Outten & Golden’s Public Interest Committee (“PIC”) takes on matters that call out for justice and promote the public interest on behalf of clients who could not otherwise afford our services, or where the matter would not satisfy the Firm’s commercial standards from a cost-benefit perspective. PIC considers potential cases - some of which arise through the firm’s regular intake process, while others are referred by the firm’s public interest partners. PIC clients receive the same excellent representation as our regular clients.
The Public Interest Committee is co-chaired chaired by Partner Christopher McNerney, who first joined the Firm in 2013 as a Public Interest Fellow, and current Public Interest Fellow, Eliana Theodorou.
In recent years, through PIC, Outten & Golden has successfully represented low-wage workers who have been subjected to wage theft, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment across a wide variety of sectors including the restaurant and service industries, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, Outten & Golden successfully represented low wage workers who blew the whistle about health and safety concerns at their workplaces, and who were fired in retaliation for taking leave or collecting unemployment benefits. Outten & Golden frequently partners with non-profit organizations on its PIC cases, including representing McDonald’s employees subjected to sexual harassment in partnership with the TimesUp Legal Defense Fund. Through PIC, Outten & Golden also provides legal advice on special projects in connection with non-profit partners. For example, through PIC the Firm recently partnered with Make the Road New York and the National Employment Law Project (“NELP”) to advise a group of restaurant workers organizing against their employer’s attempt to impose forced arbitration. Through PIC, Outten & Golden also frequently files amicus briefs on behalf of non-profit partners.