Employment Class Actions

Overview

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 the recent Supreme Court decisions in the Dukes and Epic Systems cases have helped to level the playing field for employers, many lower courts remain sympathetic to class action claimants and the plaintiffs’ bar is continuing to try new counterstrategies. We work closely with clients both in the giving of advice and in the management of on-going litigation to address both current and future class action challenges.

Select Experience

Our recent employment class action litigation successes include the following:

  • We obtained a reversal of a years-old class action claim involving entitlement to retiree health insurance coverage before the United States Supreme Court.
  • We obtained a dismissal of putative nationwide wage and hour claims on personal jurisdiction grounds.
  • We have designed and defended arbitration programs with class action waivers for many employers.
  • We have successfully used both time studies and statistical analysis either to avoid class certification or to reduce class and claim size in settlement.
  • We believe in early case evaluation to streamline case management, reduce cost, and to identify candidates for potential early settlements.
  • We have defended claims arising out of the application of section 7(i) of the Fair Labor Standards Act for retail commissioned salespeople, including in arbitration.
  • We have successfully handled numerous class actions for alleged state and federal wage and hour violations regarding piece work arrangements.
  • We have advised and defended employers in controversies regarding bonus programs and their effect on calculation of the regular rate for overtime purposes.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Orlando
Partner Atlanta
Partner Cleveland
Associate Denver
Partner Cleveland
Associate Chicago
Associate Cleveland
Partner Chicago
Associate Chicago
Partner Cleveland
Associate Los Angeles
Associate Orlando
Partner Cincinnati
Partner Cleveland
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Cleveland
Associate Atlanta
Partner Los Angeles
Counsel Denver
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Orlando
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Philadelphia
Associate Los Angeles
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Cleveland

Experience

  • We have defended countless employers on a wide range of wage and hour disputes arising out of alleged “off-the-clock”, “donning and doffing”, and “boot up and boot down” time.
  • We successfully moved to decertify a collective class of over 1,000 work-at-home employees.
  • We have handled numerous cases involving the application to “auto-deduct” policies across a wide variety of industries.
  • 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.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment
    • Florida (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 2
    • Ohio (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 1
    • Texas (2014 to 2018)
    • Recognized Practitioner in California (2018)
    • Recognized Practitioner in the District of Columbia (2018)
  • The Legal 500 United States:
    • Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense, Tier 4 (2018)
    • Labor and Employment - Labor-Management Relations, Tier 3 (2018)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" (2017)
    • Litigation - Labor & Employment: National Tier 1
  • 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.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

News

News

Press Releases

Publications

Alerts

Articles

Blog Posts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Third Circuit Affirms $4.5 Million Verdict in Favor of Exotic Dancers
By Gregory V. Mersol
September 18, 2019
A significant amount of wage and hour class/collective jurisprudence has developed around the issue of whether exotic dancers are employees or independent contractors. We’ve blogged many of these issues in the past [June 6, 2019, August...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Third Circuit Opinion Involving Uber Only Adds More Questions to the Dispute Over the Scope of the FAA Section 1 Residual Clause
By John B. Lewis
September 13, 2019
Recent decisions have cast doubt on the enforcement of arbitration clauses in the context of the interstate transportation of goods, but will those limitations extend to the transportation of passengers? And what if the movement does not...
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Employment Class Action Blog
CA Supreme Court Rules That Employees Cannot Recover Unpaid Wages Through PAGA
By Joseph S. Persoff
September 12, 2019
California’s Supreme Court has cut off an area of significant potential exposure for California employers by ruling that employees cannot recover unpaid wages on behalf of themselves and other aggrieved employees through California’s...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Ninth Circuit Reverses Itself and Finds That at Least Some ERISA Claims Can Be Compelled to Arbitration
By Gregory V. Mersol
August 23, 2019
But Do You Really Want To In All Cases? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) was the largest statute ever passed by Congress at the time it was enacted and has only grown further since then. In the 44 years that...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Tennessee District Court Refuses Conditional Certification of Class of Assistant Managers
By Gregory V. Mersol
August 21, 2019
In collective actions under the FLSA, courts typically apply a lower standard to the first “conditional certification” stage. In some cases, that might be warranted, but in many instances courts will undertake an unduly lenient review and...
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