Selected Cases

The partners of Raff & Becker each have over forty years of experience in representing clients before administrative agencies, state and federal trial courts, and appellate courts and have represented numerous individual clients as well as handled large class actions. Below are just a few examples of some of the cases handled by the firm's attorneys. Additionally, David Raff has extensive experience serving as a Special Master for federal district court judges.

Class Action Cases

  • Our firm achieved a $19.1 million settlement on behalf of 785 workers who were not being paid the prevailing wage while doing construction renovation work for the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
  • Raff & Becker filed a case on behalf of Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants which resulted in some 120,000 claimants who were denied benefits by the New York State Department of Labor in having their cases reconsidered, and more than $7.5 million in benefits that were previously denied being paid to class members.
  • The federal district court found as a result of a suit that was brought by Raff & Becker on behalf of the New York State, New York City and Westchester County chapters of the National Organization for Women, that certain rules and regulations which were used by the New York State Division of Human Rights to prevent people from filing discrimination complaints were unconstitutional and ordered the Division to stop using them.

Our firm achieved the following on behalf of our clients :


  • Race and gender discrimination and breach of contract: A sales executive for a major publishing company received the entire amount of compensation she was seeking and continued employment in settlement of her lawsuit.
  • Age discrimination: An older worker was awarded $260,000 against her former employer that was brought and tried at the New York State Division of Human Rights.
  • Perceived Disability: The firm obtained a substantial settlement, under the New York State Human Rights Law for a client perceived by the employer to be HIV-infected obtained.
  • Maternity Discrimination: The firm obtained a promotion and a salary increase in an action against a major television network on behalf of an employee who lost her primary job duties as a Scheduling Coordinator upon returning from maternity leave.
  • Race discrimination and defamation: A recovery of$250,000 for two former employees in a lawsuit against a well-known Manhattan church for falsely accusing them of engaging in criminal behavior.
  • Equal pay discrimination: A female college professor was awarded an increase in salary, which was then doubled, because the College paid a male professor doing the same work and have the same responsibilities a higher salary. Subsequently, the firm obtained a substantial settlement on behalf of another female professor at a local college for the denying the professor equal pay for equal work.
  • Sexual orientation and disability discrimination: Client obtained a six figure settlement in an action on behalf of a former employee against a prominent New York City real estate management company.
  • National origin discrimination: A substantial amount in settlement was obtained against a major New York City hospital on behalf of a former employee who was allegedly terminated because of poor performance.
  • Sexual harassment and religious and national origin discrimination: A lucrative settlement from a New York City Hotel group in favor of a room cleaner who was allegedly sexually harassed and discriminated against based upon her religion and national origin.
  • Sexual harassment: A substantial settlement paid to a male former manager of a nationally known hotel franchise where he the alleged he was sexually harassed by his manager and terminated for refusing her advances.
  • Disability discrimination: A college professor discharged for the disability of alcoholism was reinstated to his former position as professor at a well-known college.
  • Retaliation: The firm obtained a lucrative settlement on behalf of an office manager who was fired in retaliation for notifying his employer, a maid service company, that it was committing race-based discrimination against its maids.

Contracts and Severance

  • The firm obtained a $100,000 breach of contract settlement for a former employee of asset backed securities group of a major investment and brokerage company that allegedly refusal to pay a bonus in violation of a contract.
  • The firm obtained a more favorable a severance for a former employee of an internationally renowned investment bank.

Wage and Hours

  • A computer programmer analyst, who was working under an H 1 B visa, was paid a substantial amount of wages by a computer consulting agency where the employer failed to pay the analyst according to the terms of the employer's H 1 B application.

Disability Insurance Claims

  • The firm obtained a settlement of $100,000 and a negotiated buy-out of an existing long-term disability insurance policy for $500,000 in an action in Federal court challenging an insurance carrier's denial of the client's application for long-term disability benefits.

Civil Service

  • The firm successfully obtained the reversal of a client's medical disqualification for employment, by the New York City Civil Service Commission.

Retaliation/Worker Misclassification

  • A company brought a breach of contract claim against our client because she filed for unemployment benefits. The firm counter sued and the company not only dropped its case but ended up paying damages to her for emotional distress and attorney's fees.

Employers and Businesses

  • A substantial reduction of wage assessments against an individually owned parking lot in an investigation by the New York State Department of Labor.
  • A significant decrease in the amount the New York State Department of Labor assessed against a video production company for non-payment of bonus.
  • Settled a collective action claim that was brought against a restaurant by a group of former employees claiming unpaid wages and overtime. The class was never certified and the settlement amount that was paid was relatively small in comparison to what was initially demanded.
  • An out of court settlement for a building supplies company which minimized a claim of unpaid overtime by a former employee.
  • A nuisance value settlement was paid by our client, a company that provided independent contractor teachers to private schools, from a claim of unpaid wages from a former independent contractor.

Appointments of David Raff as a Federal Court Appointed Special Master

What is a Special Master?

A Special Master is a person appointed by the Court to monitor compliance with the Court's orders. Among other duties, a Special Master hears and decides disputes between the parties and has the authority to issue remedial orders. Mr. Raff has performed these and related duties for the federal district court since 1975.

  • Appointed by United States District Court Judge Henry F. Werker to administer the Court's orders, affirmative action plan and other remedial relief in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the City of New York v. Local 638 . . . , Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, Local 28 Joint Apprenticeship Committee et al., Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' Association of New York City, Inc. , 478 U.S. 421 (1986). This case, which is on-going, involves assuring minorities fair opportunities to obtain union membership and employment in the New York City metropolitan area sheet metal trade.
  • Appointed by United States District Court Judge Henry F. Werker to supervise the performance and implementation of Chief Judge Mitchell H. Cohen's order in United States of America v. Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, Local Union No. 10, et al., 6 FEP Cases 1036 (D.N.J., 1973). This case, which is on-going under the present case name of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Local 25 of the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, involves assuring minorities fair opportunities to obtain union membership and employment in the Northern New Jersey area sheet metal trade.
  • Appointed by United States District Court Judge Robert L. Carter to administer the Court's orders, affirmative action plan and other remedial relief in E.E.O.C. v. Local 580, International Association of Bridge Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers, Joint Apprentice Journeymen's Education Fund, Allied Building Metal Industries, Inc., 669 F. Supp. 606 (S.D.N.Y. 1987) (Remedial Orders dated April 15 and October 19, 1988) aff'd, 925 F.2d 588 (2nd Cir. 1991). This case, which is on-going, involves assuring minorities fair opportunities to obtain union membership and employment in the New York City ornamental ironwork trade.
  • Appointed by United States District Court Judge Hatfield Chilson in Yarborough v. Sheldon , Civ. Action No. 74-HC-4337 (D. Colo. 1980, Consent Decree). This case involved a claim that minorities were denied equal employment opportunities by the federal government. Mr. Raff conducted hearings and made decisions regarding back pay entitlement to victims of discrimination in eleven cities around the country.