Barbara Hoey is co-chair of Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In her third decade of practice, Barbara’s experience includes counseling clients in all areas of employment law, and defending single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff and class action litigation. Barbara’s clients, which include employers of all types and sizes, rely on her for prompt, prudent and practical advice when faced with very challenging employment problems. Her industry expertise is both broad and deep, and ranges from health care and telecommunications to education, nonprofit and beyond.
Barbara routinely represents clients in high-profile litigation. She has litigated and won more than a dozen jury and bench trials involving claims arising under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the False Claims Act, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), New York State Whistleblower Law, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). She has also litigated cases involving breach of non-compete contracts and theft of trade secrets.
In addition, Barbara is involved in rendering legal counsel pertaining to ongoing employment law compliance. She works with her clients to develop comprehensive strategies for handling today’s endless variety of workplace issues, such as managing difficult termination decisions, policy design, handling lay-offs and oversight of internal investigations. Barbara also works with human resources, in-house counsel and boards of directors to conduct investigations into complaints of alleged wrongdoing by upper level executives.
An effective communicator and negotiator, Barbara is known as a pragmatic yet tough litigator and dynamic and persuasive trial attorney. She is consistently recognized in Chambers USA
(2008–2021) as among the “best of the best,” where she is described as “extremely good at negotiating,” “tenacious” and has a “laser-like focus.” Barbara’s objective is to work with her clients to avoid expensive disputes while positioning them in the most advantageous way should litigation ensue. Barbara’s clients appreciate not only her in-depth understanding of the law, but also her commitment to responsiveness, accessibility and immediate, straightforward answers to their questions.
Barbara is a frequent invited guest speaker on topics that range from harassment and workplace violence to litigation avoidance, preparedness and trial strategy. A prolific writer and editor, Barbara serves as coeditor of Labor Days,
Kelley Drye’s labor and employment law blog.
Defeated a plaintiff’s appeal to New Jersey’s Appellate Division, solidifying our original victory of summary judgment in a case brought by a former employee, who alleged suffering from a learning disability and other cognitive impairments. The victory settled an important issue in disability discrimination law, namely that a plaintiff in a New Jersey LAD matter must present expert medical proof to establish that they have a disability.
Won a defense verdict for a hospital accused of terminating its director of risk management for whistleblowing.
Won a $7.1 million verdict representing the plaintiff, a multinational corporation, asserting claims of breach of a non-compete contract and violation of the Lanham Act.
Defeated class certification in an action alleging violations of the New York Labor Law, brought on behalf of a putative class of over 400 nursing attendants.
Won a dismissal of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the FLSA and New York State Labor Law.
Oversaw the reorganization of the senior staff of a major nonprofit organization, successfully negotiating severance packages for senior executives, layoffs, WARN notices and the employment agreements for incoming staff.
Coordinated the investigation of claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment against a senior executive at a publicly traded consumer-products company, concluding with the resolution of the allegations.
Representing the medical school of a major academic medical center in New York in litigation brought by two tenured professors, challenging a university-wide salary policy.
Won summary judgment for the defendant in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
Won a summary judgment for the defendant in a lawsuit alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate, in violation of the ADA in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Won a summary judgment for the defendant in an age discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. The court also dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract.
Won a defense verdict after trial, dismissing a lawsuit alleging retaliation and violation of the New York Whistleblower Law.
Won a jury verdict for the defendant in a Title VII litigation matter in which the plaintiff alleged race discrimination, wrongful termination, racial harassment and retaliation.
Won a jury verdict for the defendant in a Title VII race/national origin discrimination litigation matter.
Won a jury verdict of $1.00 in nominal damages in a federal sexual harassment litigation matter. Drafted the appellate brief to the Second Circuit in the successful appeal of the district court award of attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff.
Won a jury verdict for the defendant in a federal civil rights/breach of contract action against the Yonkers School Board.
Won a summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for The WIZ in an FLSA litigation matter brought by a sales associate.
Won a summary judgment for the defendant in a sexual harassment litigation matter. The decision was affirmed by the Second Circuit.
Won a summary judgment for the defendant in an action brought by a group of professional employees under the FLSA seeking to challenge their exempt status.