Christopher Collins is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's New York office.
Areas of Practice
For more than 25 years, Chris has represented employers in litigation alleging employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, as well as cases involving non-compete agreements and compensation disputes. In litigated matters, he has represented clients in a wide range of fields, including financial services, insurance, technology, retail, management consulting, professional services, entertainment, media and advertising.
In addition to court litigation (including jury trials), he routinely represents employers in FINRA arbitrations, before administrative agencies and in mediation. He also represents companies and executives in employment contract negotiations.
Chris also has a substantial advice and counseling practice, partnering with clients on policy design, litigation avoidance strategies, and compliance best practices, including issues involving progressive discipline, disability accommodation and minimizing exposure to retaliation allegations. He also routinely conducts training on a variety of employment law compliance subjects. He also advises employers on effective internal investigation practices, and conducts independent investigations of workplace issues for clients.
- Obtained order lifting TRO and denying preliminary injunction in non-compete action involving medical device manufacturers in New Jersey federal court (October 2019).
- Represented financial services firm in 2 ½ week jury trial in case alleging breach of contract and related claims by former employee. Complete jury verdict for defendant (2014).
- Giller v. Oracle USA, Inc., 2012 WL 467323 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), aff’d, 512 Fed. Appx. 71 (2d Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S.Ct. 531, 187 L.Ed.2d 394 (2013). Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s petition to vacate arbitration award in commission compensation dispute, affirmed by Second Circuit on appeal.
- DiGirolamo v. MetLife Group, Inc., 2011 WL 2421292 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), aff’d, 494 Fed. Appx. 120 (2d Cir. 2012). Obtained summary judgment for client dismissing race, gender, and national origin discrimination claims.
- Lee and Sliger v. MetLife, Inc., N.Y. Supreme Court, Kings Co. (2009). Obtained summary judgment for defendant dismissing contract and fraudulent inducement claims.
- Prudent v. Caspi & Travel Bound, 2004 WL 1907749 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). Obtained dismissal of individual defendant in Title VII case.
- Blum v. New York Stock Exchange, Inc., 298 A.D.2d 343, 751 N.Y.S.2d 202 (2d Dept. 2002). Obtained summary judgment for NYSE dismissing ADA Title III claim for accommodation on stock exchange floor, affirmed by N.Y. Appellate Division on appeal.
- Preston v. American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Health Fund, 2002 WL 1009458 (S.D.N.Y. 2002), aff’d, 63 Fed.Appx. 536 (2d Cir. 2003). Obtained dismissal of ERISA claims for wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of benefits fund and its trustees.
- Donofrio v. New York Times, 2001 WL 1663314 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). Obtained summary judgment for defendant dismissing ADA reasonable accommodation claims based on plaintiff’s failure to engage in interactive process.
- Williams v. Alliance Nat. Inc., aff’d, 24 Fed. Appx. 50 (2d Cir. 2001). Obtained summary judgment for defendant client in Title VII race discrimination case; affirmed by Second Circuit on appeal.
- Campbell v. Alliance National Inc., 107 F.Supp. 2d 234 (2000). Obtained summary judgment for defendant client in Title VII race discrimination case.
- EEOC v. Museum of Modern Art, 97 Civ. 9571 (S.D.N.Y. 1999). Represented MoMA in jury trial brought by EEOC alleging disability discrimination. Complete jury verdict for defendant.
- Pascuiti v. New York Yankees, 87 F.Supp.2d 221 (S.D.N.Y. 1999). Obtained order establishing burdens of proof in ADA Title III stadium accessibility case.
- Unotti v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., 180 Misc.2d 543, 689 N.Y.S.2d 870 (N.Y. Sup., 1999). Obtained summary judgment for defendant dismissing retaliation claim under NY Human Rights Law.
- Toro v. Depository Trust Co., 166 F.3d 1201 (2d Cir. 1998). Obtained dismissal of disability discrimination claims, affirmed by Second Circuit on appeal.
Labor and Employment, Legal 500, 2016
Labor & Employment Law Blog Posts
- "Connecticut Tells Employers to 'Stay Safe, Stay At Home'," March 23, 2020
- "New Jersey Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay At Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses," March 23, 2020
- "NYC Bans Discrimination Based on Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions," April 24, 2019
- "New NYC Law Requires Employers to Engage in “Cooperative Dialogue” for Workplace Accommodations," July 31, 2018
- "New York City Temporary Schedule Change Law Now in Effect," July 25, 2018
- "Second Circuit Holds that FLSA Settlements Require Court or Department of Labor Approval," September 18, 2015
- "NYC Council Votes to Sharply Restrict Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks," June 12, 2015
- "Supreme Court Sides with EEOC in Abercrombie & Fitch Hijab Case," June 12, 2015
- "Sixth Circuit Holds That Ford Motor Co. Was Not Required to Accommodate Telecommuting," April 23, 2015
- "Major Shakeup at NYC Commission on Human Rights," December 1, 2014
- "The EEOC’s Assault on Separation Agreements – A Bump in the Road, But It’s Far From Over," October 29, 2014
- "DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages," July 17, 2014
- "Expected Executive Order Protecting LGBT Employees has Implications for Employers," June 23, 2014
- "Court Upholds New Jersey’s Ban on Unemployment Discrimination in Job Advertisements," February 6, 2014
- "NLRB Abandons Fight Over Mandatory Workplace Poster Rule," January 22, 2014
- "New York Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available to Former Employees Receiving Severance," January 10, 2014
- "New York City Now Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers," October 2, 2013
- "New Jersey Law Now Protects Employees Who Ask Fellow Employees (or Former Employees) for Their Salary Information," September 26, 2013
- "New Jersey Employers May Not "Like" State's New Social Media 'Privacy Settings,'" September 12, 2013
- "Developments in Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and the SEC Whistleblower Program," 13th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, November 9, 2019
- Fall 2018, 10.30.2018
- Spring 2017, 05.23.2017
- Accommodating Disabilities with Acumen, Protecting Data with Diligence, and Avoiding Class Actions with ClassRetail Best Practices, 09.29.2015
- Grand Hyatt New York, 11.05.2013
American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment
New York State Bar Association
New York City Bar Association, LGBT Rights Committee
LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York
J.D., George Washington University Law School, Notes Editor, George Washington Law Review, 1990, with honors
Ph.D., Fordham University, 2016
B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1987, with honors
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Courts - Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, District of New Jersey, District of Connecticut