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 Employment, Labor & Workforce Management 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 to 2018) for Workplace and Employment Counseling and named to the New York Metro Rising Stars list (2011, 2013 - 2017) in the area of Employment & Labor, Mr. Schaefer has developed a reputation for his practical, business-enabling, and results-driven approach to partnering with employers on the full spectrum of workplace and human capital initiatives on a domestic and global basis. Additionally, he has deep industry experience working with TMT employers, as well as employers in the sports, entertainment, arts, retail, and financial services sectors.

Mr. Schaefer:

  • Provides strategic labor and employment advice to companies, boards of directors, senior executives, and general counsel on a wide variety of employment-related issues, including, but not limited to, recruiting, onboarding 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
  • Designs and conducts high-profile training programs for C-suite, senior management, and large-scale employee workforces regarding anti-harassment/non-discrimination in the workplace and HR best practices and initiatives, and provides executive coaching and individual sensitivity training on both a strategic and remedial basis 
  • Conducts and assists clients in conducting sensitive investigations into allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, and other allegations of wrongdoing
  • Advises U.S. multinationals on employment considerations in successfully entering new, international jurisdictions, global HR policy initiatives, and global compensation schemes 
  • Defends 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

In furtherance of his TMT practice, and for nearly a decade, Mr. Schaefer has served concurrently as the Head of Employment Law for BT Americas Inc. ("BT"), a subsidiary of British Telecommunications plc, where he has been responsible for management and oversight for all litigation and workforce management matters in the United States and Canada, as well as leading on critical cross-border labor and employment initiatives. The Legal 500 UK named the BT group “Litigation Team of the Year” in 2017. In addition to his work on behalf of BT, Mr. Schaefer has a robust emerging companies practice, collaborating with early stage companies with respect to formation, governance, and workforce management matters throughout the start-up life cycle.

Equally at home in the world of sports, entertainment, and the arts, Mr. Schaefer’s practice has included the representation of several of the major professional sports leagues in the United States, as well as several of the most preeminent arts and entertainment organizations in the world.

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, a 5-4 decision of importance to employers. In Pyett, the Supreme Court, modifying 35 years of labor law, held that a collective bargaining agreement that explicitly requires unionized employees to arbitrate employment discrimination claims is enforceable.

In high demand as a public speaker and commentator, Mr. Schaefer has written and lectured on scores of labor and employment law issues and the legal industry more broadly, 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