Steven W. Suflas

Senior Counsel
Tel 856.761.3466
Fax 856.761.1020
New Jersey
Tel 303.299.7326
Fax 303.296.3956

Steven W. Suflas is a nationally recognized thought leader on labor and employment issues and the former Managing Partner of the Firm's Denver and New Jersey offices.

On a national basis, he represents management in all phases of labor and employment matters — from 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.

Steve 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. Steve has represented management at scores of union negotiations and labor arbitrations.

On the compliance side, Steve 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.

He is a sought-after lecturer across the country and is frequently quoted in Law360, American Lawyer MediaBloomberg Law, Corporate Counsel, Law Week Colorado, and SHRM, among many other publications.

Steve 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 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 HR strategy at the corporate level, including reductions-in-force and national labor policy

Noteworthy Decisions

  • Rose Group v. N.L.R.B, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19822 (3d Cir. 2018), rev'ing 363 NLRB No. 75 (2015)
  • New Jersey Division of State Police v. STFA, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 153 (App. Div., Jan. 24,  2018)
  • 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, 2004-2015

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

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

Recognition & Accomplishments

Benchmark Litigation, "Labor & Employment Star," Labor and Employment, 2020

New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education's 2019 Distinguished Service Award

2019 Lexology Client Choice Award, for employment and benefits law in Colorado, in recognizing law firm partners worldwide who provide excellent client care and quality of service 

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

American Bar Foundation – Fellow

Chambers USA, labor and employment law, highest ranking, 2005-2020

The Best Lawyers in America, labor law - management, employment law - management, and labor and employment litigation, 1987-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Labor Law - Management (Philadelphia), 2011

Human Resource Executive magazine, named among "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys - Top 100," 2009-2018; Hall of Fame inductee - 2019

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell 


Chapter Author, "Survey of Colorado Employment Libel Law," chapter in 50-State Survey: Employment Liable & Privacy Law, Media Law Resource Center

Co-author, "Marijuana in the Workplace," Colorado Bar Association, Business Law Section Newsletter, August 30, 2019

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

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

"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

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

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

Speaking Engagements

Ballard Spahr Webinars

Speaker, "The Most Pressing NLRA Issues for Employers Amidst COVID-19," April 17, 2020

Ballard Spahr Podcasts

Speaker, "Recent Developments at the National Labor Relations Board under the Biden Administration," February 4, 2021

Speaker, "What to Expect from a Biden-Harris Administration in the Area of Labor and Employment Law," December 18, 2020

American Resort Development Association

"Twitter Alert: Trump and Timeshare," ARDA World 2018 Annual Convention, Las Vegas, NV., May 8, 2018

National Labor Relations Board

"Critical NLRB Developments," Webinar, April 11, 2018

National Employment Law Institute

"Coronavirus in the Workplace: Part 6 - NLRB Developments," Webinar, May 21, 2020

"Labor Law Update in the Trump Era," Employment Law Briefing, Scottsdale, AZ, March 6, 2019

"Critical NLRB Developments Under the Trump Administration," Washington, D.C., May 18, 2018; and again in New Orleans, LA, December 7, 2018

"Wage and Hour & Misclassification Issues," Employment Law Briefing, Vail, CO., March 6, 2018 

"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 and Employment Law Forum, New Brunswick, NJ, February 26, 2020

"Annual Employment law Update," Labor and Employment Law Forum, New Brunswick, N.J., February 27, 2019

"Annual Employment Law Update," Labor and Employment Law Forum, Iselin, NJ, February 28, 2018 

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

"Annual Employment Law Update," Labor and Employment Law Forum, New Brunswick, NJ, March 9, 2016

"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

"2018 Labor Employment Law Update for Business Lawyers” and “Employment Discrimination – 2018 Year in Review," 36th Annual National CLE Conference, Labor & Employment Law Program, Snowmass, CO, January 3, 2019

"Employment Discrimination: 2017 Year in Review," 35th Annual National CLE Conference, Labor & Employment Law Program, Vail, CO, January 4, 2018

"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

"HR’s Role in Preparing For (and Responding to) a Crisis," 15th Annual Labor & Employment Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, April 4, 2019

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

Labor and Employment Relations Association, Colorado Chapter

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

Ballard Spahr E-Alerts

"The Pendulum Swings: Newly Appointed Acting General Counsel of the NLRB Rescinds 10 Trump-Era General Counsel Memos," Ballard Spahr alert, February 4, 2021

"EEOC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine," Ballard Spahr alert, December 17, 2020

"Colorado Clarifies and Adopts Equal Pay Transparency Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, November 12, 2020

"Colorado Proposes New Equal Pay Transparency Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, October 15, 2020

"UPDATED: EEOC Updates 'Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace' Guidance to Address COVID-19," Ballard Spahr alert, September 11, 2020

"UPDATED: The 1-2-3s of Counting Employees in Private Equity Firms Under Federal COVID-19 Legislation," Ballard Spahr alert, April 30, 2020

"Colorado: Unemployment Compensation Update," Ballard Spahr alert, April 22, 2020

"EEOC Updates ‘Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace’ Guidance to Address COVID-19," Ballard Spahr alert, April 14, 2020

"Colorado Issues Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirements," Ballard Spahr alert, March 16, 2020

"NLRB: Employers Can Revamp Arbitration Agreements in Response to Collective or Class Action Suits," Ballard Spahr, alert, August 22, 2019

"Round 1: NLRB Issues First Set of Proposed Rule Changes to Election Procedures," Ballard Spahr, alert, August 15, 2019

"Colorado Decision Clarifies Unused Vacation Time Issue for Employers," Ballard Spahr alert, July 19, 2019

"Federal Court Rules that the FAA Preempts New York Law Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims," Ballard Spahr alert, July 15, 2019

"NLRB Shows Its Hand: Shift Toward Employer-Friendly Standards to Continue," Ballard Spahr alert, May 28, 2019

"Supreme Court Hands Victory to Workers in Transportation Company's Pursuit of Arbitration," Ballard Spahr alert, January 17, 2019

"Unanimous Supreme Court Holds No 'Wholly Groundless' Exception to Arbitrability Under FAA," Ballard Spahr alert, January 9, 2019

"Sixth Circuit Continues to Expand Class Action Waivers, Following Supreme Court's Lead," Ballard Spahr alert, August 17, 2018

"NLRB Restores Precedent on What Triggers Bargaining Obligations with Unions," Ballard Spahr alert, December 18, 2017 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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


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



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

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

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit