Patricia L. Gatling has a broad practice that focuses on transportation law, employment law and employee benefits, government relations, litigation, alternative dispute resolution and general corporate matters. She counsels clients on matters that incorporate regulatory compliance, white collar defense and investigations, administrative law and public policy.
As a member of the Transportation Practice Group, Ms. Gatling will apply her formidable credentials pertaining to access issues, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local human rights laws on behalf of clients seeking wheelchair accessibility, compliance and regulatory strategy, and general corporate advice.
Drawing on her extensive public policy experience in the area of employment law and criminal prosecution she advises clients on the adoption of strategic policies to avoid employment discrimination claims by reviewing overall company personnel policy and operations, developing codes of conduct and monitoring systems and conducting workplace training. She provides guidance regarding the resolution of conflicts within the organization, with city, state and foreign governments, media outlets, organized labor, community associations and not for profit and advocacy organizations.
Ms. Gatling also provides corporate diversity counseling, advice on international employment issues and conducts internal investigations. She can also assist clients with policies to address the challenges of globalization by providing advice to corporations and governments on the legal, political, economic and security aspects of conducting business in foreign jurisdictions including crisis management.
Prior to joining Windels Marx as Counsel, Ms. Gatling served as Commissioner of the New York City Human Rights Commission and Chairperson of its 15-member board (2002 to 2015), appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and serving under Mayor de Blasio. The New York City Human Rights Commission enforces the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, protecting numerous classes of individuals in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. As the Commissioner, she managed a mayoral agency comprised of attorneys and human rights specialists with a budget of $12 million dollars. She negotiated contracts and settlements, hosted and trained international officials, conducted diversity and inclusion seminars, produced numerous publications, created public information campaigns, and directed investigative efforts. Some of her most notable investigations targeted diversity and discrimination issues in a range of industries, including:
limited demonstrations of management diversity within the advertising industry;
customer profiling within the retail industry, including a report entitled “Shopping While Black”; and
lack of disability access among large housing providers within the real estate industry.
Ms. Gatling served as the Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights under New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. She oversaw the operations of the Department of Civil Service, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the Division of Veterans Affairs, the Division of Human Rights, and the Public Employee Relations Board. Ms. Gatling was responsible for a full range of legal, policy, legislative and operational matters affecting civil / human rights and labor issues statewide.
Ms. Gatling is the former First Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorneys office (Brooklyn, New York) the third largest office in the country. There she managed the legal and administrative operations of an office comprised of 1500 law enforcement professionals. Prior to her becoming one of the top executives in the office she served in many supervisory capacities including Bureau Chief of the Major Narcotics Investigation Bureau.
Ms. Gatling was a Special Assistant Attorney General at The Office to Investigate the New York City Criminal Justice System. While there, she litigated and investigated corruption cases involving public officials, police officers, judges, and corrections officers, specializing in the prosecution of police brutality and death-in-custody cases. Ms. Gatling was a Special Narcotics Assistant Prosecutor at The Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor Sterling Johnson, Jr.. She prosecuted individuals involved in large narcotics syndicates.
Ms. Gatling worked as a Senior Trainer with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). She taught approximately 1,000 senior law enforcement officials from over 100 countries “Human Rights, Human Dignity and the Law” in Botswana, Thailand, Hungary and the Dubai Police Academy in the United Arab Emirates. She has been a guest at law firms, U.S. companies, foreign governments and academic institutions, speaking / lecturing on issues including diversity and inclusion in employment law, disability access, the U.S. criminal justice system, human rights and security, indigenous peoples rights, public health and civil rights. Ms. Gatling was co-producer of the film, Fighting for Justice: New York Voices of the Civil Rights Movement. She has published articles on criminal prosecution, diversity and inclusion and human rights and security. She also served on the New York City Charter Revision Commission.
Ms. Gatling is currently a member the International Association of Prosecutors and the National Black Prosecutors Association (President – 1994). She is a member of the University of Maryland Francis King Cary School of Law Board of Visitors and the Board of Trustees for the New York Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection.