Ryan Stewart devotes his practice to counseling and representing companies on a broad range of labor and employment matters.

Ryan represents clients in federal and state courts across the country at both the trial court and appellate levels, as well as in administrative agency proceedings and arbitration. His experience includes representing companies in single plaintiff suits as well as class and collective actions across a wide range of labor and employment matters including those involving federal and state wage-and-hour statutes, Title VII and other federal and state discrimination laws, whistleblower protection statutes, disability and accommodation laws, the enforcement of restrictive covenants, unfair labor practice charges, and claims of wrongful termination, harassment, and retaliation, among other various employment laws. Ryan is a skilled and accomplished brief writer and has significant experience in trial and other in-court proceedings.

In addition to his litigation experience, a substantial portion of Ryan's practice is advising companies regarding their employment actions, policies, and practices to proactively reduce legal risk. He counsels employers on an extensive variety of employment-related issues, including wage/hour compliance, joint employment status, independent contractor status, executive separations and related agreements, employee terminations, confidentiality and other employment-related contractual agreements, employee handbooks and policies, and sensitive workplace investigations. Ryan has also advised clients regarding pay equity audits, analysis, and remediation efforts. And he has advised clients in their interactions with a host of employment-related government agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ryan has represented clients in a number of different industries, including outsourced sales, gig economies, retail, technology, apparel, and staffing industries, among others.

Ryan earned his J.D. magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he served as the Development Chair for the Federalist Society and received The Dean's Award for Community Leadership. Prior to joining FordHarrison, Ryan worked for over five years for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington DC, where his practice focused on complex employment litigation and counseling.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained summary judgment victories and won Second Circuit appeal on behalf of a multinational outsourced sales provider in a pair of wage-and-hour nationwide class actions involving misclassification and joint employer claims.
  • Secured dismissal of all claims against a global rental car company in a nationwide overtime class and collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Massachusetts Wage Act.
  • Secured a significant trial win for a large U.S. cable company in a long-running labor union dispute with the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Following a 21-day trial before an NLRB administrative law judge, prevailed on key unfair labor practice charges brought by the NLRB Regional Director on behalf of the CWA.
  • Represented and helped obtain favorable settlement for an applied technology company in a lawsuit brought by a former executive alleging disability discrimination, retaliation, and defamation.
  • Successfully represented a multi-national online retail company in two lawsuits filed by a former employee alleging discrimination on the basis of age and religion and wage-hour violations on a class-wide basis, including successfully briefing a pre-discovery motion to strike the wage-hour class claims and disqualify class counsel in the class action.
  • Represented a global apparel company and secured a confidential settlement following favorable rulings in misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and business tort litigation involving a competing company and three of the client company's former footwear designers.
  • Successfully represented a large U.S. discount retailer in nationwide class action involving gender discrimination and Equal Pay Act claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment victory on behalf of a global online retail company in lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging whistleblower retaliation and disability discrimination.
  • Represented a national media company in nationwide wage-and-hour class actions alleging that the site managers for one of the company's media outlets were misclassified as independent contractors.
  • Advised Fortune 500 company regarding interactions with Department of Labor relating to ERISA compliance and prohibited transaction exemptions.
  • Advised Fortune 150 company regarding nationwide pay equity audit and analysis.