Employment Litigation and Arbitration

Overview

We are strategists, not cookie-cutter litigators. In every litigation we defend, we truly partner with our clients to weigh options and balance risks, with an eye toward cost-effectively achieving the employers’ short- and long-term goals – because employment lawsuits impact every aspect of a business.

The increasingly complex landscape of federal, state and local employment laws can be a minefield for employers. With almost 100 employment attorneys admitted in more than two dozen jurisdictions across the country, our team is prepared to address nearly any employment-related issue. Because our litigators also have extensive experience in counseling businesses, we work with employers to help keep them out of court in the first place. But when an administrative charge or lawsuit is filed, retaining BakerHostetler signals to the other side that you mean business. They know that we will not hesitate to use our litigation experience to convey the strength of your case in order to either effectuate an expedient settlement or defeat them in court.

From the outset, we partner with employers to conduct an early case assessment and determine their goals for litigation, advising them of the risks and rewards of litigation, including the potential benefits of alternative dispute resolution; in fact, several of our lawyers serve as mediators and arbitrators and are familiar with both sides of the table. Our close, and early, consultative approach enables clients to weigh whether and when the costs and risks of litigation – including reputational risk – are worth bearing, even when the case is winnable. Although we try a large number of cases every year, the majority of our cases are won at the summary judgment stage, settled early in a client’s best interests or resolved cost-effectively in alternative dispute resolution.

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Our team has a proven record, with more than a dozen successful cases tried to verdict during the past year alone. We are veterans at defending complex multiparty employment disputes, class actions, government suits and individual private-plaintiff actions in state and federal courts and agencies nationwide. When nonemployment claims are included, we also work closely with our colleagues in other BakerHostetler practice groups to provide comprehensive counsel and an integrated approach to support your goals.

How can we help?

With our depth of experience and number of litigators, we likely have seen every issue a plaintiff or agency may raise, and our attorneys are thoroughly proficient in matters involving:

  • Administrative charges in local, state and federal agencies.
  • Alternative dispute resolution (American Arbitration Association, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, mediation).
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Title III (structure and website accessibility).
  • Appellate practice.
  • Background checks and drug testing.
  • Class actions.
  • Discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
  • Employment Retirement Income Security Act and benefit plan litigation.
  • Immigration.
  • Leaves of absence.
  • Pay equity.
  • Unfair competition, restrictive covenants and trade secrets.
  • Wage and hour.
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and Mini-WARN.
  • Whistleblowing and retaliation.

Select Experience

  • Defended a health plan company in connection with a high‐profile enforcement action filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a class of former employees accusing the company of religious discrimination and harassment. After a trial of more than three weeks, our team successfully obtained favorable verdicts on the vast majority of the claims.
  • Represented a large national media company in a matter with alleged claims that ran the gamut from a hostile work environment, age discrimination, sex discrimination and pregnancy discrimination to failure-to-promote claims and retaliation. The case was tried over two weeks in federal court. Ultimately, the jury ruled in favor of our client on all the claims of race discrimination – the most significant claims in the lawsuit.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Orlando
Associate New York
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Columbus
Partner Atlanta
Associate Los Angeles
Associate Chicago
Partner Cleveland
Associate Denver
Associate Houston
Associate Columbus
Partner Los Angeles
Associate Orlando
Partner Cleveland
Partner Atlanta
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Columbus
Associate Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Partner Columbus
Partner Los Angeles
Counsel New York
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate Atlanta
Partner New York
Associate Columbus
Associate Los Angeles
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate Columbus
Associate Atlanta
Associate New York
Partner Columbus
Associate Los Angeles
Associate Orlando
Partner Atlanta
Counsel Columbus
Counsel Cincinnati
Partner Cincinnati
Partner Columbus
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Los Angeles
Associate Atlanta
Associate Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Counsel Orlando
Labor & Employment Attorney
Labor & Employment Attorney Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Chicago
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Partner Costa Mesa
Counsel Los Angeles
Associate Orlando
Associate Atlanta
Partner Cincinnati
Partner Cleveland
Partner Seattle
Partner Orlando
Partner Chicago
Associate Washington, D.C.
Associate Columbus
Associate Los Angeles
Associate Atlanta
Partner Columbus
Associate Atlanta
Partner New York
Partner Los Angeles
Associate Cincinnati
Associate Orlando
Partner Denver
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Orlando
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Orlando
Associate New York
Partner Houston
Partner Houston
Labor & Employment Attorney
Labor & Employment Attorney Columbus
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Of Counsel Houston
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Philadelphia
Partner Cleveland
Labor & Employment Attorney
Labor & Employment Attorney Columbus

Experience

  • Defended a health plan company in connection with a high‐profile enforcement action filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a class of former employees accusing the company of religious discrimination and harassment. After a trial of more than three weeks, our team successfully obtained favorable verdicts on the vast majority of the claims.
  • Represented a large national media company in a matter with alleged claims that ran the gamut from a hostile work environment, age discrimination, sex discrimination and pregnancy discrimination to failure-to-promote claims and retaliation. The case was tried over two weeks in federal court. Ultimately, the jury ruled in favor of our client on all the claims of race discrimination – the most significant claims in the lawsuit.
  • Obtained a full defense verdict in favor of a Massachusetts employer in federal district court against a former employee who asserted three distinct state law claims, each with three separate subparts, effectively forcing litigation over nine claims. The plaintiff’s claims, which included age discrimination and breach of contract, required the trial testimony of a number of high-level executives. By filing a motion for sanctions relating to the spoliation of evidence, we successfully obtained an adverse jury instruction against the plaintiff for her failure to mitigate her damages.
  • Were retained by an oilfield services company less than 60 days prior to trial in a suit against two former employees for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty for violating their noncompete, nondisclosure and non-solicitation obligations in their employment agreements. After reviewing hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, completing discovery, defending depositions, responding to dispositive motions, preparing pretrial materials and arguing at pretrial proceedings, we settled the matter favorably for our client.
  • Worked successfully with a client and the EEOC to negotiate a settlement in one of the first lawsuits in which the EEOC sought to apply Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination to claims of sexual orientation discrimination. The agreement specifically acknowledged the client’s forward-thinking policies and created an unprecedented partnership between the client and the EEOC to develop a training module on LGBTQ workplace issues that the EEOC could provide to employers throughout the United States.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Labor & Employment ‒ California (2017 to 2020)
    • Labor & Employment ‒ Florida (2007 to 2020)
    • Labor & Employment ‒ Ohio (2007 to 2020)
    • Labor & Employment ‒ Texas (2014 to 2020)
    • Labor & Employment ‒ Washington, D.C. (2017 to 2019)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Labor and Employment – Labor-Management Relations (2015 to 2019)
    • Labor and employment – Immigration (2017 to 2019)
    • Labor and employment – Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2015 to 2019)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"
    • Employment Law – Management: National (2011 to 2020); Cincinnati (2016 to 2020); Cleveland (2011 to 2020); Columbus (2011 to 2020); Denver (2012 to 2020); Houston (2011 to 2020); Los Angeles (2013 to 2020); Orlando (2011 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2014 to 2020)
    • Labor Law – Management: National (2012 to 2020); Cincinnati (2020); Cleveland (2011 to 2020); Columbus (2011 to 2020); Denver (2012 to 2018); Houston (2011 to 2020); Los Angeles (2017 to 2020); Orlando (2011 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2017 to 2020)
    • Litigation – Labor & Employment: National (2012 to 2020); Atlanta (2019 and 2020); Cincinnati (2020); Cleveland (2012 to 2020); Columbus (2015 to 2020); Denver (2012 to 2018); Houston (2014 to 2020); New York (2019 and 2020); Orlando (2012 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2015 to 2020)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Class Action Blog
The Fifth Circuit Again Considers the ‘Forby’ Case and When the Right To Arbitrate Is Waived Based on an Amended Complaint
October 8, 2021
By John B. Lewis As we have said in the past, determining when a party waives its right to arbitrate is never easy and the nuanced standards vary among the circuits. Now a case that has come to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth...
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Employment Law Spotlight
The Department of Labor's Latest Final Rule Publication Regulates Managers Who Receive Tips and Delineates Willful Violations of the FLSA
By David A. Grant, Caroline M. Landt
September 29, 2021
“Drip, drip, drip” is the best description of the Biden administration’s staggered attack on the 2020 Tip Final Rule through delays, withdrawals, amendments and notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The latest action by the Department of...
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Employment Law Spotlight
12 Quick Takeaways from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force's Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
By Marc A. Antonetti
September 27, 2021
On Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published its new guidance pursuant to the president’s recent executive order directing that all federal contractors’ employees be vaccinated. The detailed 14-page guidance...
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Employment Law Spotlight
UPDATE 2: Texas Legislature and Courts Clash With Cities Over Mandatory Sick Leave: What Employers Need to Know
November 26, 2019
This is an update to previous posts from June 24, 2019 and July 31, 2019. On Friday, November 22, Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai ordered that San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was scheduled to take effect December 1, be...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Ahead of 2020 Election, New York City Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin and Immigration Status Discrimination
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
October 21, 2019
Immigration has been at the forefront of news reports and court cases recently, and has already proven to be a hot button issue for the 2020 election candidates to debate. As we move closer to the election, such political conversation may...
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