Nicholas J. Pappas

Nicholas J. Pappas




Nick litigates and counsels with respect to complex employment disputes, including in relation to antidiscrimination laws, restrictive covenant agreements, executive employment agreements, discipline, discharge, and disability, among other issues, in federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and arbitral fora.

Nick also concentrates on the defense of ERISA class actions challenging the administration of health care benefit plans, 401(k) plans, and defined benefit plans. In these matters he regularly litigates and counsels on sophisticated legal issues arising in ERISA litigation, including preemption, standing, exhaustion, fiduciary duties, disclosure obligations, withdrawal liability, plan termination, and benefit accrual.

Education & Admissions

Rutgers University School of Law - Newark (J.D., 1987)

Harvard College (A.B., 1984), cum laude


  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • District of New Jersey
  • Eastern District New York
  • State of Florida
  • Southern District New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Modern Greek


  • Middle District of Florida, Honorable Susan H. Black, 1987-1988


  • Representing a financial services firm against claims of sex discrimination in pay and promotions by two former sales directors.
  • Representing a consulting firm in a trade secrets dispute in the Delaware Court of Chancery with a former managing director in Milan, Italy.
  • Defending a global investment management frim in an arbitration proceeding brought by a key member of the firm’s investment management group who departed with members of his team to set up a new, completing fund.
  • Representing the estate of a former nuclear power services company in connection with WARN Act litigation arising out of the company’s bankruptcy.
  • Defending a Dutch public company and various subsidiaries in the currency exchange business in connection with a wrongful discharge lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the former CEO and minority shareholder of a subsidiary company.
  • Representing a consulting firm in a trade secrets dispute in the Delaware Court of Chancery with a former managing director in Paris, France who left to join a competitor.
  • Representing a portfolio company of a private equity firm in a series of disputes with three former executives regarding claims for substantial severance benefits under their change-in-control agreements.
  • Representing a hotel company a lawsuit by a competitor claiming misappropriation of trade secrets in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
  • Representing an insurer/administrator and various plans a putative ERISA class action brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona by a chiropractic provider and plan participants alleging that benefits were improperly denied as “experimental or unproven”.
  • Representing an educational institution in a putative ERISA class action filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by a former faculty member claiming to have been denied pension and welfare benefits due to misclassification as an independent contractor.

News & Resources


Developments in Mental Health Parity Litigation
FTC Prohibits Noncompete Agreements; Business Groups Sue
What factors should employers consider in assessing whether their diversity, equity and inclusion practices comply with Title VII?
Assessing the Legality of DEI Programs
What obligations do employers have in responding to employees’ objections to vaccine mandates following the Supreme Court’s decision in Groff v. DeJoy?
What impact will the recently enacted New Jersey Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights have on temporary staffing agencies and their clients?
What risks do employers face by excluding coverage for gender affirming care in their health plans?
Should employers who maintain an ongoing practice of paying workers severance benefits implement a formal written ERISA plan to govern the award of severance?
What issues should employers consider before using automated decision-making systems in the workplace?
Changing Rules Governing Artificial Intelligence in Employment
What Issues should Business Buyers Consider when Drafting Non-Compete Agreements with their Sellers to Comply with California Law?
New York Governor Hochul Signs New York Pay Transparency Bill Into Law
FTC Takes First Step to Make Good on Promise to Curtail Non-Compete Agreements
Can Officers and Directors Be Held Individually Liable Under State Law for Causing Employers to Violate the WARN Act?
Liability Under State Law for Causing WARN Act Violations

News & Press Mentions

Chambers USA 2024 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
18 Dorsey Attorneys Named Thomson Reuters “Stand-Out Lawyers”
17 Dorsey Lawyers Recognized by Benchmark Litigation
Super Lawyers Recognizes 10 Dorsey Lawyers in New York
Dorsey Partner Nichoals Pappas Discusses AI in NYC's Hiring Process on Bloomberg Law
Dorsey Partner Nick Pappas on New NYC Regulations on Using AI in Hiring Decisions
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices in New York
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Dorsey Partner Nicholas Pappas Discusses NYC Enforcing Restrictions on AI in Hiring Starting July 5
Pappas Provides Insight on NYC Pay Transparency Law
Healthcare Litigation Attorney Nick Pappas Joins Dorsey & Whitney
  • Co-Author, “New York Enacts Revival Statutes, Renewing Expired Claims for Sexual Assault,”(New York Law Journal at p3. August 2, 2022)
  • Co-Author, “Recent Guidance and Amendment Shed Light on NYC Salary Disclosure Law,” (New York Law Journal at p3. June 1, 2022)
  • Author, “Pros and Cons of Arbitration After Recent FAA Amendments,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, April 6, 2022)
  • Author, “New York Mandates Express Employee Consent to Electronic Monitoring,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, February 2, 2022)
  • Author, “Accommodating Employees Disabled by “Long COVID,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, December 1, 2021)
  • Author, “NLRB’s General Counsel Signals Possible Expansion of Weingarten Rights,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, October 6, 2021)
  • Author, “Recent Employment Law Developments in California,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, August 4, 2021)
  • Author, “Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, June 2, 2021)
  • Co-Author, “A Shift in Federal Government Priorities For Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, April 7, 2021)
  • Co-Author, “NYC Bans At-Will Employment For Fast Food Workers,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, February 3, 2021)
  • Co-Author, “Restrictions on Employee Change of Jobs: Antitrust Challenges to “Non-Compete” and “No-Poach” Clauses,” (ABA Journal Labor & Employment, Volume 34, No. 2, December 14, 2020)
  • Co-Author, “The Duty To Bargain During The COVID-19 Pandemic,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, December 2, 2020)
  • Co-Author, “Choice-of-Law Provisions in Restrictive Covenant Agreements,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, October 7, 2020)
  • Co-Author, “Marijuana and the Workplace,” (New York Law Journal at p.3, August 5, 2020)

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

Nick’s work has garnered him significant recognition by legal and business media.

  • Since 2014, Chambers USA has recognized him as a leading lawyer nationally and in New York in several employment-related areas.
  • Lawdragon has recognized him as one of its “500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers,” and its predecessor subsidiary listed him as one of its “Top 20 Lawyers in Employee Benefits” since 2012.
  • Since 2013, Nick has been listed as a recommended lawyer by Legal 500 US in several employment-related areas. 
  • Since 2020, Benchmark Litigation has recognized him as a Labor & Employment “Star” in its New York editions.
  • Additionally, in 2013, Law360 recognized him as one of four nationwide “MVPs” in the healthcare space.

Community Involvement

  • Former Co-Chair of Civil Procedure subcommittee of Employment Benefits Committee of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment
  • Member of the Trade Secrets Committee
  • Former member of the Litigation Committee, the Labor and Employment Law Committee and the Benefits Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  


Chambers USA 2023

  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Labor & Employment), 2014-2023
  • Recognized as a "Labor & Employment Star – New York" by Benchmark Litigation, 2024
  • Recognized as a "Stand-Out Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters, 2024
Nicholas J. Pappas