Employment Class Actions

BakerHostetler's Employment Class Actions team combines expertise and specific experience of an employment litigation boutique with the depth and resources of a national firm that handles class action matters of every size and description.

Our Employment Class Actions team handles matters in a wide variety of industries, involving numerous state and federal statutes and myriad issues. Our depth of experience includes wage-and-hour litigation, claims of sex, race, age, and disability discrimination, and as claims for benefits under ERISA, Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act and state common law. We also litigate wage-and-hour matters extensively in California, where the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) has encouraged a plethora of employee lawsuits, and have addressed a wide range of California state law claims involving overtime, pay statements, meal and rest periods, waiting time penalties, and other issues.

We believe that every class action is different. We approach every case as a unique challenge, working with the client to craft and execute strategies that address the case’s unique features and that meet the company’s broader business needs. In class action litigation, we draw on BakerHostetler's resources in electronic discovery, database construction and analysis, and technical ability to interact with clients' HR and other relevant electronic systems.

We understand the array of risks clients face when confronted with employment class actions, from substantial liability to sensitive publicity and potential damage to employee relations.

Our ongoing engagement in high-stakes employment class litigation has put us on the cutting edge of evolving strategies in class action defense. Our analytic grasp of emerging issues is evident in our well-regarded Employment Class Action Blog.

While recent Supreme Court decisions in the Dukes, Comcast, and American Express cases have on balance favored employers, we anticipate new challenges as the plaintiff's bar adapts and develops new strategies. We also anticipate opportunities to extrapolate from those decisions and extend them to wage-and-hour litigation.

Select Experience

Our recent employment class action litigation successes include the following:

  • We successfully opposed certification of a class of truck terminal supervisors claiming that they were misclassified as exempt for overtime purposes.
  • We tried and won a class action case involving alleged entitlement to retiree health insurance benefits following a plant closing, and defended the defense judgment on appeal.
  • We successfully represented a construction company and their subcontractors in a unique Fair Labor Standards Act and prevailing wage case in a Miami federal court. The matter received national press attention due to our strategy to move to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction because the defendant paid in excess of the federal minimum wage.

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Joyce Ackerbaum Cox Partner Orlando
Michelle B. Anselmo Partner Cleveland
Gilbert P. Brosky Partner Cleveland
Ethan D. Carlyle Associate Houston
Todd A. Dawson Partner Cleveland
Tracey L. Ellerson Partner Orlando
Joel C. Griswold Partner Chicago
John B. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Vartan S. Madoyan Associate Los Angeles
Richard S. Mandelson Partner Denver
John C. McIlwee Associate Chicago
M. Scott McIntyre Partner Cincinnati
Gregory V. Mersol Partner Cleveland
Ronald S. Okada Partner Chicago
Michelle D. Pector Partner Houston
Lisa H. Pennington Partner Houston
David A. Posner Partner Cleveland
Margaret Rosenthal Partner Los Angeles
Nathan A. Schacht Associate Denver
Sabrina L. Shadi Partner Los Angeles
Kevin W. Shaughnessy Partner Orlando
Melissa A. Siebert Partner Chicago
Amy J. Traub Partner New York
Jeffrey R. Vlasek Partner Cleveland
Leah A. Williams Counsel Cleveland
Martin T. Wymer Partner Cleveland

Recognition

  • Chambers USA 2014
    • Employment practice among the leading practices in Florida, Ohio, and Texas.
    • Thirteen partners ranked in Florida, New York, Ohio, and Texas offices.
  • “Best Law Firms” 2014: National Tier 1 Ranking in the area of Employment Law - Management from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2014: Twenty-two partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in  in various employment-related fields.
  • Corporate Counsel® and The American Lawyer magazines "Go-to Law Firm” for Labor & Employment by general counsel (2013) 
  • Workforce Management Magazine: Top Employment Law Firms
  • The Lawdragon/Human Resource Executive list of the Nation's Top Employment Attorneys includes three members of the team in their Top 100 list, with one additional attorney named among the nation's top 20 labor lawyers.
  • Florida Trend's “Legal Elite"
  • Numerous partners have been certified as employment law specialists by their respective state bar associations.

News

Press Releases

Alerts

Articles

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena
January 28, 2015
On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was entitled to...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Layoffs in the Energy Sector – Are Employers Prepared?
January 22, 2015
Over the past few weeks, the media has focused intently on the oil and gas industry’s extensive layoffs. Well known energy companies have made front-page news with their announcements of their significant layoffs that have often resulted...
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Employment Class Action Blog
The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Iskanian only hardens the federal-state divide over PAGA claims
January 21, 2015
The divide continues between California and federal law on whether an arbitration agreement can entirely waive an employee’s ability to seek classwide or multiparty representational relief. The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied certiorari in...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Employees can have their transfer and sue you too!
January 21, 2015
A recent court decision allows employees who request a lateral transfer to later change their minds and sue for discrimination based on the very transfer they sought. So an employer’s claim that it merely gave the employee what he or she...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Latest Scoop From New Jersey on Independent Contractor Misclassification May Cause Employers Brain Freeze
By Todd H. Lebowitz
January 20, 2015
An ice cream parlor in Dania Beach, Florida, features The Original Kitchen Sink Sundae, which contains up to 30 scoops, plus chocolate syrup, marshmallows, nuts, whipped cream, and a variety of berries.  Customers can choose from any of...
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