René S. Roupinian - Nationwide WARN Act Lawyer New York City

Tenacity: Move forward with a persistent purpose, fortified by the knowledge that our cause is just.

René S. Roupinian

About

RENÉ S. ROUPINIAN is a Partner of the firm and Co-Chair of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group.

For over fifteen years, Ms. Roupinian has devoted her practice to the litigation of Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act cases, representing tens of thousands of employees who were terminated without sufficient notice in violation of federal and state WARN laws. The firm’s WARN practice is national and its WARN cases have and continue to cover a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, transportation, retail, mining, mortgage and manufacturing. A majority of the cases Ms. Roupinian litigates are initiated as class actions and are frequently filed in bankruptcy court as adversary proceedings.

In 2008, Ms. Roupinian, her colleague Jack A. Raisner and their client, Joe Aguiar, were invited to submit testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee by Senator Kennedy (Chair) on the 20th anniversary of the WARN Act’s enactment, regarding the Act and its possible reform. Mr. Aguiar, who lost his manufacturing job without notice when his employer shut down, testified before the HELP Committee.

In 2017, the firm’s WARN Act Practice Group won a landmark United States Supreme Court decision on behalf of 1,800 terminated truck drivers. Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., 137 S. Ct. 973, 977, 197 L. Ed. 2d 398 (2017). The decision has been hailed as one of the top ten most important decisions in bankruptcy law and prompted Law360 to name Outten & Golden’s WARN Practice Group  Bankruptcy Group of the Year, noting "Outten & Golden LLP's employment attorneys made an outsized impact on the bankruptcy world this year." In recognizing the quality of Outten & Golden’s work, Law360 wrote: “With a focus on representing employees cut loose by companies heading into bankruptcy, Outten’s WARN Act group finds itself involved in insolvency cases frequently. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act requires employers of a certain size to provide adequate notice of their intent to lay off large numbers of workers, and Outten's team represents the interests of those jilted employees when they don't receive that notice. Their expertise in the employment arena, especially as it relates to bankruptcy, led to their representation of more than 2,000 truckers who were unexpectedly laid off by Jevic’s 2008 Chapter 11."

Ms. Roupinian has lectured on the WARN Act and the prosecution of WARN claims as class actions in bankruptcy court.  She has been quoted on WARN law rights and her cases have been cited in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, American Lawyer, Associated Press, USA Today, Forbes, Newsday, Times-Gazette, The Herald News, and others.

Ms. Roupinian received her BA from the University of Michigan, and her JD from Michigan State University College of Law where she was a member of the Moot Court Executive Board. She joined Outten & Golden LLP in 2007 after representing employees in WARN Act cases at another New York firm. Prior to 2002, she was a partner in a Detroit law firm where she litigated ADA, FMLA, ADEA, and race and gender discrimination cases on behalf of employees, and class actions on behalf of homeowners, consumers and taxpayers. She has argued before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Bar Admissions & Professional Activities

  • Ms. Roupinian is admitted to practice law only in New York and Michigan.

  • Ms. Roupinian is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Eastern District of Michigan, the Western District of Michigan; and District of Colorado; the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit; and the Ninth Circuit; and the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Member, New York City Bar Association

  • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)

  • Member, Armenian-American Bar Association

  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute

  • Member, Alliance for Justice (AFJ)

  • Member, Michigan Bar Association

  • Member, MSU College of Law Alumni Board

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Speaking Engagements

2019

  • Panelist: "“Bankruptcy and Class Action Convergence”," American Bankruptcy Institute, Southeast Conference, Amelia Island, FL

2017

  • Panelist: "Jevic and its Impact on Settlements in Bankruptcy Court," 2017 Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar, in conjunction with the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Cincinnati, OH
  • Speaker: "Jevic and Structured Dismissals, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Las Vegas, NV

2016

  • Lecturer: "WARN Act," 53rd Annual Midwest Labor & Employment Law Seminar, Columbus, OH
  • Lecturer: "WARN Act Employee Claims and Their Impact on Chapter 11 Cases," 36th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute, Kansas City, MO

2014

  • Lecturer: "Seeking Your Recovery: Pre-Judgment Attachment and Bankruptcy," National Employment Lawyers Association New York Affiliate, New York, NY

2010

  • Lecturer: "The Financial Crisis: Impact on WARN Act Cases," ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Midwinter Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Lecturer: "The Financial Crisis: Impact on WARN Act Cases," New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York, NY

2009

  • Lecturer: "The Last Resort: What Labor & Employment Lawyers Need to Know About Bankruptcy," American Bar Association
  • Lecturer: "WARN Act Specialist Offers Advice About Layoffs Amidst Tough Economic Times," Employment & Labor LAWCAST
  • Lecturer: "Layoff Law," Fairfield County Bar Association, Stamford, CT
  • Lecturer: "New Causes of Action: WARN Act and ERISA," National Employment Lawyers Association New York Affiliate, New York, NY
  • Lecturer: "Reductions in Force in Both a Union and Non-Union Setting," New York State Bar Association, New York, NY
  • Lecturer: "Attacking Mass Layoffs," National Employment Lawyers Association, National Convention
  • Lecturer: "Analyzing Employee Issues in Chapter 11," Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar, Cincinnati, OH
  • Lecturer: "Economy in Peril (Part 1): The Legal Landscape for Addressing Reductions in Force," American Bar Association, Teleconference

2008

  • Lecturer: "Grasping the WARN Act through an interactive discussion addressing all the ins and outs," Tonkins Employment Law: Termination
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Publications & Articles

WARN Act Protects Laid off Employees of Companies in Bankruptcy

Rene S. Roupinian, O&G Employment Law Blog, August 31, 2016

Fair Warning For Workers

Discussion of some of the complexities involved with WARN Act cases. Employment attorneys Jack Raisner & Rene Roupinian. (August 2010)

A Practitioner's Overview of the Deficiencies of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Twenty Years Following its Enactment

René S. Roupinian, NELA, The New York Employee Advocate, Volume 14, No. 5, June 2008

An overview from a litigator’s perspective of the main deficiencies in the WARN Act, including hurdles not contemplated by Congress that have made WARN Act litigation difficult and often nearly impossible in ways not envisioned by Congress twenty years ago. Some of these deficiencies have been addressed by the current proposed legislation, namely S. 1792 and H.R. 3920 (which the House approved in October 2007), others have not, but should be considered as critical to making WARN a viable tool for achieving Congress’ purpose of providing advance notice to terminated employees.

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Awards & Recognition

  • 2014–2019 New York Super Lawyer

  • 2015–2019 New York Metro Super Lawyer Top Women

  • 2017 Law 360, Bankruptcy Practice Group of the Year

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