Gianfranco (“Franco”) J. Cuadra represents employees in all phases of wage theft disputes before state and federal courts. He also represents executives in negotiating employment, termination, and restrictive covenant agreements. In addition, Franco represents employees in breach of contract, retaliation, wrongful discharge, harassment, and discrimination disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.
Franco represents employers in wage-and-hour and discrimination disputes before state and federal courts and governmental agencies. He counsels employers regarding compliance with leave and anti-discrimination laws, the Wage Theft Prevention Act, the WARN Act, and various wage-and-hour issues, including the proper classification of employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state laws. On behalf of management, he has conducted numerous internal investigations arising out of allegations of discrimination and other employee relations issues.
Franco has litigated over 100 wage payment disputes ranging from single employee to hybrid class and collective actions with hundreds of class members involving diverse claims, such as unpaid overtime and minimum wages, unpaid spread-of-hours pay, tip theft, time shaving, unlawful deductions, withheld commissions, unlawfully retained service charges, unpaid prevailing wages, and Wage Theft Prevention Act violations. Among Franco’s victories are $1.25 million settlement on behalf of eighteen warehouse employees in an unpaid overtime wages action against an electronics distributor, a $625,000 settlement on behalf of twelve servers in a collective action for stolen tips and unpaid minimum and overtime wages against a famous New York restaurant, and a $2.90 million settlement on behalf of a class of flag persons for unpaid prevailing wages. Franco has also defended a nationwide package delivery Fortune 100 company in state and federal courts concerning claims for unpaid wages and independent contractor misclassification.
Franco has developed a particular niche in the negotiation of non-disclosure, non-competition, severance, employment, and compensation agreements on behalf of executives and management. He is frequently called on to defend and counsel executives in breach of restrictive covenants matters and settlement negotiations. He presented in a New York County Lawyers’ Association program on the differences between New York and California laws on non-competes and other restrictive covenants.
Prior to joining Pechman Law Group, Franco worked as an attorney at Winston & Strawn LLP representing clients in complex commercial disputes. Franco is a magna cum laude graduate of Hofstra University Law School, where he was a Research Editor for the Hofstra Law Review. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Binghamton University where he triple majored in history, philosophy, and comparative literature. Franco is fluent in Spanish and French and has working knowledge of Italian.