Overview

A highly successful and skilled litigator, Margaret A. Clemens has represented and counseled employers and employee benefit plans and their fiduciaries in all aspects of employment law, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cases, for more than 34 years. 

Maggie’s ERISA litigation experience includes the successful defense of:

  • An employee benefit plan and its fiduciary for failure to provide plan benefits, or alternatively, for breach of fiduciary duty
  • Claims against plans and plan fiduciaries for failure to adequately disclose plan terms
  • Claims against plan fiduciaries regarding improper plan amendments
  • Challenges to modifications and termination of plan benefits, including retiree health care
  • State law claims against employers that are preempted by ERISA

Maggie has used her extensive courtroom experience in federal and in New York state courts to represent national, regional and local employers throughout trial and, if needed, at the appellate level, including to the  U.S. Supreme Court. She has advocated and defended her clients against employment claims using her considerable and specific knowledge of such areas as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act and other wage and hour laws
  • The New York State Human Rights Law

Keeping in mind the goal of minimizing risks and business disruptions, Maggie also provides employment counseling and training for clients confronted with ever-changing employment issues including:

  • New laws and regulations on sexual harassment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Compliance with federal and state laws on disability and medical leaves
  • Recent developments in ERISA
  • Laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment
  • Discipline and termination
  • Violence in the workplace
  • Employment policies and handbooks
  • The Equal Pay Act

Founder of Littler's Rochester office, Maggie previously worked at another firm, where she served as head of the ERISA litigation practice group and served on the firm's diversity and pro bono committees. When Maggie came to Littler, she also served on Littler’s Diversity Committee and now serves on its Associates Review Committee and is involved with mentoring associates. 

While in law school, Maggie was the executive director of the Albany Law Review and was an active member of the Women in Law Organization.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

Former Board of Directors Member

Greater Rochester Area Women's Bar Association (GRAWA)

1984-present

Member

Judicial Evaluation Committee

Greater Rochester Area Women's Bar Association (GRAWA)

President, Board of Directors

Former Secretary and Treasurer

Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County (VLSP)

Board service 2012-present

Past President, Board of Directors

Service on the Board from 1998-2002 and 2006-2011, including on ABW’s Executive and Personnel Committees

Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW) now known as Willow

Past President, Board of Directors

Service on the Board from 1998-2002 and 2006-2011, including on ABW’s Executive and Personnel Committees

Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW) now known as Willow

Member

New York State Bar Association

1984-present

Member

Monroe County Bar Association

1984-present

Former Member, Board of Directors

Leader of Brownie and Girl Scout troops for fifteen years

Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley

Past Member

Finger Lakes LGBT Workplace Alliance

Past Participant

Leadership Rochester

Recognition

Named, Attorney of the Year

New York Daily Record

2016

Named, The Best Lawyers in America©

2003-2020

Named, Lawyer of the Year

Labor Law - Management, Rochester

The Best Lawyers in America©

2013-2018, 2020

Named, Super Lawyer

Upstate New York

Super Lawyers

2014-2018

Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating

Martindale-Hubbell

Recipient, Kate Stoneman Award

Albany Law School

2011

Finalist, Athena Award

2005 and 2008

Recognized, 4th Annual Satthi Dinner

2008

Recipient, Award of Merit

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

2007

Finalist, "W" Award

Rochester Women's Network

2004

Recipient, President's Pro Bono Service Attorney Award

New York State Bar Association

2003

Recipient, Restore the Hope Award

Alternatives for Battered Women

2002

Recipient, Pro Bono Award

New York State Women's Bar Association

1999

Nominee, Nathaniel Award

1998

Honoree, 100 Heroines

Rochester

1998

Recipient, Service Award

Alternatives for Battered Women

1998

Nominee, President Clinton's Service Award

1997

Finalist, Golden Rule Award

United Way and J.C. Penney

1996

Recipient, Attorney Advisor Award

Monroe County Bar Association

1989

Recipient, William McKnight Volunteer Service Award

Volunteer Legal Services Project

1987

News, Analysis & Press

Speaking Engagements

Hot Topics for New York Employers

Fairport, NY

November 1, 2016

2016 Employee Benefits Update - Rochester

Fairport, NY

January 28, 2016

Violence in the Workplace

Fairport, NY

November 10, 2015

Annual NY Legal Update: The Top Employment and Labor Issues Affecting New York Employers

Fairport, NY

November 18, 2014

“Adapt, Armor & Avoid” – New Challenges in Wage and Hour Compliance

Fairport, NY

September 16, 2014

Hot Topics: Current Employment and Labor Issues Affecting New York Employers

Fairport, NY

October 16, 2013

Getting it Right: Strategies for Maintaining an Effective Corporate Ethics & Compliance Program

Fairport, NY

April 10, 2013

Leave Me Alone: Handling FMLA Leave Abuse and Post-FMLA Accommodation

September 28, 2012

What You Need To Know about the Role of Employment Taxes in Everyday Business Affairs

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 11, 2012

A Look Back / A Look Forward Legal Update: The Top Employment and Labor Issues Affecting New York Employers

Fairport, NY

April 26, 2012

The Employee from Hell

Fairport, NY

November 17, 2011

A New York Legal Update: The Top Employment and Labor Laws Affecting New York Employers Right Now

Fairport, NY

June 3, 2011

NY Employment Laws

Hospice and Palliative Care Association

May 2011

New York Benefits Summit

New York, NY

February 10, 2011

Social Media in the Workplace: Is Your Company the Next Victim?

Fairport, NY

November 12, 2010

Transgender Issues in Employment Law

New York Bar Association

May 2010

New York Employment Law Update

Fairport, NY

January 28, 2010

Update on NY Employment Law

Society for Human Resource Management

2010

Pension Litigation in the US

2010 National Conference - ACPM

2010

Health Care Reform

Human Resource Association

2010

The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney Client Privilege

ERISA Litigation Conference

2009

Education

  • J.D., Albany Law Schoolmagna cum laude
  • B.A., State University of New York at Albanysumma cum laude

Bar Admission

New York

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania