Jennifer P. Richnafsky


Jen has a diverse background advising clients on labor and employment law and regulatory compliance matters and defending them in litigation. She counsels employers on a variety of employment-related issues, including coverage litigation related to the administration and compliance of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and any subsequent investigations by the Employment Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Jen also has experience in breach of contract matters, drafting employment agreements, and is versed in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Jen also has significant experience managing civil and commercial litigations and regulatory investigations in highly regulated sectors, including the retail and consumer financial services industries. She is skilled in conducting legal research, reviewing complex data, negotiating agreements, and planning litigation strategies.

Representative Experience

  • Led litigation efforts in an insurance coverage action based on the initial valuation and subsequent investigation of an ESOP conducted by the EBSA, in which the plaintiff insureds disputed the limit of liability applicable to a lawsuit that the United States Department of Labor brought against the insureds
  • Defended an operator of storage facilities against the United States Department of Labor’s claims that the relevant entity and its owner violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements. Negotiated a favorable settlement on the eve of trial
  • Acted as first-chair litigator for the insurer in a coverage arbitration arising from an ERISA class action, in which the insurer’s coverage defenses focused on a benefits due exclusion, as well as an exception to that exclusion related to personal obligations of natural person insureds
  • Managed litigation on behalf of a therapy services provider in a breach of contract, tortious interference and unfair competition dispute arising from a nursing home operator’s scheme to poach the client’s therapist employees and failure to pay outstanding invoices
  • Successfully defended a university administrator in an internal investigation and hearing arising from allegations of racial bias and disparate treatment
  • Represented the purchaser of a chemical manufacturing facility against claims that the purchaser was obligated to defend and indemnify the seller corporation in multiple litigations arising from alleged injuries caused by exposure to asbestos
  • Drafted employment agreements, non-competition agreements and website terms and conditions for a growing physical therapy practice
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration result for the owner of a psychotherapy practice against claims that the owner violated a non-competition agreement with her prior employer
  • Oversaw fact investigation and witness preparation and second-chaired the client’s primary witness interview in connection with DOJ and FSA investigations arising from the LIBOR price-fixing scandal
  • Drafted submissions and negotiated settlement agreements with the SEC for prospective SEC enforcement actions arising from alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
  • Scrutinized stock exchange rules, organized document productions and drafted discovery responses in a federal action concerning the trading ahead of securities on four major stock exchanges
  • Represented an interdealer broker in a New Jersey RICO action from the beginning of discovery through a four-month trial. Formulated and argued economic damage theories based on lost profits and decreased market capitalization
  • Managed document productions, prepared presentations and analyzed payment flows for an international technology company in connection with an FCPA investigation run by the SEC and DOJ

Licensed In

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York


  • J.D. Harvard Law School
  • MPhil University of Cambridge
  • B.A. Columbia University


  • Vice-Chair, Ethics Hearing Board for the City of Pittsburgh
  • Member of the 2020 Cohort of the Women’s Institute for Leadership in Law program co-sponsored by the Allegheny County Bar Association and Carnegie Mellon Executive Education

Related Services

Related News & Resources

Press Release
PITTSBURGH – Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is pleased to welcome Jennifer P. Richnafsky to its P...

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