WHAT I DO

Whether you work on Wall Street or Main Street, for a Fortune 500 multinational or an “start-up”, the workplace environment, and the rights of employees and employers within that environment, have become extremely complex. Over the past 15+ years, I have successfully represented executives, managers, and employees in New York City, the Tri-State area and elsewhere around the United States and World by helping them understand these complexities, and leveling the legal playing field with their employers.

 

Working closely with my clients, I educate them about their legal and practical risks, rights and opportunities before making employment related decisions that will affect their professional objectives and compensation. Then, using the tools of negotiation, litigation and/or arbitration, I assist executives and employees in attaining their employment related objectives, as well as resolving their employment related disputes, as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can focus on their futures.


AREAS OF FOCUS

Executives and employees have used my strategic counsel to enhance and protect their compensation, severance and careers through negotiation, litigation, and/or arbitration on an extensive range of employment issues including:

Employment, Retention and Equity Agreements / Offer Letters

Assist executives/employees

in understanding and negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment agreements and offer letters

Discrimination & Retaliation

Help protect executives/employees

from negative decisions made by their employers based on their age, race, national origin, pregnancy, disability, religion, gender and sexual orientation or for reporting such illegally motivated treatment in violation of federal, state and city statutes

Severance Agreements

Assist executives/employees

with applying their unique leverage, to an appropriate target, in the correct manner, to improve the terms and conditions of their severance offer

Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements & Disputes

Help executives/employees

reduce and/or eliminate the scope and impact of these restrictions on their careers

Bonus, Equity & Compensation Issues

Assist executives/employees

to recover all of the salary, bonuses, commissions, equity and benefits they were promised and/or earned during their employment

Sexual Harassment

Assist the victims

of sexual harassment as well as defend executives/employees accused of such behavior

Human Resource Issues

Provide strategic counseling

on how to interact with HR on issues including resignations, performance warnings, interpersonal conflicts with managers and co-workers, reporting discrimination/retaliation and violations of law, employer policies and codes of conduct, FMLA & Disability leave, and disability accommodations

Pension & Benefit Rights

Review, negotiate and litigate violations of ERISA, FMLA, the WARN Act as well as related state statutes


WHO IS TRACEY?

 


Professional Story

I have been practicing law as a member of the New York State Bar for more than 20 years, and before the Eastern and Southern Federal District Courts for more than 15 years.  I attended college at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where I graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 1990.  I then attended Brooklyn Law School where I graduated cum laude in 1993.

Following law school, and before opening my current law firm Himmel & Bernstein, LLP in 2005, I worked as a Staff Attorney for the NYPD, clerked for the Hon. Lorraine S. Miller, JSC, and was a partner in the law firm of Sklover, Himmel & Bernstein, LLP.

To learn more about my services, feel free to reach out with further questions, sign-up to receive Tracey’s Tips by email or follow me on Linked In, Facebook and/or Twitter.


Personal Story

When not busy counseling executives and employees, I volunteer my time as a member of the Board of Directors of Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc. which provides counseling and medical assistance to families and individuals in crisis due to mental health and addiction issues.  For fun I can be found trail running with my dog, climbing rocks and mountains, skiing and scuba diving.

I am also an avid traveler, a voracious reader, and a “very” amateur guitar player.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Q:        What types of employee / employer issues do you assist with?

A:        I assist with issues related to employment, severance, retention, non-compete/non-solicit and equity agreements, bonus & salary disputes, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, whistle-blowing, Human Resource relations.

Q:        When is the right time to meet with you regarding my employment issue?

A:        While there are no clear guidelines, a proactive approach is always best. Contacting a lawyer to discuss your options prior to any employment decision gives you a better opportunity to shape your own future and to prevent problems before they begin or escalate further.

Q:        How do I work with clients?

A:        In almost all instances, the first step is to have an initial consultation. At that time, I will review your situation and provide guidance as to your options for proceeding on your own, or hiring me to assist you.

Q:        How much do I charge?

A:        For more details regarding my current consultation, hourly contingency and retainer rates please contact me directly.

Q:        Do I need to come to your office in order for us to work together?

A:        No. I often represent individuals throughout the United States and internationally. Most, if not all, of the work can be done via a combination of telephone and electronic mail if you are unable to meet in person.

Q:        Do I represent companies?

A:        Yes. I represent small companies (i.e., less than 20-30 employees) so that there are no conflicts of interest as my clients are almost always employed by large organizations.

TRACEY’S TIPS

An expanding collection of “brief” thoughts on a variety of employment issues that
executives and employees commonly face at work.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

EXECUTIVE CONTRACT: SEVERANCE

Companies are often reluctant to grant an executive severance upon the expiration of the executive’s contract term. When negotiating an executive employment agreement under these circumstances, the fall back position is to eliminate the term completely and become an “at will” employee.
[…]

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET FIRED

Getting fired is a painful experience that usually comes without warning and, sometimes, under suspect circumstances.  For many, it causes upheaval to ones career, family and self-esteem. I often equate the employment relationship to dating and depending on the length of the employment relationship and the manner of the termination emotions can often run amok.
[…]

IS HR YOUR FRIEND?

That the answer is “no.”  Yet, time and time again employees place to much trust in Human Resource (“HR”) personnel only to learn at a later time that they were mistaken to do so.
[…]

NON-COMPETES: THE PRACTICAL RISK

Whether it is a new job, or an existing one, you may be asked at anytime to agree to limit where you may work or what clients you may contact after your employment ends.  The question is not whether these “restrictive covenants” are enforceable but what effect will they have on your career.
[…]

GET IN TOUCH

 

Tracey can be reached through his law firm, Himmel & Bernstein, LLP, at the address below.

HB logo

Himmel & Bernstein, LLP
928 Broadway, New York, NY 10010
(212) 631-0200
tbernstein@hbesq.com