“We fight for opportunity, fair pay, and a workplace free from discrimination.”


CHRISTOPHER M. MCNERNEY is a partner with Outten & Golden and an experienced litigator.  As a member of the firm’s Class Action, Discrimination and Retaliation, and Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Practice Groups, he is focused on cutting edge civil and workers’ rights class actions pushing the law towards realizing its latent promise of justice.

Christopher represents employees in class action discrimination (race, gender and criminal history, among other topics), wage and hour, and Fair Credit Reporting Act cases, as well as other civil rights cases on behalf of criminal defendants, tenants, and other impacted individuals.  He has particularly devoted his career to impact litigation addressing the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, challenging employers’ criminal history screens that disproportionately screen out applicants of color – and has litigated such cases against some of the largest and most prominent employers in the country, including Walmart, Hertz, Target, Madison Square Gardens, the State of Washington and its 39 Counties, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and the United States Census Department (for which Christopher was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice, Gonzalez v. Pritzker, in 2017), among many other employers. 

Throughout his career, Christopher has recovered over $100 million for workers and other aggrieved individuals.  Christopher has successfully litigated in federal and state courts across the country, including by:

  • Upholding the unconscionability of an adhesive arbitration agreement in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit;
  • Reversing a district court’s dismissal of Fair Credit Reporting Act claims on standing grounds in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit;
  • Reversing a district court’s decertification of a Fair Labor Standards Act collective in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit;
  • Certifying a contested defendant settlement class of employers violating New York City’s Fair Chance Act while overcoming online job boards’ Communications Decency Act arguments for dismissal in New York State Supreme Court;
  • Achieving a nearly two-million dollar settlement of Title VII disparate impact race and national origin claims in the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court, as part of the company’s restructuring plan after it declared bankruptcy and litigation in the Northern District of California was stayed; and
  • Certifying Rule 23(b)(3) Title VII disparate treatment and impact gender discrimination claims against Goldman Sachs in the Southern District of New York—in one of the closest watched employment cases of the last decade.

Christopher especially focuses on areas of the law that need development, and strategically litigates to push the law to more robustly protect vulnerable individuals.

Christopher writes and speaks frequently about employment issues, including in the criminal history context, and is a contributor to the legal treatise, Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction Law, Policy and Practice.

Christopher received his B.A., with honors, from Macalester College, and his J.D., with honors, from NYU School of Law.  He clerked for the Hon. Sarah Netburn in the Southern District of New York.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)

Bar Admission and Professional Activity
  • Mr. McNerney is admitted to practice law only in New York.
  • Mr. McNerney is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Western District of New York; and the Eastern District of Michigan; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit and the Ninth Circuit.
  • New York State Bar Association
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
  • National Employment Lawyers Association/New York (NELA/NY)
Video & Podcasts

No data was found
No data was found

Speaking Engagements


  • Speaker: “Plenary Session One – Employee/Worker Class Actions – a view from the front line” – ELA/ABA 8th Transatlantic Conference: THE WORLD OF WORK – WHERE NEXT?
  • Moderator: “Views from the Defense Bar,” National Employment Lawyers Association, 2023 Spring Seminar, San Diego, CA



  • Speaker: “Fighting for Legal Justice in the Workplace and Beyond,” #AskAnExpertSeries, Webinar



  • Speaker, Moderator: “Using Criminal History in the Workplace,” Fordham Law School, NELA/NY Fall 2018 CLE Conference, New York, NY
  • Presenter: “Applying for Work in California With a Prior Conviction,” Impact Fund, Summer Webinar Series
  • Panelist: “Introduction to Public Interest Law Firms,” New York University School of Law Public Interest Law Center, New York, NY


  • Panelist: “Introduction to Public Interest Law Firms,” New York University School of Law Public Interest Law Center, New York, NY

Blogs & Publications

The Plaintiff Usually Doesn’t Have All the Facts When Filing an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit. They Don’t Have To

Job Seekers With Criminal Histories Now Have More Employment Opportunities in the Banking Industry

Individuals who have criminal records that include a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering have long been prohibited from pursuing employment opportunities with financial institutions like banks or credit unions. But recent changes in the law have removed these barriers, giving countless job seekers a chance to work in this expansive sector of the economy.

Concreteness and Spokeo – The Supreme Court’s Decision Really Doesn’t Do What Employers Say It Does

When the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins last May, employers, as well as the companies that provide employers with job applicants’ background information, argued that the ruling was a significant change to the law of standing….

LA’s New “Ban the Box” Ordinance is the Nation’s Strongest

Last month, Los Angeles joined a growing group of U.S. cities taking steps to end hiring discrimination based on a job applicant’s criminal history. The “Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” ordinance took effect on January 22 and is arguably the strongest…

ACDs Now Off Limits in New York Hiring and Employment Decisions

The laws in New York and elsewhere throughout the country have come a long way in recent years when it comes to protecting job applicants from employment discrimination based on criminal history. “Ban the box” laws and ordinances facilitate opportunities for tens of…

Illinois Plans to Further Expand “Ban the Box” Protections to Individuals With Criminal Histories

Job seekers in Illinois will soon likely have fewer reasons to worry that past convictions will stand in the way of future employment opportunities. The Illinois legislature recently passed amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) that expand “ban the box” protections against employment and hiring discrimination based on criminal history. If signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as expected, SB 1480 will make it more difficult for employers to justify using past convictions for adverse hiring decisions.

Philadelphia Expands “Ban the Box” Protections and Further Limits Use of Credit History in Hiring

Job seekers and workers in Philadelphia will soon have fewer worries about whether their criminal or credit histories will stand in the way of potential opportunities. That is due to a series of amendments to Philadelphia’s “Ban The Box” ordinance and other provisions of The Philadelphia Code that further limit the information employers can use when screening candidates and making employment decisions. If you are looking for work in Philadelphia, here is what you need to know about these changes and how they impact your right to be free from employment discrimination based on unrelated criminal history.

NYC Expands Worker Protections Under Its “Ban the Box” Ordinance

In New York City and elsewhere in the country in recent years, job applicants and employees have obtained increased protections from employment discrimination based on criminal history. “Ban the box” laws and ordinances, including New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA), provide opportunities for tens of thousands of workers, under the idea that past transgressions should not render a person ineligble for all employment. As New York City explains, “there is no greater danger to the health, morals, safety and welfare of the city and its inhabitants than the existence of groups prejudiced against one another and antagonistic to each other because of their actual or perceived differences, including those based on . . . conviction or arrest record.” 

Upheaval From Pandemic and Recession Driving Increase in Wage Theft, According to New Study

It has been said that in every crisis lies opportunity. Unfortunately, the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession that followed have increased opportunities for unscrupulous employers to engage in rampant wage theft, including minimum wage and overtime violations. A recent study found that large numbers of low-wage and minimum wage workers, already vulnerable from economic upheaval and uncertainty, are likely being paid less than the law requires, or not receiving paychecks at all. 

Written Testimony of Outten & Golden LLP on Proposed INT. NO. 1314-A, A Proposed Amendment to Fair Chance Act

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction: Law, Policy and Practice

Contributors: Juno Turner and Christopher M. McNerney, Thomson Reuters, Chapter 6, 2018-2019 Edition

Awards & Recognition