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Kristen E. Smith

Member

Syracuse, NY

(315) 218-8513

(315) 218-8100 fax

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 2005)
  • Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (B.S., 1996)
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Kristen E. Smith

Kristen works with employers, large and small, to help ensure compliance with the complex maze of labor and employment laws. She provides practical, tailored advice to help clients avert costly and damaging employment-related claims. Kristen’s prior experience working in human resource management with several large corporations (including Exelon and Bose) gives her a unique and helpful perspective into the day-to-day realities of being an employer. She merges this practical knowledge with her legal experience to provide each client with a realistic, pragmatic approach to solving employment law challenges. For example, Kristen helps employers solve confusing employee accommodation and leave issues, conducts wage and hour and employment policy audits, and assists in the implementation of reductions in force. Some of the laws that she counsels employers on include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
  • New York Labor Law
   

When employers, despite their best compliance efforts, are faced with employment-related claims, Kristen defends these claims. Kristen is an experienced employment litigator, defending employers before the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the New York State Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Division. She also defends employment-related lawsuits filed in state and federal court, and has successfully defended multiple suits before the Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. She also participates in the mediation of employment claims. Some of her representative employment litigation matters include:

  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing federal court action in its entirety against a large healthcare client. The matter involved allegations of sexual harassment, race and age discrimination, and retaliation. Successfully argued the appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the dismissal of the case.
  • Was granted summary judgment for school district in a case filed in federal court and involving allegations of gender-based discrimination and harassment, as well as constitutional due process violations.
  • Secured dismissal of a disability discrimination and Family Medical Leave Act lawsuit against a large healthcare client prior to discovery, saving the client thousands in litigation costs.

Kristen works with both non-union and union employers, and has experience in the arbitration of labor relations disputes and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.

She is a frequent presenter and trainer, regularly appearing at events sponsored by the Central New York chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (CNY SHRM). She trains human resource professionals at all levels, and also provides in-house training to employees and supervisors about a wide variety of topics, including workplace harassment, wage and hour compliance, and employee performance management.