Celena R. Mayo Partner




Celena Mayo has focused her practice in the employment and labor area throughout her legal career. Celena is co-chair of Wilson Elser’s Employment & Labor and Immigration practices and a member of the firm’s Cannabis Law, Latin America and e-Discovery practices. She also is an active member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Celena represents local, national and multinational clients in the business services, education and health care arenas regarding all aspects of employment disputes, including litigation related to discrimination claims, wage-and-hour matters, and other employment-related causes of action before state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitration panels. She also has experience with labor relations matters, including representation of employers before the National Labor Relations Board. In addition, Celena advises employers on all types of employment contracts and provides representation in related litigation.

A large portion of Celena’s practice is dedicated to providing day-to-day counseling to her clients as well as giving formal presentations to employers and their employees on best practices designed to resolve issues before a lawsuit is filed. She makes herself accessible to clients at all times and is open to any and all questions with the goal of avoiding costly litigation.

Areas of Focus

Employment & Labor Practice
Celena, co-chair of the firm’s Employment & Labor Practice, has devoted her career to representing management in employment cases. She has represented clients in matters brought under all federal and New York State antidiscrimination statutes, including Title VII, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, and 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 1983, as well as contract- and employment-related tort matters. In addition to her experience before federal and state trial and appellate courts, Celena has represented client interests in ADR proceedings, including arbitrations and mediations, and before administrative agencies such as the New York State Division of Human Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

In the wage-and-hour context, Celena has represented a diverse group of clients, including health care organizations, restaurants, security companies and theaters in collective and putative class action litigation. She also has assisted clients in resolving wage-and-hour complaints and audits before the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, Celena provides counseling on wage-and-hour best practices and compliance.

In the labor relations area, Celena has represented employers in diverse fields including higher education, manufacturing, and health care in unionizing drives, election disputes and unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board.

Immigration Practice
Celena co-chairs the firm’s Immigration Practice, focusing on business immigration needs. Celena’s Employment and Labor experience lends her a unique perspective on the needs of employers to maintain an agile approach to acquiring and maintaining a skilled workforce. In this regard she works with local and multinational clients in the business services, education and health care arenas, their legal departments, human resources and talent acquisition stakeholders to help them recruit and maintain cross-border talent.

Higher Education Practice
Celena represents educational institutions in a wide variety of employment and civil rights matters. She defends higher education institutions and other private schools in significant matters involving Title IX, harassment, employment discrimination, reasonable accommodation claims, tenure proceedings and wage-and-hour claims. She also handles employment and labor matters, including, among others, discrimination and disability accommodation disputes. Celena has a keen understanding of the unique challenges faced by institutions of higher education.