Kimberly Harding is an attorney in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group. Her practice is a hybrid of traditional labor relations, particularly in the healthcare and construction industries, and employment litigation and counseling for employers both large and small. Notably, Kimberly has significant experience advising employers and training employees on harassment prevention in the workplace, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
I counsel unionized employers with respect to the development of bargaining strategies and the cost and negotiation of labor agreements. In doing so, I am always cognizant of the fact that the development of a labor relationship is a full-time job that requires attention, careful planning and deliberate actions. I am committed to understanding my clients’ workplaces and needs to ensure that we avoid piecemeal approaches to labor relations, which tend to be both shortsighted and ineffective.
My labor relations practice also involves representing management in the arbitration of labor disputes and in litigation of claims under the National Labor Relations Act and the Labor Management Relations Act. Specifically, I have defended Section 301 claims and both prosecuted and defended unfair labor practice charges. Understanding employers’ rights under these acts helps me to develop more effective strategies, as I am able to weigh each plan’s strengths and weaknesses, and educate clients regarding potential outcomes.
I regularly represent employers in litigation in state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies. My practice involves the defense of wage and hour suits, including putative class and collective actions, discrimination and whistleblower claims, the prosecution of non-compete covenants and the litigation of claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
My litigation experience guides me as I counsel employers regarding their obligations and their potential exposure under the state and federal employment statutes. I strongly believe employment counseling cannot be done in a vacuum and that the most effective legal advice requires an understanding of the clients’ businesses, operations, workplace cultures and long-term objectives.
New York’s annual sexual harassment prevention training requirements take effect October 2018, and employers should be considering how they will meet them. The determination of whether to utilize the training provided by the Division of Human Rights should be made carefully, as the Division training will likely be very employee-friendly. Employers also should consider how many sessions they will need to hold (with employees and supervisors being trained separately) and when the best time of year to hold them will be.
Although these requirements are certainly onerous and burdensome, they do create an opportunity for employers to change their cultures and, if done properly, significantly limit legal exposure or reputational damage from such claims. Indeed, the court of public opinion is unforgiving, and, as the old saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. The same holds true for weathering the #MeToo movement.
The Daily Record | October 18, 2018
Rochester Labor & Employment associate Kim Harding is quoted extensively in this article about New York state’s new rules to curb workplace sexual harassment and how employers are taking a more proactive approach.
Spectrum News Rochester | July 20, 2018
Rochester Labor & Employment associate Kimberly Harding appears in this segment, discussing her outlook on how the opioid crisis is affecting the labor market in terms of lost productivity and costs to employers.
SHRM | January 31, 2018
In this article on company dating policies, Rochester Labor & Employment associate Kim Harding is quoted on ways companies can avoid possible #MeToo experiences when employees date one another.
Rochester Business Journal | May 13, 2016
Rochester partners Jeff LaBarge and Steve Jones, counsel Todd Shinaman, and associates Joe Carello and Kim Harding co-authored this column discussing New York’s landmark legislation raising the minimum wage and mandating paid family leave.
Employment Law Alert | 12.05.17
Employment Law Alert | 11.17.17
Employment Law Alert | 11.23.16
03.09.18 | Rochester, NY
01.13.17 | Rochester, NY
American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
Syracuse University, B.A., summa cum laude
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Kimberly serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. She also has volunteered on the Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc. (VLSP) Art of Lawyering Committee and organized drives to collect feminine hygiene products pursuant to the PAD Initiative. Kimberly is also a member of the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA) and its Judicial Evaluation Committee, the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association.