Employment Law And Corporate Social Responsibility

Ms. Kraft has lectured on employment law and corporate social responsibility to academic, business and professional groups throughout the United States and abroad, including to visiting jurists from the People’s Republic of China and the Long Island Tax Professionals Symposium.

She is a past president and member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Association of the Administrative Law Judiciary, a member of the Board of Directors of Yashar-the Judges’ and Lawyers’ Chapter of Hadassah, and an active member of the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women.

A member of the advisory board of the Center for Ethics in Business at Loyola-Marymount University for many years, she is an “uberjudge” of the International Business Ethics Competition, which has renamed its writing prize, the Judge Ruth B. Kraft Award, in her honor.  Additionally, she serves as Special Counsel to the Academy of Medicine of Queens County. Know more at : http://www.amicusadr.com/



  • New York State Court System,  Judge; specialization in employment classification, training/mentor judge
  • Law Offices of Barry Silberzweig, Of Counsel (specializing in immigration and human rights law).


  • Spectrum Law Group, Co-Founder and Partner (pro bono publico).
  • Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, assigned to Commercial, Fraud and Administrative Appeals tribunals.
  • Hearing Officer, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau,  (per diem).
  • Arbitrator, National Arbitration Forum.
  • Arbitrator, Civil Court of the City of New York.
For more info visit : http://www.amicusadr.com/


Judge Kraft is of counsel to Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan Where she  advises business clients and organizations on matters with respect to  wage/hour disputes, employee misclassification, employment policies and procedures, termination, and compliance with state and federal laws.

Her practice is comprehensive, covering business strategy as well as litigation before governmental bodies and in the courts.

Mediator Kraft, founded and chaired the employment law group at a small Garden City, New York after a long career on the bench, most recently at the New York State Department of Labor, with chambers in Brooklyn.

She began her career as an associate at one of the most distinguished law firms in the country prior to joining the faculty of New York University, where she was recognized for excellence in the teaching of law, business ethics and medicine. For more info visit : http://www.amicusadr.com/


Once again, an administrative law judge has ruled that handbook provisions unlawfully restrict employees’ use of information regarding co-workers and the employer’s customers, the use of the company logo, and providing notice to the company’s HR department prior to providing information for a government investigation.

Here is the text of those policies.  You decide whether they are objectionable!

“Confidential Information about our Company, its business, associates, customers and business partners should be protected…What is confidential information? It could be…information about employees….Be shared only with those who need to see it for Company business purposes.”

“The Company has certain personal data of its present and former associates, customers and vendors.  It…is committed to handling this data responsibly and using it only as authorized for legitimate business purposes…information such as names, home and office contact information…and other similar data.”


“Any information that is not generally available to the public that relates to the Company or the Company’s customers, employees, vendors, contractors, service providers, Systems, etc., that you receive or to which you are given access during your employment or while you are performing services for the Company is classified as ‘confidential’ or ‘internal use only’.   Company respects the privacy of this data where it includes personally-identifiable information…Personal Data includes names, home and office contact information, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, account numbers and other similar data.”

The Company?  Macy’s!  The judge determined that the limitations on release of Personal Data “obviously” restricts employees in the exercise of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to discuss the terms and conditions of employment with fellow employees and the right to notify a union of other employees who might be interested in participating in union activities. In fact, he made a fact finding that the emphasis placed on confidentiality in the handbook would lead to the conclusion that the employer intended to violate workers’ rights!  As to a prohibition on the use of the logo, this, too, would limit employees or a union to use it in their publicity.   Similarly, the judge found that a requirement that employees notify the employer of any governmental investigation violated the NLRA.

What’s more?  As in all handbooks I wrote, the Macy’s manual included a clause stating that nothing contained in the policies was intended to prohibited employees from exercising their rights to collective action, discussion of wages and hours or other terms of employment.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH, APPARENTLY!   He mandated that Macy’s not only rescind these policies but also notify every employee that it had done so.

This ruling will be reviewed by the National Labor Relations Board.  I think it is overbroad and extremely problematic. If a worker with access to Personal Data accesses it for non-Macy’s purposes, such as to send announcements for her daughter’s Girl Scout cookies or to stalk someone with whom she is enamored, all she has to do to avoid discipline is to claim that it was for purposes of collective action.  The judge has created a carte blanche situation with no regard whatsoever to its consequences outside the world of concerted action.  The employer’s clear motivation, to protect Personal Data, which it is required to do under HITECH, a federal law, is paid no heed.

In employment law, workplace rules and dynamics must be taken as a holistic, integrated system and not parsed for narrow purposes.  Unfortunately, that basic tenet has been obscured by a highly restrictive interpretation by one federal agency.