June 16, 2017

Tracey L. Mancini
Marketing Communications Manager
(716) 847-8340


Buffalo, N.Y. – Phillips Lytle LLP will host a Buffalo Business First Power Breakfast on the New York State Paid Family Leave Program on Monday, June 19th at the firm’s One Canalside office in downtown Buffalo. Panel members will break down the major changes and how they impact an employer’s responsibilities.

In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy. The New York State Paid Family Leave Program will provide New Yorkers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition, or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Who is eligible and when?
  • What type of benefit coverage can be expected?
  • What is the employer’s responsibility?
  • Who pays for these benefits?
  • When does the next change take effect and what can be expected?

The panel will include featured panelist General Counsel of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board David Wertheim, as well as Gilbralter Industries Director of Human Resources Ellen Lista, Lawley Partner Brian Murphy, Phillips Lytle Partner James D. Donathen and Phillips Lytle Partner James R. Grasso.

Mr. Donathen has practiced in the area of workplace law and litigation for more than 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.

Phillips Lytle LLP is a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence. With offices across New York State and in Chicago, IL; 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