Tracey S. Bernstein, Esq.

Severance & Employment Representation


For more than 20 years I have successfully represented executives, managers and employees throughout New York, the United States and the World.

Whether you work on Wall Street or Main Street, for a Fortune 500 multinational or a “start-up”, the workplace environment and the rights of employees and employers within that environment, are extremely complex. I can help you understand and navigate these complexities.

I level the legal playing field between employees and employers. I work closely with executives and employees to educate them about their legal and practical risks, rights and opportunities before making employment related decisions that will affect their professional objectives and compensation. I use the tools of negotiation, litigation and/or arbitration to assist executives and employees in attaining their employment related objectives, and help resolve their employment related disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can focus on their futures.



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
I assist executives/employees in understanding and negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment agreements and offer letters
Discrimination & Retaliation
I help protect executives/employees from negative decisions 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
I assist executives/employees in improving the terms and conditions of their severance offer by applying their unique leverage...to an appropriate target...in the correct manner
Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements & Disputes
I help executives/employees reduce and/or eliminate the scope and impact of Non-compete, Non-solicitation, and Confidentiality Agreements and Disputes
Bonus, Equity & Compensation Issues
I assist executives/employees in recovering all of the salary, bonuses, commissions, equity and benefits they were promised and/or earned during their employment
Sexual Harassment
I assist the victims of sexual harassment as well as defend executives/employees accused of such behavior
Human Resource Issues
I 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
I review, negotiate and litigate violations of ERISA, FMLA, the WARN Act


Professional Story

Tracey is a member of the New York State Bar since 1994 and the Utah State Bar since 2019. He has been practicing law before the Trial and Appellate Courts of New York State for more than 25 years. He has spent more than 20 of those years appearing before the Federal Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts.

Tracey received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School.

Following law school, and before opening his current law firm Himmel & Bernstein, LLP in 2005, Tracey worked as a Staff Attorney for the NYPD. He also 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 Tracey, his services, and how he might be able to help you: Email him at [email protected], or call him at (212) 631-0200.

Personal Story

When not practicing law, Tracey can be found trail running and mountain biking with his dog Parker, climbing rocks and mountains, skiing and scuba diving.

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


tracey bernstein arrows
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 and 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 you 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 you charge?

A: Contact me directly to discuss my current consultation, hourly contingency and retainer rates.

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

A: No, you do not need to come to my office. I 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 you represent companies?

A: Yes, I represent small companies (i.e., less than 20-30 employees). However, I avoid conflicts of interest as the vast majority of my clients work for large companies and I do not represent employees within the same organization.


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


  • All
  • Compensation & Equity
  • Employment Contracts & Offer Letters
  • Employment Litigation & Discrimination
  • Human Resource Issues
  • Job Protection & Security
  • New Job Opportunity
  • Non-Compete & Confidentiality Issues
  • Termination & Severance Issues



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


Yet, time and time again employees place too much trust in Human Resource (“HR”) personnel only to learn at a later time that it was


Getting fired is a painful experience that usually comes without warning and, sometimes, under suspect circumstances.  Depending on the length of the employment relationship and


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

Himmel & Bernstein, LLP
928 Broadway, New York, NY 10010
(212) 631-0200
[email protected]