IAN CARLETON SCHAEFER is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green and a member of the firm’s National Labor and Employment Steering Committee. In addition, he co-leads the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications ("TMT") service team and is co-editor of the Technology Employment Law blog. Recommended by The Legal 500 United States (2016, 2017) for Workplace and Employment Counseling and named to the New York Metro Rising Stars list (2011, 2013 - 2016) in the area of Employment & Labor, Mr. Schaefer has developed a reputation for his practical and results-driven approach to counseling and defending employers on the full spectrum of employment issues. He has significant experience working in the TMT space, as well as the sports, entertainment, and arts sectors.

Mr. Schaefer:

  • Advises clients on a wide variety of employment-related issues, including, but not limited to, employee recruiting and hiring practices, worker classification issues, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in force, wage and hour laws, employee leaves of absence, and disability law and reasonable accommodations
  • Counsels clients on cross-border labor and employment issues, executive compensation schemes, and global HR policy initiatives
  • Represents clients in state and federal court and before administrative tribunals on issues involving unlawful discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, tort, restructuring, executive compensation, and restrictive covenant claims, and other employment-related matters
  • Represents management in traditional labor relations and labor law matters, including union avoidance, the drafting and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, arbitration, strike management, and workforce issues
  • Advises clients on compliance with applicable labor laws, and litigating grievance cases before the National Labor Relations Board and in federal and state courts
  • Provides advice on the design, drafting, and implementation of corporate human resources policies, employee handbooks, training, and development programs for C-suite, senior management, and human resources professionals

In furtherance of his TMT work, Mr. Schaefer serves concurrently as the Head of Employment Law for BT Americas Inc. ("BT"), a subsidiary of British Telecommunications plc. Since 2009, he has been solely responsible for management and oversight for all litigation and day-to-day advice and counsel on employment matters in the United States and Canada, as well as leading on critical cross-border labor and employment initiatives. In addition to his work at BT, Mr. Schaefer has represented clients as wide-ranging as start-up and emerging companies to global enterprises in advertising, broadcast television, financial services, print media, on-demand retail, and digital recruiting.

Equally at home in the world of sports, entertainment, and the arts, Mr. Schaefer’s practice has included the representation of the major sports leagues in the United States, from both traditional labor law and employment compliance and litigation perspectives. And as an accomplished and active trumpet player in both the classical and independent pop/rock scenes of New York City, Mr. Schaefer brings added credibility and sensibility to his arts and entertainment practice. He has represented such organizations as the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the International Contemporary Ensemble, as well as various Broadway production companies. An ardent advocate for arts education, Mr. Schaefer serves as Trustee and General Counsel to the New York Youth Symphony and is a founding member of The Rhythm Club, the junior board of Jazz at Lincoln Center (Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director).

Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Schaefer practiced labor and employment law at the New York office of an international law firm, where he co-authored the successful briefs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision 14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett. Other work experience includes roles with the National Labor Relations Board (Region 2), Major League Baseball, and the Office of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Mr. Schaefer has written and lectured on scores of labor and employment law topics both domestically and internationally, including at Fordham University School of Law, Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and New York University's Masters in Arts Administration program.


  • Fordham University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2004)
    • Fordham Urban Law Journal, Symposium Editor
  • Cornell University (B.S., 2001)
    • School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York


  • American Bar Association, International Labor & Employment Law Section
  • New York Youth Symphony, Trustee & General Counsel
  • The Rhythm Club of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Co-Founder