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
New NYC Law Requires Written Agreements for Solo Contractors, Even Nannies and Babysitters!
May 19, 2017
Do you have a nanny or a housekeeper? A regular babysitter? If so, pay attention. Anyone hiring a solo independent contractor in New York City will need to comply with the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which takes effect May 15, 2017. Anyone...
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Employment Law Spotlight
New York District Court Holds That Title VII Protects Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
May 16, 2017
Following the Supreme Court decision that same sex marriages are legal, there has been a movement to further expand rights and protections against sexual orientation bias. That trend is appearing in federal courts, where plaintiffs are...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Recent Developments in Transgender Issues
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
May 3, 2017
On February 22, 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded the Obama Administration’s guidance related to transgender students’ access to bathrooms and locker room facilities that align with their gender identity, which was discussed in our...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Employers Will No Longer Be Permitted to Ask About Previous Pay in New York City
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
April 16, 2017
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the New York City Council passed a law amending the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to add a protective class – salary history. The NYCHRL applies to all employers with four or more employees. The...
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Employment Law Spotlight
A Shift Toward Employers?
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
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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