Patrick W. McGovern

Patrick W. McGovern is a Partner in the firm’s Labor Law, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Immigration Law, and Wage and Hour Compliance Practice Groups, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Hotel, Restaurant & Hospitality Industries Practice Group.

Patrick concentrates his practice in labor, employment, employee benefits, and immigration law matters representing management. He counsels management regarding legal compliance as to all aspects of the employer-employee relationship including union-free/union avoidance strategies, drug-testing policies, wage-hour compliance, immigration law compliance, and the labor, employment and benefits issues that arise in the course of mergers, acquisitions, facility closings, business expansion, force reductions, and merger integrations. He represents management in proceedings before the NLRB including representation, decertification, unit clarification, and unfair labor practice proceedings, in labor arbitrations, in collective bargaining, in project labor agreement negotiations, and in proceedings in state and federal court and before regulatory agencies arising under fair employment practices laws, labor laws, wage-hour laws, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Before joining the firm, Patrick was in-house counsel at Allied Corp., AlliedSignal Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. for 20 years, and most recently as Associate General Counsel-Human Resources, where he specialized in labor and employment matters. Prior to going in-house, Patrick was an Associate at Kelley, Drye & Warren in its Manhattan office.

While at Fordham Law School, Patrick was associate editor of the Fordham Law Review.

Representative Matters:

  • Has assisted management teams with complex plant and operations closings, relocations, and downsizings both at unionized and non-union locations
  • Has represented management in successful union representation and decertification campaigns and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board
  • Has defended employers in judicial proceedings under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) seeking pension, health insurance, severance pay benefits, and pension withdrawal liability
  • Has defended employers in the hospitality, transportation, manufacturing, energy and service industries in court and before the N.J. State Department of Labor against claims for “on-call” pay and overtime compensation
  • Has defended employers against claims by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs under Executive Order 11246, including claims of discriminatory compensation practices, failure to track applicants correctly, and failure to satisfy outreach requirements
  • Has assisted managements with the termination and wind-down of 401(k) plans and final distribution of plan assets
  • Has assisted plan sponsors with the successful correction of plan operational errors, including errors detected during U.S. Department of Labor audits.
  • Has represented employers in prevailing wage litigation before the N.J. Department of Labor and the New York City Comptroller’s Office
  • Assisted management teams with the successful negotiation of project labor agreements in Essex, Bergen and Gloucester Counties in New Jersey and Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester County in New York
  • Has helped organizations bring their benefits policies and plans into compliance with employment-at-will guidelines, wage-hour law, the FMLA, the ADA, and other federal and state anti-discrimination laws
  • Has provided just-in-time training to managers, supervisors, and Human Resources professionals regarding positive employee relations, maintaining a union-free workplace, managing in a union environment, violence in the workplace and the basics of employee benefits laws
  • Has counseled management regarding compliance with IRS guidelines that apply to non-qualified executive compensation arrangements
  • Has assisted businesses and not-for-profit organizations and immigration and non-immigration applications (including H, TN, O, P, E, L visas) and with review and audits and self-audits of the I-9 compliance process

Awards & Distinctions:

  • New Jersey Super Lawyer, 2009-2017, New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine
  • Six Sigma Green Belt


  • “Banks Must Comply with New Affirmative Action Rules,” New Jersey Banker, Summer 2014
  • “Expect No Change in OFCCP’s Aggressive Agenda Despite Election Year,” New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Quarterly, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2012
  • “Rigorous Changes Coming Down the Pipeline for Federal Contractors,” Client Alert, October 2012
  • “Understand GINA’s New Prohibitions on Misuse of Genetic Info,” HR Specialist, February 2010
  • “N.J. Supreme Court: Strikers May Be Entitled to Unemployment,” HR Specialist, April 2009
  • “New Jersey Cracks Down on Employers that Misclassify Employees,” HR Specialist, October 2007
  • “New Jersey Law on Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace,” Institute of Business Law, 1996


  • “Affordable Care Act in a Time of Transition,” New Jersey League of Municipalities 2016 Annual Convention, November 17, 2016
  • “A Management Perspective on the Supreme Court Decision in Penn Plaza v. Pyett,” New Jersey Labor and Employment Relations Association, December 10, 2012
  • “Where the FMLA, the FLA, the ADA and the NLRA Interact,” Client Briefing, May 15, 2012
  • “All aTwitter About Social Media,” American Arbitration Association University, April 3, 2012
  • “Avoiding the Wage-and-Hour Trap and Surviving a Wage-Hour Audit…and Avoiding Something Worse,” New Jersey Business & Industry Association, February 24, 2012
  • “The Proposed U.S. Department of Labor Rule to Modify the Definition of ‘Persuader Activities’ under the Labor Management Relations Disclosure Act,” New York Labor and Employment Relations Association, October 19, 2011
  • “Preempting a Corporate Campaign At Your Hospital,” Presentation to Hospital Law Institute, Hospital and Health Systems and Labor and Employment Practice Groups, February 14, 2008
  • “Labor and Employment Law Issues Arising from Use of Independent Contractors,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, 2008

Blog Posts:

  • “Court Blocks Rule Requiring Federal Contractors to Disclose Labor Law Violations, But Okays Pay Transparency Rule,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, October 26, 2016
  • “Third Circuit Deals Blow to Jersey City Ordinance Requiring PLAs on Privately Funded Projects in Exchange for Tax Abatements,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, September 27, 2016
  • “Immigration Law Violations Occurring After November 2, 2015 Carry Heavier Penalties,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, August 25, 2016
  • “N.J. Supreme Court Rejects Defense of Federal Labor Law Preemption of CEPA Claim in Underlying Unpaid Wage Action, Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns,” August 23, 2016
  • “OFCCP Updates Guidance on Sex Discrimination to Reflect Modern Workplace, Labor Law Blog,” Genova Burns, June 29, 2016
  • “NLRB Browning-Ferris Decision Lowers Threshold for Joint Employer Status Under NLRA,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, August 31, 2015
  • “Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Affordable Care Act’s Tax Credit Provisions,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, June 25, 2015
  • “Court Denies EEOC’s Requested Preliminary Injunction to Block Wellness Plan Biometric Testing,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, November 4, 2014
  • “EEOC Asks Court To Halt Biometric Testing Features of Corporate Wellness Program,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, November 3, 2014
  • “President Expands OFCCP Jurisdiction to Investigation Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, August 20, 2014
  • “Supreme Court Rules President’s 2012 Appointments to NLRB Unconstitutional, Invalidates Key Pro-Union NLRB Decision, and Established Precedent for Reversals of Other NLRB Decisions and Appointments,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, July 1, 2014
  • “New OFCCP Rules Establish Hiring Benchmarks and Goals for Veterans and Qualified Individuals with Disabilities,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, March 6, 2014
  • “OFCCP Issues New Directive Aimed at Detecting Pay Discrimination Based on Gender, Race and Ethnicity,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, March 27, 2013
  • “City Settles with High Ranking Fire Officials for Overtime BackPay,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, March 22, 2013
  • “N.Y. Federal Court Holds that Fairness Hearing is Not Essential for Voluntary Dismissal,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, March 11, 2013
  • “Appeals Court Nixes President’s Recess Appointments to NLRB Raising Question Whether Any NLRB Decisions Since 2011 Are Enforceable,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, January 29, 2013
  • “Third Circuit Clarifies Final Certification Standard for FLSA Collective Actions,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, December 28, 2012
  • Third Circuit Clarifies Test for Joint Employer Status under FLSA,” Labor Law Blog, Genova Burns, July 11, 2012

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1980
  • New York, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York,
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit,
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1988


  • Fordham Law School, J.D., 1979

  • St. Peter’s College, B.A., 1976, in cursu honorum, summa cum laude