Employment Class Actions

"For big and heavy class actions, this is the team to call."
– BakerHostetler client in Chambers USA

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
Damon M. Brown Staff Attorney Los Angeles
Ethan D. Carlyle Associate Houston
Tiffany L. Cummins Associate Orlando
Todd A. Dawson Partner Cleveland
Tracey L. Ellerson Partner Orlando
Joel C. Griswold Partner Chicago
Dawn Kennedy Associate Los Angeles
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
Stephen C. Sutton Partner Cleveland
Amy J. Traub Partner New York
Jeffrey R. Vlasek Associate Cleveland
Leah A. Williams Associate Cleveland
Martin T. Wymer Partner Cleveland

Recognition

  • Chambers USA 2014 ranks BakerHostetler’s Employment practice among the leading practices in Florida, Ohio, and Texas.
  • Chambers USA 2014 ranks 13 BakerHostetler Employment partners among our Florida, New York, Ohio, and Texas offices.
  • BakerHostetler received a 2014 “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 Ranking in the area of Employment Law - Management from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
  • Twenty-two partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 in various employment-related fields.
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.
  • 2013 “Go-To Law Firm” for Labor & Employment by general counsel featured in Corporate Counsel® and The American Lawyer magazines.
  • Ranked among the Top Employment Law firms by Workforce Management Magazine.
  • 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.
  • Employment lawyers have received special regional recognition in Florida Trend's “Legal Elite" publication.
  • Numerous partners have been certified as employment law specialists by their respective state bar associations.

News

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Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Law Spotlight
Joint Employment Finding Leads to Unexpected $3 Million Liability in Hospital Malpractice Case
July 25, 2014
When Washington Hospital obtained an insurance policy in 2003 to cover medical claims arising from acts by its employees, its insurer probably did not consider whether hospital employees included workers supplied by a staffing agency. It...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Illinois Joins Ban-The-Box States; New Jersey May Be Next
July 23, 2014
Illinois Criminal background questions on employment applications will no longer be permitted in Illinois, effective January 1, 2015. On July 19, Governor Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, making Illinois the...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Thirty Years of Law in Thirty-Some Pages: The EEOC’s New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination
July 22, 2014
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its “Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.” It was no minor undertaking. According to the EEOC’s Questions and Answers about the Guidance, it...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers
July 21, 2014
A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name, resulting in the...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Background Check Lawsuits: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another
July 15, 2014
As we previously have written, employer use of criminal records and background checks with respect to applicants and employees has been the subject of challenge on the grounds that such checks tend to discriminate against African-American...
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