Volunteer Recognition: Allan Bloom and Kelsey Van Wart of Paul Hastings LLP
- Lawyers Alliance for New York
Date: June 21, 2012
Name of Attorney: Allan Bloom and Kelsey Van Wart
Name of Firm: Paul Hastings LLP
Client Served: YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the “Y”)
Accomplishment: Updated the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood’s employment manuals to reflect the present needs of the organization and its staff, while complying with current laws and regulations.
Specific Case Highlights: Established in 1917, the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the “Y”) is a multiservice community center, providing educational, recreational, and social services for its members and clients from pre-school to the homebound elderly, in both individual and group settings. The agency has developed a long-established reputation in the diverse community as a place where people can come together and participate in activities in an environment that is both welcoming and non-judgmental.
The Y approached Lawyers Alliance in December 2011 for assistance with an analysis of its employment policies, including the review of employee handbooks for union and non-union employees. With 53 full-time employees, 59 part-time employees, 69 seasonal employees and 19 employees exempt from overtime, the Y needed to update its employee handbook to appropriately address the distinctions and provide a set of policies tailored to the specific needs of its various employee groups.
Lawyers Alliance volunteers Allan Bloom and Kelsey Van Wart of Paul Hastings LLP agreed to assist the Y with its employment legal need. Having last reviewed its employment policies in 2006, the Y needed to revise its policies to reflect growth in staff and programs throughout the years. The attorneys worked to update the Y’s employment practices and reviewed and revised its employee handbooks to ensure that they addressed all current issues, including parental leave, vacation, and types of employees. Additionally, Mr. Bloom and Ms. Van Wart reviewed the organization’s union contract, which affected all employees except certain management and part-time employees. The attorneys also reviewed the contracts for seasonal summer camp employees.
Deborah Katznelson, Chief Social Services Officer of the Y, said, “We hadn’t revised our employment policies in six years and felt that they should be looked at in light of our staff and program expansion. Our attorneys at Paul Hastings were very responsive and we’re grateful for their assistance.” Ms. Katznelson added, “We’re thankful that we have access to these wonderful legal services.”
About Lawyers Alliance for New York: Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, we help nonprofits to develop affordable housing, stimulate economic development, promote community arts, and operate and advocate for vital programs for children and young people, the elderly, and other low-income New Yorkers. Each year, staff attorneys at Lawyers Alliance and more than 1,400 volunteers serve more than 600 clients.
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