Alexandra Harwin

Alexandra Harwin
Alexandra Harwin
NY Partner

(646) 401-0475

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Ali Harwin is a partner in the New York Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Title VII practice.

Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.

As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.

Alexandra Harwin is a partner in the New York office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, DC, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland.  She received her law degree from the Yale Law School and her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard, where she was the highest-ranked student in her graduating class.

As Co-Chair with Deborah Marcuse and Kate Mueting of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Title VII practice. Ms. Harwin represents employees with a wide range of employment claims, including discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, and disability, in both public litigation and privately negotiated settlements. Ms. Harwin was recently named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers in New York by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Among her current cases, Ms. Harwin serves as counsel in Dickerson et al. v. Novartis Corporation and Alcon Laboratories, Inc., a class action and collective action alleging that a large pharmaceutical company discriminated against its female employees –directors, managers, specialists, and sales force professionals – in pay, promotion, and assignments.  In Miller v. Zara USA, Inc. et al., Ms. Harwin represents Zara’s former general counsel in his claims that the Spanish fashion giant discriminated against him because he is Jewish, gay, and American.  In Silva v. Giorgio Armani Corporation et al., Ms. Harwin represents Giorgio Armani’s former general counsel in his claims that the Italian fashion house discriminated against him because of his Mexican nationality and because he was battling cancer.

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Ms. Harwin has a longstanding commitment to civil rights and gender equality issues.  At Harvard, she studied gender-based employment discrimination through the disciplines of history and economics, and her honors thesis explored how feminists addressed the subject of women’s unpaid housework.  At the Yale Law School, Ali served as Managing Editor of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and helped design Yale Law Women’s annual survey of family-friendly law firms.  While at Yale, she also conducted research on the history and prospects of using Title VII litigation to protect minority men from employment discrimination based on their criminal records.

After graduating from Yale, Ms. Harwin practiced at a law firm in Washington, DC, where she gained significant experience in all aspects of litigation, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution.

In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Harwin enjoys writing for popular audiences about legal issues. Her writings have been featured in the New York Times and Slate.

Education

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2011
  • Managing Editor, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism
  • A.B., Harvard University, 2007, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland 2011
  • District of Columbia 2012
  • New Jersey 2015
  • New York 2015

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The complaint asserts that Ogletree uses a number of tactics to shortchange female shareholders in pay and promotions. The firm manipulates allocation of origination credits by unfairly attributing such credits to male shareholders, even when women at the firm are the ones who bring in the client.

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Norton Rose Fulbright/Chadbourne & Parke LLP Gender Discrimination Class Action

According to Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner in Chadbourne’s Washington, DC office, female partners at the firm are excluded from positions of decision-making authority and receive less pay and bonuses even when they out-perform their male counterparts. There is only a one-tier partnership, with every partner characterized as an equity partner.

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Proskauer Rose Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, represents a female partner at Proskauer Rose, LLP, who is suing the prominent international law firm for $50 million for alleged gender bias in her compensation and other conditions of employment.

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Ian Jack Miller v. Zara USA, Inc. et al.

In 2015, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP filed a $40 million lawsuit against Zara USA, Inc., the flagship brand for the largest fashion retailer in the world, Inditex Group. The lawsuit alleges that Zara discriminated against and then fired its in-house counsel, Ian Jack Miller, because he is Jewish, American, and gay. The case seeks damages for creating a hostile work environment, pay discrimination, and unlawful and retaliatory termination based on Mr. Miller’s nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.

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Fabio Silva v. Giorgio Armani Corp., Et. Al.

According to his complaint, during his tenure at Giorgio Armani Corporation, the company’s Chief Financial Officer informed General Counsel Fabio Silva he did not trust Mexicans, and thereafter subjected Mr. Silva to increased scrutiny and discriminatory treatment. When General Counsel Silva reported this treatment to Chief Operations Officer, Giorgio Fornari, and Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Lucinda Rosso, General Counsel Silva was berated for complaining. General Counsel Silva was then denied a raise for reporting the discrimination.

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Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case

The complaint provides extensive details regarding how the senior leadership of Columbia – including the Provost of the University and the Dean of Columbia Business School – allowed one of Columbia’s senior, tenured professors to sexually harass and obstruct the work of a female junior faculty member, plaintiff Enrichetta Ravina. Read More

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Study Shows Implicit Bias against African-American Attorneys at Law Firms

Ever feel like you’ve received extra scrutiny because of your race?  Research suggests that these fears may be well founded.  A recent study indicates that supervisors are far more likely to overlook or forgive the mistakes of white employees – while African-American employees are far more likely to have their mistakes caught, criticized, and used […]

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Lessons on Women’s Economic Progress and Policies from the Fed Chair

Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve and arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is best known for her role in U.S. monetary policy.  But in a recent speech, she tackled a totally different subject – women’s economic progress over the past century.  Her speech, So We All Can Succeed: 125 Years of […]

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The Recognition Gap for Women in Academia

A lot has been written about why talented women aren’t advancing in academia the way their male colleagues are – including the heavy “baby penalty” paid by female academics.  But the gap we see in tenure rates between male and female faculty members can’t be explained by differences in family commitments or productivity alone.  New research […]

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At Republican Debates, Little Substance on Issues Facing Working Women

Last night’s GOP debate focused on economics, and I was watching to see if a single Republican candidate – really, anyone – would have anything to say about the challenges facing working women. Marco Rubio stood out as the only one. When asked whether his plan to expand child tax credits was just “another expensive […]

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Beyond Pre-K: The Kindergarten Gap for Working Moms

There’s been a recent push to expand public access to pre-K programs, and it’s widely acknowledged that these programs bring benefits to working parents, especially working mothers.   In these discussions though, it’s often assumed that parents’ childcare problems are solved once their kids go off to kindergarten.  The reality, though, is that many school […]

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A Woman on Currency? A Joke For Republican Men at This Week’s Debate

During the Republican debate this week, one exchange that was especially maddening for female viewers ensued when the candidates were asked what seemed like a straightforward question: “Earlier this year, the Treasury Department announced that a woman will appear on the $10 bill.  What woman would you like to see on the $10 bill?” This […]

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Advancing Pay Equality for New York’s Working Women

For women of New York, it’s about to get much easier to bring gender discrimination cases. A ten-point bill called the Women’s Equality Act had been languishing in the New York State Senate for nearly two years because of controversy over a plank that would have shored up abortion rights.  But in March, Democrats in […]

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Mission Possible? Ending Gender Discrimination Against Female Directors in Hollywood

The marginalization of women in Hollywood has gotten a lot of attention lately.  The Sony hacking scandal revealed glaring gender disparities in pay among movie stars and studio executives alike, and Patricia Arquette’s controversial Oscar acceptance speech demanded wage equality for women. Now the spotlight has shifted to the discrimination faced by female directors after the ACLU […]

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Nice Nails, Awful Jobs

In New York City, nail salons are ubiquitous, and many women who live or work in the City routinely partake in the affordable luxury of cheap manicures.  But a shocking exposé by the New York Times (posted here and here) shows that cheap manicures come at a very high price for the women who toil […]

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Can Size Discrimination Be Sex Discrimination?

From First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to NBC’s controversial hit show The Biggest Loser, Americans are flooded with messages about the obesity epidemic in this country and what it means for our long-term health.  But there’s been a lot less talk about how being overweight or obese affects individuals who are trying to […]

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