Kathleen M. Connelly
Kathleen M. Connelly concentrates her practice in Employment Law and Workplace investigations
Kathleen Connelly is a partner in Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper and concentrates her practice in Employment Law. She has more than 20 years of experience representing employers and individual members of management in both the private and public sectors.
Kathleen regularly provides employers with practical and cost-effective preventative counseling on a wide array of employment matters. Her preventative counseling focuses on assisting clients to make legally-compliant employment decisions that advance management objectives and avoid or reduce litigation risks. Her substantive legal advice under state and federal employment laws includes employee hiring, discharge and discipline; managing employee leaves of absence; avoiding and responding to unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace; reasonable workplace accommodations for disabled employees; reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs; drug and alcohol testing; employee monitoring and privacy rights in the workplace; employee benefits; protected whistle-blower activities by employees; reductions in force and plant closings; severance packages and general releases; individual employment agreements; wage and hour compliance; personnel file management and record keeping requirements; and other related matters.
Litigation Defense and Dispute Resolution:
Kathleen has successfully represented employers and members of management in all aspects of proceedings in state and federal courts, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and administrative agencies involving claims of unlawful harassment and discrimination; wrongful discharge; breach of contract; whistleblower retaliation; failure to provide reasonable accommodation; civil rights violations; violation of non-compete agreements; violation of leave rights; wage and hour compliance; and other employment claims. Kathleen’s appellate practice includes several appearances before the New Jersey Appellate Division. Kathleen has also resolved lawsuits and administrative charges in an effective, cost-efficient manner consistent with our clients’ financial and strategic objectives.
Kathleen regularly provides counsel to clients conducting internal investigations into allegations of sexual harassment or other forms of workplace misconduct. Kathleen is frequently retained by public and private sector employers to conduct internal investigations into allegations of harassment and workplace misconduct and to provide reports of findings and recommendations for further action. Kathleen has conducted more than 30 workplace investigations, including allegations of wrongdoing by executive employees, members of hospital medical staffs and board members. Kathleen recently discussed the need for employers to conduct impartial internal investigations of harassment claims with Magic 98.3 FM. You can listen to that interview here.
Employee Handbooks and Policies:
Kathleen regularly prepares comprehensive, legally compliant employee handbooks and policies uniquely customized to the employer’s industry, business practices and workforce.
Kathleen routinely provides management and staff training for our clients in all aspects of employment law compliance, including workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation avoidance; managing leaves of absence and return to duty issues; conducting performance evaluations; implementing employee discipline; monitoring employee electronic communications.
Honors and Distinctions:
Kathleen is the Chairperson of the Lindabury’s Women’s Business Initiative and serves as the editor of the Lindabury Employment Newsletter. In 2009, she was included in the list of New Jersey Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ Magazine. In 2015, she was included in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the area of Employment & Labor and was chosen as the Irish Business Association’s 2015 Woman of the Year.
- #MeToo: What's an Employer to Do?
- Employers: Prepare to Reclassify Employees, New Jersey Law Journal, July 20, 2015
- NLRB Overturns Arbitrator’s Decision and Finds Racist Comments Protected Under NLRA
- Anonymous Racist Note Triggers Liability for Employer Who Failed to Undertake an Investigation
- DOJ Expands Title VII Protection To Transgendered Individuals
- Ignorance of Employee Rights Proves Costly – Jury Awards Hundreds of Millions in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit
- J.D., Rutgers Law School - Newark, NJ , 1990
- B.A., Monmouth University, 1983Cum Laude
- New Jersey, 1990
- New York, 1991
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1990
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Union County Bar Association
- Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce
- Monmouth Ocean Development Council Personnel Committee
- Irish Business Association
- Society for Human Resources Management
- CPC Behavioral Healthcare Board of Trustees
- National Association of Professional Women
- Falco v. Community Medical Center, 287 N.J.Super. 298, (App. Div. 1996), certif. denied, 153 N.J. 405 (1997)
- Sprague v. Shore Care, 293 N.J.Super. 33, (App. Div. 1996)
- City Association of Superintendents and Administrators v. State Operated School District of City of Newark, 311 N.J.Super. 300 (NJ 1998)
- Higgins v. Pascack Valley Hospital, 158 NJ 404, 730 A.2d 327 (NJ 1999)
- Wade v. Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, 343 N.J.Super. 338, (App. Div. 2001), aff'd as modified, 172 N.J. 327 (2002)
- Morgan v. Union County Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, 268 N.J.Super. 336, (App. Div. 1993), certif. denied, 135 N.J. 468 (1993)