Melissa A. Siebert

Partner

Chicago
T +1.312.416.6212
F +1.312.416.6242

Overview

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.

Recognitions and Memberships

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
DOL Overtime Regulations: The End of an Era
September 6, 2017
At least once a week we get a call from a client inquiring about the status of the new salary threshold overtime regulations. We have an update, and the news is good for employers! By way of background, on May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Second Circuit Lowers Causation Standard for Employees Alleging FMLA Violations
July 26, 2017
Last week, the Second Circuit joined the Third Circuit in lowering the causation standard in evaluating alleged Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations against employers. Under a lower “motivating factor” standard established in...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Employee Can Pursue State Law Disability Discrimination Claim for Failure to Accommodate Off-Duty Use of Medical Marijuana
July 23, 2017
On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court concluded that an employee could sue her employers for state law disability discrimination for failing to accommodate her use of medical marijuana after she failed to pass a drug...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Update Regarding New York’s Paid Family Leave Law (Effective Jan. 1, 2018)
July 10, 2017
As we reported previously to New York recently joined several other states that offer paid family leave benefits for employees. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the New York Paid Family Leave Law (PFLL) will provide eligible employees with eight...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Hope for Employers on the Wage and Hour Front: The Department of Labor Brings Back Opinion Letters
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
June 29, 2017
Given the exponential uptick in wage and hour lawsuits during the Obama administration and the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) continuing aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws, many employers have felt the risk of a...
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