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Kate McClung

Kate McClungKate McClung

Member, Bond Schoeneck & King

Years in current role: 4

What do you enjoy most about practicing labor and employment law?

While I regularly handle employment litigation, I also advise companies on how to handle difficult employee situations, and I really enjoy helping companies avoid litigation altogether. A lot of my new clients first contact me after they have already been sued, and once we have resolved the litigation matter, it is really satisfying to help them avoid further trouble down the road. I have found that clients generally prefer occasional 5-minute calls to consult about an employee issue to a lengthy litigation.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

The biggest challenge that my clients have faced over the last year has been trying to transition “back to normal” with the continuing uncertainty of COVID-19. A lot of companies continue to have trouble finding enough workers, and many businesses have also been faced with whether or not to transition remote workers back to in-person roles. On top of these issues, there have been numerous legal changes for employers to adapt to as well, including the HERO Act and evolving COVID-19 quarantine and isolation requirements.

What do you see as the biggest changes in labor and employment law in the next 3-5 years?

I believe that there will be numerous legal changes with respect to the expanding remote workforce. For example, many New York employers currently have to pay certain employees call-in pay — at least four hours at minimum wage whenever an employee reports to work in person. This may be expanded to provide something similar for remote workers. There will also likely be a lot of litigation about remote workers. For example, remote workers may bring claims alleging that they had to work through meal breaks and were not paid for the work.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

I am actively involved with the American Red Cross. I had long been inspired by their responses to major crises around the globe, and I personally experienced the great work of the American Red Cross after my twins needed several blood transfusions as infants. While serving of the Board of Directors for the Greater Rochester Chapter for the last nine years, I have also learned that the American Red Cross does a lot of other work locally, including installing free smoke alarms, responding to home fires, engaging in youth leadership programs, and working with military families.

What is one personal goal you have for the next year?

Just one? I have so many: make an eight-layer entremet, double my French vocabulary, resume tap dancing classes (after a COVID-19 hiatus), talk my husband into getting a third dog, continue to convince my twins that they don’t need cellphones, take an epic family vacation, run a half marathon, and just enjoy life with loved ones!