Douglas T. Schwarz is a trusted advisor to and advocate for employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He litigates in court, arbitration, and administrative proceedings; counsels employers on human resources matters; negotiates and drafts executive employment and separation agreements; advises on labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions, both domestic and cross-border; and conducts internal investigations of employee complaints. Doug also handles ADA Title III and state law matters involving access of persons with disabilities to public accommodations.
Doug’s clients include financial services firms (mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, commercial and investment banks, wealth management); educational institutions; and media, technology, and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences companies.
He represents numerous non-US companies, from Japan and elsewhere in Asia, the United Kingdom, and Europe, regarding their US labor and employment matters, and US companies on international labor and employment issues.
Doug’s experience includes litigating claims of discrimination, harassment, and reasonable accommodation (race, gender, age, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, religion), whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour violations (bonus, commission, overtime and minimum wage), non-competition, non-solicitation, and trade secret breach, defamation and privacy; counseling on reorganizations, reductions-in-force, and executive hiring and termination matters; developing and implementing litigation-avoidance strategies, diversity and affirmative action plans, and training programs on harassment prevention, diversity, and performance management; and advising on government audits (by OSHA, the Department of Labor and OFCCP) and labor-management relations.
He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator.
Doug represents clients in a range of other matters, including housing, education and public accommodations discrimination.
Doug has served in government as commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General and as a US District Court law clerk.
Recently obtained a dismissal from a US Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge in whistleblower action where client was co-defendant with a federal agency; plaintiff was a terminated senior professional at a major environmental clean-up site, who claimed the termination was in retaliation for complaining that employees were being exposed to unsafe amounts of a toxic substance
Enforced restrictive covenant against departed fund portfolio manager
Defended hedge fund against contract and whistleblower claim by terminated managing director
Drafted hedge fund employment agreements rewarding successful investing
Managed and conducted national employment litigation for Fortune 100 computer hardware and software manufacturer — with very low average per case costs
Planned, documented and implemented major reduction in force for large quasi-public agency, resulting in zero legal claims
Designed and implemented training programs on harassment prevention for all employees and on key legal concepts for managers and supervisors
Conducted internal investigation of complaint of harassment in real estate development firm
Obtained summary judgment for global telecommunications firm in federal court FMLA and ERISA action
Provided regular advice on all employee relations matters to, e.g., large national financial services firm, large international printing company, small technology company, startup pharmaceutical company
Successfully resolved dozens of cases as counsel for employer through early mediation (also have served as mediator in numerous cases)
Prevailed in arbitration against employee challenging termination for cause based on workplace intoxication (also serve as AAA arbitrator in employment cases)
Favorably resolved state court disability discrimination claim for major metropolitan newspaper after taking plaintiff's deposition that eviscerated his case
Obtained summary judgment for employer in federal court sexual harassment claim; affirmed on appeal to Fourth Circuit
Obtained summary judgment for employer in ERISA and disability discrimination claim; affirmed on appeal to First Circuit
Successfully enforced one year non-solicitation agreement against former sales representative
Dartmouth College, 1981, Bachelor of Arts
Harvard Law School, 1986, Juris Doctor
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US District Court for the District of Massachusetts
US District Court for the District of Vermont
US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
US District Court for the Southern District of New York
Clerkship to Judge Franklin S. Billings of the US District Court for the District of Vermont (1986 - 1987)
Awards and Affiliations
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Labor and Employment, New York, The Best Lawyers in America (2020, 2022)
Recognized, Litigation - Labor and Employment, New York, The Best Lawyers in America (2023, 2024)
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Super Lawyers, New York Metro (2011–2014)
Super Lawyers, Massachusetts (2005)
Member, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
Member, Boston Bar Association
Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
Board of Directors, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Board of Directors, WISE Services Inc.
Recommended, Labor and Employment - Workplace and Employment Counseling,The Legal 500 US (2016–2021)