Ben is a partner in the Princeton office and has nearly two decades of experience in labor and employment law. Ben’s vision is simple: he helps his clients achieve their business goals by minimizing their legal issues in the workplace. He does this by being a problem solver, trusted advisor, risk manager, and business partner to his clients. Ben thrives on helping his clients with their “people problems,” and he works tirelessly to ensure his clients’ compliance with the ever-changing minefield of labor and employment law.
Ben concentrates his practice in all aspects of labor management and employee relations. This includes but is not limited to HR consulting (from onboarding to termination and everything in between), representing clients in litigation and agency proceedings, conducting workplace investigations, and helping his clients protect their intellectual property and trade secrets.
Ben’s experience in employment counseling runs the gamut; Ben regularly assists his clients with disciplinary matters, employee leaves of absence and pregnancy/disability accommodation, wage and hour law concerns, resolving internal grievances, implementing workplace policies and procedures, maintaining workplace safety, executing reductions in force, and conducting harassment avoidance training. Ben prides himself on ensuring his clients are compliant with applicable state and federal employment laws (i.e., Title VII, the FMLA, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, Equal Pay Act, WARN Act, etc.) and helping his clients mitigate their exposure to liability under those laws.
Ben also has many years of experience in employment litigation, frequently defending clients in lawsuits including wrongful termination, employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, violations of leave laws, and other business torts. He represents clients through all phases of litigation in federal and state courts, administrative proceedings before the EEOC, and arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (AAA), and JAMS. In addition, Ben has substantial expertise representing clients in complex litigation involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants and the protection of trade secrets and confidential information.
Ben offers a multitude of services to his clients, including:
- Providing day-to-day advice on human resource and legal needs
- Assisting clients in formulating and implementing efficient workplace policies and processes
- Drafting employee handbooks, employment agreements, HR forms, and separation agreements
- Providing training on harassment and discrimination prevention in the workplace
- Helping clients navigate challenging personnel issues (such as ADA accommodations, FMLA leave, disciplinary actions, and termination)
- Conducting audits on pay equality and employee classifications
- Guiding his clients through collective labor negotiations
- Investigating workplace complaints, drafting investigation reports, and providing advice on appropriate corrective/remedial action
- Partnering with HR and IT departments to ensure employee health and other sensitive information is properly safeguarded, and that proprietary employer data and information is duly protected.
- Defending against and counseling clients through ADA Title III public accommodation and website accessibility lawsuits
Ben serves clients across many industries, including some of the most highly regulated industries like healthcare, pharma, banking, financial services, and the investment advisory industry. But Ben also works with and represents the interests of many non-profit organizations and small business owners, and he often serves as outside general counsel for his clients that are closely held, not-for-profit, and emerging companies. Knowing there is no one-size-fits-all approach to practicing law, Ben customizes his approach to appropriately meet his client’s needs.
In addition to the foregoing, Ben has significant experience litigating contract, securities, and other business disputes.
Honors & Recognitions
- 2018 Forty Under 40 Award issued by NJBiz
- New Jersey Law Journal/New Jersey State Bar Association “New Leader of the Bar” (2014)
Professional & Civic Associations
- American Bar Association - Labor & Employment Law Section
- New Jersey State Bar Association - Labor & Employment Law Section
- Mercer County Bar Association
- Hopewell Valley Baseball & Softball Association, Board Member
When he’s not practicing law, Ben can be found out for a jog, coaching youth baseball, chasing after his three kids, and cheering on his Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Clem v. Case Pork Roll Co., 15-cv-6809 (FLW), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 554, 2017 WL 39559 (D.N.J. Jan. 4, 2017)
- Warner Technology & Investment Corp. v. Hou, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178664 (D.N.J., Dec. 31, 2014)
- Bibbo v. Engineered Energy Solutions, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172165 (D.N.J., Dec. 12, 2014)
- In re Tsymbal, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98573 (D.N.J., Jul. 16, 2012)
- Derbin v. Access Wealth Management, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115992 (D.N.J., Oct. 7, 2011)
- Ebner v. Financial Architects, Inc., 763 F. Supp. 2d 697 (D. Del. 2011)
- New Jersey Tpk. Auth. v. Witt, 2010 WL 2795077 (App. Div. July 15, 2010), certif. denied, 205 N.J. 14, 11 A.3d 373 (2010).
- Michael Williams Consulting, LLC v. Wyckoff Heights Med. Ctr, 2010 WL 2674425 (D.N.J. June 30, 2010)
- Gammal-Levy, LLC v. Coastal Community Bank, 2009 WL 3129960 (D.N.J. Sept. 28, 2009)
- SoftwareArt Corp. v. Gopalakrishnan, 2008 WL 2876395 (D.N.J. July 22, 2008)
- Connelly v. PNC Bank, N.A., 2008 WL 2167831 (App. Div. May 27, 2008)
- Home Mark Homes, Inc. v. Huddy, 2008 WL 918504 (App. Div. April 7, 2008)
- Colonial Cadillac/Hyundai v. Townsend, 2008 WL 706701 (App. Div. March 18, 2008)
- Prudential Ins. Co. v. Figueredo, 2007 WL 2752093 (D.N.J. Sept. 20, 2007)
News & Analysis
Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications
- Quoted, Social Studies: Both Employers and Would-Be Employees are Wise to Reexamine Their Online Presence Experts Say, ROI-NJ.com, Jan. 25, 2023.
- Co-Author, Vax or test: OSHA mandate and its judicial challenges. Asbury Park Press. December 5, 2021.
- Ask the Experts: Understanding a COVID-Era Workplace. Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce. April 26, 2021.
- Featured, Pfizer vaccine gets full FDA approval. Will more people get vaccinated?. New Jersey Spotlight News. August 23, 2021.
- Ask the Experts: Stay in Business During the Delta Variant. Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce. August 16, 2021.
- Quoted, Benjamin E. Widener on Gov. Cuomo Resignation. Insider NJ, Patch.com – Princeton, Patch.com – Albany, NY, & HR.com. August 11, 2021.
- Featured, Mandating COVID-19 vaccines for workers? Employers weigh their options. NJ Spotlight News. August 3, 2021.
- Quoted, Lawyers: ‘False Sense of Liberation’ at Home Fuels Spike in Workplace Sexual Harassment. New Jersey Law Journal. March 15, 2021.
- Featured, Condo Co. Can’t Beat Order To Rehire Mobile Gamer. Law360. February 24, 2021.
- Featured, D&I in the Workplace: A Legal Perspective, American Management Association Quarterly. Fall 2020 Issue.
- Quoted, Revised FFCRA Regulations May Prompt Policy Updates, SHRM. October 5, 2020.
- Quoted, ‘Families First’ Law Gets Test in Lawsuit Over Paid Leave for COVID-19 Self-Quarantine. New Jersey Law Journal. May 22, 2020.
- Quoted, Practicing Social Distancing in the Practice and More. PhysiciansPractice.com. April 1, 2020.
- Interviewed, Will New Jersey Take Away the Freedom to Freelance? U.S.1. December 11, 2019.
- Quoted, Compensation Equation Gets More Complicated. New Jersey Business. September 13, 2018.
- Quoted, White House Recordings Put Focus on Workplace Policies, But Not Everyone’s a Fan. New Jersey Law Journal. September 3, 2018.
- Opioid Accommodation: Overview, Case Study, & Recommendations. New Jersey Law Journal. August 10, 2018.
- Opioids, Employees and Accommodations: an Employer’s Primer on Confronting the Crisis. NJ.com. February 1, 2018.
- Can One Incident Create a Hostile Work Environment? NJ.com. October 9, 2017.
- The Uber Experience: What Every Employer Can Learn from Uber. NJ.com. June 27, 2017.
- What to Do About Overtime Pay and the Injunction of the Federal Overtime Rule. NJ.com. December 16, 2016.
- Quoted, The Practicalities of Compiling Separation Agreements.
Society for Human Resource Management. November 17, 2016.
- Quoted, Discrimination Ruling in Raymours Seen as Having Strong Ripple Effect. New Jersey Law Journal. June 27, 2016.
- Quoted, Reduce Security Risks of Personal Tech in the Workplace. MidJersey Business. June 2016.
- March Madness and the Office Pool: A Tip Sheet for Employers. NJ.com. March 18, 2016.
- Quoted, Ruling May Force Employers to Rethink Their Arbitration Clauses. New Jersey Law Journal. January 15, 2016.
- Author, The Importance of an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy in the Workplace. NJ.com. October 1, 2015.
- Featured, Medical Marijuana a Hazy Issue for NJ Employers. New Jersey Law Journal. September 4, 2015.
- Co-Author, The Final Pretrial Order—Case Law and Consequences. New Jersey Lawyer. August 2015.
- Co-Author, Compassion in the Workplace. New Jersey Law Journal. July 28, 2015.
- Featured, Ben Widener Emblematic of Firm’s Dedication to Excellence. NJBIZ Business Profiles. July 2015.
- Two Important New Developments in NJ Employment Law. U.S.1. March 11, 2015.
- Employer Guidelines for a Happy Holiday Season. U.S.1. December 3, 2014.
- Interviewed. Are Employee Benefits Making a Comeback? New Jersey Business. August 2014.
- Trade Secrets Act: How Employers Can Protect the Tricks of Their Trade. U.S.1. March 5, 2014.
- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Employment Policy Formulation and Advice
- Sexual Harassment Investigations and Defense
- The Honorable Howell Cobb, Senior District Court Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, 2004-2005
- The Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr., United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2003 (Judicial Externship)
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
- J.D., 2004
- CALI Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy
The Ohio State University
- B.A., 2001
Bar & Court Admissions
- New Jersey, 2006
- Pennsylvania, 2006
- Ohio, 2004
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania