Tricia Kakalec heads Kakalec & Schlanger’s employment practice, representing employees with claims under state and federal law. She focuses on litigating wage and hour claims (both as class actions and as FLSA collective actions), and also handles discrimination, retaliation, and other types of employment litigation.
Tricia comes to Kakalec & Schlanger from the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s office, where she served as Deputy Bureau Chief, Bureau Chief, and Special Counsel and as Chair of the office’s Equal Employment Opportunity committee. Earlier, Tricia was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Workers’ Rights Law Center of New York, and an attorney with Farmworker Legal Services of New York, in both offices representing farmworkers and other low-wage workers around New York State. Tricia began her legal career as an associate with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
Tricia received her law degree from Harvard Law School, cum laude, and clerked for the Hon. Denis R. Hurley in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. She has been a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School (2010-11) and an Echoing Green fellow (2006-08).
At the Attorney General’s office, Tricia worked on cases and investigations involving wage theft and misclassification of workers around the State in the fast food, restaurant, grocery, construction, moving, retail and other industries. She also represented the New York State Department of Labor in labor law matters, including in the cases A. Uliano & Son Ltd. V. NYS Dep’t of Labor, 97 A.3d 664 (App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2012) (upholding DOL prevailing wage determination) and Ramirez v. Commissioner of Labor, 110 A.D.3d 901 (App. Div. 3d Dep’t 2013) (upholding DOL determination of wages owed where employer failed to produce complete and accurate records). Her notable cases include Centeno-Bernuy v. Perry, 302 F.Supp. 128 (W.D.N.Y. 2003) (granting preliminary injunction prohibiting employer’s agent from retaliating against workers with FLSA claim); Centeno-Bernuy v. Becker Farms, 219 F.R.D. 59 (W.D.N.Y. 2002) (obtaining protective order precluding discovery of plaintiff workers’ current addresses and places of employment); Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center v. Bahruth(Supreme Court, Ulster County) (with Lambda Legal) (challenging discriminatory tax decision); and EEOC v. Zappala (N.D.N.Y. 2002) (representing employee/intervenor in disability discrimination case).