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Psychological Issues in Employment Law 2014

Author(s): Stephen P. Sonnenberg
Practice Area: Employment, Litigation
Published: Mar 2014
PLI Item #: 51838
CHB Spine #: H941

Stephen Sonnenberg is a New York based partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and Chair of the New York Employment Law Department. He represents management in class and collective actions, wrongful discharge, retaliation, discrimination, and harassment litigation. He counsels clients based in the United States and Asia on a wide variety of U.S. employment matters, including wage and hour, retaliation, and equal employment opportunity issues. Prior to studying law, he practiced psychotherapy as a licensed clinical social worker in a variety of private and public settings, ranging from private practice to a psychiatric hospital. Because of his background as a psychotherapist, Mr. Sonnenberg has particular experience in the areas of  mental disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act, emotional distress damages, workplace violence, and the use and misuse of psychiatric and psychological experts.

Mr. Sonnenberg serves as a neutral on the mediation panels of the United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Ranked by Chambers USA among the top employment defense lawyers in New York
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Included in New York’s Super Lawyers since 2007, and included in Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell®

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Lectured on diverse topics for The Practising Law Institute, the American Conference Institute and The New York City Bar Association, including chair of PLI’s annual program, Psychological Issues in the Workplace
  • Faculty at Annual NYU Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Authored a number of articles regarding employment law, “Mental Stability At Work: An Assessment,” “Representative Evidence in Wage and Hour Class Litigation,” “Litigating Multidistrict Employment Action After ‘Dukes’,” “Workplace Restructuring: Managing the Pain,” “Wage and Hour Claims: The New Wave,” “Settling High-Stakes Wage, Hour Litigation Via CAFA,” “Workplace Violence: Employee Rights, Employer Recourse,” “Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder,” and “Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace,” in the New York Law Journal, and, “Coping with Mental Disabilities in the Workplace: Tips for Employers” in Employee Benefit News and Workforce Management
  • Co-authored Sexual Harassment Litigation, Plaintiffs’ and Defendants’ Strategies, an ALI-ABA publication, and “The Time Bomb in Mental Disability Coverage” in The Americans With Disabilities Act: A Practical Guide for California Employers

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Admitted to the New York, California and District of Columbia Bar and member of the American, New York State and New York City Bar Associations
  • Admitted to numerous federal district and circuit courts
  • Member of the New York University Center for Labor and Employment Law Advisory Board


  • University of Southern California Law School, J.D., 1992
  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor, M.S.W., 1977
  • State University of New York Binghamton, B.A., 1974