LEWIS M. STEEL works on a wide range of class actions and individual cases, generally involving racial and sexual discrimination matters as well as labor law violations. Presently, as a member of the Outten & Golden team, he has been ligating class action claims challenging the invalidated use by employers of criminal records to deny applicants jobs, including the ground breaking Gonzales v. Pritzker settlement against the United States Census Bureau, for which Mr. Steel and the team received the 2017 Public Justice Award. Mr. Steel has also been listed in Best Lawyers in America for more than twenty years.
Before joining Outten & Golden, Mr. Steel handled a wide range of civil rights cases involving housing and zoning discrimination, as well as police brutality and criminal cases. He served as co-lead counsel in the Rubin Carter/John Artis case for which he was honored by the New York Criminal Bar Association in 2000. Moreover, New York Law School has awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his civil rights work and he has been an adjunct professor of law there.
Mr. Steel’s precedent-setting employment discrimination decisions include Sumitomo Shoji America, Inc. v. Avagliano, 457 U.S. 176, which established that American subsidiaries of foreign corporations must obey American civil rights laws. In the Sumitomo case and other employment discrimination class actions he has negotiated far-reaching settlements and monitored the companies’ performance. He now works on a range of class action cases involving sexual and racial discrimination, overtime claims, and tipping issues. Mr. Steel recently negotiated a ground-breaking settlement of pay, promotion, and retaliation claims for a class of African-American and Hispanic New York City Department of Parks and Recreation employees.
Mr. Steel graduated from Harvard College in 1958 and from New York Law School in 1963, where he was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers||2020|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers||2019|
|Best Lawyer 1989-2018||Best Lawyers||2018|
|AV Preeminent Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2017|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2009|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2008|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2007|
|Honorary Doctor of Laws||New York Law School||N/A|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|American Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|New York State Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|National Employment Lawyers Association||Member||N/A|
|National Lawyers Guild (New York chapter)||Board of Directors||1988 - 1993|
|National Lawyers Guild (New York chapter)||President||1983 - 1984|
|Verdict||Racism in the Courts: The Rubin "Hurricane" Carter Case||2019|
|Outten & Golden Employment Law Blog||Out of Prison, Out of a Job: "Ban the Box" Movement Seeks an End to Employers' Insidious Use of Criminal Background Checks to Reject Qualified Applicants||2016|
|Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press||The Butler's Child: An Autobiography||2016|
|The Nation||Remembering Judge Robert Carter||2012|
|New York Law School Law Review||Exonerating the Innocent: Pretrial Innocence Procedures||2011|
|In These Times||Jim Crow in the North||2009|
|In These Times||A Dream Deferred||2007|
|Institute for Community Studies, Queens College||Community Control and the Courts||1969|
|New York Law School||JD - Juris Doctor||1963|
|Harvard University||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1958|
|National Employment Lawyers Association (New York chapter)||Litigating Against the City||2015|
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