Nina Pirrotti represents individuals in employment and civil rights litigation and negotiation. The president of the Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), she is well versed in all aspects of employment law, including discrimination (on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious creed, marital status, pregnancy, or national origin), sexual harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, contract disputes (including those involving restrictive covenant agreements), FMLA and related leave of absence issues, unpaid wages, severance agreements, and whistleblower claims.
Nina also advocates on behalf of students and faculty. She has guided numerous students through their universities’ internal disciplinary procedures and has advised faculty members who have been targets of internal investigations. Nina has also litigated on behalf of students seeking to discharge their rights under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education.
Nina was selected as a 2014 Top 50 Connecticut Super Lawyer, placing her among the Top 50 lawyers in the state. She was also selected as a Top 25 Connecticut Woman Super Lawyer and a Top 50 New England Woman Super Lawyer. She has also been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America. In 2010, Nina was named by the Connecticut Law Tribune as one of its Women in the Law – High Achievers.
Even before Nina decided to represent employees, students, and faculty, she had already devoted almost 15 years to civil rights and public service. At the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, she was appointed to the Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuting homicides, bank robberies, kidnappings, and pattern crimes. And as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the Law Department for the City of New York, she received the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Municipal Affairs Award for outstanding achievement.
Nina is an experienced trial advocate, having served as lead counsel in approximately 25 jury trials and 50 bench trials. She taught Trial Advocacy at the New York Prosecutor’s Training Institute, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York City Law Department, and trial practice at Quinnipiac Law School as an adjunct professor.
In addition to her duties as president of CELA, Nina is also the Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Affiliate Relations Committee, as well as its Second Circuit representative. She has also served as a Track Coordinator for the American Bar Association’s 6th and 7th Annual Section Conferences and is a liaison for the ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law’s Diversity in the Legal Profession committee. She routinely lectures nationally on employment related topics.
In 2015, Nina was appointed by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to serve as a member of the Local Civil Rules Advisory Committee, which advises the Court concerning the rules for civil litigation.
Nina received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, where she majored in Theater. She received her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of Law and Feminism and participated in the Barrister’s Union, a competitive mock trial organization. Nina began her legal career as an associate at commercial litigation firms and devoted significant time to pro bono matters, including employment discrimination and First Amendment/whistleblower cases.
Represented five plaintiffs (three members of management and two staff members) in
sexual harassment and retaliation claims against a major Connecticut employer, resulting in a settlement in excess of $1 million.
Defended hedge fund manager in complex arbitration brought by his former employer (also a hedge fund), alleging violation of the parties’ restrictive covenant. Despite employer’s demand for millions of dollars in damages, the arbitration panel awarded only nominal damages of $2.
Represented former employee against start-up technology company for failure to pay wages. After plaintiff quit her job prior to the expiration of her employment contract and filed a wage claim with the Department of Labor, the employer counterclaimed for breach of contract. Obtained dismissal of breach of contract action and brought successful arbitration against employer for, among other claims, retaliation and violation of wage and hour laws.
Co-counseled with renowned civil rights attorneys Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg in representing five students and alumnae who alleged that their university’s indifferent response to reports of sexual assault and harassment violated Title IX. Case settled for $1.285 million. The university made significant positive changes in its procedures for responding to reports of sexual violence.
Represented high-level executive in age discrimination case against Fortune 100 company. Successfully briefed appeal to Second Circuit, which reversed District Court decision granting summary judgment. Case subsequently settled for $3.5 million.
Represented four sales representatives in race discrimination and hostile work environment case against local Connecticut business. Case settled for $245,000.
Represented two school principals in sexual harassment action against superintendent of schools. Case settled on favorable terms, including monetary settlement and imposition of new procedure for internal complaints against superintendent.
Represented orchestra conductor in disability discrimination case. Case settled on favorable terms, including a significant monetary settlement, private apology, and gala retirement reception in conductor’s honor.
Represented insurance agent for national insurance company under Connecticut free speech statute after agent’s contract was not renewed following his complaints about fraudulent insurance practices. Case settled for $350,000.
Representative Speaking Engagements
Handling Suspected Workplace Theft, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Southern Connecticut Chapter, Workplace Law Symposium, Stamford, CT (September 2015)
Sexual Harassment & Assault Under Title IX, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA (June 2015)
Unclean Hands: Issues Surrounding Employee Theft, American Bar Association Employee Rights & Responsibilities Committee 2015 Midwinter Conference, Naples, FL (March 2015)
Tips from the Pros: Effective Negotiating Strategies for Success, Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA) 2015 Annual Conference, Washington, DC (February 2015)
Top Employment Policies (with emphasis on workplace investigations, use of social media, LBGT discrimination, bullying in the workplace and post-employment retaliation), American Bar Association Labor & Employment Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA (November 2014)
Successful Negotiations: The Unsung Value of the Human Connection, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA (June 2014)
Internal Investigations in a Digital “Workplace,“ American Bar Association National Symposium on Technology and Labor & Employment Law, New York, NY (May 2014)
Damages Strategies: Recent Developments, Legal Theories, and the Role of Expert Witnesses, American Bar Association Webinar (December 2013)
Bullies in the Workplace, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (November 2013)
Tips for Conducting a Successful Direct Examination of the Plaintiff, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, Orange, CT (October 2013)
What Really Happened – Investigating Workplace Discrimination, American Arbitration Association (webinar) (October 2013)
Using the Employer’s Flawed Investigation to Support the Plaintiff’s Case, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO (June 2013)
Damage Strategies Beyond Back and Front Pay: Wage Recoveries and the Role of Expert Witnesses, American Bar Association Labor & Employment EEO Conference, Savannah, GA (April 2013)
Executive Behavior Run Amok: Strategic Considerations for Workplace Investigations, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA (October 2012)
Retaliation in the Post-Employment Context – The Former Employer’s Parting Shot, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA (June 2012)
Retaliation in the Post Employment Context: Not a Time to Let Your Guard Down, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Annual Conference, Seattle, WA (November 2011)
Transforming Weaknesses into Strength at Trial, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC (June 2010)
Pregnancy and Family Responsibility Discrimination – Romantic Paternalism is Alive and Well, Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund, New Haven, CT (June 2010)
Investigating and Bringing a Claim – The Employee’s Lawyer’s Perspective, Worker’s Compensation Trust, Wallingford, CT (April 2010)
Survey of Employee Friendly State Laws, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Palm Springs, CA (June 2009)
Defending Depositions, National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Denver, CO (March 2009)
Trial Themes, National Employment Lawyers Association Regional Conference, Boston, MA (May 2008)
Punitive Damages in the Wake of Philip Morris USA v. Williams, Connecticut Bar Association, Hartford, CT (June 2007)
Handling Suspected Employee Theft, Connecticut Law Tribune (Apr. 27, 2015)
Workplace Bullying: A Problem for Everyone, Connecticut Law Tribune (Dec. 22, 2014)
Retaliation After Employment Ends: The Former Employer’s “Parting Shot”, Connecticut Law Tribune (Jan. 28, 2013)
Strategic Considerations for Workplace Investigations, Connecticut Law Tribune (Oct. 22, 2012)
Pregnancy Discrimination: Why It May Be the Most Difficult Form of Discrimination to Eradicate from the Workplace, Blog, Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association (Oct. 26, 2010)
Shopping at Wal-Mart: The Savings Are Not Worth the Price, Blog, Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association (Nov. 19, 2009)
Nina Pirrotti represented me during one of the most difficult times in my career. My health and my life were deteriorating to such an extent that I was unable to think clearly. Nina’s tireless efforts to advocate for me and represent my best interests secured for me an outcome one can only dream of. Nina’s professionalism and dedication never wavered as she was a pillar of strength that guided me and my family to a successful outcome. I am truly indebted to Nina and cannot thank her and her team enough.
— D.F., Rocky Hill, CT
Nina provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation.
— J.H., Monroe, CT
Nina Pirrotti represented me in a case against my former employer. Not only was the outcome favorable, I was extremely pleased with the process itself. Attorney Pirrotti was compassionate, understanding, pro-active, organized, scrupulous, and extremely aggressive on my behalf. I was, in every way, glad she was on my side of the table. Of course I hope I’ll never again be involved in a lawsuit against an employer, but if I do, I have no question as to whom I will turn: Nina Pirrotti.
— J.C., Bethel, CT
Attorney Pirrotti represented us during an emotional and difficult time in our professional lives. She was an active listener, always making us feel supported and validated. Nina was extremely knowledgeable of the law and strategic in her approach in dealing with any new situation that arose in our case. She represented us with the utmost integrity and sensitivity. She was always available and responsive with communication. Having Nina on our side allowed us to stay focused on our work, families and move forward with our lives.
— C.K. & M.D., Milford & South Windsor, CT
Nina Pirrotti was referred to me by a colleague. From the moment I met her, I found Nina to be comforting, professional and willing to tirelessly search and advocate for my labor rights to keep my job. She was in constant touch by phone and email during a very unpleasant period of my life. I appreciate all she has done for me and would not hesitate to recommend her expertise.
— S.A., Milford, CT
I felt that Attorney Pirrotti’s expertise in the field brought me to a resolution that I didn’t think was possible. I was very comfortable with how she handled a very delicate situation and how her advice led me to feel confident in my decision to pursue my case. I would highly recommend her counsel to anyone looking for the best!
— M.H., Wallingford, CT
I spoke to several attorneys before deciding to have Nina Pirrotti represent me in my case against my former employer. What a wonderful decision. Nina and her staff represented my interests professionally, providing outstanding advocacy and personal attention. Thank you for helping me achieve justice and helping me move on with my life.
— M.K., New Fairfield, CT
Imagine a law firm that requests you fill out a questionnaire to see if your situation has merit. The reason for this questionnaire is to save the potential client money should their situation have no legal basis. Rather than paying for a consultation and finding out your claim is meritless, this firm takes customer service to another level. Quite frankly, I have not yet met an attorney that was concerned about saving a client money until I called Nina Pirrotti at Garrison Law.
Faced with a difficult employment situation I sought the advice and counsel of Nina Pirrotti. What was an extremely difficult and life changing decision became infinitely easier after meeting with her. She offered sound advice that was to the point. She reviewed the situation and presented me with my options, which I reviewed and ultimately came to a decision that worked best for me. I would recommend Nina and Garrison Law to anyone and everyone that needs an advocate in their corner. Thank you ever so much!
— A.M., Stratford, CT
Choosing a lawyer to represent you in times of difficulty is an important decision that sometimes requires help from those you trust. Nina Pirrotti came highly recommended to me, and after working with her on a case that was not clear cut, I recommend her highly. She is kind, thoughtful, and very respectful in her approach with her clients. Her legal knowledge and excellent communication skills add to the value she brings to one’s case. She has a high level of integrity and is never afraid to offer or ask for assistance to ensure her clients get the benefit of all the best thinking and knowledge available.
— D.L., Wallingford, CT
Nina always got back to me immediately, explained things in “real” terms , not lawyer jargon. She is a ball of fire and I would expect a real asset to her firm. I would not hesitate to recommend Nina and will definitely be in contact in the future if need be.
— M.W.., Madison, CT
Nina was a pivotal part of deconvoluting a difficult situation in my professional life. She was supportive and available at all times via phone, e-mail or in person — even while stuck in an airport during vacation. Nina was able to reduce my stress levels and assure me that everything would turn out for the best. Of course she was right, making sound decisions when I was too wrapped up in the intricacies of the problem to see the larger picture. I can’t thank Nina enough and would recommend her to anyone, without hesitation, that needs assistance in these types of situations. She is the ultimate advocate for the individual.
— S.B., Cheshire, CT
As a corporate executive, I sought legal counsel for a professional dilemma with my employer, one of the largest corporations around the globe. Despite my concerns of an extremely tight time frame to impart a deluge of complex details of my case to Attorney Nina Pirrotti, she exhibited an amazing balance of patience and vigilance while receiving my input and siphoning through the facts of my situation.
Not only did Atty Pirrotti keep me informed throughout the process of my case, but she did so by allowing me to virtually drive the extent of force we applied to our opposition by continually assessing my ‘temperature’ or appetite for the potential fight ahead. This ensured total alignment between attorney and client, which is crucial for a successful outcome.
Atty Pirrotti is the consummate professional warrior. She has an enormous capacity for taking in significant volumes of ‘situational data’ and combines it with excellent distillation; skillfully discerning the relevant key factors from background supportive information. She works diligently and tirelessly with unparalleled tenacity, and at many times, seemed even to outpace me as her eager client, standing ready to crunch the data, validate her strategic approach, and fight artfully on my behalf.
Atty Pirrotti achieved the impossible by making me feel comfortable and confident throughout the term of representation and made it easy for me to sleep at night since I knew she would leave no stone unturned (and she proved me to be correct). She is a giant among giants and is no stranger to a good battle. Despite the challenging circumstances, she made it almost fun to see her perform and produce an amazing outcome for me as her client.
In the end, Atty Pirrotti managed to optimize/increase the total value of my case outcome and did so with great poise, amazing diligence, excellent grasp of the law and its applicability to my situation, and great care for her client’s well-being in an extremely short and high pressure climate time period. Although I knew she had other clients and a heavy caseload, not once did she ever make me feel like I was not her most important client while working with me; an amazing feat.
— P.R., Wisconsin