Sean Kelly is a member of the Firm’s Employment and Labor Law practice group.
Sean Kelly focuses his practice on counseling employers and defending employment cases, higher education and school law. Sean regularly litigates matters arising in the workplace, including defending his employer clients against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, and breaches of contract, among other claims, at the trial and appellate levels, both in state and federal court, and has successfully tried many employment cases to verdict. Sean works closely with both public and private companies as well as universities, schools, and state and local government entities. He is often called upon by his clients to handle complex, sensitive and highly confidential matters that are often subject to significant public interest.
Sean is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, has been repeatedly included in Thompson Reuters' "Super Lawyers," holds the highest rating awarded by the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyers Directory, and has been named a Master of two separate American Inns of Court.
National Association of College and University Attorneys
Advisory Board, Campus Legal Advisor
Gateway Chapter, Society of Human Resource Managers
Former Master, Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court
Former Master, Hudson County Bar Association Inn of Court
Former Chair, New Jersey Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee for Essex County
Essex and Hudson County Bar Associations
New Jersey State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Association of the Federal Bar for the District of New Jersey
Obtained favorable jury verdict on all counts following a lengthy trial representing the State of New Jersey, Office of the Attorney General, against charges of race discrimination in promotions.
Successfully defended a hedge fund at the NJ Supreme Court against a former employee's bid to revive his disability bias case.
Defended city and mayor against "whistleblower" wrongful termination claim by former private secretary.
Counseled and drafted papers for securities firm for termination of department head.
Defended aviation services company against "whistleblower" claim by former human resources manager.
Defended charter school against sex discrimination after wrongful termination claim before New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
Represented private school in drafting and negotiating severance agreement for departing employee.
Defended state agency in action by former museum director alleging that the termination of her employment was motivated by political discrimination.
Defended temporary employment firm against EEOC charge of race discrimination.
Obtained summary judgment for bank in ERISA suit by former employee claiming breach of fiduciary duty in giving him incorrect information concerning his rights under his retirement plan.
Defended neurosurgeon in contract dispute regarding fee allocation among former members of hospital neurosurgery group.
Represented public charter school in action to compel forfeiture of employment by tenured teacher due to his pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault on a student.
Defended new employer of mortgage brokers against former employer’s claims of theft of confidential customer lists and “poaching” of employees.
Obtained summary judgment for employer, dismissing hostile work environment sexual harassment claim arising out of consensual relationship with co-worker, and obtained affirmance on appeal.
Defended EEOC claim against employer based on alleged ethnic discrimination.
Defended operator of facilities for the developmentally disabled in state court action brought by former employee alleging discriminatory firing on basis of age, sex, race, and sexual orientation.
Defended federal action against wholesaler arising out of former employee’s claims of violation of Family and Medical Leave Act.
Represented 50% shareholder of small computer consulting business in litigation and settlement of claims under Oppressed Minority Shareholder Law.
Successfully negotiated settlement of claims against bank by former officer alleging wrongful termination, implied contract for payment of bonus, and breach of business acquisition contract.
Successfully negotiated advantageous settlement on behalf of chief executive officer defending against sexual harassment claims and related criminal charges.
Successfully obtained dismissal of wage and hour claims against bank.
Negotiated advantageous settlement of suit arising out of allegations by terminated officer regarding breach of oral and implied contract, oppression of minority shareholder, and “whistleblower” claim.
Favorably settled claims of former sales representative involving commission compensation and breach of sales contract.
Successfully obtained dismissal of claims against bank in litigation in Federal Court alleging disability discrimination.
Settled age discrimination suit on favorable terms.
Successfully settled pregnancy discrimination suit on behalf of company and individual executive.
Defended employer against claim of breach of lifetime employment contract.
Served as co-counsel in successful trial defense of sexual harassment case.
Won jury verdict in publicized trial involving defense of claim of workplace defamation.
Won summary judgment for employer in publicized case arising out of claim of discriminatory administration of severance and stock option plan in connection with merger. Affirmed on appeal to N.J. Appellate Division; petition for further review denied by N.J. Supreme Court.
Defended employer against corporate officer’s claims of age and handicap discrimination.
Litigated and negotiated favorable settlement of "whistleblower" claim asserted by discharged employee against former employer.
Defended employer in series of related severance compensation claims asserted by terminated executives.
Drafted employment, severance, consulting and related agreements in connection with buyout of warehousing business, and advised officers and directors regarding negotiation of terms.
Advised New York employment firm regarding policies for its permanent employees and for temporary employees placed with its client companies.
Advised medical care industry consulting firm re: terminations and severance terms for two executives.
Advised hotel chain on response to “whistleblower” claim by disabled employee.
Advised bank on termination of employment of male employee claiming sexual harassment by female employees.
Negotiated resolution of post-closing disputes arising out of buyout of major shareholder and chief executive of sub-S corporation.
Worked with bank in responding to wage and hour audit by New Jersey Department of Labor, and in negotiating penalties.
Negotiated severance agreement re: departure of senior brokerage account executive in company restructuring.
Advised Internet company re: wage and hour dispute with departing consultant.
Negotiated severance agreement on behalf of employer of employee who claimed breach of contract.
Advised multi-state manufacturer re: issues of employee privacy and personnel records, ADA and FMLA requirements.
Advised non-profit corporation in connection with issues arising out of arrest of chief executive officer on criminal charge.
Advised employer in connection with termination of employee who claimed protected mental disability.
Regularly advise public charter schools on various human resources issues, including contract drafting, termination of principal and staff, breach of employment contract by teacher, etc.
Drafted employee handbook and policy manual addressing, inter alia, issues of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Negotiated severance agreement on behalf of employer of female key employee who claimed sex discrimination.
Represented London-based Internet music store in drafting employment agreement for chief executive officer.