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Phillip C. Bauknight

Partner, New Jersey
New Jersey
t: 908.516.1059
f: 908.516.1051


Phil’s practice focuses on employment, business, and labor issues with an emphasis on OSHA, joint employment, franchise, and workplace safety matters.  He also provides guidance to clients with hiring and termination procedures, employee discipline issues, performance management, discrimination, retaliation, diversity and inclusion practices, employee leave, and disability accommodations issues.  Phil represents an array of clients, including those from the franchising, health care, retail, manufacturing, and financial services industries.  As part of his practice, Phil regularly appears in federal, state, appellate, and administrative courts as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and various state agencies.

Phil is an active member in both his professional and personal communities as he is an Executive Committee Member of the National Black Lawyers, where he has been selected to their Top 40 under 40 List from 2015 to the present, and serves as a Trustee on the West Orange Scholarship Fund.  Phil has also been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars list from 2014 to the present.

Phil is also an experienced public speaker and author who presents and writes on a range of employment issues, including those related to workplace management, franchise business matters, and diversity issues.  Phil often speaks at legal seminars and for professional organizations such as the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the National Business Institute.

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Honored as "New Leader of the Bar" in the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2020 Professional Excellence Awards
  • Selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers - Rising Stars List - (2014-2018)
  • Selected to The National Black Lawyers Top 40 under 40 List - (2015-2018)
  • IADC Trial Academy Graduate - (2013)
  • Winner, Morris County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Mock Trial Competition - (2009)

Award Methodology

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association Tort, Trial, and Insurance Practice Section - Employment Law and Litigation Committee, Membership and Diversity Chair, (2016-present); Membership Chair - (2015-2016); Publications Chair - (2014-2015); Vice Chair - (2013-2014)
  • Lead Author/Editor, Employment Law and Litigation Committee's section of the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal - (2014)
  • American Bar Association - Forum on Franchising
  • New Jersey Bar Association, Member
  • National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, Executive Committee Member

Community Activities

  • West Orange Scholarship Fund, Trustee - (2016-present)
  • President of the Union County Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange - (2012-2013)


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Is Your Workplace Ready for the COVID Vaccine? What HR Needs to Know
    Xpert HR
  • Sticking Points: What Employers Need to Know About the Latest and Continuing Developments Concerning COVID-19 Vaccines
    ACC New Jersey
  • Sticking Points: What Employers Need To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19: Employer Considerations for Navigating the Second Wave,
    DTG Consulting Solutions
  • COVID-19 Vaccine and Compliance, Q&A Session
  • "A New Year, New Normal, and What It Means to NJ Employers”
    ACCNJ Virtual Seminar
  • “Sticking Points: What Employers Need To Know About Flu Shots And COVID-19 Vaccines”
    WestLaw LegalEd Center 
  • "Sticking Points: What Employers Need To Know About Flu Shots And COVID-19 Vaccines"
    Aurora Training Advantage
  • "Post COVID-19 Return to Work OSHA Guidance: Considerations for Employers"
    Garden State Bar Association - Labor & Employment Section
  • "The Future of Work: Managing Employee Performance in Evolving Times"
    2017 GSC SHRM Annual Conference & Expo
  • "Ethics in the Workplace:  Standards, Expectations, Investigations, Social Media & Minimizing Risk"
    ACC New Jersey – Breakfast Briefing
  • "Franchise Business Law Boot Camp," National Business Institute, Webinar
  • “The Changing Landscape of Joint Employer Status,” Morris County SHRM’ 9th Annual Employment Law Symposium, Randolph, NJ
  • "The Business Case For Diversity In the Attorney-Client Relationship," American Bar Association's second annual Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Conference, Atlanta, GA
  • "Franchise Litigation: A Practical Crash Course for Both Franchisors and Franchisees," NBI Seminar


  • "Where's the Beef? NLRB Rules That Wendy's Franchisee's Mandatory Class Action Waiver Is Unlawful," Republished in Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Employment Law and Litigation Newsletter, Spring 2016.
  • "The NLRB's McDonald's Directive: A Supersized 'McStake'?," Republished in Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Employment Law and Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2015, with recent updates.
  • "The NLRB's McDonald's Directive: A Supersized 'McStake'?," New Jersey Law Journal, October 20, 2014.
  • “Recent Developments in Employment Law and Litigation,” Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 49-1, (Fall 2013), Lead Author/Editor.
  • "Leave As A Reasonable Accommodation: What You Need To Know," New Jersey Law Journal, January 23, 2012.


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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