Cindy M. Cieslak

Cindy M. Cieslak

Senior Associate / Hartford

Cindy Cieslak's practice focuses on all aspects of labor and employment litigation in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, including the defense of municipal and private employers against claims of discrimination, wage and hour violations, breach of contract, free speech retaliation, whistleblower retaliation, and other civil rights violations. Cindy also provides advice to employers regarding compliance with labor and employment laws, and she prepares employee handbooks and best practices manuals for employers. Additionally, Cindy assists employers with affirmative action plans, OFCCP audits, and compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to government contractors.

Prior to joining FordHarrison, Cindy was an attorney at a small Connecticut firm that focuses on labor and employment litigation and personal injury law.

Cindy holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University, with minors in Spanish and Women's Studies.  While at Penn State, she was named to the Dean's List and was inducted into and elected president of Penn State's chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. Cindy received her Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she served as Book Review Editor of the Connecticut Law Review and participated in the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition.  She is the recipient of an Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. Scholarship and CALI Awards for Excellence in courses on the First Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Representative Experience
  • Successfully drafted and argued in federal court motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and obtained favorable result for out-of-state fast food franchise clients, and individual owners, in case involving alleged wage and hour violations.
  • Successfully drafted appellate brief and argued before the Connecticut Appellate Court which affirmed trial court decision holding that volunteer, who alleged race discrimination, is not protected under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act.
  • Obtained judgment for municipal client after court-side trial in case where former police chief alleged breach of employment contract.
  • Drafted successful motion to dismiss for municipal client in discrimination case where plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies at the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities as to the named individual defendants.
  • Drafted successful administrative appeal brief on behalf of state agency involving issues of statutory interpretation relating to the Municipal Employees Retirement System.
  • Obtained finding of no reasonable cause at Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities for municipal client where employee alleged disability discrimination.
  • Second-chaired public hearing and drafted successful post-hearing brief in defense of municipal client against a disability discrimination claim brought by a current employee before the Office of Public Hearings.
Honors & Awards
  • "Connecticut Rising Stars," Super Lawyers magazine (2015, 2016, and 2017)
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