James R. Grasso

Buffalo; New York City; Canada
(716) 847-5422
(519) 570-4800, (212) 508-0475
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Mr. Grasso represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He defends employers against workplace-related lawsuits, including those involving employment discrimination and harassment claims, wage and hour violations, breach of contract, whistleblower claims and wrongful termination. His experience includes conducting workplace investigations and counseling employers on workplace compliance issues, employee discipline, workplace policies and practices, employee confidentiality and non-compete agreements, wage and hour issues, leave issues and reasonable accommodation of disabled employees. Mr. Grasso also defends management against union organizing campaigns and unfair labor practice charges, and represents management in collective bargaining negotiations and labor arbitrations. He regularly appears on behalf of employers in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings, and before the EEOC, NLRB, USDOL, OSHA, New York State Division of Human Rights and New York City Commission on Human Rights. His practice also extends to defending companies against website accessibility lawsuits.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Honors and Awards

Chambers USA Badge 2022 - Grasso
  • Listed in Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021-2022
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Labor Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Buffalo, 2021
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2008, 2011-2022


  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1990
  • Hobart College, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
      • Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
    • Litigation Section
  • Bar Association of Erie County
    • Labor and Employment Committee
  • Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Employment Law Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Trial Lawyers Section
  • Society for Human Resources Management

Present Activities

  • American Red Cross of WNY, Board of Directors

Past Activities

  • Bornhava, Board of Directors
  • City of Buffalo Charter Review Commission, Special Counsel
  • Cleveland Hill Educational Foundation
  • Kevin Guest House, Board of Directors
  • Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council
  • St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Board of Directors