Hon. Ruth B. Kraft is an employment and labor law partner as well as chair of the employment law group of Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter. She advises business organizations on employment law practices including wage/hour disputes, employee misclassification, employment policies and procedures, termination, discrimination and harassment claims, and compliance with state and federal laws. Her practice is comprehensive, covering business strategy as well as litigation before governmental bodies and in the federal and state courts. Judge Kraft and her team have extensive experience in the collective and class action realms.
Prior to joining VBPNP, she practiced and chaired the employment law group at another New York firm after a long career on the bench, most recently at the New York State Department of Labor, with chambers in Kings County. She began her career as an associate at one of the most distinguished law firms in the country prior to joining the faculty of New York University, where she was recognized for excellence in the teaching of law, business ethics and medicine. She has maintained a specialized interest in healthcare organizations throughout her career.
Judge Kraft holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude, with distinction in Political Science, from Queens College, where she was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded a New York Urban Fellowship. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School, where she studied under the preeminent luminaries of 20th century jurisdiction. Her doctoral dissertation, “Informed Consent in the Treatment of Breast Cancer”, is in the permanent collection of the Sterling Memorial Library of Yale University and forms part of the canon of seminal research in the field of medical law. Judge Kraft also holds a certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution from Harvard Law School and serves on several mediation panels. She is admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Kraft has lectured on employment law and corporate social responsibility to academic, business and professional groups throughout the United States and abroad, including to visiting jurists from the People’s Republic of China. Recent appearances include addresses to the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, National Association of Healthcare Risk Management as well as its New York cohort, the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, and the Association for Community Living; she regularly lectures at the Long Island Tax Professionals Symposium and for the National Conference of CPA Professionals. She is a past president and member of the executive committee of the New York State Association of the Administrative Law Judiciary and vice-president and a member of the Board of Directors of Yashar-the Judges’ and Lawyers’ Chapter of Hadassah, from which she received its National Leadership Award in 2017. A member of the advisory board of the Center for Ethics in Business for many years, she is an “uberjudge” of the International Business Ethics Case Competition, which has renamed its writing prize, the Judge Ruth B. Kraft Award, in her honor. In 2018, Judge Kraft was recognized as a “Power Woman in Business” on Long Island.
Judge Kraft is also a member the Federal Bar Council, serving on its employment litigation committee and has lectured extensively on the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as cutting edge issues in human trafficking. She is the author of a groundbreaking settlement agreement in the ADA context which applied section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to effective communications in the healthcare setting, resulting recognition by the Center for Law and Justice in disability law. In 2019, she will have the distinct honor of receiving the Hon. Paul J. Wilditz Judicial Award from the Jewish Lawyers of Nassau County in recognition of her achievements while on the bench.
Yale Law School, J.D., 1978
Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1975
New York State Bar
U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York
U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York
Supreme Court of the United States