Pamela Jeffrey


Pamela Jeffrey (State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D; Barnard College, B.A.), began her career in labor when she became a rank and file activist and then a staff organizer on District 65, UAW’s organizing drive at Columbia University that resulted in a ground‑breaking contract for university support staff.  Jeffrey went to law school with the specific goal of returning to the labor movement: “After I saw and felt first hand the power of collective action at the workplace and the ability a union to transform workers’ lives, I never looked back.”  Jeffrey has devoted her legal career to representing unions and workers in the robust exercise of their rights including in collective bargaining, arbitrations, litigation and before the National Labor Relations Board in unfair labor practice and representation proceedings. She also works extensively on internal union governance matters and compliance with DOL regulations.

Over the past 28 years, Jeffrey has overseen officer elections, constitutional amendments and internal union mergers for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, as it has expanded from a NYC based union to a 400,000+ member multi‑state union spanning across NY state to MD, MA, FL, NJ and the District of Columbia.

Jeffrey has served as lead counsel in collective bargaining negotiations at major hospitals in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, serves as lead counsel in negotiations with a variety of health care employers in the NYC area, and as counsel in multi‑employer bargaining in the healthcare industry in NY.

Related to her work on labor disputes, Jeffrey also represents unions in dealing with the police regarding picketing and labor demonstrations.  In addition to her extensive labor work, Jeffrey has represented plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases, including Latino Officers Ass’n, et. al, v. City of New York, et al., a class action case involving discrimination in the NYPD’s internal disciplinary system.

Jeffrey currently finds inspiration in the growing number of younger workers organizing with unions including at cultural institutions in NYC and digital media throughout the country and by recent strikes including by auto workers, hotel workers and teachers in various states (including red states!) that provide inspiring examples of the power of collective action to win gains, change hearts and minds and propel others to use their collective power to achieve justice at their workplaces and beyond.

Jeffrey speaks and writes and on a variety of topics including:  Representation rights and the duty to bargain, the right to strike, surveillance at the workplace, employee use of social media, employee use of employer technology and systems, and legalized marijuana at the workplace for organizations including: The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, AFL‑CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, NY State Bar Association, Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations and American Arbitration Association.

Jeffrey is a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and its Committee on Practice and Procedure under the NLRA and serves as Union/Employee chair of the Section’s Webinar Committee, in which capacity she has moderated webinars on handling sexual harassment complaints, sexual harassment prevention, legalized marijuana and the workplace and most recently on NLRB developments.

Practice Areas

  • Labor Law
  • Union Governance
  • Employment Law

Awards, Honors & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers


  • Barnard College, B.A., 1984
  • SUNY School of Law at Buffalo, J.D., 1991


State Admissions

  • New York

Outside Industry Talents

  • She has participated in panels and authored papers for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, the FMCS, Cornell ILR and ABA on various issues. Topics have included: NLRB law governing representation rights, the duty to bargain, the right to strike, employee use of technology at the workplace, and social media issues; also, drug testing in the age of legalized marijuana and workplace surveillance issues in arbitration.
  • Jeffrey is a member of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) Committee on Practice and Procedure under the NLRA, a “traditional labor” track coordinator for the ABA/LEL annual conferences and the Union co-Chair of the ABA/LEL Webinar Committee. Jeffrey has served on the host committee for Peggy Browning Fund.

Outside Interests

  • Photography
  • Comedy
  • Travel
  • Outdoor Adventures in NYC and beyond