William R. Horwitz advises employers on employment related issues and defends employers in litigation before state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies and in arbitration. Bill is a former prosecutor, having worked at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, where he focused on appellate litigation. Since leaving the D.A.’s office, Bill has spent over 20 years representing employers. He has extensive experience litigating wage and hour class and collective actions throughout the country, including both off-the-clock and misclassification cases. Bill has also defended employers against a wide range of employment claims including allegations of whistleblowing, retaliation, sexual harassment, disability and race discrimination, and breach of contract.
A member of the firm’s Competitive Advantage, Trade Secret and Computer Fraud and Abuse Team, Bill represents clients in disputes involving restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition, and has litigated these claims in various states, including temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction hearings. In addition, Bill works with companies to develop new or improve existing policies, procedures, and agreements to safeguard confidential information and business relationships. Bill has also represented large financial institutions, commercial landlords and retail establishments in Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility cases. Overall, Bill’s cases span a variety of industries including health care, life sciences, finance, hospitality and retail.
Bill has a great deal of experience in cases involving large amounts of electronically stored information, working with courts, adversaries and Information Technology professionals to effectively manage e-discovery to minimize costs during litigation.
In his counseling work, Bill advises management clients on all types of employment related issues and the prevention of workplace disputes. He drafts handbooks, employment contracts, arbitration agreements and separation agreements, and counsels clients in connection with reductions in force. Bill conducts wage and hour audits, and advises clients with respect to the classification of workers as independent contractors or exempt or non-exempt employees. Bill also conducts audits of Human Resources policies and practices. In the health care arena, Bill advises employers regarding their compliance obligations under New Jersey’s Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act (a/k/a the Cullen Law).
Employers also retain Bill to conduct investigations of alleged workplace misconduct. He has conducted numerous investigations for employers ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to non-profit organizations.
Bill is also a frequent contributor to the firm's LaborSphere blog, which provides insights into breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of employment and labor issues.
- Defeated final certification of a nationwide putative collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. The plaintiffs, former employees in a retail chain, voluntarily dismissed their New York class claims after the close of discovery. The court then granted the employer's motion to decertify the collective action, dismantling a putative collective action with over 165 members.
- Defeated a Motion for Conditional Certification of a Collective Action under the Fair Labor Standards Act in federal court in Florida. The plaintiff, a former Assistant Department Manager for a nationwide fashion retailer, alleged wage and hour violations arising out of the alleged misclassification of her position. She had sought to bring the lawsuit on behalf of herself and over 625 current and former employees.
- Represented a nationwide retailer in putative class and collective action in federal court in New Jersey, in which the plaintiff, a former employee, asserted off-the-clock and unlawful deduction claims. Prevailed on a Motion to Dismiss, prompting the plaintiff to abandon her class and collective action claims and accept an individual settlement on terms favorable to the employer.
- Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of a race and disability discrimination case in federal court in Brooklyn on behalf of an Information Technology staffing company. The plaintiff contended that the company had violated federal, New York State and New York City law by terminating her employment after she returned from maternity leave.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal in federal court in New Jersey of claims under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. The former employee alleged that his former employer, an energy services company, had discharged him for taking leave to care for his father.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination brought by a nurse who contended that our client, a hospital, had discharged her on the basis of her age.
- Represented an upscale Manhattan restaurant and an individual investor in a putative collective and class action brought in federal court in New York by prep and line cooks under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The plaintiffs alleged off-the-clock work and related claims. Negotiated a settlement on terms favorable to our clients.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal in arbitration of multiple cases against a New York based global financial institution, including claims of national origin discrimination asserted by a teller terminated for alleged theft and novel claims by an assistant branch manager who sought to withdraw her resignation.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal of former employee’s claims of malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the employer, a medical case management and consulting company, reported him to the police on theft charges that it later dropped.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court in New Jersey on former employee’s claims that manufacturing company had made misrepresentations in recruiting him and had subsequently discriminated against him on the basis of his age in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
- Defended lawsuits brought by numerous workers who had lost their jobs during the privatization of the hospital where they had worked.
- Represented a subsidiary of a national car rental company that sued an employee to recover a retention bonus.
- Represented medical practices, adult day care centers, telemarketing companies and other businesses in sexual harassment cases.
- Represented petroleum testing, pharmaceutical and other companies in whistleblowing claims under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
- In several cases in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey, prevailed on motions to compel arbitration pursuant to pre-dispute arbitration agreements.
- New Jersey
- New York
- Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1993
- University of Michigan, B.A., 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- American Bar Association
- New Jersey Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section