Linda T. Prestegaard

Partner New York City, Rochester, Buffalo
Linda Prestegaard

A dynamic labor and employment lawyer, Linda has earned a reputation for understanding her client’s business and seeking practical solutions to immediate legal issues while bearing in mind her client’s long term goals.

Linda takes a proactive approach to avoiding employment discrimination claims by offering energetic and memorable training on avoiding sexual and other harassment in the workplace by incorporating real-life employment examples. She also conducts training on wage and hour compliance and human resources best practices.

Clients recognize Linda’s sound understanding of their business operations, and how she uses that knowledge to provide practical legal advice.

In the event an employment discrimination claim is made, Linda has experience representing employers in higher education, health care, manufacturing, construction and workforce development, among other sectors, in federal and state courts and agency proceedings defending Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New York Human Rights Law claims. Linda is also experienced in handling collective and class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law, as well as investigations and actions by the federal and state Departments of Labor. She has represented construction clients in prevailing wage matters, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigations and Davis-Bacon audits. She also has extensive experience investigating claims of harassment, discrimination, workplace misconduct and other confidential issues.

Linda has represented higher education institutions with her work on faculty tenure and contract disputes, investigations of claims of misconduct and civil rights violations, regulatory compliance, faculty and staff handbooks, appointment letters and affirmative action plans. She is co-leader of Phillips Lytle’s Higher Education Team.

Linda represents management in traditional labor matters, conducting training regarding concerted activity, union awareness and campaigns, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings and Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) litigations and advising regarding strikes.


Honors & Awards

  • Listed in Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business, 2020-2024
    • Top Ranked, 2022-2024
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, 2021, 2024
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2023
    • Named Top 25 Women Super Lawyers®, Upstate 2012, 2013
  • Named to The United States District Court for the Western District of New York Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2021
Awards & Certifications

Education & Admissions

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 1988
  • Tufts University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1985
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit


Representative Matters
  • Obtained summary judgment in the Western District of New York dismissing separate actions by brothers claiming race discrimination and retaliation against a major beverage company
  • Provided continuous traditional labor relations counsel to a major medical and research institution for over 25 years, including handling investigations, grievances, contract interpretation, arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges, unit clarifications cases, union negotiations, union organizing campaigns and strike threats.
  • Successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreement and avoided threatened strike for large utility.
  • Conducted confidential investigations and provided anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training and union awareness training for higher education, gaming and industry clients.

Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Co-Presenter, “Strategies to Establish More Inclusive and Equitable Work Environments,” Phillips Lytle Breakfast Briefing Webinar, June 2023
  • Presenter, Large Company Senior HR Executive Forum, Greater Rochester Chamber, December 2022
  • Presenter, “Adapting to the Hybrid Workforce,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, October 2022
  • Presenter, “Labor and Employment Updates,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, October 2021
  • Presenter, “Are You Collecting Student and Employee Biometric Data? Avoid Risks When Collecting and Managing Biometric Information,” Phillips Lytle Data Security & Privacy Law and Labor & Employment Law Webinar, The Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities, April 2021
  • Presenter, “Legalized Marijuana and the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, April 2021
  • Moderator, “How Employers Have Successfully Adapted to COVID-19 and How They Are Planning for the Future,” Rochester Business Journal State of the Region Webinar, March 2021
  • Presenter, “Data Security/Employment Biometrics,” Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association (BNHRA) Legal Update, March 2021
  • Presenter, “Smart Gadgets and Employee Screenings: How to Manage Biometric Data,” Phillips Lytle Data Security & Privacy Law Webinar, December 2020
  • Presenter, “COVID-19 Comeback Series: What Every Employer Needs to Know in the New Reality,” COVID-19 Comeback Series, Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, August 2020
  • Speaker, “New York State Human Rights Law Update,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Legal Updates, December 2019
  • Presenter, “Conducting an Internal Investigation,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, April 2018
  • Presenter, “How to Hire, Fire, and Manage Employees to Minimize Your Legal Liability,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, June 2017
  • Presenter, “How to Hire, Fire, and Manage Employees to Minimize Your Legal Liability,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, April 2017
  • Presenter, “NLRB and the Employee Handbook: Does the Company Handbook Comply?” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, June 2016
  • Speaker, “Top Trending Issues in Wage and Hour Law,” Rochester Business Alliance Business Briefing, April 2015

Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • JustCause, Board of Directors
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Panel of Approved Mediators, ADR Plan, Member
  • Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc., Board of Directors

Past Activities

  • ABA Committee on Practice & Procedure under the NLRA, Region III Employer Co-Chair
  • Mercy Community Services, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Mercy Residential Services, Board of Directors
  • Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, Board of Directors

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Litigation Section
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Trial Lawyers Section