Dena B. Calo
Dena Calo counsels companies through complex labor and employment risks that pose a threat to their reputation in the marketplace. As a seasoned HR strategist and employment lawyer, she understands employers are facing increasing scrutiny of their labor and employment policies and procedures from government regulators and employees. She advises management clients, particularly in the hospitality, higher education and multi-family real estate industries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, on the application of employment laws to their particular business needs, the implementation of legal HR policies, and representation in litigation in courts throughout the United States when their compliance is challenged.
Dena’s perspective also stems from a combination of experience working both in private practice and in-house. Before joining Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, she was director of the Human Resources Practice Group at a regional New Jersey law firm. While at that firm, she also had a secondary assignment to one of the largest real estate development companies in New York City, where she was acting Chief Human Resources Officer and Employment Counsel for the organization. In that role, Dena oversaw the HR Department and provided legal advice and employment counseling to the company on a daily basis.
In addition, Dena has litigated cases to state and federal juries throughout the United States involving Title VII, ERISA, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, state and federal constitutional issues, defamation, restrictive covenants and contract disputes.
- Acts as outside labor counsel to organizations across many industries including hospitality, multi-family real estate, higher education, k-12 education, and insurance.
- Provides employment law training to global and regional leaders in the Construction, Health Care, Higher Education, Real Estate, Hospitality and Manufacturing industries.
- Presents webinars and live training sessions to HR teams across various industries on matters ranging from documentation and discipline to leaves of absence under the FMLA and ADA.
- Conducts audits in matters such as wage and hour, Fair Credit Reporting Act, equal pay and general HR organizational structure.
- Counsels restaurant and hospitality clients on the development and implementation of wage and hour policies including overtime, minimum wage, tip pooling, and tip credits.
- Develops employee handbooks and policies across many industries including accommodation, harassment, BYOD and social media policies.
- Drafts non-compete agreements and executive employment agreements for companies across many industries including banking institutions, health systems, and global construction companies.
- Manages complex wage and hour, on-call and superintendent issues for regional real estate companies.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction and a consent order enforcing a national software development company’s valid employment agreement with a director-level employee who resigned to work for a competitor. The NJ Superior Court, Chancery Division, Somerset County, awarded the company temporary and preliminary restraints and the competitor rescinded the offer of employment due to the agreement’s terms.
- Obtained defense arbitration awards in two separate age discrimination claims against New Jersey’s largest restaurant franchisee.
- Obtained Motion to Dismiss wage and hour class action involving communication company.
- Obtained defense verdicts in jury trials of two sexual harassment cases.
In addition to her state bar admissions, Dena is admitted to practice before the Southern and Eastern Districts in U.S. District Court in New York; U. S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Eastern and Middle Districts for the U.S. District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
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