Harding Kimberly K

Kimberly K. Harding



Kimberly Harding is an attorney in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group. 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.

What do you focus on?

Labor Relations

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.

Employment Litigation & Counseling

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.

What do you see on the horizon?

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.

U.S. pastors, advocacy groups mobilize against COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Reuters | October 14, 2021

This article on the large-scale efforts of religious and advocacy groups to challenge COVID-19 vaccine mandates quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on the recent rapid increase in religious exemption requests, which have historically been rare.

Judges vaccine religious exemption ruling comes as good news for some NY health care workers

Spectrum News | October 12, 2021

This article, focusing on a federal judge’s ruling upholding the religious exemption to New York State’s vaccine requirement for health care workers, quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on what is required of employees to qualify for the exemption and the process for employers to vet these accommodations.

Employer conundrum: To test or not to test?

Politico Pro | October 05, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca, also a member of the firm’s Cannabis practice, is quoted in this article on how pressures of the recent labor shortage and changing attitudes toward cannabis have some employers reconsidering drug-testing policies. The article is based on a client alert Hillary co-authored with Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding.

Q&A on OSHAs upcoming vaccine mandate-What it means for HR

HR Specialist Employment Law | October 01, 2021

This industry newsletter includes the client alert “President Biden orders vaccination mandate for large employers,” co-authored by San Francisco partner Rachel Conn, Rochester partner Kim Harding, and Providence department attorney Shelagh Michaud, all of the Labor & Employment group. The Q&A covers OSHA’s emergency standards, the 100-employee threshold in Biden’s vaccination mandate, and how the rule affects state OSHA plans.

What workers and employers should know a week after Biden issued COVID vaccine mandate

The Charlotte Observer | September 16, 2021

This article, which has been syndicated across the country, quotes the client alert “President Biden orders vaccination mandate for large employers” co-authored by San Francisco partner Rachel Conn, Rochester partner Kim Harding, and Providence department attorney Shelagh Michaud, all of the Labor & Employment group. The content covers OSHA emergency standards, the 100-employee threshold in Biden’s vaccination mandate, and how the rule affects state OSHA plans.

Vaccine mandate lacks detail

The Daily Record | September 15, 2021

This article on President Biden’s recent vaccine mandate for employees of larger companies quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on legal questions and nuances employers have regarding the mandate’s implementation and her outlook on OSHA’s upcoming emergency temporary standard.

Rochester labor and employment attorney swamped with messages since vaccine mandate announced

Spectrum News | September 14, 2021

This broadcast segment, on President Biden’s announcement requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for employees of larger companies, features insight from Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding, focusing on questions that remain for employers as they navigate the legal landscape and nuances of the mandate, as well as the testing option still available for vaccine-resistant employees. Rochester records clerk Jody Smith also appears in the segment.

Legal perspective on vaccine mandates for employers

Rochester Business Journal | September 10, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding contributed this column which analyzes the legality of mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees, including the different requirements governing exemption requests, and provides best practices on how employers can mitigate challenges when implementing this policy.

University plumber prepared to lose job rather than get the COVID-19 vaccine

Spectrum News | September 10, 2021

This broadcast segment on President Biden’s announcement requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for employees of larger companies quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on employers’ right to impose terms and conditions for employment and the reasoning behind New York State’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Employees who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccine may not qualify for unemployment

WHEC-TV | September 01, 2021

This broadcast segment, covering the latest development around NYS’ vaccine requirement for hospitals and healthcare workers, quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on the notion of employee “voluntary-ness” and the potential consequences for employees deciding not to get the vaccine.

NYS orders hospitals and nursing homes to order their employees to get vaccinated

WHEC-TV | August 16, 2021

This broadcast segment, focusing on Governor Cuomo’s announcement that all New York State health care workers must be vaccinated, quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on the way in which the state is rolling it out, by requiring hospitals and nursing homes to require it of their employees.

Navigate cannabis legalization, avoid employment litigation

HR Dive | August 13, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding co-wrote this contributed article highlighting three common pitfalls for employers as they comply with the patchwork of state and federal laws regulating the use of legal cannabis by their employees.

The Crown Act expands definition of racial discrimination according to legal expert

WHEC-TV | July 24, 2021

In this broadcast segment on ‘The Crown Act’, a federal bill aiming to broaden the definition of discrimination by including hair texture and protected hair styles, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding explains the impetus for the bill and its potential implications for employers nationwide.

Amazon has stopped testing job seekers for cannabis: Here's what it means for you

GreenState | June 15, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted in this article on Amazon’s announcement it will stop testing job seekers for cannabis, noting the impact of Amazon’ s decision at a national level and adding that Amazon’ s support of the MORE Act lends a great deal of credibility to the proposed legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level.

New mask rules pose challenge to business

Rochester Business Journal | May 18, 2021

In this article on New York State’s revised mask guidance in accordance with federal recommendations, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on enforcement challenges for businesses and the uptick in client inquiries regarding the guidance, mandatory vaccination policies, and job postings.

Red Wings preparing to welcome back both vaccinated and non-vaccinated fans

Spectrum News | May 06, 2021

In this broadcast story on New York State’s new guidance on capacity seating for venues, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on whether businesses can ask their customers of their vaccination status.

Cannabis operators, insiders, and experts discuss New York’s cannabis legalization, equity plans, revenue possibilities, and future cannabis market potential

Cannabis Law Report | April 19, 2021

This wide-ranging discussion of New York’s legalization of recreational cannabis includes commentary from both Cannabis practice co-leader and Rochester Corporate partner Lori Green and Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding.

What does marijuana legalization mean for employment in New York State?

Spectrum News | March 31, 2021

This news segment on the legalization of marijuana in New York quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on how the enforcement of marijuana in the workplace will likely be similar to alcohol.

Weed and the workplace: What legalization could mean for testing, possession, and use

WROC-TV | March 29, 2021

The following television news segment on New York State’s pending marijuana legalization bill quotes Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding on how the enforcement of marijuana in the workplace will likely be similar to alcohol.

If recreational marijuana is legalized in New York, what happens to the workforce?

WHAM-TV | March 27, 2021

The following TV news segments cover New York’s pending marijuana legalization bill and how it may affect the workplace. Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on the exclusion of marijuana in drug screens and its protected use outside the workplace. Cannabis practice co-leader and Rochester Corporate partner Lori Green is quoted in WHEC-TV’s segment on how the group is staying on top of marijuana legislation across the U.S., to better serve NP’s clients.

Legal recreational marijuana and the workplace

WHEC-TV | March 26, 2021

The following TV news segments cover New York’s pending marijuana legalization bill and how it may affect the workplace. Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on the exclusion of marijuana in drug screens and its protected use outside the workplace. Cannabis practice co-leader and Rochester Corporate partner Lori Green is quoted in WHEC-TV’s segment on how the group is staying on top of marijuana legislation across the U.S., to better serve NP’s clients.

Morning edition

WXXI-AM (NPR affiliate) | March 08, 2021

In this radio segment discussing a remote workforce in a post-pandemic world, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on tax and withholding rules, among other employment laws, that employers should be aware of as employees may want to work in other states.

Local experts on CDC's new guidelines for COVID vaccinated people

WHEC-TV | March 08, 2021

In this television news segment on the CDC’s new guidelines announced on Monday, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted on employer incentive programs to increase the population of vaccinated employees, as businesses work toward a return to normal.

90-day window for COVID-19 travel guidelines has some confused

WHEC-TV | March 02, 2021

In this broadcast segment on the loosening of some of New York State’s COVID-19 travel guidelines, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her thoughts on state and federal guidelines that employers must follow to protect their workforce.

COVID-related paid sick leave options for employers

Rochester Business Journal | January 20, 2021

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding contributed this article for her outlook on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and what’s top-of-mind for employers in the year ahead.

NYS Assembly Bill Seeks to Empower Health Department to Make COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory

Spectrum News | December 09, 2020

In this television news segment on a bill introduced in the New York State Assembly to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on the bill’s enforcement mechanism.

New Regulations May Make It Easier for Travelers to State, but Questions Remain

WHEC NBC-10 | November 02, 2020

In this broadcast segment on New York State’s new coronavirus regulations regarding interstate travel, which replaces the 14-day quarantine for travelers, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on how the new regulations are more manageable for businesses.

Best Practices in Dealing with Working Parents as School Year Commences

Rochester Business Journal | September 11, 2020

Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding and Complex Commercial Disputes associate Franz Wright, both in Rochester, contributed this column on the unprecedented need for collaboration between working parents and their employers as the school year commences during COVID-19.

Liability immunity proposals raise concerns for lawyers

Daily Record | July 31, 2020

In this article on the proposed legislation to provide businesses with immunity from COVID-19 liability lawsuits, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on the legislation and the importance of businesses to continually abide by state and federal laws.

Are employers obligated to accommodate requests to work from home?

WHEC-TV News 10NBC | July 22, 2020

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding was featured in this broadcast segment on what obligations employers have to work with their employees as schools start again in September.

Essential or nonessential?

WHEC-TV (Rochester) | March 19, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding spoke to the local NBC affiliate via FaceTime to discuss new work restrictions announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Kim talks about employee staffing, staggered scheduling and which businesses qualify as essential.

New York government reaches deal on coronavirus sick-leave mandate

HR Magazine (Society for Human Resource Management) | March 18, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding, Rochester Corporate partner Brian Kopp, and Long Island Labor and Employment associate David Tauster co-wrote this contributed article, based on their NP client alert, analyzing the new mandatory sick-leave deal in New York state.

Coronavirus sparks workplace legal questions

WXXI News | March 13, 2020

Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding says that travel, communicable illness, and sick leave policies should be top of mind for employers as they adjust to the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rochester Business Report

WHAM-AM (Rochester) | March 13, 2020

This story highlights Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding’s guidance on what is required of employers during the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to health concerns, coronavirus a legal and employment issue

The Daily Record | March 12, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

Rochester-area employers preparing for spread of coronavirus

Spectrum News | March 11, 2020

This coverage features the insights of Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding on how companies should address the growing coronavirus outbreak—including developing remote work guidelines and protecting the confidential health information of employees.

News 8 at Five

WROC-TV | March 02, 2020

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.

Coronavirus has employers examining policies around employee illness

WHEC-TV | March 02, 2020

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.

The new coronavirus prompts businesses to rethink global travel

WXXI News | February 25, 2020

This radio interview (also available in print) features Rochester Labor and Employment partner Kim Harding discussing the steps Nixon Peabody and other businesses are taking to modify employees’ travel routines as the coronavirus spreads. Kim also explains employers’ right to tell workers to stay home if there is a possibility of infection.

Movers & Shakers

The Deal | February 04, 2020

This column of notable executive moves in the legal industry included a write-up on the promotion of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper, and Peter Trimarchi.

Career Tracker: Lawyers on the Move

Reuters Legal | February 03, 2020

This roundup of personnel moves in the legal industry highlights the 13 members of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper and Peter Trimarchi.

Contact

Kimberly K. Harding

Partner

Rochester

Phone: 585-263-1037


Fax: 855-466-1047

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

New York

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

  • Kim is a 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Award Finalist, which recognizes emerging female leaders in the 30- to 45-year-old range who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession and serve as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.
  • Kim was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 in the fields of Labor Law—Management and Litigation—Labor and Employment. She has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2021.
  • Kim has been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2021 for Labor & Employment (New York (Upstate)). She was recognized as “Up and Coming” in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor & Employment (Upstate New York).
  • Kim is a 2020 graduate of the Leadership Rochester program.
  • Kim also was selected to the 2019 Upstate New York Rising Stars list in the area of Employment and Labor.
  • In 2017, Kim was recognized by The Daily Record as an Excellence in Law, Up & Coming Attorneys honoree.

Kim serves as the Regional Leader for the Women’s Resource Group for Nixon Peabody’s upstate New York offices. She also serves as a member of 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.

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