City of New York CONSUMER AFFAIRS Seeks Legal Director

Job Description:

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) empowers consumers and businesses to ensure a fair and vibrant marketplace. DCA licenses and regulates over 80,000 businesses in 55 different industries, and enforces the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws in New York City. The agency educates the public and businesses through outreach and partnerships with stakeholders throughout the City. DCA performs onsite inspections of businesses to ensure compliance with license regulations, weights and measures regulations, and the New York City Consumer Protection Law. Effective April 1, 2014, under New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act, most employers in New York City will be required to give their employees sick leave. DCA is charged with enforcement of this law.

DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) assists low-income and immigrant New Yorkers to build assets and make the most of their financial resources by providing free financial counseling at more than 30 Financial Empowerment Centers, access to mainstream banking, and encouraging Earned Income Tax Credit utilization.

The Paid Sick Leave Division (Division) is tasked with implementing and enforcing New York City’s groundbreaking Earned Sick Leave law which is intended to allow employees to take leave to take care of themselves and family members, making New York City a healthier and more productive City. The Paid Sick Leave Division educates employees and employers about the law; works with stakeholders throughout the City to ensure compliance; investigates and mediates complaints filed by employees; prosecutes businesses that do not comply with the law in an administrative tribunal and enters into robust Consent Orders in lieu of hearings. The Division serves as a resource for businesses that need information or assistance in order to comply and for workers who want to better understand their rights.

DCA seeks an experienced attorney and manager to serve as the Legal Director of the Paid Sick Leave Division. Reporting to the Executive Director of the Division, and working closely with DCA’s General Counsel’s office, the Legal Director supports the Executive Director in supervising attorney and non-attorney staff and managing the division’s legal and investigation operations. The Legal Director will also handle litigation and will be responsible for ensuring professional development of legal and investigation staff.

The ideal candidate is an accomplished civil litigator, preferably with significant labor and employment law experience. Candidates must have significant experience as a manager and supervisor. The volume of work requires an attorney who thrives in a fast-paced environment, is adept at multi-tasking and is able to effectively and independently organize, review, lead, supervise and coordinate the candidate’s own work and the work of others. The Legal Director’s portfolio will include responsibility for developing and reviewing protocols and systems for case documentation and tracking; standardizing litigation and investigative resources that can be adapted for cases, as needed and ensuring efficiency, productivity and quality work product of attorney and non-attorney staff. The Legal Director is also expected to have an appreciation of and eagerness to use technology as a management tool. Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential. The ideal candidate has demonstrable experience analyzing and applying complex statutes.

The Legal Director will assist the Executive Director in providing leadership in the area of prosecution and investigations with the expectation of considerable independent action and decision making. Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Managing the legal and investigations function for the Paid Sick Leave Division;
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures for conduct of effective and efficient investigations;
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures for the fair and timely resolution of investigations, which may include prosecution;
  • Supervising and providing guidance to attorneys, investigators, experts and consultants to ensure that their work conforms to established standards and procedures and is completed in a timely manner;
  • Conducting or second seating hearings in high priority, sensitive or complex cases;
  • Conducting and overseeing investigations in high priority, sensitive or complex cases;
  • Drafting, reviewing and editing Notices of Hearing, subpoenas and Consent Orders;
  • Preparing periodic reports of the status and results of investigations and/or programs;
  • Ensuring that attorneys and investigators within the Division maintain their professional competence through appropriate training and development programs;
  • Identifying and engaging experts, consultants and temporary staff to complement the investigations and legal staff when additional resources are required to support investigations and/or prosecutions;
  • Providing legal support to the Executive Director and senior management of the Agency regarding legislation and rulemaking.
  • Providing legal support, as needed, in other labor related work for which the Department is responsible, including Living Wage and Transit Benefits.

Qualification Requirements:

Admission to the New York State Bar; and four (4) years of recent full-time responsible, relevant, satisfactory legal experience subsequent to admission to any bar, eighteen months of which must have been in the supervision of other attorneys, in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity, or performing highly complex and significant legal work. Incumbents must remain Members of the New York State Bar in good standing for the duration of this employment.

PLEASE NOTE: New York City residency is required within 90 days of appointment. However, City employees in certain titles who have worked for the City for 2 continuous years may also be eligible to reside in Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, or Orange County.

Preferred Skills:

  • Minimum of six (6) years of relevant experience Litigation, and specifically prosecution, experience
  • Labor law experience
  • Investigative experience
  • Managerial or significant supervisory experience beyond supervising interns or junior associates as an associate in a law firm.
  • Skilled negotiator
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Comfort with data driven analysis and strategic planning
  • Experience leading and working in highly effective teams
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • Superior ability to plan effective strategies, to establish realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress
  • Experience in using computer applications as reporting and management tool
  • Multilingual a plus
  • Positive attitude and openness to different perspectives
  • Thriving in a fast-paced, high-pressured environment
  • Flexibility in hours
  • References that can confirm legal, communication and managerial skills
  • Two writing samples: one that demonstrates analysis and original research; and one that demonstrates supervisory writing that instructs or provides feedback
  • Legal and investigative supervisory experience should be specifically described in cover letter

To Apply For Non-City/External Candidates: Visit the External Applicant NYC Careers site and search by Job ID number. For Current City Employees: Visit Employee Self Service (ESS) to view and click on Recruiting Activities, Careers, and search by Job ID number.



Post Date: 03/04/2015. Open Until Filled.