Aniko R. Schwarcz is an attorney in Cohen Milstein's Civil Rights & Employment practice where she serves as director of case development. She investigates and develops new cases involving the antidiscrimination provisions of Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Housing Act, as well as wage theft issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law.
With over a decade of experience in employment law, interviewing and working with clients and witnesses and assessing the legal claims of prospective class members, Ms. Schwarcz directs and oversees the intake and evaluation of the firm’s civil rights-related inquiries and case referrals. She also onboards, educates, and supports clients throughout the class action litigation process, from investigation through resolution.
Ms. Schwarcz's multi-disciplinary training and experience contribute to her unique insight and broad capacity for understanding both the social-emotional and economic effects of workplace discrimination on her clients.
Representative Clients, Investigations, and Litigation:
· Female Retail Employees – Investigation of pregnancy and gender-based discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.
· LGBTQ+ Employees – Investigation into denial of coverage for gender affirming healthcare.
· Detained Immigrants – Investigation into wage theft at Federal administrative detention facility.
· Individuals Seeking Treatment for Substance Use Disorder – Investigation into wage theft at adult rehabilitation centers.
She also represents others including non-profit organizations, in conducting internal workplace investigations.
Ms. Schwarcz played a key role in Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (A.A.A.; S.D.N.Y.), a nationwide Title VII gender discrimination and Equal Pay Act case, which parties agreed to settle in 2022. Ms. Schwarcz interviewed and collected affidavits from hundreds of the company’s retail workers, which were produced in support of the team’s successful motion for class certification. Ms. Schwarcz also interviewed and filed hundreds of EEOC charges on behalf of former class members in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Ms. Schwarcz was a Social Work Fellow in Advocacy Programs at the Alliance for Justice.
Ms. Schwarcz attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with honors and earned her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She also holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland.