Melissa A. Siebert

Partner

Chicago
T +1 312.416.6212  |  F +1 312.416.6242

Melissa Siebert concentrates her practice in employment litigation, class and collective action litigation, and employment law counseling. Melissa's combined legal and human resources/business experience allows her to provide effective and efficient counsel on a variety of strategic and day-to-day issues, including the interaction between the FMLA, ADA and workers' compensation; restrictive covenants; company-wide policy creation and implementation; employee investigations; discipline and termination; and employment agreements. She also has substantial experience representing employers in labor matters, both as in-house and outside counsel. Melissa focuses on class and collective action litigation, representing employers involved in significant EEOC "pattern and practice" investigations/lawsuits, and putative class/collective actions under the FLSA, the FCRA and state laws.

Select Experience

  • Obtained a nuisance value settlement with named plaintiff and putative class members in a nationwide wage and hour collective action in which remote workers contended they were required to perform off-the-clock work, after judge voiced concerns with the adequacy of the class representative during discovery.
  • Representing a national banking association in nationwide collective wage and hour action and state law class action claims alleging misclassification of loan officers.
  • Successfully represented several national employers in "pattern and practice" investigations before the EEOC alleging racial discrimination due to claimed disparate impact of post-offer background screening. Findings were issued in employers' favor without conciliation or litigation.
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Experience

  • Obtained a nuisance value settlement with named plaintiff and putative class members in a nationwide wage and hour collective action in which remote workers contended they were required to perform off-the-clock work, after judge voiced concerns with the adequacy of the class representative during discovery.
  • Representing a national banking association in nationwide collective wage and hour action and state law class action claims alleging misclassification of loan officers.
  • Successfully represented several national employers in "pattern and practice" investigations before the EEOC alleging racial discrimination due to claimed disparate impact of post-offer background screening. Findings were issued in employers' favor without conciliation or litigation.
  • Successfully defended a federal court FLSA collective action lawsuit involving the employer's call center by implementing tender strategy, resulting in dismissal of the entire lawsuit, including putative plaintiffs' collective action claims, without payment of attorneys' fees.
  • Successfully challenged wage and hour collective action in Florida federal court brought on behalf of custom brokerage agents. Asserted claims under the Florida Civil Theft Act and obtained settlement and dismissal of entire the collective action for a nominal amount.
  • Obtained dismissal of two state court lawsuits alleging retaliatory discharge (Indiana and Florida), and transferred and settled at a low nuisance value amount one federal court retaliatory discharge lawsuit (Kansas), through the use of a forum selection agreement contained in preemployment application documents.
  • Settled a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging an employer's use of preemployment background screens under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for a nominal amount.

Services

Prior Positions

  • Tribune Company: In-House Labor and Employment Counsel
  • Human Resources Director and Acting Vice President of Human Resources for multiple entities

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Illinois

Education

  • M.B.A., Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, 2000
  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1992
  • B.A., Bucknell University, 1989

Languages

  • Spanish

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Law Spotlight
New York Appellate Court Declines to Enforce Noncompetes Against Employees Terminated Without Cause
February 14, 2017
A recent decision by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Department, Buchanan Capital Markets, LLC v. DeLucca, 144 A.D.3d 508 (1st Dep’t. 2016), suggests that noncompetition restrictions against employees who have...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Joint Employment Update: What’s The Status of Browning-Ferris and the NLRB?
By Todd H. Lebowitz
January 30, 2017
In August 2015, the NLRB rewrote the book on joint employment, declaring in the Browning-Ferris case that the right to exercise minimal control, even if not actually exercised, was enough to create a joint employment relationship. (Read...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Probationary Periods: A Window Worth Closing
January 10, 2017
Probationary periods are a tool long used to test the viability of job candidates. They can provide a window into an employee’s suitability and qualifications for a position. In an economy that continues to have high unemployment, recent...
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Employment Law Spotlight
New Year, New Minimum Wage (Orders) in New York
January 3, 2017
As most employers are likely aware, effective Dec. 31, 2016, new minimum wages went into effect in New York. The rates vary for employers, depending on size and location. For those who may have missed this change, the new minimum wages are...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Los Angeles Joins Ban the Box Movement
By Todd H. Lebowitz
December 27, 2016
Los Angeles has become the latest city to ban private employers from asking job applicants about their criminal histories before offering a job. With its , the city joins San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and about two dozen other cities...
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