Matthew Van Vessem is a partner in the firm's Employment and Labor Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of labor and employment litigation, wage and hour litigation, employee discipline, collective bargaining, New York State Education Law, and municipal law.
Matt represents private and public sector clients - including many of the largest employers in Western New York - in administrative and legal proceedings, including labor arbitrations, agency hearings, and state and federal court litigation. These clients include numerous cities, towns, and other municipalities; school districts and boards of education; and police and fire departments, hospitals, and transit authorities.
Matt litigates and counsels clients through matters involving discipline, termination, health insurance, overtime, alleged discrimination, and grievances of all varieties. He has litigated matters involving the New York State Civil Service Law and New York State General Municipal Law Section 207-c, as well as collective actions under the Federal Labor Standards Act ranging from four to 200 employee-plaintiffs. Matt regularly resolves matters before the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR), and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He is also known for his adept handling of the arbitration of collective bargaining disputes and other sensitive employment and labor, education, and municipal matters - as, for example, disputes involving Education Law 3020-a, the statutory proceeding by which a school district disciplines a tenured teacher or administrator. Several times Matt has successfully litigated unsettled matters of employment and labor, civil rights, and municipal law, attaining outcomes and establishing case law favorable to his clients. Matt also has extensive appellate court experience, including Article 78 appeals, and has represented municipalities before the New York State Court of Appeals.
While providing clients with trial and appellate representation for both standard disputes and unusual, unexpected situations, Matt dedicates at least 50 percent of his practice to offering daily advice and counsel to clients on a wide range of employment and labor, civil rights, and municipal law and liability matters. He has nearly 20 years of experience counseling employers with regard to challenged associated with unions and employees who work as uniformed personnel, particularly police and fire. He has also lectured and written on a number of topics of particular interest to municipalities, including the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to municipal employers and the special rules applicable to public sector police and fire employees.
Before entering private practice, Matt was assistant corporation counsel for the City of Buffalo.
•Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management, 2017-18
•Best Lawyers in America, Labor Law - Management, 2017-18
•Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Individuals, 2013-14
•Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2012-18
•Business First's Who's Who in Law (Labor and Employment)
•Presenter, Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law, NYSPERLA Conference, Saratoga, NY, July 22, 2016
•Presenter, Tips from the Trenches for Municipalities and Update on FLSA and Pitfalls, O.P.E.N. Current Public Employment Issues Workshop, Buffalo, NY, October 16, 2015
•Quoted in “ Seeking a Quality Free Appropriate Public Education for All ,” Buffalo Law Journal, October 20, 2014
•Quoted in “Law Limits Right of Unpaid Interns to Sue,” Buffalo Law Journal, October 28, 2013
•Presenter, New York State Public Employment Labor Relations Association Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY, July 17, 2013
•Quoted in “Judge Reverses Award for City Firefighters’ Raises,” Buffalo News, January 13, 2012
•Quoted in “Buffalo Teachers, Workers Lose Bid for Pay Step Hikes During Wage Freeze,” Buffalo News, March 30, 2011
•Presenter, New York State Public Employer Relations Association, July 2009
•Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Named 2016 Upstate New York Super Lawyers
August 15, 2016
•Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in 2015 Upstate New York Super Lawyers
August 21, 2015
•Forty-Six Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in 2014 Upstate New York Super Lawyers
August 11, 2014
•Super Lawyers Names Nearly Three Quarters of Goldberg Segalla’s Upstate New York Attorneys
August 19, 2013
•Best Lawyers in America 2014 Names Thomas F. Segalla a Buffalo “Lawyer of the Year,” Lists Fourteen Goldberg Segalla Attorneys
August 15, 2013
•Thirty-four Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2018
August 17, 2017
•Prominent Labor and Employment Attorneys Join Goldberg Segalla
August 1, 2010
•Goldberg Segallas Matthew Van Vessem Wins in Appeal Decision Affirming Termination of Williamsville School Administrator
September 20, 2017
•Goldberg Segalla Helps City of Buffalo Return Police Officer to Work
November, 10, 2012
•Goldberg Segalla Helps City of Buffalo Achieve Reversal of Arbitration Award in Firefighters’ Retroactive Pay Raise Case
January 12, 2012
•Partners are 4-0 at the Court of Appeals
•Matthew C. Van Vessem Successfully Represents the City of Buffalo Before the NY Court of Appeals on the Issue of Back Pay for Police and Firefighters Following the End of the Wage Freeze
March 29, 2011