Harris S. Freier, Partner in the firm’s Newark, New Jersey office, is a member of the Employment Law & Litigation, Appellate, Hotel, Restaurant & Hospitality Industries, and Transportation, Trucking & Logistics Law Practice Groups.
Mr. Freier litigates employment law cases with a specific focus on restrictive covenant litigations, class actions, and appellate matters. He routinely handles age, race, religion, gender, and disability discrimination litigations before state and federal courts. He also routinely works on bid protests, contract negotiations, and contract interpretation for his service industry clients.
Mr. Freier has a strong traditional labor background, successfully litigating Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”) cases before District and Circuit Courts. He has also handled two labor arbitrations for the City of New York and worked on a variety of other labor matters involving plant closings and relocations as well as employee grievances.
Mr. Freier received the 2015 New Leader of the Bar recognition from the New Jersey Law Journal. He has been rated AV® Preeminent™ in Labor and Employment Law by Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s premier attorney listing resource, since 2014. An AV Preeminent rating is the highest rating an attorney can receive from Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Freier has also been named to the Rising Star list since 2013 by the publishers of New Jersey Monthly and Super Lawyers®.
- Successfully represented one of the firm’s important and long-standing employer clients before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a hard-fought, four-year, relatively rare type of traditional labor litigation against the employer’s union. The Third Circuit’s decision affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the union’s claims and grant of summary judgment to the employer client, which resulted in a complete and total victory for the employer client. This case concerned claims by the union under Section 301 of the LMRA (“Section 301”) alleging that the employer client improperly disciplined a number of employees in violation of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.
- Successfully represented one of the firm’s oldest and largest clients in a non-compete matter before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the validity of certain clickwrap agreements, for which he was recognized as a “Legal Eagle” by Law360.
- Successfully represented a major bank in a restrictive covenant litigation, obtaining temporary and preliminary restraints and ultimately liability at trial, preventing former officers from a subsidiary from poaching clients after they resigned without notice.
- Succeeded in having claims dismissed in a litigation where a mentally handicapped woman was allegedly raped by a co-worker at a New Jersey hospital and then sued the hospital for negligent hiring.
- Successfully handled at the trial and appellate levels a disability discrimination case for a New Jersey hospital in which a plaintiff alleged that he was terminated because of an alleged attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Appearing pro bono before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, won a reversal in a prison abuse case of a summary judgment that had been ruled in favor of the State of New Jersey against his client.
- Successfully represented a major nursing home chain over two years in a whistleblower retaliation case under CEPA, where the plaintiff also alleged claims for age and national origin discrimination under the NJLAD, culminating in a three-week trial where we reached a favorable settlement as the jury was deliberating.
- Was successful at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals when it affirmed the District of New Jersey’s summary judgment decision in favor of Mr. Freier’s client, a major media corporation, in a two-and-a-half-year race and age discrimination case.
- Was successful before the District of New Jersey in a lawsuit for his client who was sued by a vendor’s employee alleging violations of ERISA and the LMRA.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of a major media corporation at the District of New Jersey in a single plaintiff suit where the plaintiff alleged claims of race, ethnicity, and ancestry discrimination as well as retaliation under New Jersey state and federal law.
- Won a motion to dismiss with prejudice in a NJLAD disability discrimination case at the trial court level in New Jersey where the plaintiff alleged a disability based upon a failed drug test and the court accepted our LMRA preemption argument as a result of a prior arbitration decision where the plaintiff had claimed that the drug test at issue had been a false positive.
- Won a partial motion to dismiss in favor of a major telecommunications company in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, which dismissed the plaintiff’s wage and hour claims, significantly reducing liability in the matter.
Mr. Freier was at the forefront of analyzing the impact of the 2010 national health care reform on employers and has advised clients and co-authored an article on the act, “Health Care Reform Implications for Employers: Make sure you are positioned to implement the new mandates,” New Jersey Law Journal (May 2010). He also works closely with the firm’s corporate political activity department and co-authored “Don’t Let Employees’ Individual Political Activities Put the Company at Risk,” with partner Rebecca Moll Freed, which was published in New Jersey Lawyer in June 2014 and inspired a presentation by Mr. Freier and Ms. Freed entitled “Election Politics and the Watercooler” for the Newark Regional Business Partnership in September 2016.
Mr. Freier has committed a significant amount of time to pro bono representation, securing a victory before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a prison abuse litigation. Mr. Freier has also provided employment counseling to a non-profit dance group. His volunteer and pro bono activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Union County, serving on the Covenant House of New Jersey Legal Board, and participating as a member of the Temple Emanu-El (Westfield) Personnel Committee.
- New Jersey and U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2006
- Connecticut, 2007
- New York, 2007
- District of Columbia, 2007
- U.S. District Court, Eastern & Southern Districts of New York, 2007
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2009
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2016
Cornell Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif, 2006, magna cum laude
University of Virginia, B.A., 2003