Steven N. Davi

Labor & Employment

Counsel | 516-227-0612 | sdavi@farrellfritz.com

LOCATION: Uniondale

Steven N. Davi is a labor and employment lawyer, concentrating in all manner of employment litigation, arbitration and mediation. He advises employers on a wide array of workplace issues, including anti-discrimination law, disability law, wage-and-hour law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, workforce reductions, employment agreements and personnel policies. In addition, Steve counsels management with regard to their relations with organized labor, including collective bargaining, union organizing and striking. He also represents employers in proceedings before federal and state labor boards and private arbitration tribunals. Steve lectures on labor and employment topics, ranging from the use of social media in the workplace to harassment and discrimination issues.

There seem to be many grey areas when dealing with employment and labor issues. What’s your approach?

First, it’s imperative that I understand all the facts, obviously. In almost every case, it’s impossible to get the full picture from an initial phone conversation or an email from the client. Second, there may be issues that warrant preliminary research into case law or how regulatory authorities have responded to similar situations.

For example, I had a client who employed a forklift operator with no known disabilities. The forklift operator suddenly had a seizure. The client needed to know what to do. Is it legal to discharge an employee who suffers from a seizure condition? Or is it the employer’s obligation to accommodate the employee under the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act or state analog? Job one was to gather all the facts relevant to this particular employee – for instance, the frequency and timing of the seizures, the nature of his job duties, and the extent of his functional limitations – before we could determine what a reasonable accommodation might look like and whether it would be possible to accommodate this employee under the circumstances.

“Success is building a strong client relationship: one in which the client trusts you and sees you as more than an attorney. You develop a friendship. You have a bond with them, and they trust you as an adviser and as a friend.”

How do you maintain your client relationships successfully?

First and foremost, it’s being responsive and being available 24/7. The goal is to protect the employer’s best interests and, whenever feasible, avoid litigation; I approach every client with these objectives in mind. It’s also critically important to get to understand the personalities of all parties with whom you are working; you must learn the client’s priorities and preferences and service their needs accordingly.

What makes Farrell Fritz stand out in a crowded legal market?

Farrell Fritz is known for its high-quality work. It’s the same quality you get at a national firm, but there is more of a small firm feel; clients receive personal attention. To have that balance is what we strive for – and achieve.

How do you give back to the community and why is it so important?

In my personal time, I am involved with Most Valuable Kids, which is a nonprofit that recognizes and fosters the academic and social achievement of underserved youth in the metro area. I’ve also been involved with the Best Buddies organization. At Farrell Fritz, there is an expectation that you spend some of your time doing pro bono work. I do a fair amount of that. You feel good doing it; you’re providing a service to someone, and people are appreciative.