Darrell S. Gay

Darrell helps clients navigate evolving workforce environments and the enhancement of their employees’ performance.
Darrell Gay, partner

Darrell focuses on assisting his clients with compliance with national and local labor and employment laws and the institution of management best practices to avoid operational problems proactively. With the workforce world changing dramatically during the pandemic and the ever-evolving use of technology and remote work, Darrell assists his clients with navigating the legal and operational requirements due to these changes. Darrell has developed and provided client unique training to the management teams of his clients on issues ranging from “Management Techniques – Enhancing Employee Performance,” “Conducting Internal Investigations,” “Navigating Leave Laws,” and “Sexual Harassment Training.” He has also worked with his clients to ensure they have the proper personnel policies to satisfy statutory requirements and best practice management standards.

On behalf of management, Darrell handles employee-related issues, discrimination matters, traditional labor and management relations, diversity, workplace training, privacy, restrictive covenants, wage and hour, and issues related to international labor and employment concerns. In addition, Darrell is frequently called upon to conduct high-profile and sensitive internal investigations.

Darrell’s extensive work for clients with regard to traditional labor matters includes management of union and pre-union environments, union negotiations, NLRB matters including unfair labor charges and representation petitions, negotiation and management of neutrality agreements and elections, and arbitrations. In addition, he serves as chief negotiator for his clients during collective-bargaining sessions and has negotiated several agreements spanning a host of industries. Pertinent to all institutions, Darrell is seasoned in guiding his clients relative to addressing protected concerted activity issues.

Darrell has also led several internal investigations of senior-level executives, including several C-Suite level matters, on behalf of his corporate clients, frequently being retained by the entities' Corporate Board of Directors. Darrell uses his experience working with the City, State, and Federal Governments and as a New York State Commissioner in helping his clients navigate claims before governmental agencies.

With respect to non-traditional work, Darrell has handled and managed significant cases involving single and multiple plaintiffs, single and multiple defendants, cases with allegations of serious continuing violations, and high-profile media cases. He not only has experience before administrative agencies as well as Federal and State courts but has also handled investigations conducted by the New York State Attorney General's office.

Previous Work

Prior to joining ArentFox Schiff, Darrell was a partner at two other significant international law firms, serving as the head of the US practice group at one of them. He also headed an employment and labor law boutique for several years in New York City.

Darrell served as a Commissioner with the New York State Civil Service Commission. Also, he was formerly associated with the Metropolitan Hospital Medical Center in New York, as Director of Labor Relations/Labor Counsel and with the National Labor Relations Board, Region 2 in New York, as an attorney.

Professional Activities

A well-known leader in professional circles and in the community, Darrell has played a critical role in founding and leading several organizations. He is one of the original founding former board members of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, an organization that advocates the expanded hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and law firms. He is the immediate past chair and a founding board member of the National Employment Law Council, the leading association of minority management-side employment/labor lawyers. He also helped create and currently serves as General Counsel to the New York Real Estate Chamber (NYREC).

Darrell previously chaired the Labor Law and Commercial Law sections of the National Bar Association and is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Darrell is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Darrell chaired the task force merging the historical Harlem Lawyers Association and the Bedford Stuyvesant Lawyers Association to form the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the largest minority bar in New York State.

Darrell is a member of the Board of Directors for Coro New York, and is an alum as a graduate of Leadership New York 1.

His appointments include:

  • Commissioner, New York State Civil Service Commission
  • Member, Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department
  • Member, Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment
  • Member, Human Rights Arbitration Committee
  • Member, Board of Advisors, New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Member, City of New York Manhattan Community Board No. 4

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Darrell has appeared on many radio and television talk shows including Court TV, The Phil Donahue Show, and Straight Talk, and he is a frequent speaker for the ABA, NBA, NELC, MCCA, PLI, and other programs at various law schools on a host of topics related to labor and employment law.

His recognitions include:

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America: Employment Law – Management, 2012-2024
  • The International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers, 2010-2023
  • Who's Who Legal: Labour, Employment & Benefits, 2023
  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Labour & Employment, 2021-2022
  • Crain's New York Business: Notable Diverse Leaders in Law, 2022
  • Crain's New York BusinessNotable Black Leaders & Executives, 2021 and 2022
  • New York Super Lawyers: 2006-2007, 2008 (Corporate Edition), 2009-2020, 2022-2023
  • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, 2010-2016
  • Metropolitan Black Bar Association: Lawyer of the Year, 2005
  • Who’s Who in American Law, 2005-2006 and 2010-2011
  • Who’s Who in Black New York City
  • Leadership New York, Class 1
  • Crain’s New York: “Forty Under Forty,” 1990


College of Labor and Employment Lawyers