Steven A. Zuckerman

Full contact info

I solve employment issues so my clients can get back to solving everything else.

About Steven

Steven represents clients in all aspects of employment counseling and litigation – including game-changing strategic hires, high-stakes terminations of employment, internal investigations, allegations of misconduct, and protecting against the misappropriation of intellectual property and proprietary information. He routinely counsels on a range of sensitive human resources issues facing employers, such as recruiting and hiring talent, worker classification, wage-and-hour matters, and addressing employee mobility issues – including matters involving employee noncompetes and trade secret misappropriation. Steven works with clients to develop and implement policies to reflect company culture within a legal framework.

While he frequently guides clients to favorable pre-litigation resolutions, Steven also has broad experience representing employers throughout the stages of litigation and arbitration. He has successfully represented employers before federal and state courts, as well as administrative and arbitral bodies, in a range of employment disputes, including complex employment discrimination claims, wage-and-hour claims and restrictive covenant disputes.

Steven has particular experience in the technology, life sciences, and on-demand and gig economy industries. He specifically advises and represents many of the country’s top on-demand and gig economy businesses in navigating the ever-evolving legal landscape to resolve misclassification audits and lawsuits. He also has experience advising private equity and venture capital clients on employment-related matters.

He regularly advises on employment and restrictive covenant issues arising in corporate transactions, including in strategic investments and M&A transactions.

Steven also handles individual representations of C-level executives with respect to their personal employment and separation matters. 

Steven’s representative matters include:

  • Routinely obtains favorable pre-litigation outcomes for clients – including, in many instances, without monetary settlement
  • Successfully obtained pre-discovery dismissal on contract and business tort claims in an arbitration for a large institutional client and successfully argued for confirmation of the arbitration award
  • Successfully obtained pre-discovery dismissal in a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York*
  • Drafted winning briefs in a breach of contract case on behalf of a global technology company, resulting in a multimillion-dollar judgment*
  • Obtained dozens of agency dismissals for charges of discrimination, harassment and retaliation brought by current and former employees against their employers
  • Obtained favorable outcomes of state wage-and-hour audits for gig economy clients
  • Routinely drafts restrictive covenants for numerous clients at all stages of the business life cycle
  • Routinely drafts comprehensive employee handbooks for nationwide technology and life sciences companies

*Representation handled prior to joining Cooley.

Speaking engagements

  • Speaker, “AI + Employment,” Cooley’s AI Talks series, February 2024
  • Speaker, “So What’s New in New York?,” New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting, January 2024
  • Speaker, “Bias Audits and AI in Employment Law: What You Need to Know About AI in the Hiring Process in NYC,” New York State Bar Association webinar, September 2023


Emory University School of Law
JD, 2015, with Honors

University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
BA, Public Policy, James B. Angell Scholar, 2012

Court admissions

US District Court for the Southern District of New York

US District Court for the Eastern District of New York

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Rankings & accolades

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Labor and Employment Law – Employee (2021 – 2024)

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Labor and Employment Law – Management (2022 – 2024)

Super Lawyers: Rising Star in Employment and Labor – New York Metro (2022 – 2023)

Memberships & affiliations

New York State Bar Association