Bruce M. Steen Partner

Bruce is the former chair of the firm's labor and employment practice. He represents employers and management in labor and employment matters and his practice is divided into three primary areas.

First, he has extensive experience litigating collective and class action claims throughout the United States arising under federal and state wage and hour and wage payment statutes, including the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This work includes serving as national wage and hour class and collective action counsel for a large financial institution. Second, on behalf of employers and management, Bruce litigates claims and counsels clients pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Executive Order 11246 governing the employment practices of federal contractors, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Labor Management Relations Act. Third, on behalf of ERISA pension and welfare plans and plan sponsors, Bruce also has extensive experience litigating pension, disability and severance claims in federal courts in many parts of the country.

While earning his law degree from the University of Virginia, Bruce was articles development editor of the Virginia Law Review, and was honored as a member of the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Bruce is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches an employment law seminar, and is a frequent lecturer on employment law issues


Wage & Hour Class Action / Collective Action Experience

Class actions asserting misclassification and off-the-clock overtime and minimum wage violations, meal and rest periods violations, and related claims.

Class actions challenging the terms and administration of bonus compensation plans.

Hybrid nationwide FLSA collective actions and state law class actions asserting misclassification and off-the-clock overtime and minimum wage violations and related claims.

Employment Litigation and Related Matters, including OFCCP Litigation

Defense of employee claims asserting wrongful termination, breach of contract, and unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation under myriad federal and state laws.

Litigation of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and breach of non-compete and non-solicitation agreement claims, including applications for provisional injunctive relief.

Drafting and advice on employment-related policies, employee handbooks, and employment contracts.

Advice and counsel regarding employee discipline issues and reductions in force.

Training of supervisors and employees on prevention of unlawful employment practices, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

Defend federal contractors against administrative complaints filed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs pursuant to Executive Order 11246, including pattern and practice claims of alleged discriminatory hiring, and constitutional issues regarding the OFCCP’s ability to access contractor facilities for compliance review.

ERISA Litigation

Defense of ERISA welfare and pension benefit plans in single and multi-plaintiff benefit disputes.

Defending claims for pension benefits, long term disability, short term disability, health benefit and severance claims.

Litigating throughout the United States, including in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and Texas.

  • University of Virginia, MA, Economics, 1989
  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Order of the Coif, Member and Articles Development Editor, Virginia Law Review, 1988
  • Michigan State University, BA, cum laude, 1983

Member, 2003-present; President, 2006-2008. Board of Directors, Children and Family Services Center, Inc.

Member, 2009-present; President, 2012-present, Board of Directors, Council for Children's Rights, Inc.

President, 2005-2007; Member, 2001-2007, Board of Directors, Youth Homes, Inc.

Member and Board of Directors, Charlotte Latin School Booster Club. 2008-2011

Faculty Member, Mandatory Professionalism Course for New Admittees, Virginia State Bar, 1999-2001

Member; Chair, Committee on Law & Citizenship Studies, 1991-1997; Executive Committee, 1992-1997, Young Lawyers Division, Virginia Bar Association

Member, Federal Judgeships (Western District), 1994-1997

  • Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 1988-1989
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia

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Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Employee Benefits/ERISA Law, Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, Litigation-ERISA, Labor and Employment Litigation, Woodward/White, Inc., 2010-2024

Named to "500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers,” Lawdragon, 2021, 2022

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment, North Carolina, Band 4, Chambers USA, 2013-2022

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Charlotte, Litigation - ERISA, 2014; Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2022, Best Lawyers in America

Named to "North Carolina Super Lawyers," Employment & Labor, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2017-2021

Selected for inclusion in "Client Service All Stars," Employment Litigation, BTI Consulting Group, 2013

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