Phone: (212) 603-6344 Fax: (212) 956-2164
Felicia S. Ennis is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation and Employment practices. A litigator with more than 20 years experience, she focuses on commercial and employment litigation. She represents clients in federal and state courts and tribunals on cases involving business disputes, partnership dissolutions, unfair competition and labor and employment. Her experience spans a range of industries including apparel, construction, financial services, government contracting, healthcare, hospitality and the not-for-profit sector.
Employment issues can be costly and disruptive and regulations change frequently. In some instances, the best strategy is to audit and change business practices ahead of any litigation. Evaluating her clients’ concerns and proposing proactive solutions is an important component of Ms. Ennis’ work. This encompasses workplace training; hiring and workplace management practices; compliance with city, state and federal government-mandated employment policies; harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace; disciplinary and termination decisions; privacy issues; medical leaves of absence; accommodation of employee disabilities; employment and separation agreements; employee compensation and employee classification issues. Ms. Ennis also works with clients to develop employment handbooks and to establish policies and procedures that are consistent, followed and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
If settlement is not possible, she defends clients in court and before arbitration tribunals and administrative agencies such as the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, Equal Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights and New York City Commission on Human Rights on issues of:
- Employment discrimination
- Hostile work environment
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Family Medical Leave Act
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- Wage and hour disputes
- Employment class and collective actions
- Restrictive covenants
For example, she:
- Defended a hotel group that had been targeted by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act following their multimillion-dollar renovation of eight of their hotel properties. She successfully negotiated a resolution with the DOJ on behalf of the client that avoided the need for any extensive remedial work.
- Won a summary judgment motion on behalf of her client against the client’s former employee, a member of a protected class, seeking punitive and compensatory damages following his termination. Despite the fact-intensive nature of the case, which usually precludes dismissal at the summary judgment phase, Ms. Ennis was able to successfully demonstrate to the court that her client had a legitimate business reason for plaintiff’s termination.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of an individual who was terminated by her employer when she attempted to return to work from maternity leave.
- Counseled many companies to achieve compliance with federal, state and local laws by revising and restructuring existing employment policies.
Ms. Ennis also represents executives in connection with their personal employment relationships, employment contracts, compensation arrangements, restrictive covenants, stock grants, termination issues and disputes with employers and partners.
Commercial litigation: In the area of commercial litigation, she represents corporations in structuring business agreements and resolving disputes involving:
- Trade Secrets
- Unfair Competition
- Breach of Contract
- Partnership disputes
She recently represented a pharmaceutical company in a significant case involving the misappropriation of trade secrets when an executive left one manufacturer of generic drugs to join another manufacturer of generic drugs. After the executive joined the second drug manufacturer, that company decided to pursue the development of a drug that the executive’s former company was already manufacturing. She took over from previous counsel and successfully defended the client against claims of misappropriation, unfair competition and breach of the executive’s non-competition agreement, thus avoiding potentially millions of dollars in damages. At the time she took over the case, the client was facing a sanctions motion in federal court regarding Electronically Stored Information, an issue that she also resolved.
Ms. Ennis is the go-to lawyer in the Firm on issues of e-discovery and electronically stored information and chairs the Firm’s internal working group on e-discovery. She counsels clients on compliance and best practices, negotiates with courts and adversaries over the scope of discovery, directs vendors, and establishes processes and strategies to control the cost of discovery.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
J.D., Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, cum laude, 1992
Law Review: Arts & Entertainment, Manager Editor, 1990-1992
B.A., Brandeis University, cum laude, 1989
Ms. Ennis is a member of:
- The American Bar Association
- The New York State Bar Association
- The New York City Bar Association
- New York Expands Shareholder Liability For Unpaid Wages
- Overtime - Department of Labor Updated "White Collar" Exemptions - 6/15/16
- Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Enacted - 5/19/16
- Employment-Related Background Checks - Is Your Company in Compliance?
- New York City to Ban Employment-Related Credit Checks
- Client Alert-New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Update: Annual Notice Requirement Eliminated
- Update: Required Posting of Notice of Employee Rights
- Are You Prepared for February 1, 2012? What Employers Need to Know
- Recent NLRB Actions - Social Media; Notice of Rights Posting Requirement
- New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act Provides More Protection for Employees-Heavier Burdens for Employers