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
Eric L. Barnum Partner Atlanta
Gilbert P. Brosky Partner Cleveland
Todd A. Dawson Partner Cleveland
Bonnie Keane DelGobbo Associate Chicago
Joel C. Griswold Partner Chicago
Julie Kwun Counsel Los Angeles
John B. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Vartan S. Madoyan Associate Los Angeles
Richard S. Mandelson Partner Denver
Meagan Martin Associate Orlando
John C. McIlwee Associate Chicago
M. Scott McIntyre Partner Cincinnati
Gregory V. Mersol Partner Cleveland
Ronald S. Okada Partner Chicago
Lisa H. Pennington Partner Houston
David A. Posner Partner Cleveland
Margaret Rosenthal Partner Los Angeles
Nathan A. Schacht Counsel 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
Christian R. White Counsel Philadelphia
Martin T. Wymer Partner Cleveland

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment
    • Florida (2007 to 2016)
    • Ohio: Band 1 (2007 to 2016)
    • Texas (2014 to 2016)
  • The Legal 500 United States: Labor and employment: Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense (2016)
  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)
  • 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.

News

Press Releases

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Proposed Legislation That Could Impact Class Action Litigation and Arbitration – The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 and the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017
March 16, 2017
Two new pieces of proposed legislation could, if passed, change the architecture and requirements of class actions and outlaw mandatory arbitration clauses in employment and consumer contracts. But neither is a sure thing. Vocal critics as...
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Employment Law Spotlight
A Shift Toward Employers?
March 9, 2017
As most employers are now aware, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB, or the “Board”) in recent years has adopted more restrictive, non-employer-friendly approaches to what it will permit in workplace policies. These rules have been...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Arbitrating PAGA Claims: The Ninth Circuit Compels It in the Valdez Case
March 8, 2017
So much case law has come down in the past several years regarding California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) – and its ability to withstand class and representative action waivers – that observers might have overestimated PAGA’s...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Decertifies Class Challenging Timekeeping Practices
February 27, 2017
Yogi Berra often has been quoted for the phrase “It ain’t over till it’s over,” and Lenny Kravitz even made a hit song of it in 1991. While no one will likely ever make a popular song out of Rule 23, the phrase applies just as well to...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Court Dismisses Disparate Impact Class Claims Due to Limited EEOC Charge
February 22, 2017
Disparate impact cases are different in kind from the far more common disparate treatment claims that are the staple of single-plaintiff discrimination cases. Disparate treatment claims, of course, are ones in which an employee contends...
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