Rachel V. Kushel


  • Overview


    Rachel Kushel counsels clients on all employment law and workplace human resource issues. She defends management in state and federal court litigation matters and administrative agency claims. She is a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group.

    Employment Litigation and Administrative Advocacy

    Rachel has extensive experience defending management clients in discrimination, leave, and harassment matters. She litigates matters from inception to trial and through appeal in federal and state courts. She has argued successfully on behalf of clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the District Court of Connecticut, and Connecticut state trial and appellate courts.

    Rachel also represents clients in administrative agency matters before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. She also represents clients at private and public arbitration hearings, and in alternative dispute resolution and mediation sessions with federal, state, and private mediators.

    In addition to assisting clients in obtaining favorable resolutions to matters, Rachel has also achieved successes for clients at various stages of the litigation proceedings. She works with clients in a wide range of industries, including but not limited to, healthcare, financial services, government, and higher education.

    Counseling, Compliance, and Training

    Rachel counsels companies and human resource professionals in all areas of employment law, including discharge and discrimination issues, employee discipline, wage and hour issues, disability and reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave, unemployment, employment and independent contractor agreements, severance and separation agreements, individual terminations and reductions in force, and workplace health and safety issues. Rachel also negotiates and drafts employment and separation agreements, in addition to reviewing and revising employee handbooks and personnel policies. She also conducts training sessions related to a myriad of employment issues, including topics such as sexual harassment, workplace civility, and avoiding discrimination claims.

    Workplace Investigations

    Rachel is a trained workplace investigator and regularly conducts, manages, and provides advice regarding workplace investigations involving all types of employment-related issues. She assists clients with identifying situations that require a workplace investigation.

    Labor Relations and Union Avoidance

    Rachel advises clients on management rights and strategy. She also handles union grievances and arbitrations on behalf of employers.

    Pro Bono

    Rachel regularly engages in pro bono work, including handling unemployment benefits appeals for individuals and reviewing employment handbooks for non-profit and charitable organizations.

    She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Employment Law – Management and Labor Law – Management for 2018. 

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Secured dismissal of two separate actions alleging Constitutional claims against a municipality. 

      • Secured favorable settlement of litigation involving allegations of defamation, tortious interference with business relations, and promissory estoppel.

      • Currently serving as first-chair in multi-million dollar litigation which alleges violations of federal employment discrimination law and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act.

      • Successfully defended employer in race discrimination claims pending before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Section (2020)

      Association of Workplace Investigators
      Certificate Holder (2019)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Employment Law-Management and Labor Law-Management since 2018.

      Robinson+Cole Mentor of the Year Award Recipient, 2018

      Named to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) First 100 Plus Class of 2018 for demonstrating leadership and commitment to improving the lives of domestic violence survivors throughout Connecticut.

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County
      Board Member (2010)
      Chair, HR Committee (2010)
    • Presentations


      "Getting Back To Work During COVID-19: Top Legal HR Considerations for Employers," co-presented with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson and Abby M. Warren, which reviewed seven important questions many employers are asking when it comes to implementing a return-to-work-plan. (6/18/2020)
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      "A Deep Dive for HR Professionals Administering Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know," co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, which offered a close look at the FFCRA and the various nuances employers should be aware of. (5/29/2020)
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      "Re-Opening Your Workplace During COVID-19: Top HR Considerations for Employers," co-presented with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson and Abby M. Warren, as a webinar hosted by Robinson+Cole. (4/24/2020)
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      "COVID-19 Pandemic: The Workplace Now and in 30 Days," co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, presented as part of the Clear Law Institute's "Meeting Unprecedented Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic 2.0" series. (4/2/2020)
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      "COVID-19 Pandemic: The Workplace Now and in 30 Days," co-presented with Abby M. Warren and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, presented to three online audiences in March 2020. (3/26/2020)
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      "Is There a Future for Non-Competes? A Discussion of Recent Trends at the State and Federal Level," presented at the Connecticut Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section virtual meeting (1/16/20)
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      "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," presented at the monthly meeting of the New England Claim Executives Association (NECEA) (3/12/2019)
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      "Workplace Investigation Basics Seminar," co-presented with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, presented by the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) at Robinson+Cole's Boston office (5/10/2018)
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      "If I Could Turn Back Time...Getting Workplace Harassment Investigations Right," co-presented with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson and Abby M. Warren, presented by the Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut (2/28/2018)
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      "Labor Grievance Processing," co-presenter for an American Arbitration Association program in Cromwell, Connecticut (11/30/2017)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • May 28, 2019

        Firm Attorneys Host AWI New England Local Circle Meeting in Boston

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      • April 29, 2019

        Partner Rachel Kushel Quoted in CT Law Tribune “Lawyer-Moms Say Flexible Policies Are Key to Success”

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      • March 19, 2019

        Rachel Kushel Presents to Claim Executives on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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      • August 20, 2018

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

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      • June 5, 2018

        Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson and Rachel Kushel Lead Association of Workplace Investigators Seminar

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      • March 13, 2018

        Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson, Rachel, Kushel, and Abby Warren Conduct Hypothetical Workplace Harassment Investigation, Role-Playing the Major Aspects of a Workplace Investigation

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      • December 13, 2017

        Rachel Kushel Co-presents on Labor Grievance Processing

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      R+C News Releases

      • November 18, 2019

        Robinson+Cole Receives the Diana Kleefeld Pro Bono Award from Connecticut Appleseed

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      • August 15, 2019

        57 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

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      • November 12, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Staff Named to CCADV’s First 100 Plus Class of 2018

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      • August 13, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Presents Annual Awards for Outstanding Contributions

      • December 11, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners

      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • October 8, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Welcomes 10 New Lawyers

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    • Newsletters


      Clarity Comes to Compensation Data Collection: EEOC Guidance and Notices Issued for EEO-1 Filers, co-authored with Abby M. Warren and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson (7/11/2019)

      Major Shift in Connecticut’s Leave Landscape: What Employers Need to Know About the New Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, co-authored with Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Alexander Friedman and Abby M. Warren (July 2019)