of Employment and Restrictive Covenants.
Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Discharge and Other Employment Litigations
Richard has secured dismissals and defense judgments in more than 120 employment cases in the federal and state courts. His most significant accomplishments, though, are the hundreds of threatened and anticipated lawsuits by employees that he has avoided for clients that have sought his advice and counsel before being sued.
Richard is also co-author of two books published by the Bureau of National Affairs on the subject of workplace torts, “Employer’s Guide to Workplace Torts” and “Negligent Hiring, Fraud, Defamation and Other Emerging Areas of Employer Liability.”
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Named, New York Super Lawyers®, Employment & Labor (2014-2019)
- Named, “Top Author” for his thought leadership on the topic of employer liability, JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards (2016-2017 and 2019-2020)
- Named, “Top Author” for his thought leadership on the topic of class actions, JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards (2016 and 2020)