Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP

Strategic Employment Lawyers

(212) 321-7075


Jonathan Ben-Asher

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Jonathan Ben-Asher represents executives, professionals and other employees in employment disputes, including those involving employment contracts, executive compensation, whistleblowing, retaliation and employment discrimination. He also has particular expertise in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing cases, claims under the Qui Tam (False Claims) Act and Dodd-Frank Act, and disputes concerning executive compensation in the financial services sector.

Mr. Ben-Asher works with his clients through all phases of an employment problem: negotiating employment contracts, advising clients on protecting their interests when problems arise in their employment, negotiating severance and buy-out agreements, and representing them in arbitration, litigation and mediation. He prides himself on being creative, thorough and tireless in working to achieve results which benefit his clients.

He has held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, the New York State Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and the National Employment Lawyers Association / New York (see below). He is Chair-elect of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has repeatedly been named as a New York Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America and New York. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

He is a frequent speaker on employment law issues for professional groups, including the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges of the New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law and the Practising Law Institute.

He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law (1980) and his B.A. from Columbia University (1974).

Honors:

  • New York Super Lawyers - Metro, 2007-2010
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2012; Best Lawyers in the New York Area, 2008-2012
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2006-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers; AV rated
  • Board of Advisors, New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, 2010-present

Bar Associations:

  • American Bar Association:
    • Co-chair, Contracts and Executive Compensation Subcommittee, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2010-2014
    • Employee Chair, Section of Labor and Employment Law - Sixth Annual Conference, 2011-2012
    • Employee Vice-chair, Fifth Annual Section Conference, 2010-2011
    • Co-chair, Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Meeting Committee, 2008-2010
    • Employee Chair, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2007-2010
    • Administrative Co-Chair, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2004-2007
    • Program Co-Chair, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2003-2004
    • Co-chair, Statutory Rights Subcommittee, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2002-2003
  • New York State Bar Association:
    • Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2012-present
    • Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2004-present
    • Co-Chair, Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2004-2012
  • National Employment Lawyers Association / New York:
    • Vice President, 2005-2008
    • Secretary, 2004
    • Board of Directors, 2001-2008

Bar Admissions:

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

Other Experience:

  • Partner, Beranbaum Menken Ben-Asher & Bierman LLP, 1998 - 2009
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1989-1996
  • Faculty, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, 1991-1992, 1994-1995
  • Assistant Attorney General, Labor Bureau, Attorney General of the State of New York, 1988-1989.
  • Staff Attorney: Legal Aid Society, Civil Division, New York, 1980-1988; Civil Appeals & Law Reform Unit, 1985-1986.
  • Fellow: Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program, 1980-1982.
  • Co-Editor, Newsletter, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law) 1996-2002;
  • Editor, New York Employee Advocate (National Employment Lawyers Association/New York), 1998-2004;

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • New Developments in Whistleblower Law, Practising Law Institute, 2014
  • Counseling Current Employees, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference, November, 2013
  • Contractual and Compensation Issues for Financial Services Executives, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March, 2013
  • Whistleblower Claims: What They Are and How to Bring Them, American Law Institute / American Bar Association, March, 2011
  • Negotiating Executive Employment Contracts to Anticipate Disputes, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March, 2011
  • Developments in Retaliation Cases, Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges, New York University School of Law, Center for Labor and Employment Law, 2010, 2011
  • New and Improved Whistleblower Protections for Employees, The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Workplace, New York University School of Law, Center for Labor and Employment Law, June, 2011
  • Negotiating Severance Agreements in an Uncertain Economy, in Termination of an Employee, New York City Bar Association, March, 2011
  • Developments in Retaliation Cases, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference, November, 2009;
  • Employment Discrimination Claims 2009, Practising Law Institute, June, 2009
  • Moderator, The Impact of the Obama Administration on Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Meeting 2010
  • Moderator, Nuts and Bolts of Arbitrating Individual Employment Claims, New York State Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2008, 2010
  • Developments in Whistleblower Cases Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference, September, 2008;
  • Representing Whistleblowers in Sarbanes-Oxley Cases, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference, November, 2007;
  • Wrongful Termination Actions and Negotiating Severance Agreements, in Termination of an Employee, New York City Bar Association, November, 2005, September, 2006, September, 2007, December, 2008, January, 2010
  • Counseling Current Employees, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, 2006
  • Negotiating Severance Agreements, New York County Lawyers Association, May, 2005
  • What to Do When the Whistle Blows or How to Blow It: Sarbanes-Oxley's Dilemmas and Protection for Lawyers, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, August, 2003
  • Representing Whistleblowers Under Sarbanes-Oxley, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, 2004
  • Whistleblower Protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, New York Law Journal, October 23, 2002
  • What Works and Doesn't Work in the Mediation of Employment Claims, New York State Bar Association, October, 2005
  • Age Discrimination, Basic Elder Law, Practising Law Institute, 1998, 2000
  • Arbitration of Employment Claims - An Overview, August 2001, 2002, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, Basic Employment Rights and Responsibilities, American Bar Association, August 2001
  • Employee Leave for Military Service and The EEOC After September 11th, The Aftermath of September 11th: Emerging Issues in Labor and Employment Law, New York State Bar Association, January, 2002
  • Discovery of a Plaintiff's Therapy Records in Litigation of Emotional Distress Claims: From the Couch to Counsel Table and Back, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Newsletter, American Bar Association, Summer, 1997
  • Case and Client Evaluation and Agency Practice, How to Handle an Employment Discrimination Case, New York County Lawyers Association, June, 2001, June, 2002, June 2005
  • Moderator, In-house ADR Programs: Do They Work? Are They Fair? What Would Improve Them?, New York State Bar Association, January, 2007
  • Changes in Federal Rules Alter Discovery Landscape in Employment Cases, The New York Employee Advocate, National Employment Lawyers Association/New York, February, 2001
  • Fisher Redux: Pretext Plus What?" The New York Employee Advocate, National Employment Lawyers Association/New York, November/December, 1999

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Reported Cases

  • Curry v. Volt Information Sciences, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20910 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (we opposed employer’s motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff’s whistleblower claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; court granted motion to compel.)
  • McKenna on behalf of the United States v. Senior Life Management, Inc. 29 F. Supp. 2d 695 (SDNY 2006) (denying employer's motion to dismiss retaliation claim under the False Claims [Qui Tam] Act, and holding, in a decision of first impression, that the statute of limitations for bringing such a claim in New York is three years from the retaliatory act)
  • Wright v. SFX Entertainment, Inc. 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1000 (SDNY 2001) (we opposed employer’s motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff’s race discrimination and breach of contract claims; court denied employer’s motion to compel arbitration of claim against individual defendant and granted it as against the employer)
  • Zastrow v. Ikegami Electronics (U.S.A.) Inc., 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21002; 75 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 929 (D.N.J. 1997) (denying employer’s motion to dismiss sexual harassment claims.)
  • Yates v. Philip Morris, 690 F. Supp. 180 (S.D.N.Y. 1988) (disability discrimination claim under the Rehabilitation Act, prior to enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Chaplin v. Consolidated Edison Co., 579 F. Supp. 1470 (S.D.N.Y. 1984), 628 F. Supp. 143 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (disability discrimination class action under the Rehabilitation Act.)
  • Davis v. United Air Lines, 575 F.Supp. 677 (E.D.N.Y. 1983) (disability discrimination class action under the Rehabilitation Act)
  • Rodriquez v. Joseph, 544 N.Y.S.2d 592 (1st Dept. 1989) (denying summary judgment in class action on behalf of parents of New York City School system concerning excess kindergarten class size).