Chair of the Firm’s Employment Law Department, John L. Shahdanian II  is recognized as an expert on a variety of employment & labor law topics, including discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, disability claims, whistleblowing, wage and hour, family leave, private-sector labor law, breach of contract and non-competition/restrictive covenant litigation.  He has successfully represented both public-sector and private clients, including corporate officers and high-level government officials, before federal and state courts, state administrative tribunals and in arbitration.  He also works with clients providing anti-discrimination/sensitivity training for supervisors and staff, drafting policies regarding discrimination and workplace practices and performing internal investigations. 

In addition to his active employment practice, John also serves as Borough Attorney for the Borough of Northvale and Township Attorney for the Township of Teaneck.  For both clients he is responsible for providing legal guidance to all municipal departments  and agencies.  He also assists and provides information to town residents and businesses within both municipalities on matters involving municipal legal issues.   John is also Labor Counsel to the Boroughs of Bergenfield, Dumont and New Milford and serves as Special Counsel to Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, the Bergen County Utilities Authority, the Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor and the Bergen County Technical and Special Services School Districts.

In 2008, the New Jersey Law Journal recognized John as one of the state’s 40 accomplished lawyers under the age of 40.  In addition, as a result of his accomplishments,  John has been selected, since 2009, by New Jersey Monthly Magazine as a Super Lawyer®, making him one of the top five percent of lawyers in the state.  He previously was named (2006-2008) to the list of Rising Stars by the magazine in the area of Labor and Employment Law, an honor bestowed on outstanding young lawyers.   John has also received the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability.  A Martindale-Hubbell AV rating is a significant accomplishment as it is the authoritative resource for information on the legal profession.  His expertise and achievements in employment law matters also earned John an invitation to serve as a master of the Sidney Reitman Employment Law American Inn of Court, the first such training organization devoted exclusively to labor and employment law advocacy from the perspectives of management, plaintiffs, unions and governmental agencies.

John has also been named by Best Lawyers in America®, since 2013, in the practice areas of, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management,  and Litigation – Labor and Employment.  The Best Lawyers in America® is the oldest peer review publication in the legal profession, covering 79 legal specialties and including attorneys in all 50 states. Lawyers are chosen for inclusion by other lawyers in their specialty and jurisdiction.

Most recently, John was selected to serve as one of only 42 Trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  John was sworn in to his term on February 10, 2017 and serves as the Trustee representing the NJSBA Labor and Employment Law Section.  The NJSBA trustees assist the Association with  carrying out its mission of service to our members and the public. NJSBA leaders are committed to enhancing the practice of law by serving as the voice of New Jersey attorneys, promoting access to the justice system and fairness in its administration, encouraging participation in voluntary pro bono activities and providing education to attorneys and the public.

John’s successes with employment matters include several significant New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division decisions, including briefing the matter of Gaines v. Bellino, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court established an affirmative defense for employers with a policy prohibiting discrimination and providing training to supervisors.  He successfully argued the New Jersey Tort Claims Act matter Velez v. City of Jersey City, where the New Jersey Supreme Court, for the first time, held that a plaintiff must provide a public entity with written notice of a claim, whether it is based on negligent or intentional conduct.  He obtained certification from the Court in the matter of Potente v. County of Hudson, where the plaintiff alleged an illegal termination based on handicap discrimination.  Most recently, John won the Appellate Division case of Redvanly v. Automated Data Processing, Inc., which set a new standard regarding the use of after-acquired evidence.

Following his service as Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas P. Olivieri, J.S.C., and the Honorable Barbara A. Curran, J.S.C., Hudson County, New Jersey for the 1997 to 1998 term, John joined Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo in 1998 becoming principal of the Firm in 2005.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, John is active in his hometown of Old Tappan, where he has served as a coach in baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and wrestling.  He was elected to the Old Tappan Board of Education in 2016 and, also currently serves on the Old Tappan Baseball and Softball Association Executive Board.

Lectures/Speaking Engagements

Hudson Inn of Court
“How to handle employee complaints”-April 2005

Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court
“How to Handle a Restrictive Covenant Case”-October 2005

National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
“Everything You Wanted to Know About Plaintiff’s Employment Law”  
Topic:  Handling a Sexual Harassment Case- April 8, 2006

New Jersey Institute For Continuing Legal Education (ICLE)
“CEPA Update 2007: The Basics and Things to Come”-June 26, 2007

Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court
“How to Take a Deposition in a Sexual Harassment Case”-April 2008