People: Ariel D. Cudkowicz, Partner

Photo of Ariel D. Cudkowicz, Partner

Ariel D. Cudkowicz

Partner

Associate Managing Partner

Boston
Direct: (617) 946-4884
Fax: (617) 946-4801
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Ariel Cudkowicz is the co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s national Employment Litigation and Counseling Practice Group and serves on the firm’s national Labor and Employment Steering Committee.  He is the Associate Managing Partner of the Boston Office.

Mr. Cudkowicz’s practice is focused on wage and hour collective and class actions, complex single-plaintiff employment discrimination litigation and workplace advice and counseling.  Mr. Cudkowicz manages a number of national portfolio client relationships, and specializes in representing clients in the retail industry in FLSA collective actions, and in the hospitality industry in class actions challenging the distribution of tips and service charges under state and federal laws.  Mr. Cudkowicz has litigated such matters in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.  Mr. Cudkowicz also provides advice to Fortune 100 and 500 corporations on compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws and avoidance of litigation under those laws.

Mr. Cudkowicz has extensive experience defending single and multi-plaintiff employment discrimination cases brought under federal and state laws and employment-related breach of contract and tort claims.  Mr. Cudkowicz has litigated such matters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut.  Mr. Cudkowicz’s litigation practice covers the full spectrum of litigation services, including litigation management, motion practice, jury trials and appeals before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.  Mr. Cudkowicz has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation encompassing most substantive areas of employment law.

Mr. Cudkowicz conducts internal investigations for a variety of clients and has experience investigating hostile working environment claims, quid pro quo harassment claims, whistleblower claims, retaliation claims, and claims of glass ceiling and systemic discrimination.  He also has significant experience conducting highly sensitive internal investigations, including investigations involving Human Resources and Legal Department personnel, and C-suite executives.

Mr. Cudkowicz has represented clients in a wide number of industries including banking, financial services, retail, hospitality, spa, sports/entertainment, adult entertainment, airline, high tech, clinical research, international education, temporary staffing and business services.

Ariel Cudkowicz is the co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s national Employment Litigation and Counseling Practice Group and serves on the firm’s national Labor and Employment Steering Committee.  He is the Associate Managing Partner of the Boston Office.

Mr. Cudkowicz’s practice is focused on wage and hour collective and class actions, complex single-plaintiff employment discrimination litigation and workplace advice and counseling.  Mr. Cudkowicz manages a number of national portfolio client relationships, and specializes in representing clients in the retail industry in FLSA collective actions, and in the hospitality industry in class actions challenging the distribution of tips and service charges under state and federal laws.  Mr. Cudkowicz has litigated such matters in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.  Mr. Cudkowicz also provides advice to Fortune 100 and 500 corporations on compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws and avoidance of litigation under those laws.

Mr. Cudkowicz has extensive experience defending single and multi-plaintiff employment discrimination cases brought under federal and state laws and employment-related breach of contract and tort claims.  Mr. Cudkowicz has litigated such matters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut.  Mr. Cudkowicz’s litigation practice covers the full spectrum of litigation services, including litigation management, motion practice, jury trials and appeals before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.  Mr. Cudkowicz has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation encompassing most substantive areas of employment law.

Mr. Cudkowicz conducts internal investigations for a variety of clients and has experience investigating hostile working environment claims, quid pro quo harassment claims, whistleblower claims, retaliation claims, and claims of glass ceiling and systemic discrimination.  He also has significant experience conducting highly sensitive internal investigations, including investigations involving Human Resources and Legal Department personnel, and C-suite executives.

Mr. Cudkowicz has represented clients in a wide number of industries including banking, financial services, retail, hospitality, spa, sports/entertainment, adult entertainment, airline, high tech, clinical research, international education, temporary staffing and business services.

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (1987)
  • B.A., University of Rochester (1984)

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia
  • Connecticut

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (Election as Fellow, 2011)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)

Representative Engagements

Representative Employment Cases

  • Andrews v. Staples the Office Superstore East, Inc., Case No. 7:11CV00037 (W.D. VA) (successful summary judgment dismissal of hostile work environment claim based on sex and religion, as well as retaliation claim)
  • Boston Restaurant Associates v. Power et al., Case No. 07-01495 (Essex Superior Court, MA) (complex multi-party sexual harassment case)
  • Cuddyer v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Case No. 97-01816 (Norfolk Superior Court, MA) (complex single plaintiff sexual harassment case)
  • Cherrette v. Staples, Inc., Case No. 10-CV-777 (Merrimack Superior Court, NH) (New Hampshire Whistleblower protection case)
  • Day v. Staples, Inc., Appeal No. 08-1689 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) (successful appeal of summary judgment dismissal of complex Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protection case)
  • Fuhrmann v. Staples, Inc., Case No. Yor-11-551 (Maine Supreme Judicial Court) (successful appeal from summary judgment dismissal of Maine Human Rights claim and retaliation claim)
  • Heggie v. The TJX Companies, Inc., Case No. 11-2914 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (successful dismissal of ADA, FMLA and state law disability discrimination and contract claims)
  • Hemedi v. Staples, Inc., Case No. SUCV2010-05062 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (successful summary judgment dismissal of race discrimination and retaliation claims)
  • Mann v. Staples, Inc., Case No. A-5188-10T4 (Superior Court of NJ Appellate Div.) (successful appeal from summary judgment dismissal of sexual harassment and retaliation claims)
  • Martignetti v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Case No. 99-4921 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (complex single plaintiff national origin discrimination case)
  • Noonan v. Staples, Inc., Appeal No. 07-2159 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) (successful appeal from summary judgment dismissal of complex breach of Stock Option Agreement and defamation case)
  • Rockefeller v. TJ Maxx, et al., Civil Action No. 2012-2174-A (Worcester Superior Court, MA) (dismissal of common law causes of action including breach of employment contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, promissory estoppel, fraud, intentional interference with advantageous business relations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy)
  • Sheehan, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., Appeal No. 10-P-1306 (Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court) (successful appeal from third party motion to intervene)
  • Skidmore v. W.R. Grace, Case No. 03-2679 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (prevailed on injunctive relief in complex non-compete and non-solicitation case)

Representative Wage & Hour Cases

  • Archibald, et al. v. TJX Companies, Inc., Case No. 09-CV-2303 (S.D. NY) (FLSA collective action concerning misclassification claims of assistant store managers)
  • Belghiti, et al. v. Select Restaurants, Inc. d/b/a Top of the Hub Restaurant & Skywalk, Case No. 10-12049 (D. Mass) (Partial summary judgment dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of housemen to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Benoit, et al. v. The Federalist, Inc., Case No. 04-3516 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet coordinator to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Bernson, et al. v. Massachusetts Port Authority et al., Case No. 06-CA11180 (E.D. MA)(FLSA collective action concerning entitlement to overtime for care and training of police work dogs)
  • Bertrand, et al. v. Harvard Club of Boston, Case No. 11-04100 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging use and distribution of surcharges, clubhouse function fees and holiday gift funds under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Bonisa, et al. v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Case No. 09-1010 (Suffolk County Superior Court, MA) (Massachusetts Tip Statute and common law claims)
  • Brown, et al. v. United Airlines, Inc., Case No. 1:08-CV-10689 (D. Mass.) (Successful dismissal of Rule 23 class action concerning application of Massachusetts Tip Statute to skycaps)
  • Bullock, et al. v. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company et al., Case No. 04-04379 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Butcher, et al. v. United Airlines, Inc. Case No. 1:09-CV-11681 (D. Mass.) (FLSA collective action concerning proper application of the tip credit to minimum wage obligations).
  • DePina, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., Case No. 03-5434 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Partial summary judgment dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Dilorio, et al. v. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company et al., Case No. 07-0131 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Ellison, et al. v. NPS, Inc., Case No. 06-1577 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging use and distribution of administrative fees for banquet operations under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Espinoza, et al. v. Zia Maria Restaurant, Inc. and Donato Frattaroli, Case No. 11-4138 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet coordinator to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Friedlander, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., Case No. 9:05-CV-80694 (S.D. Fl.) (FLSA collective action concerning misclassification claims of assistant store managers)
  • Gaza, et al. v. South Shore Playhouse Associates, Case No. 05-2794 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging distribution of gratuities from tip pool under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Hanna et al. v. Fitzpatrick Holdings, LLC and Jo Ann Fitzpatrick Brown, Case No. 12-0195 (Berkshire Superior Court, MA) (Partial dismissal and defeat of class certification in Rule 23 class action challenging distribution of service charges under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Hayes, et al. v. Aramark and The Boston Red Sox, Case No. 08-0749 (Suffolk Superior Court) (Dismissal of a Rule 23 class action challenging use and distribution of administrative fees for banquet operations under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Hernandez, et al. v. Hyatt Corporation, Case No. 05-0569 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Partial summary judgment dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Hough, et al. v. Select Restaurants, Inc., 05-1258 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging distribution of service charges collected under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Jara, et al. v. The Federalist, Inc., Bovine, LLC, d/b/a Mooo Restaurant, 15 Beacon Street Corp., and Paul Roiff, Case No. 08-1893 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning ability of banquet coordinator to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Laughlin, et al. v. Columbus Restaurant Group, LLC d/b/a Columbus Hospitality Group, Jamie Mammano, and Paul Roiff, Case No. 12-3626-H (Suffolk Superior Court) (Rule 23 class action alleging violation of Massachusetts Tip Statute and Minimum Wage law).
  • Lucas, et al. v. Ultima Framingham LLC and Ultima Skokie Management, LLC d/b/a Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, Case No. 12-4529 (Middlesex Superior Court) (Rule 23 class action alleging violation of the Massachusetts Tip Statute and Minimum Wage Law)
  • Malinski, et al. v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:08-CV-11859 (D. Mass.) (Rule 23 class action alleging violation of Massachusetts Tip Statute, Minimum Wage Law and common law claims)
  • Masiello, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., Case No. 06-05109 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Partial dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Masiello, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., Case No. 08-4036 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Successful summary judgment dismissal of a Rule 23 class action concerning distribution of service charges to room service employees)
  • McCandless, et al. v. Staples, Inc., Case No. 1:07-CV-11850 RCL (D. Mass.) (FLSA collective action concerning misclassification claims of senior product sales specialists)
  • Michalek, et al. v. The Boston Palm Corporation, Case No. 03-1334 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet coordinator to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Miyasato, et al. v. Hyatt Corporation and Goldman Sachs & Co., Civil Action No. 11-1-2596-10 (D. HI) (Rule 23 class action alleging violation of the Hawaii Tip Statute and Unfair Competition Statute)
  • Mumejian, et al. v. S.J.S. enterprises, Inc., Case No. 3:13-cv-01163 (D. Ct.) (FLSA collective action concerning misclassification of assistant store managers and store managers)
  • Myles-Thomas, et al. v. TJMaxx, Case No. 1:06-CV-1100 (W.D. Tenn.) (Off-the-clock work) (FLSA collective action concerning off-the-clock work and meal break violations)
  • Pierce, et al. v. Intercontinental Hotels Group Resources, Inc., Case No. 11-3200 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Plenty, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., Case No. 2:07-CV-1656 (N.D. Ala.) (FLSA collective action concerning misclassification claim of merchandise managers)
  • Raghai, et al. v. Six Continents Hotels d/b/a Hotel Indigo, Case No. 10-3992 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging distribution of service charges under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Ramsey, et al. v. McCormick and Schmicks, Case No. Case No. 09-1846 (Suffolk Superior Court, MA) (defense of Rule 23 class action challenging tip pooling practices and use of tip credit to pay less than minimum wage)
  • Reid, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., Case No. 04-CV-1247 (N.D. Ill.) (FLSA collective action and state law class action concerning off-the-clock work and meal break violations)
  • Rodriguez, et al v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. d/b/a Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Civil Action  No. 09-00016 (D. HI) (Rule 23 class action alleging violation of the Hawaii Tip Statute and Unfair Competition Statute)
  • Ruiz, et al. v. Mardi Gras Entertainment, Inc. et al., Case No. 10-00034 (Hampden Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action challenging independent contractor statutes of exotic dancers under G.L. c. 149, § 148B and other pay practices under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Sheehan, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., Case No. 08-1342 (Essex Superior Court) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of banquet captains to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Smith, et al. v. Kawailoa Development LLP d/b/a Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and Hyatt Corporation, Civil Action No. 11-00350 (D. HI) (Rule 23 class action removed to federal court alleging violation of the Hawaii Tip Statute and Unfair Competition Statute)
  • Verdone, et al. v. Walgreen Eastern Co., Inc., Civil Action No. 06-01613 (Norfolk Superior Court) (Rule 23 class action alleging violations of Massachusetts wage and hour laws, including the “Blue Laws,” and common law claims)
  • Walsh, et al. v. Foxy Lady, et al., Civil Action 10-1616 (Plymouth Superior Court) (Rule 23 class action challenging independent contractor status of exotic dancers under G.L. c. 149 § 148B and other pay practices under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Williamson, et al. v. DT Management d/b/a Boston Harbor Hotel, Case No. 02-01824 (Middlesex Superior Court, MA) (Rule 23 class action concerning eligibility of catering and banquet personnel to participate in service charge distribution under Massachusetts Tip Statute)
  • Wood, et al. v. ZC Management LLC et al., Case No. 3:07-30076 D. Mass.) (Rule 23 class action removed to federal court alleging violations of the Massachusetts Tip Statute and Payment of Wages law)

Presentations

  • Co-Chair American Conference Institute’s 14th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions (January 2012)
  • “Employment & Labor Law,” MCLE Basics Plus Program (2010, 2011)
  • “Independent Contractor v. Employee,” MCLE Program (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • “Regulation of Unpaid Internships:  The Uncertain Future,” The George Washington University Center for Civil Engagement and Public Service (2010)
  • “Litigating Wage & Hour Cases”, MCLE Program (2009, 2010, 2012)
  • “New Massachusetts Wage & Hour Treble Damages Law:  Litigation Avoidance is the First Line of Defense,” The Greater Boston Hotel Human Resources Association (2008)
  • “Wage and Hour Issues for Complex Workplace,” Boston Bar Association (2008)
  • “Chapter 80 of the Acts of 2008 – Implications to Your Practice and Business Operations,” New England Labor Counsel (2008)
  • “Winning Damages Claims in Employment Litigation,” Boston Bar Association (2006)
  • “The Americans with Disability Act,” The Greater Boston Hotel Human Resources Association (2006)
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law,” New England Corporate Counsel Association, Inc. (2005)
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law,” Massachusetts Restaurant Association Foodservice and Lodging Exposition (2002-2003)
  • “New Developments in U.S. Labor, Employment and Investigation Law,” Government of Israel Economic Office in New England (2002)
  • “Legal Issues Series:  Wrongful Termination,” Massachusetts Software Council (1999)

Publications

  • Co-Author, “First Circuit Upholds Massachusetts Mandatory Treble Damages Law, Affirms Class Certification, and Interprets Tip Pooling Law, “One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 14, 2012)
  •  Co-Author, “Transgender Issues in the Workplace, ” Employment Law Strategist (September 2012)
  •  Co-Author, “Employer Rights and Responsibilities:  Monitoring Employee Communication in the Workplace,” Insights Magazine (Winter 2011)
  •  Co-Author, “Top 10 Whistleblower Cases of 2010,” featured in NACD Directorship.com (January 14, 2011)
  •  Co-Author, “Winter Wonderland:  Tips for Supplementing Your Workforce with Seasonal Employees,” Seyfarth Shaw Management Alert, featured in Bloomberg Law Reports (December 6, 2010)
  •  Co-Author, “Technology and Privacy in the Workplace:  Monitoring Employee Communications After The Supreme Court’s Quon Decision, ” Boston Bar Journal (Fall 2010).
  • “Strategies for Avoiding or Defending ADA ‘Drive-by’ Lawsuits,” NY Restaurant Insider (January 2006)
  •  Co-Author, “Does New Tip Statute in MA Solve this Problem,” Food Service East (Spring/Summer 2005)

Recognitions

  • Chambers & Partners, Chambers USA/America’s Leading Business Lawyers; Massachusetts Management Employment Lawyers (2006-2014)
  • Massachusetts/New England Super Lawyer (2005, 2007-2014)
  • Legal 500 recommended lawyer (2011-2014)