NYC’s Ellenoff Grossman & Schole Adds Eight Lawyer Labor & Employment Hospitality Team

EGS Ellenoff

Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP (EGS) announced earlier this month, the addition of an eight lawyer Labor & Employment team led by partner David R. Rothfeld.

Amanda Fugazy
Amanda Fugazy

The addition to EGS’ current Labor & Employment team, led by partner Amanda M. Fugazy, gives EGS one of the largest hospitality-focused labor and employment practices in New York City. In addition to Rothfeld, the team includes partners Jennifer M. Schmalz and Robert L. Sacks; of counsel Lois M. Traub and Alexander Soric; associates Jaclyn K. Ruocco, Brian Polivy and Joseph Tangredi; and two legal assistants Lisa Gonzalez and Cara Brownell.

“This group is among the most well-known labor and employment lawyers serving New York City’s diverse hospitality sector, which includes hotels, restaurants, gaming facilities, catering services, private clubs, sports clubs, spas, sports facilities and night clubs,” said EGS’ Founder Douglas S. Ellenoff. “They skillfully resolve complex labor and employment issues in this sector, which has been devastated by the pandemic. The addition of this group deepens our bench strength serving clients in this sector which is so important to the economy of New York City.”

Collectively the eight lawyers moving to Ellenoff Grossman & Schole have more than a century of experience representing hospitality clients in labor and employment matters, including collective bargaining, regulatory, enforcement and compliance issues; workforce development, human resource policies, compensation and benefit matters; and labor and employment disputes. While they have a deep focus on the hospitality industry the team also serves clients in a broad and varied range of industries.

“In 2021 the hospitality industry will have to reinvent itself and cope with labor and workplace complexities impacting their own employees as well as their guests,” said Amanda Fugazy, head of EGS’s Labor & Employment Practice. “There is not a hotel, restaurant, spa, sports facility or any business that welcomes travelers and guests that will not need enormous help navigating the COVID related regulations and laws; the arrival of David and this group could not be better timed.”

“David and his team have had significant success handling labor and employment matters for hospitality businesses and entities in many other sectors,” Douglas Ellenoff, Partner, said. “The team brings to ESG strong client relationships and the client-first approach that complements our own. We look forward to our collaboration and serving all of our clients as, well as providing those clients with expanded services.”

EGS handles labor and employment matters in state and federal courts and before administrative boards, including the EEOC, New York State Division of Human Rights, NLRB and Department of Labor. Among the laws on which it focuses are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, breach of contract, covenants not to compete, duty of loyalty, fiduciary duty, and unfair competition.

“Ellenoff Grossman and Schole’s Labor & Employment Practice is very compatible with our team’s client base, client service approach, and growth,” said Rothfeld. “The firm is highly principled, and the practice is very well respected. Every support we need to be successful is available here, and it already feels like home.”

EGS David Rothfeld
David R. Rothfeld

EGS’ partner David R. Rothfeld will lead the firm’s traditional labor law practice and specializes in the representation of management in negotiating collective bargaining agreements. In this capacity, Rothfeld serves as Chief Labor negotiator for the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc., and negotiates initial opening and renewal collective bargaining agreements for all types of businesses, including, hotels, restaurants and gaming facilities.

Rothfeld represents clients in many sectors, including hospitality, real estate, manufacturing, service industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. Rothfeld is a member of the Cornell Institute for Hospitality and Labor Relations Board, and frequently participates in events at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and its Law School’s Labor and Employment Law Round Table. He is included in the 22nd edition of The Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law, Management and Labor Law and Management and has been chosen a “Super Lawyer” for the New York Metropolitan area.

EGS’ Partner Jennifer M. Schmalz advises employers in all facets of labor and employment law, with broad experience in preventing and resolving workplace disputes, compliance with the variety of laws governing the workplace, and the labor and employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

Schmalz has successfully litigated matters involving employment discrimination, wrongful termination, violations of restrictive covenants, breach of contract and wage and hour violations, representing clients before the Department of Labor, NLRB, EEOC, and other state and local administrative agencies. Her experience spans many industries including travel and hospitality, real estate, transportation, financial services, health care, manufacturing, technology and nonprofit corporations. She also provides preventative advice and business planning.

EGS’ Partner Robert L. Sacks represents clients in all phases of labor and employment on behalf of management and in ERISA matters related to multi-employer plans and trade association law. The author of Rules Creating a Collective Contract Between an Employer and a Union for the ABA Section of Labor Relations Law, Committee on Labor Relations and the Law of Collective Bargaining Agreements, he also designed the legal and administrative framework for a multi-employer welfare arrangement in the freelance commercial production industry.

EGS’ of counsel Lois M. Traub represents management in labor and employment litigation, including employment discrimination and unfair labor practice proceedings at city, state and federal agencies and in state and federal courts as well the NLRB. Traub also represents employers in labor arbitrations, labor contracts, employment and separation agreements. She has assisted with developing personnel policies and advised clients on state and federal labor law compliance. She serves clients in diverse industries, including hotels, restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes, manufacturing concerns, newspapers and the publishing industry, real estate developers, contractors, and municipalities and state public authorities.

EGS’ of counsel Alexander Soric represents management in labor relations matters, including arbitration hearings, collective bargaining, mediations, and matters before the NLRB. He also trains managers in labor relations and anti-harassment. Soric has represented clients in class actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis-Bacon Act and New York wage-hour matters in federal and state courts and in federal, state and local agencies. His clients include casino gaming, telecommunications, hotels, restaurants, private clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, manufacturers, construction contractors, universities and nonprofits. He has also served as court-appointed labor counsel to receivers for hotels in receivership.

EGS’ associate Jaclyn K. Ruocco represents management in labor relations, employment counseling, and employment litigation defense, including discrimination claims, wage and hour disputes, and disputes under the Family Medical Leave Act.

EGS’ associate Brian Polivy focuses on labor matters, such as labor arbitration and collective bargaining, and has also defended complex labor and employment litigations in federal and state court.

EGS’ associate Joseph Tangredi’s represents management in labor relations disputes, employment discrimination claims and wage and hour litigations.

Mr. Rothfeld and his team were formerly at Kane Kessler, P.C.

The addition of the new team will enable EGS’ to continue to be able to provide the highest quality legal advice and counsel, dedicating consistent, personalized attention to each client at a reasonable price. The concept is based upon the significant experience and expertise in the areas of practice in which they specialize and a belief that they provide greater efficiency of service and, consequently, reduced actual and time expense to our clients.


Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP is a corporate focused law firm comprised of over 100 professionals, offering its clients legal services in a broad range of business related matters. Founded in 1992, the Firm specializes in many areas of commercial law: Corporate, Securities, Real Estate, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Private Investment Funds, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Labor, Employment, ERISA, Executive Compensation, Tax and Estate Planning.