Cooper Erving & Savage, LLP

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Representative Cases

Civil Rights

  • Obtained preliminary injunction against municipality in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act in which municipality was ordered to approve zoning application for facility serving individuals with mental illness. Step by Step, Inc. v. City of Ogdensburg, 7:15-CV-925 (N.D.N.Y. April 5, 2016). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Obtained judgment against City of Albany for taking client's vehicle without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Hines v. City of Albany, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68548 (N.D.N.Y 2011). Phillip G. Steck
  • Jury determination that whistleblower's speech was protected activity under the First Amendment and that her speech was a substantial factor in the termination of her employment. McLaughlin v. Pezzola, 7:06-cv-00376 (N.D.N.Y. 2011). Phillip G. Steck
  • Successful outcome for teacher’s aide and coach fired from school district for union activity in violation of the First Amendment. Bennett v. Lucier, 2010 U.S.Dist LEXIS 13038 (N.D.N.Y. 2010).
  • Obtained judgment in federal court in favor of school intervention worker fired without being afforded right to hearing in violation of constitutional right to due process of law as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. Wheeler v Parker, 546 F.Supp.2d 7 (N.D.N.Y 2008). Phillip G. Steck
  • Established on appeal principle that due process of law precludes having multiple hearings against teacher for same alleged wrongdoing. Palkovic v. Johnson, 281 Fed. Appx. 63 (2nd Cir. 2008). Phillip G. Steck.
  • Obtained judgment against School District for retaliating against school cafeteria worker for her speech on the school budget in violation of the First Amendment. Heroux v. Stretton, 8:06-cv-00820 (Northern District NY 2007). Phillip G. Steck
  • Former Athletic Director settled First Amendment lawsuit against Averill Park School District for $567,500. Cioffi v. Averill Park Central School District, 444 F.3d 158 (2nd Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 382 (2006). Phillip G. Steck
  • Won case for maître d’hotel who was fired without a hearing, which deprived him of the benefit of his license issued by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Alvarez v. New York Racing Association, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49110 (N.D.N.Y. 2006) (N.D.N.Y. 2006). Phillip G. Steck.


Labor and Employment

  • Successfully appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit based on failure to give notice that teacher’s seniority would be reduced while on Family and Medical leave (2016). Phillip G. Steck, Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented veteran in disciplinary action based on absences protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (2014). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented nurse in action filed against her employer alleging that her employment termination violated her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Butler v. Rome Ctr., LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137259 (N.D.N.Y Oct. 8, 2015). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully represented employee in breach of contract and retaliation action against employer in the City Court of Mechanicville, New York. Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Successfully defended lawsuit filed against New York resident in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging breach of non-compete clause. Advantus, Corp. v. Allen, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94001 (M.D. Fla. July 20, 2015). Carlo A. C. de Oliveira
  • Obtained federal court injunction against school district for prosecuting a disciplinary case against a teacher for absences protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, including maternity leave and caring for her sick children. Stagliano v. Herkimer Central School Distritct (N.D.N.Y. 2015) Phil Steck and Carlo deOliveira
  • Won reinstatement and over a year of back pay in case against the United States Navy for African scientist whose rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act were violated. Kone v. Department of the Navy, PH-0752-13-0217-I-3, PH-0752-13-0413-I-2 (M.S.P.B. 2015). Phillip G. Steck and Carlo A.C. deOliveira.
  • Successful defense of non-compete case brought against salesman. Barton Mines Co. LLC. Miller, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125611 (NDNY 2014). Phillip G. Steck
  • Successful prosecution of sexual harassment case. Burns v. County of Schenectady, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109648 (N.D.N.Y 2008) Phillip G. Steck
  • Challenged rule that shareholders of foreign corporations are not liable for unpaid wages in the highest court of New York State. Stuto v. Kerber, 18 N.Y.3d 909 (2012). Phillip G. Steck
  • Challenged rule that bonus compensation based on share of firm profits is not wages. Truelove v. Northeast Capital Corporation, 95 N.Y.2d 220 (2000). Phillip G. Steck.
  • Successful confidential settlements of cases involving unpaid wages, alleged violations of non-compete agreements, FMLA, ADA, Age Discrimination, Race Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment. Phillip G. Steck, Carlo A.C. deOliveira (N.D.N.Y., New York Supreme Court, Albany County; the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights)


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CES Employee Rights Weekly Weekly

Topic of the Week

What are Right-to-Work laws and how do they affect you?

In the public-sector union context, right-to-work laws mean that union members do not have to pay union dues to be members of the union. In states that have enacted right-to-work laws that apply to private employers, although states vary, most Right-to-

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Blog of the Week

You Can Be Fired for Not Showing Up to Work During a Hurricane

We all know that you can lose your home and your belongings, but politicians never talk about the fact that during a disaster, many people can lose their jobs as well.

Thought for the Week

""The great majority of pregnant women and new mothers want to breastfeed but face significant barriers in community, health care, and employment settings." "

–Senate resolution marking National Breastfeeding Month.

List of the Week

from Workplace Fairness

What do people want to know about discrimination in the workplace?

Top five searches in discrimination topics this week:

  • Sex and Gender Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Proving Discrimination
  • Language Discrimination
  • Pay Discrimination

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Why pulling an Omarosa and secretly recording coworkers is probably a bad idea
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  4. Facebook sued over allegations of gender bias in male-targeted job ads
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