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
Reminder: NJ Sick Leave Act Becomes Effective This Month
By Amanda Van Hoose Garofalo
October 22, 2018
Reminder – Earlier this year (as we reported in this post), the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (NJPSLA) was approved. The NJPSLA mandates that employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of...
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Employment Law Spotlight
State Court Asked to ‘Weigh In' on Whether Obesity Constitutes an Impairment Under Anti-Discrimination Law
By Jacob A. Bruner
October 16, 2018
On Sept. 17, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified to the Washington Supreme Court the question of whether obesity qualifies as an “impairment” and thus a “disability” under the state’s anti-discrimination law. The case...
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Employment Law Spotlight
Employers Speak Out on Proposed Changes to FLSA Overtime Rule
By Jacob A. Bruner, Nathan A. Schacht
October 10, 2018
On Sept. 14, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) conducted a fourth public listening session on proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption. The session was one of four public listening sessions offered by...
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Employment Law Spotlight
What Is the State of Joint Employment?
By Todd H. Lebowitz
October 7, 2018
Each January, the President gives a State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. Throughout the speech, as the President touts his agenda and vision, half the audience cheers wildly, while the other half makes frowny faces...
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Employment Class Action Blog
California District Court construes Illinois's statute more broadly than Illinois's own courts do
By Melissa A. Siebert
April 23, 2018
On April 16, 2018, the court in In Re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litigation, 3:15-cv-03747 (N.D. Cal.), certified class action claims under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). This lawsuit involves Facebook’s Tag...
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