July 17, 2017

Oliver F. Hays
Phillips Lytle LLP


Buffalo, N.Y. – Phillips Lytle LLP will host the Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association (BNHRA) event, “Breakfast with a Legal Twist,” at its Buffalo office located downtown at One Canalside. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 19th from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Topics to be covered at the program include:

  • Labor and Employment Law Under President Trump
    Presented by Partner James D. Donathen
  • New York State Paid Family Leave
    Presented by Partner James R. Grasso
  • Theft of Data and Other Confidential Information by Employees
    Presented by Partner Jennifer A. Beckage

Mr. Donathen has practiced in the area of workplace law and litigation for over 30 years. Mr. Donathen handles federal and state discrimination lawsuits and agency charges under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA and the N.Y. Human Rights Law, and investigates and litigates employee disloyalty matters, including covenants not to compete, trade secrets, confidential information and theft of product. In addition to defending civil and criminal Attorney General and other investigations, Mr. Donathen also represents employers in union elections, labor arbitrations, LMRA litigation, and NLRB and PERB proceedings. He defends OSHA workplace accident and other health and safety citations, and fends off wage and hour and employee misclassification claims and lawsuits under the FLSA. Mr. Donathen handles the defense of whistleblower claims under SOX, OSHA, and other federal and state laws. He provides preventative advice and practical business solutions in all of these areas.

Mr. Grasso represents management in the private and public sectors in all aspects of labor and employment law. He counsels clients on workplace policies and practices and legal compliance issues, and represents employers in litigation concerning employment discrimination, harassment, wage and hour matters, wrongful termination, employment contract disputes, and confidentiality and non-compete agreements. Mr. Grasso appears regularly before state and federal courts in New York and before federal, state and local administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights and New York City Commission on Human Rights. His practice also includes representing management in union organizing campaigns and collective bargaining negotiations, as well as defending management in labor arbitrations and before the National Labor Relations Board and New York State Public Employment Relations Board.

Ms. Beckage is the firm’s Data Security & Privacy Practice Team Leader. Before beginning her legal career, she was an owner of a technology company. She successfully helped lead the company through an acquisition to a publicly-traded company, in which she was retained in a management role overseeing operations of an e-services line of products in 11 states.

Ms. Beckage’s prior business background provides her with important insight in representing clients in business disputes and commercial litigation involving, among other things, intellectual property, employee disloyalty, violations of non-compete agreements and other employment matters, breaches of contract, and fraud matters. She is also experienced in responding to governmental agencies and investigations, as well as overseeing corporate compliance with regulatory bodies.

Phillips Lytle is pleased to be a strategic partner of BNHRA, the pre-eminent human resource professional organization in Western New York.

Phillips Lytle LLP is a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence. With offices in New York State, Washington, D.C., and Canada, our attorneys serve a multinational client base including FORTUNE 1000 companies, global and regional financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, middle market companies, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on important matters affecting their businesses and personal wealth. For more information, visit