Jeffrey J. LorekJeffrey Lorek Clark Hill
Jeffrey J. Lorek
Jeffrey J. Lorek is Senior Counsel in both the Litigation and Labor and Employment groups. A trial lawyer and former prosecutor with broad commercial litigation experience, employment law and vast traditional labor capabilities, Jeff has practiced before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, private mediators and arbitrators, FINRA, and military courts. Jeff advises and represents clients with respect to commercial and contract disputes, regulatory compliance, employment and compensation issues, trade secrets, employee mobility and restrictive covenants, discrimination, workplace harassment and hostile work environment, traditional labor-management relations, whistleblower matters, government contractor issues, USERRA and military affairs. He has published numerous articles on related matters.
Immediately prior to joining Clark Hill, Jeff was Special Counsel at a global law firm, where he represented banks, hedge funds and tech companies. From 2004-2009, Jeff practiced as a commercial and complex civil litigation attorney in private firms, where he handled bank and lender liability, securities litigation, contract disputes, bankruptcy litigation, products liability, medical device malpractice, insurance defense, trade secrets and employment litigation, and toxic torts.
Jeff also previously served as agency counsel at Headquarters U.S. Air Force where, as Chief of Employment Litigation, he led a seven-attorney team that defended the Air Force worldwide in hundreds of administrative litigation matters, including discrimination suits, whistleblower protection cases and disciplinary actions and terminations. Jeff also served as Deputy Chief of the Air Force’s Labor Relations Branch where he oversaw a team of traditional labor attorneys handling the defense of all unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the Agency, collective bargaining issues, and grievances and arbitrations nationwide. He wrote the Air Force's guide to security clearance-related disciplinary actions, often advising the Air Force General Counsel's office and speaking at conferences as a security clearance subject-matter expert.
As a former active duty Air Force JAG and prosecutor, Jeff tried 25 criminal bench and jury trials and another eight administrative discharge boards. He has substantial trial experience prosecuting sexual assaults and aggravated assaults, child sex-related offenses, larcenies and financial crimes. Jeff is a decorated veteran of foreign wars, having deployed three times in support of combat operations, including tours to Afghanistan and Qatar as a fiscal law attorney with Headquarters, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in support of refueling operations during the Libyan war, and as the Chief of Administrative Law for Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Jeff continues to serve our Nation as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in the Air National Guard at a fighter wing. He continues to hold a current Top Secret/SCI security clearance.
- Defended a large government contractor in an OFCCP enforcement action and counseled other contractors undergoing OFCCP compliance reviews/audits.
- Favorably resolved an IP license dispute and restrictive covenant/trade secrets issues on behalf of a large hedge fund administrator.
- Obtained favorable relief for a hedge fund in connection with its claims against a contractor for breaches of non-solicitation agreement.
- Represented a bank against allegations of age discrimination in arbitration before FINRA.
- Pursued defamation claims for fintech clients resulting ina favorable settlement that included retraction of a published article and modification of several others.
- Advised a private equity fund on state labor law and breach of contract claims stemming from LLC members' disputes over distributions and compensation.
- Defended a major tech company's hiring action, fending off litigation surrounding trade secrets and restrictive covenants.
- Obtained emergency injunctive relief and favorable settlement for an advertising company against a former employee in a trade secrets and restrictive covenant case.
- Represented an international bank in connection with areduction in force (RIF) and allegations of gender and pregnancy discrimination.
- Helped defend a national materials-testing laboratory against a scientist's California Fair Employment & Housing Act complaint of age discrimination.
- Guided a tech company client through a Department of Labor USERRA discrimination investigation in connection with a RIF.
- Navigated clients through novel issues surrounding emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals as reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
- Conducted an internal investigation and prepared areport addressing various workplace allegations levied against high-ranking executives.
- As pro bono counsel, represented a homeless shelter in a D.C. Office of Human Rights investigation surrounding a complaint of national origin discrimination.
- As pro bono counsel, helped defend a juvenile offender in his bid to secure parole through New York appellate proceedings and administrative parole board appeals.
- Represented a German tire press manufacturer and its American subsidiary in a trade secret misappropriation suit in federal court.
- Defended lenders in Fair Credit Reporting Act litigation and other allegations of consumer protection law violations.
- Helped a trial team obtain a complete defense judgment for an oil company following a 16-week, $500 million benzene contamination class action trial in Kansas.
- Represented an Ohio municipality in bringing an action against a general contractor for a defectively constructed wastewater treatment facility.
- Fought on behalf of a pharmaceutical company to protect the client's IP rights in a drug during an adversary proceeding in federal bankruptcy court in California.
- Defended a West Virginia steel company in an age and race discrimination lawsuit following a major reduction in force at the client's plant.
- Represented a chemical company in a non-competition and trade section action against a former employee, including obtaining a preliminary injunction.
- Obtained a complete defense judgment on a $3 million breach of contract claim against a bank client in a federal bankruptcy court adversary proceeding.
Agency Representative Experience
- Upheld the Air Force's use of employment-contingent physical agility tests for civilian police officers around the country, prevailing in both the Fraternal Order of Police union's challenge of the tests as an unfair labor practice and in individual employee lawsuits premised upon alleged disability discrimination and failure to accommodate.
- Represented the Air Force in countless individual EEOC discrimination actions and civilian employee adverse action appeals to the MSPB.
- Led the prevailing defense of military installation at the trial level and on appeal in a race and pregnancy discrimination case stemming from removal of an employee implicated in a South Korean drug sting and which also involved 4th and 5th Amendment rights violations.
- Prevailed at trial in a sex discrimination suit arising after an employee lost supervisory responsibility following a Pentagon business-based reorganization of a major unit.
- NY State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Journal, “An Employee's Best Friend - Animals in the Workplace,” December 2019.
- Wolters Kluwer, Strategic Perspectives, “A Doctor's Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Requests,” October 2019.
- National Defense Magazine, “Keys to Compliance with Employment Rights Law,” May 2019.
- Law360, “Inside USERRA's Extensive Requirements for Employers,” Expert Analysis, February 13, 2019.
- FedSmith.com, “Private-Sector NLRB Weingarten Ruling Could Affect Federal Sector Too,” July 23, 2018.
- Labor Law Journal, Vol. 68, No. 3, “Text Messaging and Unlawful Interrogation Under the National Labor Relations Act: A Tech-Savvy Workforce May Spell Trouble for Employers,” Fall 2017.
- The Reporter, Vol. 44, No. 3., “GTMOCOM: The Time has Come to Transfer JTF-GTMO’s Mission to a New, More Permanent Joint Subunified Command,” November 2017.
- FedSmith.com, “When Hiring a Particular Candidate Might Constitute a Prohibited Personnel Practice,” May 31, 2017.
- Federal Circuit Bar Association Bench & Bar Newsletter, Vol. 21, No. 9, “Accommodating Mentally Impaired Employees at Work: How to Alter Supervisory Methods as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” September 2016.
- FedSmith.com, “Job Restructuring as a Reasonable Accommodation in Federal Employment,” August 25, 2016 & September 1, 2016.
- The Federal Circuit Bar Journal, 24 Fed. Cir. Bar J. 537, “Budget-Related Furloughs in Today’s Federal Government: Making the Case for Reforming the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978,” Summer 2015.
- The Reporter, Vol. 41, No. 1, “The Leahy Amendment: An Analysis of Current Issues Facing the DoD,” Fall 2014.
- United States Air Force, Air Force Print News Today, “Ethics Rules Outline DoD Employees’ Charitable Activities,” April 2, 2013.
- Andrews Litigation Reporter, Bank & Lender Liability, “Documentation is Essential in Establishing Whether an Agreement to Finance Exists,” September 2006.
- Corporate Counsel’s Guide to the ADA, “The Americans with Disabilities Act and Reasonable Accommodation: Does an Employer Have a Duty to Reassign Disabled Individuals Who Can No Longer Perform their Jobs?” August/November 2005.
- Presenter, Security Clearance-Based Employment Actions, Air Force Advanced Labor and Employment Law Course, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, 2016.
- Presenter, USERRA, Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, Federal Employment and Labor Law Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 2015.
- Presenter, Employment Discrimination and Labor Law Seminar, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, 2016, 2018.
- Presenter, Labor Law, Discrimination, Security Clearances and Personnel Actions Seminar, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, 2016.