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Labor and employment Star


Practice area:

Labor and employment


Deborah K. Marcuse is Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Baltimore office and co-Chair of the firm’s Title VII Practice. She represents employees in individual and class actions addressing a range of employment disputes, including suits alleging discrimination, unlawful termination, unlawful denial of promotions, unequal pay, wage and hour violations, and hostile work environments related to race, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, religion, and disability. She has negotiated and secured significant monetary awards for law firm partners and associates, high level corporate executives and other workers with discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims in the legal, pharmaceutical, financial, retail, and commercial real estate sectors. 


As lead class counsel in Rapuano et al v. Dartmouth, Deborah secured a historic class settlement on behalf of current and former graduate students and other student-employees alleging a gender-based hostile environment at the Ivy League College. A $14M monetary settlement was accompanied by programmatic relief valued at more than $1M, along with a commitment by Dartmouth to work in a historic partnership with the nine plaintiffs in its ongoing initiatives toward a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus culture. 


Deborah’s current cases include Tolton v. Jones Day, a nationwide gender class and collective action and the first of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s BigLaw class actions in which former associates came forward under their own names to push a BigLaw behemoth toward gender equity. She also represents two female attorneys with gender, maternity and retaliation claims against Morrison & Foerster (MoFo). 


Deborah is also lead counsel in Sicola v. Cushman & Wakefield, a gender and age discrimination case brought by the former Head of Americas Research in New York state court, and Urquhart-Bradley v. Cushman & Wakefield, a race and gender discrimination and retaliation case brought by the former Americas President of V&A for the commercial real estate giant. Deborah regularly speaks about employment discrimination and class action practice and is active in the National Employment Lawyers’ Association, where she serves as a co-Chair of the Class and Collective Action Practice Group. She has co-authored Supreme Court amicus briefs on behalf of women’s rights organizations and individuals in Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and on behalf of LGBT student organizations at undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools in Obergefell v. Hodges. 


Last updated Sep 2020