Steven W. Suflas

Partner

suflas@ballardspahr.com
Tel 856.761.3466
Fax 856.761.1020
New Jersey
Tel 303.299.7326
Fax 303.296.3956
Denver

Steven W. Suflas is Managing Partner of the Denver and Boulder offices and a nationally recognized thought leader on labor and employment issues. He represents management in all phases of labor and employment matters — from preventative counseling and strategic guidance to collective bargaining, appearances before regulatory agencies, and litigation before courts and administrative agencies. He works closely with employers — both large and small, national, regional, and local — in responding to the daily challenges of the workplace.

Mr. Suflas is known for his litigation work, defending companies in federal and state courts nationwide in both individual and class action lawsuits. He has first chair jury trial experience and has argued cases before federal and state appellate courts. He also has decades of experience litigating unfair labor practice and representation cases before the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Suflas has represented management at scores of union negotiations and labor arbitrations.

On the compliance side, Mr. Suflas works with employers to devise strategies that preserve the efficiency and productivity of their workforces. He assists in designing, implementing, and enforcing corporate human resources and compensation policies, and developing corporate-wide labor relations strategies. He handles traditional labor law issues, such as wage and hour investigations, and counsels on compliance with state and federal law.

Mr. Suflas's clients are nationwide and he was Managing Partner of the firm's New Jersey office for nearly a decade, where he still manages an active docket of cases both in the state and throughout the East Coast. He is frequently quoted in Law360, Corporate Counsel, Law Week Colorado, SHRM, The American Lawyer, Denver Business Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Mr. Suflas was honored to be among the inaugural class of Fellows to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He annually has been rated in the top tier (Band One) for labor and employment by Chambers USA, listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1987, and recognized by Human Resource Executive magazine as among "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys - Top 100" since 2009.

His experience includes:

  • Serving as chief spokesman for management in numerous union negotiations
  • Serving as lead trial counsel in federal and state court litigation involving the full range of employment issues, including age, gender, and race discrimination; sexual and workplace harassment; whistleblower claims; wrongful discharge; restrictive covenants; and labor injunctions
  • Appearing for employers before the National Labor Relations Board in representation and unfair labor practice proceedings, hearings and appeals
  • Serving as counsel in labor arbitrations involving disciplinary and contract interpretation issues
  • Representing clients concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage laws, including administrative investigations, federal court, class action litigation, and pre-audit compliance
  • Representing clients in withdrawal liability proceedings and litigation under MEPPA
  • Developing strategy in HR planning at the corporate level, including reductions-in-force and national labor policy

Noteworthy Decisions

  • New Jersey Division of State Police v. New Jersey State Trooper Captains Association, 441 N.J. Super. 55, 116 A. 3d 63 (App. Div. June 8, 2015)
  • Walton v. The Rose Group d/b/a Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, 2013 WL 6498392, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173587 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 11, 2013)
  • Stanker & Galetto v. N.J. Reg'l Council of Carpenters, 2013 WL 4596947, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123222 (D.N.J., Aug. 28, 2013)
  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. v. N.L.R.B., 682 F.3d 65 (D.C. Cir. 2012), rev'ing, 355 NLRB Nos. 176 and 177 (2010)
  • In re New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, 35 NJPER 94, 2009 WL 8155898, 2009 NJ PERC LEXIS 220 (2009)
  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. N.L.R.B., 489 F.3d 1310 (D.C. Cir. 2007), aff'ing 346 NLRB 553 (2006)
  • Thurber v. City of Burlington, 191 N.J. 487, 924 A. 2d 533 (2007)

Professional Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association, Trustee, 2011-2015

New Jersey State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Chair, 1999-2001

New Jersey Supreme Court, Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, member, 2004-2015

New Jersey Supreme Court, Ad Hoc Committee on Continuing Legal Education, past member, 2007-2009

The National Employment Law Institute (NELI), National Advisory Board, 2009-present

Recognition & Accomplishments

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers – Fellow, Initial Class – 1996

American Bar Foundation – Fellow

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, labor and employment law, highest ranking (band one), 2005-2017

The Best Lawyers in America, labor law, employment law, and labor and employment litigation, 1987-2018
        - Named Best Lawyers' Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year – Philadelphia Area – 2011

Human Resource Executive magazine, named among "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys –Top 100," 2009-2017

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Publications

Co-author, "SCOTUS Weighs Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, October 3, 2017

Co-author, "Service and Support Animals: What Colorado Businesses Need to Know," ColoradoBiz Magazine, May 9, 2017 

Co-author, "Conversion to At-Will Status Does Not Void Restrictive Covenant, PA Appeals Court Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, April 24, 2017 

Co-author, "T-Mobile Ordered to Dismantle Company-Controlled 'Union'," Ballard Spahr alert, April 7, 2017

Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Rejects De Novo Review for EEOC Subpoenas," Ballard Spahr alert, April 4, 2017 

Co-author, "Trump Repeals Obama's "Blacklisting" Executive Order," Ballard Spahr alert, March 30, 2017 

Co-author, "Colorado Businesses Continue to Face "Drive By" Lawsuits Over ADA Accessibility," Ballard Spahr alert, March 29, 2017

Co-author, "NLRB Complaints May Be Voidable After SCOTUS Ruling," Ballard Spahr alert, March 22, 2017

Co-author, "SCOTUS Nominee Gorsuch's Judicial Conservatism May Benefit Employers," Ballard Spahr alert, February 2, 2017  

Co-author, "Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreements," January 13, 2017

Co-author, "EEOC Rule Requires Employers to Report Summary Pay Data," Ballard Spahr alert, October 4, 2016

Co-author, "Ninth Circuit Sides with NLRB in Divide over Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, August 25, 2016

Co-author, "Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides If Arbitration Agreement Allows Class Arbitration, California Supreme Court Rules," August 3, 2016

Author, "Colorado Governor Signs Bill That Gives Employees Right To Review Their Personnel File," Ballard Spahr alert, June 13, 2016

Co-author, "Circuit Courts Weigh Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements with Divergent Results," Ballard Spahr alert, June 8, 2016

Co-author, "Governor Signs Pregnancy Accommodation Bill into Law Following Passage by Colorado Legislature," Ballard Spahr alert, June 3, 2016

Co-author, "U.S. Department of Labor Issues FLSA’s New Overtime Rule," American Council on Education Issue Brief, May 26, 2016

Co-author, "The FLSA’s New Overtime Rule Is Here," Ballard Spahr alert, May 18, 2016

Co-author, "President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act into Law," Ballard Spahr alert, May 11, 2016

Author, "Employers Should Prepare for New Overtime Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, April 20, 2016

Author, "Utah Employers Should Prepare for New Overtime Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, April 19, 2016

"Attorneys Fees in Discrimination Cases" and "At-Will Employment" chapters in Employment Litigation in New Jersey, © 2006 LexisNexis

Co-author, "Divided Supreme Court Allows Public Unions’ Agency Fee Collection to Continue," Ballard Spahr alert, March 30, 2016

Co-author, "Supreme Court Allows Use of Statistical Sampling in Class Actions, But Only In Narrow Circumstances," Ballard Spahr alert, March 24, 2016

Co-author, "The Leader's Role in Diversity and Inclusion: Transformational Leadership," Law Week Colorado, March 21, 2016

Co-author, "Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing Over Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use," Ballard Spahr alert, June 15, 2015 

Co-author, "NLRB Rules Workers Have Right To Use Employer E-mail for Organizing Activity, Reversing Precedent," Ballard Spahr alert, December 11, 2014

Co-author, "Third Circuit Holds that Courts, Not Arbitrators, Should Rule on Classwide Arbitration," Ballard Spahr alert, August 5, 2014

Co-author, "Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable," Ballard Spahr alert, June 27, 2014

Co-author, "Supreme Court Invalidates NLRB Recess Appointments," Ballard Spahr alert, June 26, 2014

Co-author, "Extended Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act, 10th Circuit Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, June 4, 2014

Co-author, "Eleventh Circuit Agrees Employees Can Waive FLSA Collective Action Rights," Ballard Spahr alert, March 26, 2014

"UAW’s Loss at VW—What To Expect," Ballard Spahr alert, February 26, 2014

"5 Labor Developments To Watch after UAW Loss at VW Plant," Law360, February 21, 2014

Co-author, "Are Your 'Partners' Partners? It Matters If They Want To Bring a Discrimination Lawsuit," New Jersey Law Journal, December 9, 2013

"Tips on Legal Writing from Elmore Leonard," The Legal Intelligencer, September 13, 2013

Co-author, "Asking Prospective Employees for Social Media Credentials," Internet Law & Strategy, May 2012

"Representing the Company and its Constituents," New Jersey Lawyer, December 2011

"From Litigation to Arbitration and Back Again," chapter in The Role of Ethics in ADR, published by Aspatore Books, 2011

Editor, New Jersey Workplace Law,published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Education and the NJSBA Labor and Employment Law Section

Speaking Engagements

National Employment Law Institute

"Complex Wage & Hour Issues," Employment Law Briefing, Washington, D.C., May 25, 2017

"Cutting Edge Wage & Hour Developments," Employment Law Briefing, Vail, CO., March 20, 2017

"Continued Expansion of the NRLB's Reach," 2016 Employment Law Conference, New Orleans, December 9, 2016

"Complex Wage & Hour Issues," 2016 Employment Law Briefing, Vail, CO., February 28, 2016

"Recent NLRA Developments," 2015 Employment Law Conference, New Orleans, December 11, 2015

"Wage and Hour Update," 2015 Employment Law Briefing, Vail, CO., March 2, 2015

"Recent NLRA Developments," 2014 Employment Law Conference, New Orleans, December 11, 2014

New Jersey Institute For Continuing Legal Education

"Annual Employment Law Update," Labor Law Forum & Bench Bar Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, March 8, 2017

"Annual Employment Law Update," Labor Law Forum & Bench Bar Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, March 11, 2015

SEPA-SHRM HR Legal Summit

"Discrimination & Harassment – 10 Things Every HR Professional Should Know (and Do!)," 2016 HR Legal Summit, Ballard Spahr and SEPA SHRM Conference, Langhorne, PA, September 9, 2016

National CLE Conference

"Employment Discrimination: 2016 Year In Review" and "Survey of Important Employment Initiatives During the Obama Administration," 34th Annual National CLE Conference, Labor & Employment Law Program, Vail, CO, January 4-5, 2017

"Employment Discrimination: 15 Key Developments from 2015," 33rd Annual National CLE Conference, Labor & Employment Law Program, Vail, CO, January 6, 2016 

Labor and Employment Law Advanced Practices Symposium

"New President + New Congress," The 13th Annual Labor & Employment Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, March 30, 2017

Labor and Employment Relations Association

"How to Avoid Crossing the Ethical Boundaries in Collective Bargaining & the Grievance Process," LERA Fall Conference, September 29, 2017


University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D. 1976, with honors)
Member, North Carolina Law Review; Member, Order of the Coif

Davidson College (B.A. 1973)

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

Colorado

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit