Richard A. Levy

Special Counsel

Richard has practiced labor, employment, employee benefits and civil rights law since 1971. He has been lead counsel in several large class action discrimination cases, obtaining millions of dollars in back pay and damages as well as major injunctive relief for class members. Richard has also been the lead litigator in numerous other federal court matters involving civil rights statutes, the LMRDA (union elections, trusteeships and union members’ rights), ERISA and the NLRA. He has represented unions and Taft‑Hartley pension and health funds for more than 45 years, served as General Counsel of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East from 1986 to 2000, and was counsel to the 1199 Health Care Employees Pension Fund and the 1199 National Benefit Fund, two of the largest private sector pension and health and welfare funds in the nation.

Practice Areas

  • Employment counseling
  • Hiring and Separation Agreements
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Race and National Origin Discrimination
  • Sex and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Age Discrimination
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Wage Theft Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Labor Union representation
  • Arbitration
  • Negotiations
  • Practice before the National Labor Relations Board

Case Highlight

  • USA and Vulcan Society v. City of New York, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39514 (E.D.N.Y. 2009) Represented African-American firefighter applicants discriminated against by the City of New York who obtained more than $100 million in back pay and damages, and Court-ordered changes in hiring practices of the FDNY
  • Latino Officers Association v. City of New York, 209 F.R.D. 79 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) Class action challenge to disparate discipline of Latino New York City Police Officers, resulting in settlement of more than $20 million in back pay and costs as well as injunctive relief
  • Grant v. Bethlehem Steel, 635 F.2d 1007 (2d Cir. 1980) Finding prima facie case of disparate treatment and disparate impact in failure to promote black ironworkers into supervisory jobs

Awards, Honors & Recognition

  • 2013 Peggy Browning Award — Activist Lawyer... supporting the Labor Movement
  • 2012 "Social Justice Leader Award" by the Public Interest Law Association (PILA) of the CUNY School of Law
  • 2010 Center for Constitutional Rights’ Pro Bono Social Change Award
  • Peer-selected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent Lawyer rating from Martindale-Hubbell's Top Rated Lawyers
  • Peer selected for inclusion in the “Best Lawyers in America” publication for the past 25 years and in Thomson Reuters "New York Super Lawyers"
  • Lectured at conferences for the NLRB, AFL-CIO, and Practicing Law Institute
  • Published articles on labor law and civil rights litigation
  • Served on the Lawyers Advisory Panel of the AFL-CIO


  • New York University School of Law, JD, 1968
  • Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, B.S., 1964


State Admissions

  • New York