Barbara V. Cusumano regularly represents management in single- and multi-party matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour regulations, defamation, breach of contract claims, and unemployment benefits. She has successfully defended employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, and routinely counsels clients on a wide range of employment issues.
In representing clients in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, restaurants, and education, as well as public entities such as school districts, Barbara strives to create innovative solutions that meet each company’s unique needs and goals. She also limits potential financial exposure to clients by conducting internal audits, drafting employee handbooks, and revising employment policies in order to ensure compliance with:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
- Other federal, state, and local employment laws
Her practice includes drafting motions and supporting papers, appellate and post-arbitration briefs, responses to administrative charges, and settlement, non-compete, nondisclosure, and separation agreements. She conducts settlement negotiations and participates in all phases of discovery, including conducting witness interviews and initial investigations, as well as taking and defending depositions. In this capacity, she is experienced in counseling clients regarding document retention and production obligations and coordinating and supervising forensic data collection specialists to secure, copy, and review electronic data.
Barbara participates in union negotiations and arbitrations. She often presents at seminars to instruct clients on internal wage and hour audits and best practices for employment policies. She has aided charter schools with respect to colocation, student data privacy, and other issues, and has experience advising school districts on teacher disciplinary issues. She has represented clients with respect to violations of local environmental protection regulations.
In a prior role, Barbara represented international and domestic insurers in coverage matters, where she regularly assessed the strengths and weaknesses of employment cases to minimize liability to clients and the businesses they insured. She researched international, federal, and state employment laws to effectively direct litigation strategy through management of outside counsel and to draft policy language. In this position, she frequently negotiated settlements through mediation.
During a fellowship with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division, Barbara defended and advocated for juveniles in judicial delinquency proceedings and represented New York City youth in civil rights class action suits challenging the constitutionality of state agency practices. Earlier in her career, Barbara worked for various elected officials, including the New York State Comptroller, to collaborate with public agencies in order to aid constituents with issues including public assistance, foster care, and employment. She drafted memoranda on major policy issues and community concerns, wrote testimony to be delivered during state education and health bill hearings, and researched and drafted reports on proposed state budget sections.
*Admitted in New York, Massachusetts and Virginia only. Not admitted in the District of Columbia. Practicing under the supervision of shareholders of the firm.