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Partner / Deputy Leader, Litigation Department / Leader, Labor Relations Team
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Kim Harding is an attorney in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group, the deputy head of the Litigation Department, and the leader of the firm's Labor Relations team. Kim’s experience as a manager of Nixon Peabody’s own team of litigation attorneys informs the counsel she provides her clients and gives her unique insight into the challenges they face in managing their own workforces.
Kim’s exceptional legal service has been recognized by her clients and peers alike. She was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Labor Law–Management and Litigation–Labor and Employment in both 2021 and 2022, and she was named as one of Western New York’s power players in the legal industry on the Daily Record’s Power 20 List for Litigation. Her exceptional standing in the legal community was similarly recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Labor & Employment (New York (Upstate)) in the 2021 and 2022 editions, and as an “Up and Coming” lawyer in the same fields in the 2020 edition. Kim also was selected to the 2019 Super Lawyers, Upstate New York Rising Stars list in the area of Employment and Labor, and was recognized by the Daily Record as a 2017 Excellence in Law, Up & Coming Attorneys honoree.
I regularly defend employers in state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies from claims alleging violations of employment statutes, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the New York Labor Law, and the New York Human Rights Law. I have negotiated many favorable settlements of wage and hour suits, including putative class and collective actions, discrimination and whistleblower claims, and litigation of non-compete covenants.
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 advising on anti-organizing campaigns and strategies, and 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. I have defended Section 301 claims and both prosecuted and defended unfair labor practice charges.
Kim has extensive experience negotiating settlements and arbitrating disputes under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), particularly those arising from employers’ withdrawals from multi-employer pension funds. She has challenged the rates used by funds or calculating withdrawal liability to leverage favorable settlements for clients, and has substantial familiarity with ERISA’s various exceptions to the imposition of withdrawal liability, including, inter alia, the sale of assets exception under Section 4204 and the building and construction exemption.
Organized labor is savvier than ever, and is particularly attuned to employers’ traditional anti-union strategies. Their effective use of social media, and anticipation of traditional “union-busting” strategies, has made waging an anti-organizing campaign increasingly difficult for unsuspecting employers. Employers must stay vigilant and attuned to employee satisfaction and engagement to prevent any incentives to unionize in the first instance, and adopt innovative strategies.
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 & Employment partner Kim Harding, deputy leader of the Litigation department, is quoted in this article on current litigation trends in the region. Kim discusses an increasingly active labor movement and the recent growth in data privacy-related activity.
Buffalo Complex Disputes partner Vivian Quinn and Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding, deputy leader of the firm’s Litigation department, are mentioned in this article for being named to the publication’s “Power 20 Litigation 2022” list. The recognition includes individual features profiling Vivian and Kim, where they discuss their expectations for the next year, recent successes, personal goals, and advice for new litigators.
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