Labor and employment
Alexandra Harwin is Executive Chair of the Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, as well as a Partner in the firm’s New York office. Recognized by Bloomberg Law as one of its top 40 under 40 lawyers nationwide and by Law360 as a Rising Star in Employment, Alexandra is known for her legal acumen, strategic thinking, pragmatism, and outstanding results in representing employees.
Alexandra has served as lead or co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in some of the highest-profile discrimination lawsuits in the country. She has played a role in the firm’s ground-breaking gender discrimination lawsuits against BigLaw firms, including litigating the firm’s closely watched, multi-plaintiff gender discrimination lawsuit against Chadbourne & Parke LLP. She also spearheaded litigation against Columbia University brought by Enrichetta Ravina, a female faculty member, which recently resulted in a $1.25 million jury verdict. She is currently lead counsel for plaintiff Graham Chase Robinson in her gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against actor Robert De Niro.
In addition, Alexandra has successfully overseen major class action litigation. She currently serves as class counsel in a certified ERISA class action against UnitedHealth Group, Inc., where she represents over 150,000 class members who were invested in underperforming funds through UnitedHealth’s 401(k) plan. Alexandra was integrally involved in negotiating a $14.25 million settlement for the women victimized by disgraced Rabbi Bernard Freundel, who surreptitiously videotaped women in a Jewish ritual bath facility known as a mikvah. She was also co-lead counsel in achieving an $8 million gender discrimination class action and collective action settlement against pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Alcon; she represented thousands of directors, managers, specialists, and sales professionals against these companies in their class claims of discrimination in pay, promotion, and assignments.
In addition to her ongoing litigation activity, Alexandra maintains an active practice negotiating lucrative settlements for her individual clients, including law firm partners, faculty, students, and staff at leading universities, and executives at pharmaceutical corporations. To date she has achieved settlements valued in excess of $50 million.
Alexandra’s focus on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation law reflects her longstanding commitment to civil rights and gender equality issues. As an undergraduate at Harvard, where she was the top-ranked student in her graduating class, she studied gender-based employment discrimination through the disciplines of history and economics. At the Yale Law School, she served as Managing Editor of the School’s Journal of Law and Feminism.
Updated Sep 2022