People: Gena B. Usenheimer, Partner

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Gena B. Usenheimer

Partner

New York
Direct: (212) 218-3507
Fax: (917) 344-1212
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Gena Usenheimer is a Partner in the Labor & Employment department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP's New York office. Her practice focuses on a combination of single-plaintiff and complex litigation as well as on providing advice and counsel to employers in a wide variety of industries. 

Ms. Usenheimer has significant litigation experience in both state and federal courts, in all manner of litigations, and has successfully defended claims of discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation arising under federal, state and municipal laws.  Ms. Usenheimer’s focus, however, is on defending employers in wage and hour class and collective actions.  In addition to her litigation experience, Ms. Usenheimer regularly defends employers in administrative proceedings before various agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights, where she assists clients in navigating through agency fact-finding investigations.  In addition, Ms. Usenheimer has represented employers in wage and hour audits as well as employee/independent contractor misclassification audits commenced by the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor. 

Based on her extensive experience, Ms. Usenheimer conducts training and counsels clients on a host of employment related matters, from wage payment and other wage and hour issues to best practices with respect to compliance with state, federal and local laws, background checks and hiring, internal investigations, employee discipline and counseling, preparation of employee handbooks and employee terminations. 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Ms. Usenheimer defended the MTA New York City Transit Authority in employment disputes and served as a liaison to the employee benefits group to ensure agency-wide compliance with federal and state privacy laws.

Gena Usenheimer is a Partner in the Labor & Employment department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP's New York office. Her practice focuses on a combination of single-plaintiff and complex litigation as well as on providing advice and counsel to employers in a wide variety of industries. 

Ms. Usenheimer has significant litigation experience in both state and federal courts, in all manner of litigations, and has successfully defended claims of discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation arising under federal, state and municipal laws.  Ms. Usenheimer’s focus, however, is on defending employers in wage and hour class and collective actions.  In addition to her litigation experience, Ms. Usenheimer regularly defends employers in administrative proceedings before various agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights, where she assists clients in navigating through agency fact-finding investigations.  In addition, Ms. Usenheimer has represented employers in wage and hour audits as well as employee/independent contractor misclassification audits commenced by the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor. 

Based on her extensive experience, Ms. Usenheimer conducts training and counsels clients on a host of employment related matters, from wage payment and other wage and hour issues to best practices with respect to compliance with state, federal and local laws, background checks and hiring, internal investigations, employee discipline and counseling, preparation of employee handbooks and employee terminations. 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Ms. Usenheimer defended the MTA New York City Transit Authority in employment disputes and served as a liaison to the employee benefits group to ensure agency-wide compliance with federal and state privacy laws.

Education

  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School (2005)
    cum laude
    Dean’s List
    Notes and Comments Editor, Brooklyn Journal of International Law
    Moot Court Honor Society
  • B.A., Emory University (2002)
    Dean’s List

Admissions

  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York

Representative Engagements

  • Representing accounting and insurance industry clients in litigation seeking overtime pay as a result of alleged misclassification of employees as exempt under federal and state wage and hour laws.
  • Representing restaurant industry clients in FLSA collective actions for unpaid wages and overtime. 
  • Representing a hotel chain in a U.S. Department of Labor audit regarding minimum wage, overtime and appropriate classifications under federal wage and hour law.
  • Representing health care facility in New York State Department of Labor audit regarding unpaid overtime wages.
  • Representing nationwide construction company in a single plaintiff litigations, typically involving discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation claims. 
  • Representing nationwide technology company in single plaintiff gender/age discrimination litigation.
  • Representing nationwide accounting client in single plaintiff gender/age discrimination litigation.
  • Representing a real estate management company in an FMLA and New York City law discrimination litigation.

Presentations

  • Co-Presenter, “Employment Law: Dual Perspectives for your Dual Role as Employer & Lawyer,” New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers (April 5-7, 2016)
  • Co-Presenter, "The City Human Rights Law that Never Sleeps: Review of Major Developments under the NYCHRL," 68th HR Network Breakfast Seminar (January 29, 2016)
  • Co-Presenter, "Global Workforce Classifications - Benefits and Compensation Considerations," Global Benefits & Compensation Roundtable, presented by The Conference Board (December 3, 2015)

Publications

Media Mentions

Accolades

  • Recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers as “Top Women for Employment & Labor Law” (2016)
  • Recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" for Employment & Labor (2016)
  • Recognized by Chambers as a New York "Rising Star" (2015)
  • Lawyer’s Alliance for New York 2011 Cornerstone Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Legal Services to Nonprofits