Debra Steiner Friedman

Member

Philadelphia

(215) 665-3719

(215) 701-2419

Recent News:

Working through bereavement requires more than just a few days off

Debra Friedman was quoted in the New York Post discussing bereavement policies.

Debra focuses her counseling and litigation practice on compliance with federal and state employment laws and regulations, noncompetition disputes, business torts, corporate reorganizations, affirmative action issues, and defense of discrimination claims.

Debra provides legal and business solutions to a myriad of human resource issues. She also regularly drafts complex corporate policies and contracts for her clients and advises them on best practices. Debra advises federal contractors how to comply with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) laws and regulations and defends federal contractors in OFCCP audits.

Debra works closely with corporate counsel on the employment aspects of due diligence for complex transactions. She also negotiates and drafts employment and separation agreements for executives and companies in connection with such transactions. Additionally, Debra reviews and drafts detailed commission and other incentive compensation plans for executives.

Debra has successfully represented and defended many clients in noncompete, business tort, and discrimination lawsuits. She regularly defends clients before federal and state fair employment practice agencies. Debra also counsels clients on how to address requests for workplace accommodations and, for places of public accommodation, requests for modifications to services and programs. She defends clients on a variety of disability accommodation issues before civil rights agencies and in courts.

Debra has published numerous articles on a variety of employment topics and has been interviewed and quoted by many media outlets. She lectures human resource professionals and management personnel on workplace issues such as anti-harassment programs, employee evaluation and discipline issues, and leaves of absence. Debra also is a Chapter Editor for the ABA's Family and Medical Leave Act treatise, Second Edition. 

Debra is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Youth Network, a youth workforce development organization, and past secretary of the board of the directors for the Valley Forge Chapter of the National Charity League, Inc., a philanthropic organization committed to fostering mother-daughter relationships through community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences. Debra earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1992.

Experience

News

Working through bereavement requires more than just a few days off

April 10, 2022

Debra Friedman was quoted in the New York Post discussing bereavement policies.

It’s Imperative for Employers to Monitor OSHA’s COVID Guidelines

November 08, 2021

Debra Friedman joined the CPA Conversations podcast to provide the latest information on OSHA guidelines related to COVID-19.

What will happen when Texas' ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates conflicts with the federal vaccine requirement

October 13, 2021

Debra Steiner Friedman spoke with CNN about Texas Governor Greg Abbott's new executive order that bans any entity in Texas from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a rule that directly conflicts with President Joe Biden's proposed rules requiring COVID vaccines for federal workers and for large employers.

Debra Steiner Friedman Appointed to Philadelphia Youth Network’s Board of Directors

September 22, 2021

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) has appointed Debra Steiner Friedman as their new board chair to oversee PYN’s board of directors.

What Happens When Mental-Health Issues Get in the Way of Work

June 03, 2021

Debra Friedman was quoted in The Wall Street Journal discussing how employers will work to accommodate mental-health needs, but there are limits.

What the COVID vaccine rollout means for returning to the workplace

February 12, 2021

Debra Friedman was quoted in Go News Today discussing the approach employers can take with the COVID-19 vaccine.

4 Tips For Crafting An Airtight Parental Leave Policy

November 20, 2020

Debra Friedman was quoted in Law360 discussing parental leave policies that satisfy the law and do right by workers.

Facing dual challenges of work and home-schooling, more women are sacrificing their careers

October 05, 2020

Debra Friedman spoke with NBC News about women being forced to make the choice between caring for their children or prioritizing their own career during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revised CDC isolation timeline may prompt workplace policy changes

July 29, 2020

Debra Steiner Friedman discussed with HR Dive about the CDC's guidance for those not requiring hospitalization may be useful to employers in determining whether employees who have COVID-19 may return to work.

Mailbag: Should our company set up on-site testing for COVID-19?

May 15, 2020

Debra Friedman was quoted in HR Dive about what should be considered if an employer offers onsite COVID-19 testing.

Wake Up With WURD

May 12, 2020

Debra Friedman appeared on WURD to talk about practical and legal issues surrounding health checks in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s What Individuals, Workers and Businesses Need to Know About the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

March 27, 2020

Debra Friedman was quoted in Philadelphia Magazine discussing what the coronavirus stimulus package entails.

Coronavirus outbreak: How businesses should be preparing

February 28, 2020

Debra Friedman was quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal discussing how businesses should handle a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Debra Friedman on Wharton Business Daily

January 14, 2020

Debra Friedman appeared on Wharton Business Daily Radio discussing joint employment.

Policy changes you need to make before 2020

November 14, 2019

Debra Friedman discussed with HR Morning about new employment trends in 2019 and 2020 and areas she recommends employers to pay attention to.

3 Tips For Crafting Workplace Cannabis Policies

November 01, 2019

Debra Friedman was quoted in Law360 discussing pre-employment testing policies.

California employers wrestle with drug testing after cannabis legalization

August 14, 2019

Debra Friedman was quoted in the North Bar Business Journal about how the legalization of cannabis impacts businesses managing pre-employment drug-testing.

4th Circuit Case on Blended Rate Is Lesson in Record-Keeping

February 21, 2019

Debra Friedman spoke with Corporate Counsel about a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decision concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act and overtime pay.

Fair Workweek Bill | The Dom Giordano Program

December 31, 2018

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was a guest on the Dom Giordano Program to discuss the extensive impact on some employers of Philadelphia’s new Fair Workweek Bill.

FMLA turns 25, and employers must be vigilant as ever

February 13, 2018

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Business Insurance about Family and Medical Leave Act and how employers should handle it.

Warning: Develop Policies for These 6 Dangers of Water Cooler Talk Before It’s Too Late

January 22, 2018

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department spoke with Small Business Trends about the six dangers of water cooler talk at your small business and how to prevent them.

The Problem With Privilege and Fighting for Equal Pay

January 19, 2018

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Glamour about women being fearful of negotiating pay.

Set Ground Rules for the Different Types of Service Animals

August 14, 2017

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses service animals on SHRM.

Flexible Vacation Policies

July 10, 2017

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses flexible vacation policies on the Price of Business.

Publications

OSHA’s Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Employers and What They Mean [PICPA]

September 08, 2021

Debra Friedman authored an article about OSHA's latest COVID-19 guidance for non-health care employers and employees and how it is causing employers to reevaluate their return-to-work policies and procedures.

Federal Contractors Should Be on the Lookout for Change in 2021, But Plan for Now [HR Headaches Blog]

December 14, 2020

Commentators are speculating on how quickly the Biden Administration may reverse course on three (3) of 2020’s significant developments at the Office for Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”): On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, “Combating Race and Sex...

Medical Inquiries and Examinations Related to Coronavirus [Alert]

March 13, 2020

David Barron and Debra Friedman answer employers' frequently asked questions when it comes to the coronavirus.

Countdown to 2020: Five Hot Compliance Tips to Keep HR Professionals Out of Hot Water [HR Headaches Blog]

October 07, 2019

It is time to make sure you are ready for 2020 (and beyond). Here are five (5) hot HR compliance issues you should be tracking and implementing: New Salary Thresholds for Exempt Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act Effective January 1, 2020, the standard minimum salary levels for...

5th Circ. Ruling Offers Map For Avoiding Daily Rate OT Claims [Law360]

September 16, 2019

Debra Friedman discussed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Faludi v. U.S. Shale Solutions LLC.

The Independent Contractor Analysis under the National Labor Relations Act - Has the NLRB Come Full Circle? [Bloomberg Law]

March 26, 2019

Debra Friedman and Christopher Hennessy discussed how the employee versus independent contractor distinction is significant and has far-reaching implications for businesses.

When 'Blended' OT Policies Violate FLSA's Wage Rules [Law360]

March 11, 2019

Debra Friedman discussed the impact of FLSA's wage rules with the recent case of U.S. Department of Labor v. Fire & Safety Investigation Consulting Services LLC.

The NLRB’s Newest Take on Who Is an Employee under the National Labor Relations Act [HR Headaches Blog]

February 01, 2019

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued an important  decision in SuperShuttle DFW, Inc. and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338, 367 NLRB No. 75, Case 16-RC-010963 (Jan. 25, 2019), holding 3-1 that franchisee drivers who operated shared ride vans were independent...

Stop Distressing About Disgruntled Employees and Take Action

January 23, 2019

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Recruiter about how employers can take action to prevent and minimize the impact of disgruntled workers, and it all begins with the recruiting process.

Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance Targets Hospitality, Retail and Food Services Employers [HR Headaches Blog]

January 02, 2019

In December 2018, Philadelphia enacted The Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance, which has widespread ramifications for non-exempt workers in the retail, hospitality and food services industries. The ordinance, which takes effect January 1, 2020, targets employers with at least 250 employees...

Proper Planning is the Key to Creating Successful Internship Programs

January 01, 2019

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Business Woman about how to create an internship program.

Three Workplace Shootings in 24 Hours: Now Is the Time to Take Action [HR Headaches Blog]

September 24, 2018

Workplace violence is one of the most troubling issues keeping HR professionals and in-house counsel up at night – and with good reason.  Just last week alone, there were three workplace shootings in a span of 24 hours. In 2018, workplace shootings have occurred coast to coast, in rural, suburban...

Good Intentions May Not Be Enough: The Hidden Dangers of “Maternity Leave” Policies [HR Headaches Blog]

September 18, 2018

Many employers go above and beyond any legal requirements in providing paid or unpaid leave benefits to employees to bond with their child.  So what could be bad about that?  Well, check your employee handbook. Do you have a maternity leave policy?  Do you have a paid leave policy that provides...

2017 Year in Review: Significant Federal Employment Law Developments [The Legal Intelligencer]

December 12, 2017

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote about the developments of employment law in 2017.

Potential Perils Of Employer Parental Leave Policies [Law360]

September 14, 2017

Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment practice, discusses the potential perils of employment parental leave policies in Law360.

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1992
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 1989
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York Court of Appeals
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Board Chair for The Philadelphia Youth Network