Kristin D. Sostowski

Kristin D. Sostowski

Director, Employment & Labor Law

Ms. Sostowski balances her practice between employment litigation and counseling, representing New Jersey and national employers. She is the Team Leader of the firm’s Higher Education practice and handles a wide range of employment matters for colleges and universities.

Ms. Sostowski provides strategic counsel to clients at all phases of the employment relationship, tackling and resolving her clients’ thorniest employment challenges. Known for her tenacious advocacy, strategic approach, and attention to detail, Ms. Sostowski advises employers regarding compliance with federal and state workplace laws, pre-litigation risk avoidance, and defense of workplace-related disputes. She represents companies and managers in employment litigation in state and federal courts and agencies, with an emphasis on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, and restrictive covenant matters. Ms. Sostowski also provides employment law advice to in-house counsel and human resources professionals in a variety of industries, including higher education, technology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, healthcare, and public and nonprofit entities. She counsels clients regarding compliance with employment laws, as well as employment issues arising during and after corporate transactions.

Ms. Sostowski is listed in the most recent editions of Best Lawyers® for Litigation – Labor and Employment and New Jersey Super Lawyers for Employment & Labor, and has been named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2014, she was named to NJBIZ’s “Forty Under 40” list for her work on behalf of employers, supporting the long-term growth and success of New Jersey businesses, and for her leadership on women attorneys’ issues.

Ms. Sostowski has for two decades been a passionate advocate for women’s issues, including the advancement of women in the legal profession. She is the President-Elect of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the nation’s oldest professional organization devoted to the interests and progress of women lawyers and women’s legal rights. Ms. Sostowski is also a Trustee of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and is active in the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance.

Areas of Focus

Employment Litigation & Agency Matters

Ms. Sostowski represents management in disputes with their current and former employees, concentrating on whistleblower, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and restrictive covenant litigation. She has defended single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff cases in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. She also has experience representing employers in arbitration and mediation and in government investigations and audits arising from the employment relationship.

Employment Law Counseling

Ms. Sostowski also counsels clients on compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, the prevention or early resolution of employment disputes before they lead to litigation, and employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. She regularly advises clients in a variety of industries, including higher education, technology, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and public and nonprofit entities regarding:

    • Hiring practices, performance management, and terminations
    • Employee leaves and accommodations
    • Workforce restructuring and reductions in force
    • Internal investigations
    • Wage and hour and worker classification issues
    • Independent contractor issues
    • Restrictive covenants
    • Executive employment agreements
  • Employment issues arising from corporate transactions.

She also works closely with clients’ in-house counsel and human resources departments to assess and refine their employment practices and develop policies, handbooks, and employment agreements that complement their business needs.

Higher Education

Ms. Sostowski works with higher education institutions to address the many employment-related issues they face. She regularly advises colleges and universities regarding compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations; employee leaves and accommodations; termination of employment and reductions in force; employee and manager training; internal investigations; drafting of policies, handbooks, and agreements; and wage and hour, worker classification, contractor, and compensation issues. Ms. Sostowski also represents colleges and universities in employment litigation matters.

Electronic Discovery & Information Management Counseling

As a longtime member of the firm’s E-Discovery Task Force, Ms. Sostowski is particularly knowledgeable regarding the management of employee usage of technology. She frequently counsels clients and lectures on the evolution of employment law in response to technology, including latest developments in social media and electronic systems policies and strategies for protecting business interests that may be impacted by employees’ use of technology.

Credentials

Education

Harvard Law School (J.D.)

  • Executive Board, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

Swarthmore College (B.A., with high honors)

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

Commonweath of Massachusetts

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Professional Activities

National Association of Women Lawyers
President-Elect, 2018-Present
Executive Board, 2014-Present
Founder and Co-Chair, Pipeline to Equity Partnership Program, 2011-2017
Board Member at Large, 2011-2014

New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
Trustee at Large, 2012-Present
Co-Director of Membership, 2010-2012
Co-Director of Best Practices, 2008-2010

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)

New Jersey State Bar Association
Higher Education Committee

Harvard Law School Association
Celebration 65: Programming Committee, 2018
Celebration 60: Women Transforming Our Communities & The World, Executive Committee/Outreach Co-Chair, 2013
Celebration 55: The Women’s Leadership Summit, Outreach Committee, 2008
Harvard Law School Association of New Jersey, Trustee, 2005-2009

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Sidney Reitman Employment Law American Inn of Court
Barrister, 2009-2013

Civic/Charitable Activities

Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey
Special Events Committee Member (2007-Present)
Auction Chairperson (2007-2013)

Pingry Alumni Association
Director (2017-Present)

Legal Employment

McDermott Will & Emery, Boston, MA (2001-2005)