Labor and Employment




Labor and Employment Law includes:

  • Collective Bargaining
  • Defense of Discrimination/Employment Claims
  • Disabilities Law
  • Grievance and Arbitration
  • Labor Litigation in Administrative Proceedings, State and Federal Courts
  • Mediation
  • Age Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance and Claims
  • Wage and Hour Issues
  • Pension, Benefits and Compensation
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Severance Agreements
  • Labor Board Proceedings, State and Federal

Young/Sommer is engaged in a broad spectrum of public and private sector labor and employment law. The cornerstone of our practice is providing day-to-day advice to employers in the construction, manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. The firm also counsels its municipal clients on compliance with labor issues. Our work is premised on developing a solid working relationship between the employers we represent and their employees and/or unions.

We engage in collective bargaining, as well as the grievance and arbitration process. Our attorneys have represented clients in every labor-related administrative and judicial venue. We have a successful record in trials and appeals in state and federal courts when necessary.

Common issues we deal with include:

  • Wages and hours
  • Harassment and discrimination
  • Employee benefits and pensions
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Occupational safety and health issues
  • Unfair labor practice and representation proceedings
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
  • Plant closures
  • Writing employee manuals, employment contracts, substance abuse and anti-discrimination policies
  • Establishment of not-for-profit corporations
  • Representing a number of public authorities and not-for-profit corporations

Kenneth Ritzenberg heads Young/Sommer LLC’s labor and employment law practice. Mr. Ritzenberg has represented clients in almost every aspect of private and public sector labor and employment law. He has negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements; conducted trials and appeals before the National Labor Relations Board on Unfair Labor Practice and representation issues; appeared before the Public Employment Relations Board; litigated numerous issues; processed grievances and arbitrations; written, reviewed, and revised personnel policies and employment handbooks; and, appeared on behalf of employers before federal and state agencies regarding wage and hour issues. He has also conducted investigations, administrative hearings, and appeals regarding discrimination before the New York State Division of Human Rights and the EEOC. He has also assisted clients in conducting Americans with Disabilities Act audits.

The following Young/Sommer attorneys represent clients in this practice area.

Kenneth S. RitzenbergKenneth S. Ritzenberg

Kenneth S. Ritzenberg maintains an extensive education law practice. His primary focus is special education, and he has represented over 20 school districts and hundreds of families in administrative proceedings and in federal court throughout New York State. He is the founder of the Capital District Special Education Breakfast Group.


Kristin Laviolette PrattKristin Laviolette Pratt

Kristin Laviolette Pratt (Associate) has been practicing environmental law, commercial litigation, and real property law at Young/Sommer LLC since 2005. Kristin has represented both corporate and individual clients before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in negotiating regulatory proceedings as well as before local government boards.