Gillian Cooper

Associate

Overview

Gillian Cooper represents management in employment litigation matters before federal and state courts, as well as federal and state agencies. She has defended both single and multi-plaintiff lawsuits involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and related state statutory and common law causes of action.

Gillian draws on this litigation experience to counsel employers on how these and other employment laws affect their business operations on a day-to-day basis. This includes advice on preventative practices to minimize workplace disputes and workforce reductions. Gillian develops employee handbooks and company policies across many industries, including accommodation, harassment, vaccination, drug testing, bring your own device (BYOD), and social media policies. Employers look to her for advice on personnel actions, including drafting employment agreements and conducting internal investigations on various workplace matters.

Gillian’s practice is enhanced by her experience participating in a client secondment program, during which she served as in-house counsel to an exterior home remodeling company. Starting just one month before the start of the coronavirus pandemic and reporting directly to the General Counsel, she had to contend with employee relations, labor, and wage issues on top of the new challenges brought on by the pandemic, including furloughing employees, remote work, and data privacy issues in handling confidential health data.

Gillian also develops and provides employment law training to global and regional HR leaders and employees, particularly in the restaurant, real estate, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. Training topics include implementing equal employment opportunity practices, preventing sexual harassment, achieving diversity objectives, preparing proper documentation, and enforcing policies involving discipline and leaves of absence under the FMLA and ADA.

Before joining private practice, Gillian served as a law clerk for the Honorable Paulette M. Sapp-Peterson and the Honorable Lawrence M. Lawson of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Representative Matters

  • Represented an employer and obtained a defense verdict in a federal jury trial brought by a former employee alleging discrimination.
  • Part of a team that successfully obtained no cause determinations in two age discrimination arbitrations.
  • Part of a team that successfully represented a restaurant group in a wage and hour class action filed in New York.
  • Counsels restaurant and hospitality clients on the development and implementation of wage and hour policies including overtime, minimum wage, tip pooling, and tip credit.

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Dress for Success Central New Jersey, 2019-Present
  • Anti-Defamation League, Associate Board Member, 2019-2020 and Glass Leadership Institute, 2018-2019

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion as a Rising Star, New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2017-2018