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
Associate Chicago
Partner Cincinnati
Partner Cleveland
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Cleveland
Partner Los Angeles
Counsel Denver
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Orlando
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Philadelphia
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

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
Recent Decisions Don't Provide Useful Guidance on Tests for the FAA Exemption of Transportation Workers
By John B. Lewis
April 29, 2019
Sometimes being right is not a virtue, especially when it comes to the Federal Arbitration Act § 1 exemption. We predicted uncertainty after the New Prime v. Oliveira decision and got it. See our Jan. 17, 2019, blog post on the exemption...
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Employment Class Action Blog
SCOTUS Reverses Ninth Circuit on Proper Bases for Class Arbitrations
By John B. Lewis
April 25, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that arbitration agreements must provide a “contractual basis for concluding that the part[ies] agreed to [class arbitration].” Reversing the Ninth Circuit, Chief Justice John Roberts found...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Illinois District Court Decertifies Equal Pay Act Collective Class Involving Physicians
By Gregory V. Mersol
April 24, 2019
Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the provision that requires those participating in a federal claim for minimum wages or overtime to opt in to the class, making Rule 23 inapplicable. The same enforcement applies to...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Missouri District Court Decertifies FLSA Class of IT Workers
By Gregory V. Mersol
April 23, 2019
We’ve noted before that while conditional certification motions are often granted, such classes fare far less well at the second decertification stage and just as poorly on the eve of trial. See: “Ninth Circuit Affirms Decertification of...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Illinois District Court Stays Conditional Certification Order Pending Appeal on Arbitrability Issues
By Gregory V. Mersol
April 10, 2019
More games of cat and mouse Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1632 (2018), plaintiffs have tried to come up with strategies to address the impact of arbitration agreements in class and...
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