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Representative Cases

Civil Rights

  • Obtained preliminary injunction against municipality in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act in which municipality was ordered to approve zoning application for facility serving individuals with mental illness. Step by Step, Inc. v. City of Ogdensburg, 7:15-CV-925 (N.D.N.Y. April 5, 2016). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Obtained judgment against City of Albany for taking client's vehicle without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Hines v. City of Albany, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68548 (N.D.N.Y 2011). Phillip G. Steck
  • Jury determination that whistleblower's speech was protected activity under the First Amendment and that her speech was a substantial factor in the termination of her employment. McLaughlin v. Pezzola, 7:06-cv-00376 (N.D.N.Y. 2011). Phillip G. Steck
  • Successful outcome for teacher’s aide and coach fired from school district for union activity in violation of the First Amendment. Bennett v. Lucier, 2010 U.S.Dist LEXIS 13038 (N.D.N.Y. 2010).
  • Obtained judgment in federal court in favor of school intervention worker fired without being afforded right to hearing in violation of constitutional right to due process of law as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. Wheeler v Parker, 546 F.Supp.2d 7 (N.D.N.Y 2008). Phillip G. Steck
  • Established on appeal principle that due process of law precludes having multiple hearings against teacher for same alleged wrongdoing. Palkovic v. Johnson, 281 Fed. Appx. 63 (2nd Cir. 2008). Phillip G. Steck.
  • Obtained judgment against School District for retaliating against school cafeteria worker for her speech on the school budget in violation of the First Amendment. Heroux v. Stretton, 8:06-cv-00820 (Northern District NY 2007). Phillip G. Steck
  • Former Athletic Director settled First Amendment lawsuit against Averill Park School District for $567,500. Cioffi v. Averill Park Central School District, 444 F.3d 158 (2nd Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 382 (2006). Phillip G. Steck
  • Won case for maître d’hotel who was fired without a hearing, which deprived him of the benefit of his license issued by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Alvarez v. New York Racing Association, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49110 (N.D.N.Y. 2006) (N.D.N.Y. 2006). Phillip G. Steck.


Labor and Employment

  • Successfully appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit based on failure to give notice that teacher’s seniority would be reduced while on Family and Medical leave (2016). Phillip G. Steck, Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented veteran in disciplinary action based on absences protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (2014). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented nurse in action filed against her employer alleging that her employment termination violated her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Butler v. Rome Ctr., LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137259 (N.D.N.Y Oct. 8, 2015). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented employee in breach of contract and retaliation action against employer in the City Court of Mechanicville, New York. Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully defended lawsuit filed against New York resident in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging breach of non-compete clause. Advantus, Corp. v. Allen, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94001 (M.D. Fla. July 20, 2015). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Obtained federal court injunction against school district for prosecuting a disciplinary case against a teacher for absences protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, including maternity leave and caring for her sick children. Stagliano v. Herkimer Central School Distritct (N.D.N.Y. 2015) Phil Steck and Carlo deOliveira
  • Won reinstatement and over a year of back pay in case against the United States Navy for African scientist whose rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act were violated. Kone v. Department of the Navy, PH-0752-13-0217-I-3, PH-0752-13-0413-I-2 (M.S.P.B. 2015). Phillip G. Steck and Carlo A.C. deOliveira.
  • Successful defense of non-compete case brought against salesman. Barton Mines Co. LLC. Miller, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125611 (NDNY 2014). Phillip G. Steck
  • Successful prosecution of sexual harassment case. Burns v. County of Schenectady, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109648 (N.D.N.Y 2008) Phillip G. Steck
  • Challenged rule that shareholders of foreign corporations are not liable for unpaid wages in the highest court of New York State. Stuto v. Kerber, 18 N.Y.3d 909 (2012). Phillip G. Steck
  • Challenged rule that bonus compensation based on share of firm profits is not wages. Truelove v. Northeast Capital Corporation, 95 N.Y.2d 220 (2000). Phillip G. Steck.
  • Successful confidential settlements of cases involving unpaid wages, alleged violations of non-compete agreements, FMLA, ADA, Age Discrimination, Race Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment. Phillip G. Steck, Carlo A.C. deOliveira (N.D.N.Y., New York Supreme Court, Albany County; the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights)


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CES Employee Rights Weekly Weekly

Topic of the Week

Millennial Bosses

If you haven't already worked for a younger boss, it won't be long. So the days of forcing younger employees to adjust to the rest of us are in the past, it's now our job to adjust to them.

Read more...

Blog of the Week

Slate column asks readers to see the ‘upside’ of sexual harassment in the office

On Tuesday, Slate published another example of a powerful person abusing that power and thus endangering women in the workplace.

Thought for the Week

"The reason people blame things on the previous generations is that there's only one other choice."

–Doug Larson

List of the Week

from Norwegian University of Life Science

Nature Works: Working Without Windows

  • Workers without windows in cubes or offices were 5 times more likely to bring plants
  • Workers without windows were 3 times more likely to bring pictures of nature
  • Workers use pictures and plants to compensate for the lack of a window  

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Employers would pocket $5.8 billion of workers’ tips under Trump administration’s proposed ‘tip stealing’ rule
  2. The Reckoning: Women and Power in the Workplace
  3. Healthcare Insecurities Keep Workers Locked in Jobs
  4. Under Trump, Union Election Rules Could Be Tilted In Employers’ Favor
  5. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on Bias Against Gay Workers

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