Paul Salvatore provides strategic labor and employment law advice to companies, boards of directors/trustees, senior executives and general counsel in such areas as labor-management relations, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, international labor and employment issues, and corporate transactions.
Paul negotiates major collective bargaining agreements in several industries, including real estate and construction. He represents the NYC real estate industry’s multi-employer organization, the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RAB), and its principal trade organization, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). In 2022, he helped the RAB reach a new collective bargaining agreement with SEIU Local 32BJ, covering more than 30,000 residential building employees. Paul also represented the Cement League, a multiemployer group of NYC area superstructure contractors, in halting an illegal strike by the Carpenters Union and negotiating a significant new, more competitive, collective bargaining agreement. He previously negotiated, on behalf of The Related Companies with 18 New York City construction unions, a landmark project labor agreement (PLA) for Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side, the largest private real estate development in U.S. history. In 2019, he assisted Related in resolving the very public labor disputes at Hudson Yards in time for its grand opening. He also represented REBNY in negotiating its 2019 landmark “Statement of Principles” with NYC’s construction unions. For his work in this sector, City & State magazine has named him one of the most powerful lawyers in New York.
Paul tries arbitrations and litigations, and argues appeals, arising from labor-management relationships. Paul argued and won before the U.S. Supreme Court 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett. In a 5-4 decision of importance to employers, the Court held a collective bargaining agreement that explicitly requires unionized employees to arbitrate employment discrimination claims is enforceable, modifying 35 years of labor law. In 2016, he argued and won NBC Universal Media, LLC v. NLRB, where the D.C. Circuit -- rejecting the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) analysis -- found “the reasoning supporting the [NLRB’s] judgment … incomprehensible.” In 2017, Paul argued and won T-Mobile v. NLRB where the Fifth Circuit refused to enforce the NLRB’s ban on certain common sense employee handbook policy provisions, finding the NLRB’s analysis to be unreasonable.
Paul represents universities and colleges in their labor and employment relations, including in the currently active areas of graduate student and adjunct faculty union organizing. He represented Yale, Duke, Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis and other universities in their response to graduate student unionization after the NLRB’s controversial 2016 decision finding graduate teaching/research assistants to be employees under the labor law. He has negotiated innovative non-NLRB election agreements at Cornell and Brown Universities.
An honors graduate of Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and the Cornell Law School, Paul served eight years on Cornell’s Board of Trustees, including on its Executive Committee. Upon completion of his terms, he was elected Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Councilor. Paul presently serves as a Trustee Member of the Board of Fellows of Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as on the Law School and ILR Deans’ Advisory Councils. In 2002, ILR awarded him the Judge William B. Groat prize, the school’s highest honor.
At Proskauer, Paul was elected to its Executive Committee and served as co-chair of its global Labor & Employment Law Department, named by The American Lawyer and Chambers USA as one of the premier U.S. practices. He is widely recognized as a leading U.S. labor and employment lawyer in such publications as Chambers Global and USA (Band 1), and Legal 500 (“Hall of Fame”). The National Law Journal selected Paul as one of "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" – one of only three in the labor and employment law field. His peers elected him to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Paul counsels business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Litigation Center. An active speaker and writer on labor and employment law issues, his publications include “The Pyett Protocol: Collectively Bargained Grievance Arbitration as a Forum for Individual Statutory Employment Claims” (co-authored by Terry Meginniss) in Beyond Elite Law: Access to Civil Justice in America (Cambridge University Press 2016) (edited by Samuel Estreicher and Joy Radice). He is an Adjunct Professor at the Cornell Law School.