Eli Freedberg is an experienced lawyer who has worked on cases on behalf of major corporations, mid-sized and small businesses, and individuals. Eli works to create workplace solutions for his clients across the hospitality (including hotels, restaurants, resorts, spas, country clubs, golf clubs, and fitness clubs), health care, retail, and financial industries.
He defends employers in litigation at both the federal and state levels, including matters related to the FLSA, ADA, Title VII, FMLA, and various state and local laws. Eli is an experienced litigator who has taken cases to arbitration and prevailed on motions for summary judgment. He also advises clients regarding the protection of trade secrets and the misappropriation of confidential or proprietary information, both defending employers and pursuing enforcement against former employees.
- Prevailed on motion for summary judgment against an international food services and facilities management company and successfully dismissed Title VII and ADA claims
- Prevailed on summary judgment against a national transportation company and successfully dismissed equal pay, race and gender discrimination claims
- Successfully defended dozens of restaurant groups in class actions alleging improper tip credit and tip pooling arrangements
- Represented large health care providers in discrimination claims brought by employees
- Defended hotels and restaurant groups in class actions alleging improper distribution of service charges
- Advised employers on wage and hour compliance and conducting internal wage hour audits
- Drafted comments on behalf of trade organizations to governmental agencies in response to proposed changes to wage and hour law
- Successfully defended employers in Department of Labor investigations concerning compliance with overtime and regular rate of pay calculations and child labor issues
- Defended hospitality owners and operators and health care providers in lawsuits alleging discrimination from accessibility barriers by guests with disabilities under Title III of the ADA
- Successfully defended a former employee and new employer for claims of destruction of evidence and misappropriation of company trade secrets
- Conducted workplace training sessions for employees and managers and human resources personnel concerning performance management, harassment, diversity, EEO issues, and wage/hour issues, including pay practices and exempt/nonexempt classification issues
Eli is a popular speaker and frequent contributor to publications regarding topics related to tip credit/tip pools/service charge compliance, wage and hour compliance, prevention of harassment and discrimination, and effective employment policies.
Eli also serves as the New York coordinator and liaison for Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute (WPI). Eli focuses on New York State and New York City legislative and regulatory developments in employment and labor law, as well as municipal ordinances and regulation of the workplace. As part of this initiative, Eli has organized a coalition to challenge New York City’s Fair Workweek laws, which have had an extraordinarily detrimental and costly impact on New York City’s fast food establishments. Eli has also drafted comments to regulatory entities such as the New York State Department of Labor in response to proposed regulations on behalf of numerous individual clients and trade organization. He also assists the employer community in understanding New York legislation before it becomes law and adapting policies to comply with these new laws.