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Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Julie Levinson Werner

Julie Levinson Werner

Partner

Expertise

  • Employment & Labor
  • Commercial & Business Litigation
  • Employment
  • Business Litigation

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

WSG Leadership

ABA Group
Member
WSG Coronavirus Task Force Group
Member

Lowenstein Sandler LLP
New York, U.S.A.

Profile

Clients turn to Julie for strategic advice that addresses the potentially wide-ranging impact of employment matters. She serves a dual role as both employment law counselor and litigator, considering the employment actions of a business from every possible angle.

Julie handles employment counseling and litigation for clients—from startups to public companies—in a wide variety of sectors, including technology and life sciences entities. Her counseling practice spans a variety of human resources issues facing employers, such as hiring and recruiting, worker classification, employee terminations, personnel policies, wage and hour matters, and compliance with state and federal EEO requirements. Julie regularly conducts, directs, and advises on workplace investigations involving whistleblower allegations, discrimination, and harassment. She also advises employers on employee mobility issues, including trade secret matters and restrictive covenants. Julie often provides training on discrimination/harassment and managing employees within the law, and she assists with the employment-related aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions.

When counseling matters result in litigation, Julie is a zealous advocate for her clients. She represents employers in litigation matters in federal and state courts on a wide variety of claims, including harassment and discrimination, wrongful termination, trade secret theft, and unfair competition. In addition to handling court trials and arbitrations, she also has extensive mediation experience, as well as experience with administrative proceedings before the EEOC and state agencies. Julie successfully argued Silvestri v. Optus Software, Inc., 175 N.J. 113 (2003), before the New Jersey Supreme Court, in which the court ruled in the employer's favor and held that in satisfaction contracts, it is the employer's subjective business judgment that determines whether the employer is satisfied with the employee's performance.

A frequent contributor to trade publications and client newsletters, Julie has written numerous articles emphasizing litigation-avoidance strategies for employers.

Bar Admissions

    New York
    New Jersey

Education

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D. 1996), magna cum laude
Cornell University (B.A. 1993), with distinction
Areas of Practice

Business Litigation | Commercial & Business Litigation | Employment | Employment & Labor | Employment Counseling & Litigation | Employment Law | Employment Litigation | Employment Lititgation | Family Office Practice | Litigation | The Tech Group

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Regularly counsels New York-based startups and other corporate clients on employment law compliance.

Successfully defended $6.5 million breach of contract lawsuit against investment management firm and prosecuted counterclaims against former executive for breach of loyalty. The matter resulted in our client making no settlement payments and the plaintiff making a payment to our client.

Obtained defense jury verdict for prominent real estate investment trust in disability discrimination and retaliation trial.

Achieved summary judgment in favor of internationally recognized cosmetics company in connection with former employee’s claims of disability discrimination.

Obtained and defended against multiple applications for injunctive relief on restrictive covenant agreements.

Represented a national insurance company in litigation challenging the prior settlement of hundreds of employment discrimination claims.

Obtained a directed verdict at the close of the plaintiff’s evidence at a jury trial on behalf of a small pharmaceutical company involving allegations of reverse race discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Regularly counsels on and resolves difficult employment disputes for clients in matters alleging workplace harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Speaking Engagements

The Employment Counseling & Litigation practice will host a breakfast seminar in our New York office entitled "New York Employment Law Developments in 2017." Topics will include New York wage and hour exemptions, paid family leave in New York, mandatory written agreements for freelancers and consultants, and noncompete legal developments.

With news breaking seemingly every day of sexual harassment involving a variety of industries and powerful individuals, and efforts like the #metoo movement increasing awareness and encouraging victims to take action, it is more important than ever for companies to take steps to prevent sexual harassment. In this seminar, we will discuss:

  • A summary of federal, state, and local laws
  • HR policies, training, investigations and other best practices
  • The future of non-disclosure agreements and confidential settlements
  • Employment practices liability insurance and other business considerations

For more information, email [email protected]

David Wissert and Julie Werner will present “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – What Can Your Company Do to Prevent It?” at ADP Parsippany’s event on sexual harassment.

Please join us for a practical, substantive discussion on workplace conduct investigations. We will provide a working case example prior to the seminar that we will discuss during the seminar. We will also address best practices on how to perform workplace conduct investigations, best practices on how to document workplace conduct investigations and considerations about attorney/client privilege and confidentiality.

For more information, email [email protected]

Julie Levinson Werner, A. Faith English, and Patti Scott will be speaking at the upcoming ACC New Jersey Chapter's Annual All-Day CLE Conference.

As the #Metoo movement shines a spotlight on workplace relationships and conduct, it can be difficult for leaders to navigate relationships with rising stars on their teams.  This program will provide an overview of the #Metoo movement, including background and legal cases; the importance of mentoring in the legal profession; guidelines for facilitating mentoring relationships in the workplace; and best practices to establish training and protocols to ensure appropriate workplace conduct at your organization.

 The event takes place 8 a.m.-7 p.m. at The Hanover Marriott1401 Route 10 E, Whippany, NJ

With so many employment law changes in the last year and more on the way, how do you know if your organization is in compliance with federal, state, and local requirements?

This panel will discuss topics including workplace implications for the legalization of marijuana, paid sick leave and parental leave policies and best practices, and employee and independent contractor classification considerations in a gig economy.

Panelists:

This session takes place 8:30-10:30 a.m. The panel is being held at ADP's Parsippany office at 99 Jefferson Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054.

Julie Levinson Werner, Lauren M. Hollender and Amy C. Schwind will discuss workplace implications for legalization of marijuana; paid sick leave and parental leave policies and best practices; and employee and independent contractor classification considerations in a gig economy. Breakfast will be provided.

Location: Lowenstein Sandler, 1251 6th Ave 17th floor, New York, NY 10020

Time: 8:30 - 10:30 AM

Lowenstein Sandler's Spring Alumni CLE Day will feature three CLE programs on timely legal issues and provide you with an opportunity to reconnect and network with LS attorneys and alumni over lunch.

Program Agenda

Registration and Breakfast
8:30-9 a.m.            

Welcome Remarks
9–9:15 a.m.  

Paid Family, Medical, and Sick Leave Compliance & Best Practices

9:15–10:15 a.m.
Presented by Julie Levinson Werner & Lauren M. Hollender

This program is a discussion of both the New York and New Jersey paid sick leave laws and paid family leave laws.  The program will address the significant impact of recent legislation on employee time off and paid benefits.  Panelists will provide policy and practice tips for employers.  

The Ethics of Client Pitches and Client Secondments
10:30–11:45 a.m.m
Presented by David M. Wissert & Sarah Scott

This CLE will explore the ethical issues that arise when pitching for work from prospective clients by taking an in-depth look at the recent decision in Skybell Technologies, Inc. v. Ring, Inc. and the court’s interpretation of Rule of Professional Conduct 1.18, which addresses the duties owed to prospective clients. The CLE also will explore the ethical requirements for client secondments to avoid the imputation of conflicts of interests between the firm and the client.

Everything You Didn’t Know You Need to Know About U.S. Trade Laws
12-1 p.m.
Presented by Doreen M. Edelman & Andrew Bisbas

Topics will include rapidly changing trade rules impacting clients day to day business including investment fund and merger and acquisition activities, real estate investments and even bankruptcy workouts.  Specifically, we will cover the following regulatory regimes: import regulations and Customs procedures; export regulations, prohibitions, and licensing requirements; changes in CFIUS and FIRRMA filings; U.S. sanctions and embargoes; and foreign investment filing requirements.

Networking Lunch
1-2 p.m.

The program is being held at Lowenstein Sandler, One Lowenstein Drive Roseland, NJ 07068

Please join us on October 15, 2019 in Roseland or on October 16, 2019 in New York for a discussion on evolving workplace culture.

We will address:

  • Impact of today’s political climate on your workforce
  • Career development in the #metoo era
  • Social media and the workplace

Who Should Attend: Human Resource Professionals, Attorneys, and Business Leaders

Join Julie Levinson Werner and Mark P. Kesslen at the 2019 TechGC National Summit, where they will co-lead two separate roundtable discussions. Werner will co-lead roundtable "Employment Issues in the Digital Economy" and Kesslen will co-lead roundtable "IP: Benchmarking IP Strategy/Costs vs. Stage of Industry."

"Employment Issues in the Digital Economy" Roundtable Co-Leaders:

"IP: Benchmarking IP Strategy/Costs vs. Stage of Industry" Roundtable Co-Leaders:

Date: October 24-25, 2019

Time: 3-6 p.m. (10/24); 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (10/25)

Location: New York Stock Exchange, 11 Wall Street, New York, NY

Companies are facing unprecedented challenges in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This crisis is having a direct and immediate impact on the workforce, financing, corporate governance, insurance, the supply chain, and data security.

Join us for a webinar to address the issues arising from coronavirus fallout. Our panel of leaders from a broad-range of practices will give an overview of critical points on which corporate leadership needs immediate guidance.

Topics will include:

  • Employees: how should companies handle employment issues such as confidentiality, exempt/non-exempt issues, paid (and unpaid) time off, salary reductions, furlough, and layoffs?
  • Insurance: what coverage is available, and looking around the corner, what renewal considerations should companies be thinking about?
  • Vendors and Suppliers: Force majeure in contracts, and identifying warning signs of a financially distressed customer and risk mitigation tools
  • Credit Facilities: Availability of funds, notification requirements, financial reporting, financial covenant compliance and communicating with lenders
  • IT and Data Security: Possible fraud and cyber threats especially with remote working
  • Corporate governance: What should boards of directors be doing?

Our attorneys are fielding myriad questions from clients and friends of the firm on how to navigate the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19. Dealing with work-from-home (WFH), balancing employee confidentiality with protecting workforce health, interacting with lenders, being vigilant against cyber fraud, and making sure our boards of directors are engaged and discharging their duty of care, are among the many topics that the panel will discuss and respond to questions. We are very much looking forward to an interactive discussion and strongly encourage you to submit questions here in advance of our program.

Program timing: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST

As small business owners adapt to remote work in this challenging environment, many still feel immediate pain. One in five small businesses could close permanently within two months, according to a new national survey. How can entrepreneurs access the lifelines that are available to them? What strategies can businesses use to continue operating as the country’s economies slowly reopen? And how should companies approach the return to work in a world with COVID-19?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host their seventh virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help business owners survive and succeed during this challenging time. Inc. Editor-At-Large Kimberly Weisul and the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Neil Bradley, will break down the policies that can help you stay afloat now, the strategies that can carry you through this crisis, and the vision to help you plan your business’ future. 

A panel of experts will join them to answer your questions and offer advice as you navigate this pandemic, and plan your safe return to work.

Panelists:

  • Julie Levinson Werner, Partner, Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Sarah Jennings, CPA, Principal, Maner Costerisan
  • Michelle Sourie Robinson, President & CEO, Michican Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Christel C. Slaughter, Ph.D., CEO, SSA Consultants

To see our other material related to the pandemic, please visit the Coronavirus/COVID-19: Facts, Insights & Resources page of our website by clicking here.

 

Our day-to-day business models have been drastically disrupted from COVID-19, and as a result, our workplaces may not look the same for quite some time. As businesses begin to plan to re-enter their workplaces, there are many important factors to consider from a safety and legal standpoint.
We invite you to join us for our virtual CFO Focus on Wednesday, May 27 at 10:00 AM led by Kathleen Alexander, Partner at Sax LLP, and featured guest speakers, Julie Levinson Werner and Lauren Hollender of Lowenstein Sandler LLP. We will discuss recommended guidelines released by agencies like the CDC, OSHA, and the EEOC, and address key safety and health considerations to evaluate from a legal standpoint to help companies plan for recovery and implement the appropriate actions for re-entry.

Topics will include:

  • Workplace entry and screening – employees and visitors
  • Workplace safety, OSHA, and workers compensation issues
  • Protocol for responding to suspected or confirmed on-site COVID-19 exposure
  • Accommodations for vulnerable employees and dependent childcare
  • Flexible work from home, vacation, sick and childcare leave policies

Panelists:

Time: 10 -11:30 a.m.

Diversity, equity and inclusion continue to be top of mind - and for good reason. Business leaders recognize that diversity is essential to growth and innovation. Diversity can strengthen the workforce by helping employers and employees adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of clients, businesses, and the global economy.

Join us as we explore best practices and guidelines on:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and employee resource groups
  • Rooney & Mansfield rules and legal considerations for diversity initiatives
  • Reverse discrimination considerations

Speakers:

Time: 9-10 a.m. EDT



Professional Associations

New Jersey District V-C Ethics Committee (September 2015- August 2019)


Professional Activities and Experience

Accolades
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers (2013-2018) - Werner9

Articles

Long Overdue: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Employees
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, June 2020

What You Need To Know: It is now unlawful under federal law to discriminate against an employee because of that person’s sexual orientation or transgender status. Previously, more than 25 states did not have laws protecting gay employees from discrimination. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision confirms that discrimination based upon one’s sexual orientation or gender identity is discrimination based upon sex and therefore unlawful...

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Reopen
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, April 2020

As businesses begin to plan the reopening of their workplaces, there are many factors to consider. Before bringing employees back to work, employers are best advised to follow the guidelines and recommendations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued...

Before You Cut Your Employees’ Wages–Antitrust for Employers in the Age of COVID-19
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, April 2020

As employers struggle with the poor economic conditions associated with the COVID-19 crisis, many are considering pay cuts. Naturally, in making this decision, many companies will consider what their peers are doing in order to determine how their actions will be received in the marketplace...

Additional Articles

Startup and growth company employees in California rest easy knowing that California believes so strongly in the portability of employment that post-termination noncompetes are generally void, except for a few exceptions as referenced below (especially in the context of noncompetes connected to a sale of a business). That comfort has extended to post-employment nonsolicits, which the California courts have viewed as veiled noncompetes. However, just over a week ago, on September 7, a federal district court in California seems to have strayed from this path. This article briefly explores that recent case, Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC v. Rocine, et al.and the seemingly unanswered questions it raises regarding what employers and employees can expect from post-termination nonsolicits in the Golden State.

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court (“USSC”) will hear arguments in a matter fundamental to how employers and their employees and contractors argue about rights and entitlements. The USSC can, in these matters, equip employers with powerful tools to shut down cases that look like the currently raging Uber class action and the important Microsoft class action (2000), the latter of which resulted in thousands of contractors becoming employees and receiving benefits and equity.


The USSC arguments on Monday in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, and NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. will focus on whether arbitration clauses in the employment or independent contractor context result in enforceable waivers of a worker’s right to bring or participate in a class action. These arguments underscore the rift in federal circuit courts of appeals regarding the interpretation of arbitration agreements as class action waivers in employment and other independent contractor agreements.

Your employee has shared her good news - she is having a baby! She immediately wants to know how much time off she is allowed and how much of that time will be paid. At a minimum, your company must have a parental leave policy that complies with applicable law. A more generous leave policy will help your company attract and retain  talent. Creating a parental leave policy that is right for your business is a complicated, yet important task.


What is Parental Leave?
Parental leave has two parts: (i) pregnancy-related medical leave; and (ii) parental bonding leave. The first type is limited to women who give birth, while parental bonding leave must be offered to both men and women equally. Failing to provide sufficient leave time, or offering leave in a discriminatory manner, can result in a disgruntled employee filing a lawsuit.

It has become increasingly common for employers to offer remote work arrangements to employees who work from home in states outside of the state where the employer’s offices are located. These arrangements can be beneficial to both employees and businesses alike. Employees get additional flexibility and save the time and money associated with commuting. Employers expand their available talent pool while saving money on office space and supplies. New technology has made it possible for employees to work from home without sacrificing productivity and accessibility. However, prior to hiring remote workers, there are various legal and practical implications that employers should consider.


WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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