Kimberly Harding is an attorney in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group and the deputy head of the Litigation Department. Her practice is a hybrid of traditional labor relations, particularly in the health care, construction, and cannabis industries, and employment litigation and counseling for employers of every size and in almost every industry.
As states continue to legalize cannabis, Kim is actively advising clients on necessary policy updates and best practices to move their workforces forward. Kim is also a highly sought-after trainer on harassment prevention, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.
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.
One by one, more and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana, creating a complicated patchwork of (at times inconsistent) obligations for employers. This trend, coupled with current labor shortages, is causing many employers to rethink traditional hiring strategies and employment policies.
Separately, many states are incorporating union-friendly requirements into their cannabis licensing schemes. Cannabis-industry employers should fully understand their rights and obligations under these statutes and applicable labor laws, and think carefully about long-term workforce and labor strategies, given that many of these early decisions often cannot be undone.
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
American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
Syracuse University, B.A., summa cum laude
Kim serves as the regional leader for the Women’s Resource Group for Nixon Peabody’s upstate New York and Long Island offices. She also serves on the City Planning Commission for the City of Rochester, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys.
Kim is a former chair of the board of trustees for the National Susan B. Anthony Museum, where she also served for six years as a trustee, vice chair, chair of the Governance Committee, and member of various committees. She was also a graduate of the Leadership Rochester Class of 2020, and formerly served as the director-at-large, programming, for the Rochester affiliate of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, served on the “Art of Lawyering” event committee for the Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc. (VLSP), and has organized efforts to collect feminine hygiene products for the “PAD (Providing Access and Dignity)” Project of Rochester.
Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding talks about how employers can effectively address the coronavirus outbreak, including weighing short-term staffing needs, analyzing sick leave policies, and limiting employee travel to severely impacted areas.
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