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Steven D. Frenkil


Steven D. Frenkil

Representing management in employment law and education law matters for over 35 years, Steve Frenkil was selected as “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law – Management in Baltimore in 2017 by the peer review publication, Best Lawyers in America. He is located in the firm's Baltimore and Washington, D.C. offices.

Employment Law

Steve advises and defends employers on a wide range of matters including: employment discrimination; sexual and racial harassment; non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements and disputes; trade secret protection; employment and severance agreements; employee performance and discipline; personnel practices and policies; reductions in force; confidential investigations of sensitive issues; wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims; defamation and other employment torts; ADA, FLSA, FMLA, OFCCP and OSHA compliance; and arbitration and mediation. He represents employers before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and arbitrators throughout the country.

Education Law

He regularly counsels and defends colleges, universities and independent K-12 schools in a broad array of issues and litigation involving faculty, staff and other employees, as well as student sexual and other misconduct, discipline, student affairs, compliance, internal investigations, government investigations, litigation, administrative proceedings, residence life, contracts and other matters.

Representative Matters

Steve recently successfully defended a Maryland college and nine of its faculty and staff members named as defendants in an eleven count complaint filed by two students in federal court alleging discrimination, constitutional violations and tort and contract claims. The main plaintiff was a prolific litigator, having filed nearly two dozen lawsuits against various colleges, businesses, and government agencies. He tried to turn a simple grade dispute into complex litigation, challenging the core of the college’s commitment to fairness and non-discrimination in a massive complaint. After extensive briefing of the multifaceted motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the College, the district judge agreed to dismiss all claims with prejudice. The Fourth Circuit affirmed.

Steve served as lead counsel for a large employer in a non-solicitation and non-disclosure case filed against its largest competitor and two former employees, alleging unfair competition, breach of contract and tortious interference. The Court granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the competitor and the former employees from soliciting certain customers and from using or disclosing our client's confidential information. Following discovery, the parties negotiated a final consent order enjoining the former employees from soliciting specified customers and employees and prohibiting the use or disclosure of confidential information. 

Steve successfully defended a Maryland college in a lawsuit by a former assistant professor whose tenure application was rejected both by the college's president and the board of trustees. She alleged that the denial of tenure breached the college's contract with her. She challenged the school's assessment of her professional development and asserted that her tenure denial had been wrongful on both procedural and substantive grounds. After lengthy discovery, the court rejected all of her claims and granted the college's motion for summary judgment. 

Steve guided a large university and a large manufacturer in two complex reductions in force, each involving multiple departments and decision-makers. Both RIFs included many employees with long-term service. The reductions and reorganizations were prepared to comply with all applicable laws and to assure that our clients were able to retain those employees critical to the future success of the organizations. Every employee terminated in the two RIFs signed a severance agreement waiving all claims, other than one employee already in a lawsuit against the employer at the time of the RIF.

Steve represents employers in numerous industries, including accounting, architecture, bioscience, consulting, education, financial services, fitness and health, foodservice distribution, manufacturing, milk and beverage processing, professional services, real estate brokerage, retail sales, technology, and telecommunications. He presents seminars and training sessions for clients and numerous industry groups and associations throughout the country.

Affiliations & Recognition

Community Activities

  • Creative Alliance of Baltimore: Marquee Ball Honorary Chair (2016)

  • Friends School of Baltimore: Finance Committee

  • George Washington Alumni Association: President (2013-2015); President-Elect (2012-2013); Vice-President for Student-Alumni Initiatives (2008-2012)

  • George Washington University: Search Committee for Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (2013); Search Committee for the Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations (2015)

Professional Involvement

  • Associated Black Charities: Higher Education Public Policy Committee

  • American Bar Association: Section on Employment and Labor Law

  • Chesapeake Human Resources Association

  • Howard County Human Resources Society: Board Member and Legislative Chair (2004-2008)

  • Leadership Howard County: Class of 2002

  • Maryland State Bar Association: Member; Section on Employment and Labor Law Council (2000-2010)

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys: Annual Program Committee (2009); CLE Committee (2009-2014)

  • Society for Human Resource Management

  • Stevenson University: President's Advisory Council

Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America®: "Lawyer of the Year," Employment Law – Management, Baltimore (2017)

  • Best Lawyers in America®: Selected for inclusion in the areas of Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management and Employment Law - Management (2007-2019)

  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business: Listed in the area of Labor & Employment: Defendant

  • Friends School of Baltimore: Distinguished Alumni Award (2011)

  • George Washington University Alumni Association: Alumni Outstanding Service Award (2010)

  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent® Rated

  • Maryland Super Lawyers®:  Selected for inclusion in the area of Employment & Labor, Schools & Education, Employment Litigation: Defense (2007-2013); Employment & Labor (2007-2019)

  • Super Lawyers®: Corporate Counsel Edition: Listed in the area of Employment & Labor Law (2009-2012)

  • Who's Who in American Law (2006-2014)

Focus

Practices:

Press Coverage

Publications

"Who Are Your Faculty and Staff? Background Checks in Academe," National Association of College and University Attorneys (Co-Author) (January 01, 2008).
"Common Vacation Policies Called Into Question in Maryland," M&S Industry Alert (November 08, 2007).
"Criminal Background Checks: Risks and Restrictions, Sex Offender Registries, and Related Issues," National Association of College and University Attorneys (March 01, 2007).
"Negligent Hiring and Retention: Background Checks, Reference Checks and Other Issues," National Association of College and University Attorneys (March 01, 2006).

Speaking Engagements

"Employee Privacy," National Association of College and University Attorneys, Toronto, Canada (June 26, 2009).
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  • Fax Number: 410.385.3700