University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, Juris Doctor, 1992; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Masters in Social Work, 1977; Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, Bachelor of Arts, 1974
Stephen Sonnenberg has deep experience in understanding and resolving complex labor and employment disputes. His unique background comes from the practice of law, experience as a mediator, and prior experience as a psychotherapist. As an attorney, Mr. Sonnenberg primarily advised and represented management in employment litigation, periodically representing individuals engaged in such litigation. For thirteen years ending in 2006 Mr. Sonnenberg practiced at Paul Hastings in California, litigating wage and hour, discrimination and harassment claims, and particularly FLSA collective actions and Rule 23 class actions as they became a mainstay of federal court litigation. Beginning in 2006 his practice at Paul Hastings in New York encompassed a wide range of employment matters, including substantial FLSA litigation work and related state law claims. As co-chair of his firm's national wage and hour practice, Mr. Sonnenberg advised employers regarding a variety of compliance issues. As a clinical social worker and psychotherapist for more than 12 years before practicing law, Mr. Sonnenberg gained skills and insight that he uses frequently in his role as a mediator. Mr. Sonnenberg worked with hundreds of individuals and families to mediate and resolve disputes with their families, employers, schools and within the criminal justice system. Listening, facilitating communication, identifying interests, exercising patience and persistence, and developing creative solutions to problems were and are at the core of his practice.
Mr. Sonnenberg is a panel member in the JAMS New York Resolution Center. Appointed to the Mediation Panels of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, as well as the Eastern District of New York. Individual and multi-party claims under the FLSA and state wage and hour laws; individual and multi-party claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; contractual claims involving executive compensation and non-compete agreements.
Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; Licensed Clinical Social Worker (California; inactive status); Faculty at the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Annual NYU Workshops on Employment Law for Federal Judges (March 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018); Faculty for multiple Practising Law Institute and American Conference Institute programs on wage and hour law; Program Chair for PLI's annual program on Psychological Issues in Employment Law; multiple publications in the New York Law Journal regarding employment law issues and developments.