Stephen F. Ruffino, Of Counsel
Stephen F. Ruffino
Of Counsel
Tel: (212) 705-9857

Professional Profile

Stephen F. Ruffino has extensive experience working with foreign companies doing business in the United States.

Labor and Employment:
Stephen F. Ruffino’s labor and employment practice is primarily focused on employment law counseling, arbitration and litigation, for both management and individuals, typically assists with drafting hiring letters, employment contracts, employment policies/handbooks, restrictive covenants, performance evaluations and disciplinary procedures. Frequent advisory role in reviewing termination decisions and drafting severance agreements and releases. Drafts and negotiates high-level employment contracts for management and executives. Training experience in sexual harassment and management procedures; experienced as an outside investigator of sexual harassment charges. Advises management on legal obligations and compliance procedures involving state and federal discrimination laws (ADA, Title VII, ADEA), statutory benefits (COBRA, FMLA, WARN) and other employee rights.

Antitrust and Product Distribution:
In addition to employment law, has over 29 years of experience in legal issues related to marketing, distribution and intellectual property rights associated with luxury products, including watches, perfumes, cosmetics, leather goods, clothing, wallpaper and furniture. Over 29 years of litigation experience in dealer termination claims.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution:
More than 20 years of experience as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and the New York County Civil Court, with most assignments involving employment termination and executive compensation issues. Has also had assignments in commercial disputes, and has appeared as counsel for parties involved in arbitration on such matters. Has used mediation programs to resolve both employment discrimination and commercial disputes. Alternative Dispute Resolution Training: AAA Ask & Answer: Arbitration, 2008; AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2006; ACE004 – Practical Tips for Dealing with Delay Tactics of Parties and Advocates, New York, 4/05; ACE001 – Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards, New York, 11/03; AAA Arbitrator Update 2001; AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training, New York, 5/01; AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, White Plains, 3/99; AAA Basic and Advanced Arbitrator Training, New York.

Representative Matters

Mr. Ruffino’s work in Employment cases includes representation of clients in state and federal courts and before the EEOC, New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Human Rights Commission, NLRB and arbitral forums. Litigated matters include discrimination (all types), wrongful discharge, wages, ERISA, executive severance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements and Unfair Labor Practices. Product Distribution matters include drafting national distribution contracts with dealers, counseling and training on antitrust compliance, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act drafting and compliance, Robinson-Patman Act drafting and compliance, consumer relations and claims, negotiation of contracts dealing with Tribal Law, and litigation arising from above matters.

Memberships and Affiliations

Commercial Panel and Panel of Employment Arbitrators, Arbitrator
American Arbitration Association, 1988 — present
National Arbitration Forum, Arbitrator, 2006 — present
New York County Civil Court Arbitration Panel, Arbitrator, 1980 — 1983
American Bar Association (Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee)
Society for Human Resource Management

Professional and Community Involvement

Mercy College Graduate School, Adjunct Faculty (Employment Law), 1998-2005
United States Soccer Federation, licensed referee, 2001-present
Westchester Soccer Referees Organization, board member
Pelham Civic Association

Articles, Publications and Lectures

“Introduction to the Human Resources Audit,” Lorman Associates, February 2001 and April 2006

“Workplace Investigations: What to Consider,” The Conference Board, January 1996

“An Ounce of Prevention: Practical Human Resources Techniques,” American Management Association, February 1994

Articles in Small Business Reports, Convenience Store News, and Ethikos.

Speeches include events sponsored by American Corporate Counsel Association, The Conference Board, Community Bankers Association of New York State, Austrian Trade Institute, Italy American Chamber of Commerce, Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, Right Management Associates, New York University, New School, Monroe College, Pace Law School, New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Westchester Human Resources Roundtable, Lorman Associates, Leafstone Associates, British American Chamber of Commerce/U.S. Embassy in London, Westchester Human Resources Management Association, New York State SHRM Annual Convention, Queens College Center for the New American Workplace, and the New York State Department of Labor

Awards and Recognition

LexisNexis 2009 Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
Super Lawyers 2009, 2013 – 2014


J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1978 (Law Review)
B.A., Queens College of the City of New York, 1975

Bar Admissions

New York

Court Admissions

U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit