Photo of Arlene Switzer Steinfield

Arlene Switzer Steinfield Senior Counsel

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
    U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas

Education

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, Executive Editorial Board, American Criminal Law Review, 1978

University of Rochester, B.A., Social Psychology, with Distinction, 1975

Université de Montpellier, Faculté des Lettres, Montpellier, France, 1973-74

Language

Arlene Switzer Steinfield is Senior Counsel in Dykema's Labor and Employment Practice. With almost 40 years of experience in representing management in labor and employment law, Ms. Steinfield is "a recognized name in the employment law community in Dallas" according to Chambers USA 2016. She litigates employment discrimination cases and workplace disputes in state and federal court, conducts employment law compliance training, counsels employers on preventative compliance strategies and proposed personnel actions, and appears frequently on behalf of employers before numerous administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board.

Ms. Steinfield's proactive approach to employee relations enables her clients to address employee disputes effectively. What distinguishes Ms. Steinfield is her ability to devise creative and practical strategies for resolving personnel disputes with minimal disruption to the employer's operations.

Ms. Steinfield represents clients from a wide range of industries, including retail, law firms and other professional service firms, financial services, oil and gas, dental service organizations, health care practice groups, hospitals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, consumer products, real estate development, manufacturing, restaurants, hospitality, trucking, private schools, and recycling facilities. She also serves as an independent investigator of internal workplace harassment and discrimination complaints and suspected misconduct. She represents employers in arbitrations in both union and non-union settings. She is a trained mediator whose mediation practice emphasizes labor and employment law disputes.

In addition to her partnerships with law firms, she served as a staff attorney in the Division of Advice of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington D.C. from October 1978 to May 1979.

Experience

  • Federal and state court litigation of workplace disputes involving statutory claims and common law actions involving employment discrimination, retaliation and harassment; restrictive covenants, nondisclosure agreements, and the duty of loyalty; wrongful termination; breach of contract; workplace torts; public policy actions; whistleblower claims; claims to recover unpaid commissions and other compensation disputes; and other workplace dispute matters
  • Arbitrations in union and non-union settings
  • Negotiation and drafting of severance agreements
  • Negotiation and drafting of employment contracts and independent contractors agreements
  • Planning and implementation of workforce reductions and reorganizations
  • Training and advice regarding employment law compliance, including sexual harassment training and the development of preventative compliance strategies to minimize the risk of litigation
  • Assistance with the development of personnel practices and policies and the drafting of codes of business conduct, employee handbooks, and employment forms
  • Advice regarding worker classifications
  • Internal audit of human resources practices and policies
  • Advice regarding union organization campaigns and labor/management relations
  • Advice regarding labor and employment law issues and strategies in corporate mergers and acquisitions

Convinced client’s former employee and his new employer to enter into an agreed temporary injunction without a hearing on claims of breach of restrictive covenant and confidentiality clause in his employment contract

Summary judgment granted in favor of manufacturer on claims of religious discrimination and retaliation

Representation of a national retailer in the compliance phase of a nationwide consent decree negotiated with the EEOC to resolve sexual harassment and sex discrimination class actions

Jury verdict in favor of start-up company in workers’ compensation retaliation state court trial

Resolution of vast majority of cases prior to trial through voluntary dismissal, summary judgment, involuntary dismissals on procedural and substantive grounds, and favorable settlements:

    • Successful defense of major international law firm in workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit through summary judgment
    • Successful resolution of Fair Labor Standards Act collective action involving allegations of unpaid overtime to health care workers
    • Representation of national retailer in federal court lawsuit alleging national origin discrimination and various workplace torts. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all tort claims against corporate defendant and all claims against individual defendant. Remaining statutory claims against corporate defendant settled on favorable terms after jury selection
    • Summary judgment granted in favor of national retailer on claims of religious discrimination and failure to accommodate religious beliefs
    • Summary judgment granted in favor of national air conditioning company on claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate alleged disability
    • Convinced plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss claims of discrimination against national air conditioning company following Motion to Dismiss shortly after lawsuit was filed
    • Motion to Dismiss granted in favor of national financial institute in race discrimination action
    • NASD arbitration panel granted Motion to Dismiss on claims of alleged reverse sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII and the Family and Medical Leave Act
    • Motion to Dismiss granted to drywall and plaster contractor on claims of FMLA interference and workers’ compensation retaliation
    • Plaintiff in federal sexual harassment claim voluntarily dismissed all claims in early phase of discovery
    • Successful representation of three-plaintiff sexual harassment case against restaurant employer
    • Summary judgment granted to oil exploration company in federal court action alleging disability discrimination, promissory estoppel, and various tort claims

Representation of national can manufacturer in arbitration where Teamsters challenged sale of scrap cans as improper subcontracting; arbitrator found that no back pay was owed

Representation of national can manufacturer where Teamsters challenged staffing assignments on various assembly lines. Arbitrator denied grievance in its entirety

Successful representation of physician practice group in claims of discrimination by office administrator

Successful representation of members of physician practice group to negotiate departure of group partners

Successful representation of physician practice group in termination of employment of various staff members

Memberships & Involvement

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Fellow, Dallas Bar Foundation

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

American Bar Association: ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employer Co-Chair, Sponsorships, Donors and Grants Taskforce, 2009-2011; ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference, Employer Co-Chair, 2009, Employer Vice Chair, 2008, Segment Producer, 2007; Member, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee

Member, American Employment Law Council

Member, State Bar of Texas, Labor and Employment Law Section

Member, Dallas Bar Association and Employment Law Section

Chapter Monitor, Chapter on Sex Discrimination, First Supplement to Fifth Edition of Employment Discrimination Law  (BNA), and Chapter on Sexual and Other Forms of Harassment, 2009 and 2010 Cumulative Supplements to Fourth Edition

Community/Civic Activities

  • Texas International Theatrical Arts Society (TITAS), Trustee, 2012-Present
  • The Greenhill School, Trustee, 2006-2012
  • Anti-Defamation League, Dallas Regional Board, Member, 2009-2011
  • Georgetown University Law Center Alumni Admissions Program, Interviewer, 2010-Present
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
        Vice President, 1999-2003
        Member, Executive Committee, 1996-2005
        Member, Board of Directors, 1996-2006
        Past Chair, Planning & Allocations Committee, 1997-1999
        Founding Member of Cardozo Society
  • Dallas Jewish Community Foundation
        Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2003
        Member, Executive Committee and Trustee, 1992-1994
        Chair, Distribution Committee, 1992-1994

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers: Member, Board of Governors, elected in 2014;  Fellow, Inducted in 2005; Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, 2016–Present; Member, Regional Activity Committee, 2013-2016; Chair, Fifth Circuit Credentials Committee, 2010–2013; Member, Fifth Circuit Credentials Committee, 2008–2009; Member, Oral History Project

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law - Management, and Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2003-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Recognized in Chambers USA, as a Leader in Their Field, Labor and Employment, 2007–2016

Recognized as a Best Lawyer for Labor & Employment Law, by D Magazine, 2012-2016

Recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Texas," Texas Super Lawyers®, 2011

Recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas/Fort Worth," by Texas Super Lawyers®, 2011-2013

Recognized as one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas," Texas Super Lawyers®, 2010-2013, 2015, 2017

Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers® for Employment & Labor, Employment Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Civil Litigation: Defense, 2003–Present

Recognized in The Dallas 500 for Law-Labor and Employment, 2016 

Recipient of Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating 1994-Present

Recipient of Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Woman Lawyers™, 2013, 2014

Recognized as one of "The Best Women Lawyers in Dallas," DMagazine, 2010

Recognized in "U.S. News-Best Lawyers®," 2014
            Tier 1 Dallas, Litigation - Labor & Employment
            Tier 2 Dallas, Employment Law - Management

Recognized as one of the "The Best Lawyers: Labor and Employment", by Corporate Counsel, 2004–2010