Kristin Klein Wheaton counsels and defends the interests of clients facing employment and labor issues, civil rights and discrimination claims, and complex commercial disputes. A skilled problem solver with over 20 years of legal experience in both the private and public sectors, Kristin’s wide-ranging practice includes labor and employee relations, contract negotiations, and assisting clients with the creation and maintenance of compliance strategies for state and federal laws.
Kristin dedicates a significant portion of her practice to providing day-to-day employment and labor counseling to a wide variety of clients.
These include municipal bodies, such as towns, villages, counties, law enforcement bodies, and public entities; long-term care facilities, colleges and universities, and nonprofits; and the full gamut of private sector employers, in fields from health care and hospitality to logistics and manufacturing.
Kristin frequently offers comprehensive counsel on employment concerns including issues involving personnel, discipline, and leave administration. Kristin also provides guidance on fine-tuning, overhauling, or drafting from scratch her clients’ policies, procedures, and handbooks.
She represents her clients in hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), as well as in arbitrations and traditional labor negotiations.
Kristin’s record of success in hearings, arbitrations, and negotiations is proof of her skill at achieving highly favorable settlements and agreements, saving her clients time and legal dollars and avoiding the distraction, risk, and publicity of a trial.
Kristin also is adept at negotiating employment agreements and severance agreements and has extensive experience conducting and counseling on internal employee investigations and audits.
Kristin’s practice includes defending her clients against discrimination and civil rights claims in hearings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR). Her experience in this area also extends to housing issues.
Kristin has defended property management companies, homeowners associations, realty groups, and other clients in a wide variety of discrimination and civil rights matters involving allegations ranging from reasonable accommodation and disability discrimination claims to racial discrimination claims.
Kristin also has extensive experience handling claims before the United States Department of Justice, Office for Civil Rights, in areas including but not limited to discrimination claims based upon race, religion, disability, and national origin, as well as alleged failure to accommodate, to name a few.
As the former Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs at a large community college in Western New York, Kristin brings an unparalleled depth of experience and client-oriented service to higher education institutions facing a host of legal issues, from employment and labor policy drafting to union negotiations, audits and investigations, commercial leasing, and crisis management.
In her previous role, Kristin reported directly to the president of the institution, and managed a team of 20 professionals across a range of departments. Kristin provided legal guidance to the Board of Trustees on a whole host of issues affecting the college, as well as guidance on meeting administration, bylaws and policy revisions.
Kristin coordinated and represented the school in all of its legal matters, as well as union matters, including grievances, arbitration, negotiations and labor management meetings, tort and employment litigation, Title IX, financial aid and Education Law compliance, administrative proceedings, and more.
She also instituted monthly labor management meetings and reduced grievances by more than 50 percent over her tenure — including a two-year period with no grievances from one of its four unions, and only three grievances total that went to arbitration.
As an administrator, Kristin was also a member of numerous governance committees and was a member of the leadership team assigned to manage budgetary issues, accreditation issues, compliance issues and regulatory visits.
As leader of Goldberg Segalla’s Higher EducationPractice Group, Kristin leverages that experience on behalf of both public and private institutions of higher education across New York State and beyond.
Kristin is an adjunct professor at Hilbert College, where she teaches Trial Preparation and Practice for Paralegals (Advanced Civil Litigation). In 2015, Kristin was named one of Western New York’s Legal Elite by Buffalo Business First and the Buffalo Law Journal. In 2017, she was named one of the Best Lawyers in America in the category of Employment Law — Management.
Rate : $$$