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Darrell S. Gay

Darrell represents for-profit, not-for-profit, and government clients with respect to their employee-related issues. Key to his work is the objective of assisting his clients in enhancing the performance of their employees and averting negative employee relations.
Darrell Gay, partner

On behalf of management, Darrell handles employee-related issues, including hiring/discharge, discrimination matters, traditional labor/management relations, diversity, internal investigations, workplace training, privacy, restrictive covenants, wage and hour, and issues related to international labor and employment concerns.

Darrell focuses his practice on assisting his clients with compliance with national and local labor/employment laws, and the institution of management best practices to proactively avoid operational problems. Darrell has developed and provided training to the management teams of his clients on issues ranging from “Management Techniques – Enhancing Employee Performance,” “Conducting Internal Investigations,” “Navigating Leave Laws,” and “Sexual Harassment Training.”

Darrell’s extensive work for clients with regard to traditional labor matters includes union negotiations, assistance during union organizing, including the development and management of neutrality agreements and elections, arbitrations, and unfair labor practice charges. In addition, he serves as chief negotiator for his clients during collective-bargaining sessions and has negotiated several agreements spanning a host of industries.

Darrell has also led several internal investigations of senior level executives, including several C-Suite level matters, on behalf of his corporate clients, frequently being retained by the entities' Corporate Board of Directors. Darrell uses his experience working with the City, State and Federal Governments and as a New York State Commissioner in helping his clients navigate claims before governmental agencies. 

With respect to non-traditional work, Darrell has handled and managed significant cases involving single and multiple plaintiffs, single and multiple defendants, cases with allegations of serious continuing violations and high profile media cases. He not only has experience before administrative agencies as well as Federal and State courts, but has also handled investigations conducted by the New York State Attorney General's office.

Previous Work

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Darrell was a partner at two other significant international law firms, serving as the head of the US practice group at one of them. He also headed an employment and labor law boutique for several years in New York City.

Darrell served as a Commissioner with the New York State Civil Service Commission. Also, he was formerly associated with the Metropolitan Hospital Medical Center in New York, as Director of Labor Relations/Labor Counsel and with the National Labor Relations Board, Region 2 in New York, as an attorney.

Professional Activities

A well-known leader in professional circles and in the community, Darrell has played a critical role in founding and leading several organizations. He is one of the original founding former board members of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, an organization that advocates the expanded hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and law firms. He is the immediate past chair and a founding board member of the National Employment Law Council, the leading association of minority management-side employment/labor lawyers.

Darrell previously chaired the Labor Law and Commercial Law sections of the National Bar Association and is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Darrell is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Darrell chaired the task force merging the historical Harlem Lawyers Association and the Bedford Stuyvesant Lawyers Association to form the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the largest minority bar in New York State.

His appointments include:

  • Commissioner, New York State Civil Service Commission
  • Member, Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department
  • Member, Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment
  • Member, Human Rights Arbitration Committee
  • Member, Board of Advisors, New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Member, City of New York Manhattan Community Board No. 4

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Darrell has appeared on many radio and television talk shows including Court TV, The Phil Donahue Show and Straight Talk, and he is a frequent speaker for the ABA, NBA, NELC, MCCA, PLI and other programs at various law schools on a host of topics related to labor and employment law.

His recognitions include:

  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Labour & Employment, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, 2012-2021
  • The International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers, 2010-2020
  • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, 2010-2016
  • New York Super Lawyers, 2006, 2007, 2008 (Corporate Edition), 2009-2020
  • Lawyer of the Year, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2005
  • Who’s Who in American Law, 2005-2006 and 2010-2011
  • Who’s Who in Black New York City
  • Leadership New York, Class 1
  • “Forty Under Forty,” Crain’s New York, 1990
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • New York Bar
    • Massachusetts Bar
    • US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
    • US District Court, Eastern District of New York
    • US District Court, Northern District of New York
    • US District Court, Southern District of New York
    • US District Court, Western District of New York
  • Education
    Columbia Law School
    Charles Evans Hughes Fellow, Writing and Research Editor, Human Rights Review, Metropolitan Chairman, Black American Law Students Association
    Fordham University


College of Labor and Employment Lawyers