We have one of the nation’s premier wage and hour class action practices, with a proven track record of successfully defending employers in hundreds of national and state class, collective, representative and multi-plaintiff actions in jurisdictions across the country.
Capitalizing on our experience and knowledge, we have a long record of defeating class and collective certification attempts, prevailing on dispositive motions, compelling matters to arbitration on an individual basis, reaching early modest settlements and/or winning at trial.
Our team has handled Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions and Rule 23 and state law class actions on issues ranging from overtime or independent contractor classifications, unpaid minimum wage and overtime claims, fluctuating work weeks, off-the-clock time and other pay practices. We are well-versed in defending employers in various types of multi-plaintiff actions, including hybrid actions which require reconciliation of state and federal claims and/or “opt-out” and “opt-in” putative classes.
We get successful results for our clients by taking a strategic approach that includes:
- Developing a litigation plan at the outset of the case that maps out our strategy – whether it’s defeating certification, prevailing at trial or negotiating an advantageous early settlement – for meeting our client’s business and legal objectives.
- Creating a cohesive team, with lawyers trained at all levels to work together strategically to advance the litigation plan and the client’s objectives in the most cost-effective manner.
- Having a thorough, cutting-edge knowledge of federal, state and local wage and hour laws and regulations.
- Knowing the key players in the area, including plaintiffs’ counsel, the judges and mediators, and understanding how to apply that knowledge to our clients’ advantage.
- Creating and monitoring a litigation budget and fee arrangement that allows for efficient and effective case management, without ever compromising client results.
- Taking advantage of our full-service firm resources to the extent that there are any cross-over issues during the course of litigation and drawing on our firm’s many industry-specific teams for assistance with unique case attributes.
- Using state-of-the-art technology that allows us and our clients to organize large volumes of documents and data, and provide easy access to briefs, research and other legal resources.
- Designing cost-efficient ways of gathering evidence to narrow the scope of a putative class, defeat class and/or collective action certification, or to undercut plaintiffs’ arguments at mediation, including through targeted declaration-gathering campaigns, depositions, and/or written discovery.
We have defended more than 100 wage and hour class and collective actions. Some of our recent successes on behalf of our clients include:
- Won a motion to strike class claims and defeated conditional certification of a majority of a proposed collective action by hospital nursing employees such that only 15 potential class members out of more than 500 have opted into the case.
- Secured dismissal in two separate cases -- a national wage and hour collective action/state class/PAGA action hybrid and a state wage and hour class/PAGA action – against a major national retailer, ultimately resulting in the plaintiffs dropping both cases.
- Defended a national retailer in a collective action in which the plaintiff sought unpaid wages, liquidated damages, declaratory judgment, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of more than 625 similarly situated current and former employees. We successfully defeated the lead plaintiff’s motion for conditional class certification, prompting the individual plaintiffs to accept a settlement favorable to our client.
- Settled a putative Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action filed against a manufacturing and distribution company for an amount that was about 15-20 times less than the initial estimate of exposure by limiting the number of opt-in class members.
- Secured dismissal of an employment class action filed against a national clothing chain in which the plaintiff asserted wage and hour claims under the FLSA and New Jersey Wage and Hour Law.
- Achieved a stipulated dismissal of all six wage and hour causes of action in a statewide putative class and representative action pursuant to PAGA filed by a former employee of a national retailer.
- Limited the opt-in class from potentially hundreds to only 20 individuals in an FLSA lawsuit filed against a maintenance service.
- Defeated class certification on all but one minor cause of action in a putative class action against a national store merchandiser alleging claims for off-the-clock work, unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations and unreimbursed business expenses.
- Secured a favorable settlement prior to a certification determination in two related cases against a California athletic club, in which the plaintiffs sought to certify California-wide putative classes of “service providers” (including personal trainers) alleging a multitude of alleged wage and hour claims.
In addition to its depth of experience in the class and collective action space, our team is made up of outstanding employment litigators and trial lawyers with a deep and diverse range of litigation experience. This richness of litigation and trial experience allows our team to provide our clients with thoughtful, strategic advice in all phases of the case, always with our clients’ business objectives in mind.
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