Mark E. Spund is a partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP in Garden City where he heads its Employment Law Practice. Spund has extensive experience in employment litigation representing corporate and non-for-profit clients against wage and hour claims, claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation and other employee disputes before administrative agencies and in federal and state courts. He also assists clients in employment law compliance, training and developing handbooks, as well as representing clients in complex commercial litigation.
Looking into the New Year, Spund said there are two areas of great concern to attorneys who practice employment law — waiver class action and collective action rights in employee mandatory arbitration agreements and whether franchisors are to be considered joint employers with their franchisees.
“On January 13, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases, which stem from the National Labor Relations Board’s 2012 decision in D.R. Horton Inc. holding that class action waivers infringe on an employee’s rights under Section 7 rights of the National Labor Relations Act to engage in protected activity – Murphy Oil – where the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that mandatory waivers do not violet the NLRA – and Epic Systems and Ernst & Young where both the Seventh and Ninth Circuits respectively upheld the NLRB’s decision that mandatory waivers violate the NLRA.” Spund said.
“Oral argument is scheduled for the spring and a decision should be handed down by the court by the end of June,” Spund noted.
“Additionally, in December, the NLRB’s general counsel filed 43 unfair labor practice cases against McDonald’s USA LLC under a joint employer theory,” Spund explained. Eventually, these cases will get to the Supreme Court or Congress will act. It is obvious that the NLRB seeks to erase the lines of control that exist in a franchise relationship.”
“While overreaction to the position should be avoided it is never too soon for small franchisors to keep aware of the cases as they travel through the administrative process,” Spund advised.
Spund began his career as an assistant district attorney in Queens Country from 1975 through 1979. He was a partner in a small firm in Woodmere, Long Island from 1979 to 1989 and has been with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron since 1989.
He earned a juris doctor from Washington College of Law of the American University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Queens College.
Spund is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. District Court of the Southern Eastern and Northern District of New York.
Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP with more than 50 attorneys in offices in New York City, Albany, Washington D.C. and Long Island, provides legal and government relations services for a varied clientele that include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, prominent real estate organizations, developers, leading health and educational institutions, associations and services organizations, as well as other industries throughout the greater metropolitan area.