Our goal is to provide access to justice for workers whose rights have been violated. Class actions amplify our efforts because they give us the ability to enforce the rights of many workers at once.”
Melissa Lardo Stewart
MELISSA LARDO STEWART is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York, where she represents employees in class action wage and discrimination cases. She has represented workers across many industries and job functions, including retail, sales, food service, hospitality, financial services, accounting, and telecommunications. She has prosecuted wage theft claims on behalf of workers who were required to work off-the-clock, subjected to time-shaving, wrongly classified as exempt from overtime protections, and improperly treated as independent contractors. Ms. Stewart also currently represents employees and applicants in class and collective action gender and age discrimination cases.
Before Ms. Stewart joined Outten & Golden LLP in November 2013, she clerked for the Honorable James Orenstein in the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise in the District of New Jersey, and represented workers and labor unions as an associate at Woodley & McGillivary in Washington, D.C. She graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University School of Law in 2009.
Bar Admissions & Professional Activities
Ms. Stewart is admitted to practice law only in New York and the District of Columbia.
Board Member, the New York Affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA/NY)
Member, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee
Member, Federal Bar Council, Employment Litigation Committee
Member, National Employment Lawyers Association
Member, New York City Bar Association
Member, American Association for Justice
- Panelist: "Maximizing and Limiting Wage and Hour Damages," Practising Law Institute, Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance 2021, Webinar
- Speaker: "Wage & Hour Collective and Class Actions: Asserting and Challenging Affirmative Defenses," Strafford, Webinar
- Speaker, Moderator: "Practical Advice For Locating And Communicating With Potential Plaintiffs And Cultivating New Cases Post-Epic Systems," National Employment Lawyers Association, 2019 Spring Seminar, Denver, CO
- "Suds and Substance: Successful Settlement Negotiations & Mediations: Let’s Share New, Old, and Borrowed Ideas, Expected and the Unexpected Results," American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment, 2019 National Conference on EEO, Coral Gables, FL
- Panelist: "An Overview of Pay Equity Issues," New York City Bar Association, 5th Annual Employment Law Institute
- Panelist: "A Road Map: Revising Arbitration Agreements in Light of Epic," New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section 2019 Annual Meeting, New York, NY
- Panelist: "Switching to Offense in Employment Cases," New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada
- Speaker: "Life After Epic Systems: How Employers, Employees, and Arbitrators Are Adapting to the World of Class Action Waivers," American Bar Association, Webinar
- Co-Presenter: "A View from the Plaintiff's Bar," FordHarrison and lus Laboris, Eighth Annual Year-End Labor & Employment Law Workshop, Gladstone, NJ
- Moderator: "Working Productively With the Other Side to Get What you Need," NELA Spring Seminar, ESI & Technology for the Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyer, Vienna, VA
- Panelist: "Wage & Hour Collective and Class Actions: Asserting and Challenging Affirmative Defenses," Strafford Webinar Panel
- Speaker: "Strategies After Decertification," NELA 2018 Annual Convention, Chicago, IL
- Moderator: "The Nuts and Bolts of a Wage & Hour Case from Intake to Resolution," NELA Spring Seminar, Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges and Opportunities, Silver Spring, MD
- Moderator: "Discovery Rules Amendments in Practice," NELA/NY, Spring Conference on Representing Employees, New York, NY
- Speaker: "Proportionality in Discovery," American Association for Justice, 2017 Annual Convention, Boston, MA
- Speaker: "Exempt Employees” and “Calculating Damages under State and Federal Law," ADR Department of the Eastern District of New York, Co-Sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of New York Chapter, Fair Labor Standards Act Training for Mediators, Central Islip, NY
- Moderator: "Who’s Exempt," NELA/NY, Fall Conference on Representing Employees, New York, NY
- Panelist: "Overtime: To Pay or Not to Pay – That is the Question: Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law," Labor & Employment Relations Association, New Jersey Chapter, Woodbridge, NJ
- Panelist: "Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts," Rutgers Labor & Employment Society, Newark, NJ
- Speaker: "Views From the Plaintiffs’ Bar: Adapting Your Defense Strategies to New and Innovative Techniques and Tactics," American Conference Institute, Wage & Hour Conference, Miami, FL
- Speaker: "Using Technology In Litigating Wage & Hour Cases," NELA Spring Seminar, Protecting Pay, Representing Workers with Wage & Hour Claims, Washington, DC
Publications & Articles
Lexis Practice Advisor. Lexis Nexis. This checklist is a guide for a plaintiff/employee-side attorney who is assessing a potential wage and hour class...
Melissa Stewart, ABA Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Fall 2017, Volume 44 Number 1
The Department of Labor (DOL) is updating the rules that govern overtime for salaried workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rules...
Awards & Recognition
Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer: 2021
Super Lawyers Rising Star: 2017-2021
Super Lawyers NY Women Rising Star 2019