Widely recognized as a pioneer in Employment, Civil Rights and Sexual Harassment law, Alan Serrins brings more than 39 years’ experience to Serrins & Associates. He began working in employment discrimination law when the practice was first emerging. From the beginning of his legal career, Alan had a passion for the field and a deep commitment to advancing the rights of employees in the workplace.
Alan’s employment law career began when he joined the New York City Human Rights Commission in 1977. Two years later, he was appointed General Counsel by the New York City Commission on Human Rights; then 28 years of age, he was the youngest General Counsel in the Commission’s history. As General Counsel, Alan was Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the agency and supervised a staff of 16 attorneys and 22 investigators in prosecuting thousands of discrimination complaints in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation.
Alan was also at the forefront of the newly emerging field of sexual harassment law, joining the Board of Working Women Institute and successfully prosecuting the Commission’s first cases in 1979. At the time, most workers who suffered what we now recognize as sexual harassment didn’t speak up or see a lawyer, because of the simple reason that they did not know they had any rights or way to fight back. Alan worked to change this, and early in his career launched a legal crusade against employers who subjected maids and cleaning staff to rape, abuse, and sex-based discrimination. His efforts were highlighted by legendary New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez (“A Tale of Mops and Monsters” – click here to read), and slowly but surely, through the efforts of Alan and other forward-thinking lawyers, the phrase “sexual harassment” began to move into the mainstream.
In 1982, Alan moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to provide his expertise to the newly formed Fair Employment Agency of Northern Ireland, which modeled its law on the New York City Human Rights Law. Upon his return to New York in 1984, Alan went into private practice founding Dienst & Serrins LLP, which would become a highly recognized, full-service litigation boutique over the next 16 years. In 2000, Alan co-founded a successor firm, Queller Fisher Dienst Serrins Washor & Kool LLP, and later founded Serrins & Associates, LLC, to focus exclusively on employment law.
Alan has litigated scores of cases from inception to verdict and successfully negotiated hundreds more. His caseload has included claims under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disability Act, the United States and New York State Constitution, state and local discrimination laws, civil service laws, State Education law, and Federal and State False Claims Act (Qui Tam) and common law claims such as breach of contract.
In addition to his litigation practice, Alan provides legal advice to clients regarding drafting and negotiating employment agreements, severance agreements, and executive compensation.