Merrick (Rick) Rossein, Professor, served as the Acting Dean of CUNY Law School in 1994-95, teaches the Equality Concentration and courses on employment discrimination, employment law, and trial practice, and is a faculty member of the Law School's Worker, Employment, Labor Program (WELP). He earned a B.A. from Alfred University and an M.P.A. degree from Wagner School of Public Policy, New York University before joining the founding class of Antioch Law School. His extensive background in civil rights and employment law includes work at the National Employment Law Project, Queens Legal Services, Employment Law Unit, New York City Bureau of Labor Services, and New York City Commission on Human Rights.
In addition, he litigated numerous race, sex, age and disability discrimination cases, including the landmark sexual harassment case of EEOC v. Sage Realty Corporation. Prior to filing in federal district court, this case was the first sexual harassment case heard and decided by the full U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In another case of first impression, Leibovitz v. New York City Transit Authority, U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein wrote: "Counsel [Rossein] …is an extraordinarily able attorney specializing in discrimination litigation. *** Counsel was dealing with a difficult area in this field. He showed extraordinary skill." He litigated Bruneau v. South Kortright Central School District one of the first school peer-to-peer sex harassment cases under title IX of the 1972 Educational amendments, which received widespread media attention nationally and internationally.
He drafted legislation, an executive order, and model sexual harassment regulations, published a three-volume treatise, Employment Discrimination Law and Litigation (Thomson Reuters West), and edited Employment Law Desk Book for Human Resource Professionals. He drafted an affirmative action plan for the City of New York and was appointed by Mayor David N. Dinkins to a four-year term as Commissioner of the City of New York Equal Employment Practices Commission, by Governor Mario Cuomo to serve on his Task Force on Sexual Harassment, and was appointed by Chair Congresswoman Bella Abzug as a Member of the City of New York Commission on Woman Sexual Harassment Task Force.
Professor Rossein was selected and served as the Independent EEO Consultant based on a U.S. District Court decision and remedial order in U.S. and the Vulcan Society v. the City of New York. The decision found that the New York City Fire Department's hiring practices discriminated based on race and ordered major reforms, which included that a consultant develop compliance reforms along with the Court Monitor and the City. Prof. Rossein was responsible for developing a compliance program to ensure that the FDNY and the City address and eliminate discriminatory hiring practices based on race and build a diverse and inclusive firefighting workforce.
Professor Rossein was engaged by the Assembly of the State of New York to develop a harassment policy and procedure and training program and was appointed by the Standing Committee on Ethics as the independent neutral investigator counsel to investigate claims of harassment and discrimination by Members of the Assembly.
Professor Rossein is a member of the ABA Section on Labor and Employment, Equal Employment Opportunity and ADR Committees where he was named Scholar-in-Residence (2007) (inaugural scholar) and the New York State Bar Association Section on Labor and Employment, where he served as Secretary and on the Executive Committee. He is an arbitrator and mediator on the American Arbitration Association's National Employment Disputes Panel and has been a consultant on equal employment opportunity to the Greater London Council, the Working Women's Institute, the Women's Law Center in Cape Town, South Africa and the City of San Francisco, which enacted a statute based on his recommendations, as well as private sector employers, and has trained recently-appointed U.S. federal judges on employment discrimination law for the National Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.
Disclosure and Disqualification Standards for Neutral Arbitrators: How Far to Cast the Net and What is Sufficient to Vacate Award, in St. Johns University Law Journal (May 2007) (co-author Jennifer Hope)
The Costs of Resolving Employment Disputes Through Arbitration: Are Arbitration Agreements That Require Employees to Share Costs Enforceable?, in ADR and the Law 2003 (2003).
The Supreme Court Hands the Keys to Arbitrators to Decide Whether Class Claims May be Raised in New York, in New York Employment Law and Practice (2003).
Supreme Court Holds That a Plaintiff Need Not Present Direct Evidence of Discrimination in Order to Receive a Mixed-Motive Instruction Under Title VII in New York, in New York Employment Law and Practice (2003).
Outside Investigations of Employee Misconduct May Trigger the FCRA Requirements in New York, in New York Employment Law and Practice (2001).
Changes to Discovery: The Amended Rules, in New York Employment Law and Practice (2000).
Fine Tuning Your Harassment Policy: Taking the Next Step, in HR Advisor: Legal and Practical Guidance (2000).
Harassment in the Workplace: We've Come a Long Way, but Diversity Requires Continued Vigilance, in The Story of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The Ensuring Promise of Opportunity for 35 Years (2000).
Kolstad and Its Aftermath in New York, in New York Employment Law and Practice (2000).
Investigating Harassment Charges After Faragher and Ellerth, 12 Empl. Discrimination Rep. (BNA), 378 (Mar. 10, 1999).
Sex Harassment Investigation by Lawyers: Risks Concerning Discovery, Future Representation, And Waiver of Privileges, 11 Empl. Discrimination Rep. (BNA), at 84 (July 8, 1998).
Accommodating the Conflict Between The Americans With Disabilities Act and the NLRA's Collective Bargaining Obligations, 46 N.Y.U. Ann. Conf. Lab. (1993) (co-written with Marci Seville).
Patterson v. McLean Credit Union -- 'What the Court Declines to Snatch Away With One Hand, It Takes With the Other,' 7 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 95 (1990).
Validation of Subjective Criteria in Selecting Employees After Watson and Wards Cove, New York University Forty-second Annual Conference on Labor, Proceedings (Matthew Bender, December 1989).
Subjective Criteria in Title VII Disparate Impact Analysis: Burdens and Standards of Proof, Symposium on Civil Rights, 9 Mississippi College Law Review 29 (1988).
Sex Discrimination and the Sexually Charged Work Environment, New York University Review of Law and Social Change, Vol. IX, No. 3.
Employment Discrimination: Law And Litigation (1990-2013).
Employment Law Desk Book For Human Resources Professionals (2004-2013) (editor).
Chapters in Books
Harassment by Non-Employees, in Sexual Harassment (B. Lindemann & D. Kudue eds., 1992).
Application of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 to "Existing Claims", in The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (1993), previously published in Video Law Review Study Materials (Feb. 13, 1992).
Disparate Impact Theory After the Civil Rights Act of 1991: Restoring the Job Performance Standards, in The Civil Rights Act of 1991: Its Impact on Employment Discrimination Litigation (1992).
Sexual Harassment, in Employment and Discrimination Law (B. Schiel & P. Grossman eds., 1983).
Statistical Proof , in Employment Discrimination Litigation: Use and Requirements, in Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Handbook (Lobel ed. 1986).
Employment, in Legal Advocacy for the Handicapped (P. Hearne ed., 1981) (co-written with Robert Martin).
Why I Teach at CUNY Law?
"I teach at CUNY Law School because of the extraordinary students and faculty who pursue excellence in their lawyering, working toward equality and fairness in the law and our society."