Biography

JEFFREY H. RUZAL is a Senior Counsel in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He is a member of the firm's Wage and Hour group and leads the firm’s Hospitality service team. Mr. Ruzal represents clients in such diverse industries as hospitality, financial services, retail, health care, and technology.

Mr. Ruzal's practice includes:

  • Litigating class actions and collective actions involving a variety of employment and wage-hour issues, including, among others, claims of misclassification, failure to pay for all time worked, unlawful tip credit and pooling, and failure to provide required meal and rest periods
  • Litigating various employment-related claims before state and federal agencies, such as the EEOC and New York Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
  • Providing counsel on, and defending against, federal and state department of labor investigations and enforcement actions
  • Providing advice and management training on wage and hour compliance, reductions in force, discrimination, and other employment issues
  • Counseling employers with respect to the avoidance of employment-related disputes, employee discipline, leaves of absence, accommodation requests, and termination of employment
  • Providing regulatory advice and conducting labor and employment due diligence in connection with significant M&A deals
  • Conducting company-wide federal and state wage and hour compliance audits
  • Drafting and negotiating employment agreements
  • Prepare and advise on bonus and commission plans in the financial services and retail industries

Mr. Ruzal has written numerous articles on significant wage and hour issues that have been included in, among other publications, Law360, Hospitality Law Magazine, and Luxury Hoteliers Magazine. He has also been interviewed and quoted by NPR News, Law360, SHRM.org, Club Industry, and Private Duty Insider with respect to many national and local wage and hour issues. Mr. Ruzal frequently speaks at conferences and webinars on a variety of important wage and hour topics.

Mr. Ruzal is a co-editor of Epstein Becker Green’s Hospitality Labor and Employment Law Blog and its award-winning Wage & Hour Defense Blog, as well as an Editorial Advisory Board Member of Hospitality Law Magazine. He is also a contributing author to Lexis Practice Advisor on wage and hour topics. In addition, Mr. Ruzal represents Epstein Becker Green on The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) Advisory Board.

Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Ruzal served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, in New York, New York, where he was responsible for civil enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its implementing regulations from wage and hour investigations through trials. While at the DOL, Mr. Ruzal was also responsible for coordinating and participating in wage and hour investigations with senior investigators from the Wage and Hour Division. Among other issues, Mr. Ruzal was responsible for handling investigations and enforcement actions concerning employee misclassification under the white collar exemptions and of independent contractors and consultants.

While attending law school, Mr. Ruzal was a Chief Notes & Comments Editor of the New York Law School Journal of Human Rights.

Education

  • New York Law School (J.D., 2000)
    • cum laude
  • Hofstra University (B.A., 1997)

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Memberships

  • Federal Bar Council