Stephanie Caffera provides strategic legal advice and counsel exclusively to management in a wide variety of industry sectors. She helps clients navigate the ever-changing tangle of employment-related laws and regulations. When disputes occur, Stephanie represents clients before federal courts and state and federal administrative agencies.
My clients range in size from Fortune 500 international corporations to small local businesses and include hospitals and healthcare providers, food and beverage, manufacturing, educational institutions, technology and life sciences companies, and nonprofit organizations. I counsel these employers and others on all aspects of labor and employment law, but my practice today has three main focuses:
My primary focus is prevention. I consider my role to be that of a business partner and teacher. I have over 20 years of experience in advising clients on lawful and effective employment practices in all types of employment issues, including workplace harassment/sexual harassment, managing leaves of absence and disability accommodation, substance abuse, mental health issues, retaliation, wage and hour compliance, and workplace violence. I am passionate about creating better workplace environments. I provide training and advice to senior leaders, managers, and human resources professionals to help them do their jobs better. Training topics include supervisory skills, harassment prevention, conducting workplace investigations, wage and hour compliance, performance management, and reasonable accommodation. I work as an extension of senior leadership and human resources to take a results-oriented approach to employee relations and legal compliance.
Most employers that are union-free wish to remain that way. I work with these clients to develop and maintain union avoidance strategies and positive employee relations. If a union organizing campaign occurs, I represent clients before the National Labor Relations Board, help devise strategy, and educate managers on their role and responsibilities under the law. For clients with existing union representation, I partner with management in ongoing labor relations activities, including collective bargaining and grievance and arbitration.
Sometimes litigation is inevitable — even when the employer does everything right. When clients are faced with administrative claims or federal court litigation, I help them assess the issues and work with them to determine the best approach to achieve their desired result. Each client’s culture, approach, and risk tolerance is different. I recognize this and work with clients to craft the best possible solution.
Transgender rights — and a possible conflict with religious belief — will be issues employers will need to be ready to address, along with increasing instances of mental health, substance abuse, and disability accommodations and related issues of safety and undue hardship.
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
Cornell University, B.A., magna cum laude
Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
Stephanie serves on the President’s Council of Cornell Women, a worldwide advisory group to the president of Cornell University, whose mission is to promote and sustain the involvement of women at Cornell. Stephanie is also a member of the New York State (Labor and Employment Law Section) and Monroe County bar associations, serves on the Executive Committee and is Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Geva Theatre Center, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Women's Council of the Rochester Business Alliance.
Stephanie was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 in the fields of Employment Law—Management and Labor Law—Management. Stephanie has been listed in Best Lawyers each year since 2009, and was the 2016 Rochester “Lawyer of the Year” in Labor Law—Management.
Stephanie is a 2020 ATHENA International Award finalist. The ATHENA International Award honors professional female leaders who demonstrate significant achievements in business, community service, and the professional advancement of women.
Stephanie was selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list in 2008 and 2012-present.
Rochester labor and employment partner Stephanie Caffera contributed this article on NLRA employee protections for vulgar tirade.
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