Widely recognized as a pioneer in Employment, Civil Rights and Sexual Harassment law, Alan Serrins brings more than 39 years' experience to Beranbaum Menken. He began working in employment discrimination law when the practice was first emerging. From the beginning of his legal career, Alan had a passion for the field and a deep commitment to advancing the rights of employees in the workplace.
Alan’s employment law career began when he joined the New York City Human Rights Commission in 1977. Two years later, he was appointed General Counsel by the New York City Commission on Human Rights; then 28 years of age, he was the youngest General Counsel in the Commission's history. As General Counsel, Alan was Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the agency and supervised a staff of 16 attorneys and 22 investigators in prosecuting thousands of discrimination complaints in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation.
Alan was also at the forefront of the newly emerging field of sexual harassment law, joining the Board of Working Women Institute and successfully prosecuting the Commission's first cases in 1979. At the time, most workers who suffered what we now recognize as sexual harassment didn’t speak up or see a lawyer, because of the simple reason that they did not know they had any rights or way to fight back. Alan worked to change this, and early in his career launched a legal crusade against employers who subjected maids and cleaning staff to rape, abuse, and sex-based discrimination. His efforts were highlighted by legendary New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez (“A Tale of Mops and Monsters”), and slowly but surely, through the efforts of Alan and other forward-thinking lawyers, the phrase “sexual harassment” began to move into the mainstream.
In 1982, Alan moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to provide his expertise to the newly formed Fair Employment Agency of Northern Ireland, which modeled its law on the New York City Human Rights Law. Upon his return to New York in 1984, Alan went into private practice founding Dienst & Serrins LLP, which would become a highly recognized, full-service litigation boutique over the next 16 years. In 2000, Alan co-founded a successor firm, Queller Fisher Dienst Serrins Washor & Kool LLP, and later founded Serrins & Associates, LLC, to focus exclusively on employment law. He joined Beranbaum Menken LLP as Of Counsel in May 2019.
Alan has litigated scores of cases from inception to verdict and successfully negotiated hundreds more. His caseload has included claims under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disability Act, the United States and New York State Constitution, state and local discrimination laws, civil service laws, State Education law, and Federal and State False Claims Act (Qui Tam) and common law claims such as breach of contract.
In addition to his litigation practice, Alan provides legal advice to clients regarding drafting and negotiating employment agreements, severance agreements, and executive compensation.
Some of Alan’s recent notable achievements include:
Resolving a racial discrimination suit arising from a high-level executive’s termination of employment from a multi-media conglomerate. Through use of alternative-dispute methods, Alan obtained a seven-figure settlement on the eve of trial in the Supreme Court of New York, Bronx County.
Resolving a Sarbanes Oxley Whistleblower case filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, stemming from loss of employment by a financial controller who sought to rectify corporate fraud within the ranks of an international technology company.
Successfully litigating before an administrative agency for a rape survivor victimized by her supervisor while performing cleaning services in New York City offices. The case became widely publicized, garnering attention for thousands of workers who endured sexual harassment and other hostile conditions in the commercial cleaning industry.
In addition to his primary work representing victims of discrimination, Alan serves as General Counsel for SilverSEAL Corporation, which was founded in 1988 to provide security-related services to corporations, government and private individuals. The Corporation, headquartered in New York City's South Street Seaport, employs over 300 security personnel and operates locations worldwide. As General Counsel of SEAL, Alan provides advice and counsel to management on all business matters, including contract negotiation, investigating employee complaints and training management/employees on applicable federal, state, and local laws. In addition, for the past six years Alan has worked as an adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall University Law School, in the Title VII pro se mediation program for the Southern District of New York.
New York, 1975
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1977
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1977
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1985
U.S. Supreme Court, 1990
Instructor, Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, 1980 - 1981
Guest Lecturer, Queens University, Belfast, 1982 - 1984
Adjunct Professor, Conflict Management Program, Seton Hall Law School, 2011 - Present
Honors and Awards
Institute of Jewish Humanities, Man of the Year
AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Selected to SuperLawyers for Employment Litigation
Lieutenants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), Award in Recognition for Best Legal Services, 1994
Emerald Society of the NYPD, Service Award, 1994
Emerald Society of the NYPD, Award for its scholarship fund
Professional Associations and Memberships
Stetson School Board of Directors, Barre Vermont
National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
New York State Human Rights Advisory Counsel to the State Division of Human Rights, Member, 1985
Board of the Goldwater Memorial Hospital, Member
Board of Working Women’s Institute, Member
Council on Municipal Hospital Community Boards, Chairman, 1977 – 1979
Board Member, Israel Heritage, Inc.
Board Member, The New Seminary