Bridgewater, NJ (March 11, 2014) – Patrick T. Collins, a Member of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., was elected President of the Board of Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey. He has served on its Board of Trustees for over 20 years.
“It is my pleasure to serve as President of the LSNWJ Board of Trustees, and I look forward to helping LSNWJ build upon its past accomplishments and continue to effectively serve the legal needs of the community,” Collins said.
LSWNJ is a nonprofit law firm serving low-income people residing in Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren Counties. Its work is vital to the efforts of low-income individuals to maintain safe and affordable housing, gain sustainable income to escape the ravages of poverty, access quality health care, secure family stability and personal safety, and live with dignity in the community.
A resident of Branchburg, Collins is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. He practices labor, employment and personnel law on behalf of employers and management. He has a wide range of experience in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Collins represents parties in breach of contract claims, and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.
Collins has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings, and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.
A great deal of Collins’ practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions that will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. Collins regularly counsels his clients on matters concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. He has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, and has drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. Collins has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.
In November 1999, Collins was awarded the Legal Services of New Jersey Equal Justice Medal and the Outstanding Board Service Award. He was a law clerk for the Honorable William T. McElroy, Appellate Division, Superior Court of New Jersey from 1983 to 1984.
Collins is a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and their Labor & Employment Sections, as well as the Somerset County Bar Association. He is a former member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s District XIII Ethics Committee and the Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court. Collins also serves on the Somerset Valley YMCA Advisory Board.