People: Benjamin D. Briggs, Partner

Photo of Benjamin D. Briggs, Partner

Benjamin D. Briggs

Partner

Atlanta
Direct: (404) 885-6713
0

Mr. Briggs is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Practice Group.  His practice focuses on employment-related litigation and compliance counseling involving federal and state statutes that govern employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour issues, employee leave issues and workplace safety and health (OSHA).  In addition, Mr. Briggs represents and counsels clients in matters involving the protection of trade secrets and the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

Mr. Briggs has successfully represented employers from a wide-array of industries including staffing, building and consumer products, technology, retail, automotive, distribution, utilities, insurance services, construction and media in federal and state court litigation and administrative proceedings in jurisdictions across the U.S.  He has defended employers in single and multi-plaintiff cases involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliatory discharge, failure to accommodate and interference with protected rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and various other local, state and federal statutes.  His significant workplace safety and health practice includes contesting, litigating and negotiating favorable resolutions of federal and state OSHA citations, as well as representing employers in federal and state OSHA inspections arising from workplace fatalities and other catastrophes.  Mr. Briggs also represents employers in OSHA whistleblower retaliation cases.  In his wage and hour practice, Mr. Briggs has successfully represented employers in matters ranging from complex class and collective actions brought under federal and state wage-hour laws, to wage-hour audits conducted by federal and state agencies.  Mr. Briggs has also successfully represented clients in state and federal court litigation involving alleged violations of laws protecting trade secrets, the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants and related tort claims.

In addition to his representation of employers in litigation and administrative proceedings, Mr. Briggs devotes a considerable portion of his practice to advice and compliance counseling covering the full-range of labor and employment, trade secrets and restrictive covenant laws.  In this portion of his practice, Mr. Briggs’ guides employers through issues such as employee discipline and discharge, workforce reductions, workplace investigations, wage and hour compliance, employment policies and handbooks, employee leave issues, OSHA compliance and employment contract matters.  When not litigating and counseling clients, Mr. Briggs is a frequent lecturer on topics relating to his practice.

Mr. Briggs is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Practice Group.  His practice focuses on employment-related litigation and compliance counseling involving federal and state statutes that govern employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour issues, employee leave issues and workplace safety and health (OSHA).  In addition, Mr. Briggs represents and counsels clients in matters involving the protection of trade secrets and the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

Mr. Briggs has successfully represented employers from a wide-array of industries including staffing, building and consumer products, technology, retail, automotive, distribution, utilities, insurance services, construction and media in federal and state court litigation and administrative proceedings in jurisdictions across the U.S.  He has defended employers in single and multi-plaintiff cases involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliatory discharge, failure to accommodate and interference with protected rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and various other local, state and federal statutes.  His significant workplace safety and health practice includes contesting, litigating and negotiating favorable resolutions of federal and state OSHA citations, as well as representing employers in federal and state OSHA inspections arising from workplace fatalities and other catastrophes.  Mr. Briggs also represents employers in OSHA whistleblower retaliation cases.  In his wage and hour practice, Mr. Briggs has successfully represented employers in matters ranging from complex class and collective actions brought under federal and state wage-hour laws, to wage-hour audits conducted by federal and state agencies.  Mr. Briggs has also successfully represented clients in state and federal court litigation involving alleged violations of laws protecting trade secrets, the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants and related tort claims.

In addition to his representation of employers in litigation and administrative proceedings, Mr. Briggs devotes a considerable portion of his practice to advice and compliance counseling covering the full-range of labor and employment, trade secrets and restrictive covenant laws.  In this portion of his practice, Mr. Briggs’ guides employers through issues such as employee discipline and discharge, workforce reductions, workplace investigations, wage and hour compliance, employment policies and handbooks, employee leave issues, OSHA compliance and employment contract matters.  When not litigating and counseling clients, Mr. Briggs is a frequent lecturer on topics relating to his practice.

Education

  • J.D., Georgia State University College of Law (1999)
    with honors
    Member Law Review, Business Law Society
  • B.B.A., University of Miami (1990)

Admissions

  • Georgia

Courts

  • All Georgia State and Superior Courts
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

Affiliations

  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Georgia State University College of Law Alumni Council
  • March of Dimes Metro Atlanta Board of Directors (2010-2012)
  • State Bar of Georgia (Labor and Employment Section)
     

Representative Engagements

Select Complex Class and Collective Action Litigation Matters
  • Beecher, et al. v. Steak N Shake Operations, Inc., 1:11-cv-04102-ODE (N.D. Ga.) (defeated conditional certification on behalf of national restaurant chain in putative FLSA collective action in which plaintiffs alleged off-the-clock claims and sought to represent approximately 65,000 restaurant workers; served as lead counsel). 
  • Wright, et al. v. Randstad US, et al., 8:13-cv-00815 (C.D. Cal.) (successfully compelled arbitration of putative class action alleging California Labor Code violations).
  • Ruiz, et al. v. Serco, Inc., 3:10-cv-00394 (W.D. Wis.) (defeated conditional certification in putative nationwide collective action alleging misclassification claims under FLSA on behalf of approximately 10,000 employees).
  • Bell v. Randstad North America, LP, 1:11-cv-03759-SCJ (N.D. Ga.) (successfully represented staffing solutions provider in putative Rule 23 class action alleging FCRA violations; served as lead counsel).
  • Brasfield, et al. v. Source Broadband and C-COR, Inc., 2:08-cv-2092 (W.D. Tenn.) (served as lead counsel for defendant in nationwide FLSA collective action).
  • Haukland v. Randstad Engineering, 3:14-cv-00145 (S.D. Cal.) (represented professional staffing services provider in Rule 216(b)/Rule 23 hybrid action alleging misclassification claims under FLSA and California Labor Code).  
  • Parram v. Kilgore Flares Company, LLC, 1:11-cv-01112-JDB (W.D. Tenn.) (successfully defended flares manufacturer in putative collective action alleging off-the-clock claims under the FLSA).
  • Jenkins v. Randstad US, L.P., 0:12-cv-62215-WPD (S.D. Fla.) (successfully represented staffing services provider in FLSA putative collective action alleging off-the-clock claims). 
  • Archer v. Crawford & Co., 2:98-cv-01350 (W.D. Pa.) (successfully defended risk management and insurance adjustment company in trial of 100-plaintiff FLSA collective action alleging misclassification and failure to pay overtime; obtained voluntarily dismissal of case without payment to plaintiffs or their counsel).
  • Hann, et al. v. Crawford & Co., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21233 (W.D. Pa.) (prevailed in bench trial of multi-plaintiff FLSA case alleging misclassification of insurance adjusters and failure to pay overtime). 
  • Pike and Thomas v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., 1:00-cv-01406 (N.D. Ga.) aff’d. 64 Fed Appx. 742 (table) (11th Cir.) (defeated collective action certification and prevailed on summary judgment in age discrimination case brought pursuant to ADEA).
Select OSHA Matters 
  • Secretary of Labor v. Randstad US, L.P., KOSHRC #5264-15 (Commonwealth of Kentucky OSHRC) (successfully represented client at trial and obtained dismissal of serious citation). 
  • Secretary of Labor v. Kloeckner Metals Corporation, OSHRC Docket No. 13-1357, Region IV (OSHRC) (represent steel fabricating facility in successful contest and resolution of multiple citations). 
  • In the Matter of the Appeal of Randstad Horizons d/b/a Placement Pros, Docket Nos. 13-R2D5-1176-77 (Cal. OSHAB) (successfully represent staffing services company in appeal of Cal-Osha citations).
  • In the Matter of the Appeal of Randstad Staffing, Docket No. 15-R1D4-2727 (Cal. OSHAB) (successfully represent staffing services provider in appeal of Cal-Osha citation).  
  • Commissioner of Labor for the State of North Carolina v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Docket OSHANC 2013-5519 (NCOSHRC) (successfully represented wood products company in appeal of multiple citations).
  • Secretary of Labor v. Corporate Employment Resources, Inc., OSHRC Docket No. 15-0891 (OSHRC) (contested and obtained withdrawal of citation on behalf of managed services provider).   
  • Secretary of Labor v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation, OSHRC Docket No. 09-0980, Region V (OSHRC) (led successful contest and resolution of multiple citations issued to packaging facility).  
  • South Carolina DLLR, Division of OSHA v. Georgia-Pacific, Allendale, 11-ALJ-11-0534 (South Carolina Administrative Law Court) (led successful appeal of OSHA citations resulting in withdrawal of all citations).
  • Secretary of Labor v. AGL Resources, OSHRC Docket No. 08-1940, Region IV (OSHRC) (led successful appeal of OSHA citations on behalf of natural gas company).
  • Secretary of Labor v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation, OSHRC Docket No. 10-0327, Region IV (OSHRC) (successfully represented dimensional lumber manufacturer in contest of General Duty Clause citations).
  • Represented employers from a wide variety of industries, including staffing, building products, packaging, media, steel manufacturing and utilities in OSHA inspections arising out of serious accidents, fatalities and other catastrophes.  
Select Single Plaintiff Litigation and Whistleblower Claims
  • Burrs v. Walter Kiddie Portable Equipment, Inc., 1:16-CV-1018-CCE-LPA (M.D.N.C.) (Prevailed on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in case alleging SOX retaliation).
  • Byrd v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 5:10-cv-000161-MTT (M.D. Ga.) (won summary judgment in case alleging discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII, ADEA and FMLA).
  • Beamon v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 4-14-cv-146-CDL (M.D. Ga.) (won summary judgment in case alleging sex discrimination, race discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. 1981). 
  • Mays v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 1:10-cv-67-WLS (M.D. Ga.) (won summary judgment in case alleging race and age discrimination claims under Title VII and ADEA). 
  • Thompson v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 5-11-cv-189-CAR (M.D. Ga.) (won summary judgment in reverse race discrimination case brought pursuant to Title VII and 42 U.S.C. 1981).
  • Lawrence v. Beaulieu Group, LLC, 1:09-cv-12110-RWZ (D. Mass.)  (won summary judgment in case alleging age discrimination under Massachusetts law).
  • Salado v. Randstad US, L.P., 13-02118CA20 (11th Judicial Cir. of Florida) (secure dismissal of workers’ compensation retaliation case and award of attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of staffing services provider).
  • Bugg-Barber v. Randstad, Civ. A. No. 0-2470 (D.D.C.) (won summary judgment in ADA case alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate claims).
  • White, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC, et al., Case No. CV-2008-900041.00 (Circuit Court of Monroe County Alabama) (obtained summary judgment in multi-plaintiff case alleging invasion of privacy and tort of outrage).
  • Brewer v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation, No. 4-0350-10-04 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) (secured dismissal of 11(c) whistleblower retaliation claim brought by terminated employee).
  • Carpenter v. Georgia-Pacific Chemical, LLC, 5-1880-14-080 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) (secured dismissal of whistleblower claims brought pursuant to the OSH Act, Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Safe Drinking Water Act).  
  • Siskie v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., 5:14-cv-1598-BYP (N.D. Ohio) (represent freight company in case alleging disability discrimination, workers’ compensation retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress under Ohio law).
  • White v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., No. 15-C-476 (Cir. Ct. of Kanawha County, W.V.) (represent freight company in case alleging workers compensation retaliation and wage payment act violations under West Virginia law).
  • Matkov v. Le Creuset of America, Inc., 2:15-cv-04082-DCN (D.S.C.) (represent premium cookware company in case alleging FLSA misclassification claim).
  • Schvarcz v. Algenol Biofuels, Inc., No. 13CA2156 (20th Judicial Cir. of Florida) (successfully represent biofuels company in Florida Private Whistleblower Act case).
  • Orman v. Calsonic Kansei North America and Ranstad US, L.P., 3:13-cv-00666 (M.D. Tenn.) (successfully represent staffing services provider in case alleging discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and Tennessee Human Rights Act). 
  • Bowman v. Creative Foam Corp. and Creative Foam Corp. v. Randstad US, L.P., 14-cv-00075 (E.D. Tenn.) (successfully defend staffing services provider against indemnification claim brought by staffing firms client in disability discrimination case).  
  • Johnson v. Randstad US, L.P., Case No. 01-14-0000-1809 (American Arbitration Association) (successfully defend staffing services provider in discrimination case before AAA). 
  • Harrow v. Schiller Stores, Inc. d/b/a Le Creuset Factory Outlets, 1:08-cv-14935 (E.D. Mich.) (served as lead counsel in successful defense of retailer in case alleging discriminatory discharge based on sex and age).
  • Wetter v. Oldcastle, 4:06-cv-01997 (D.S.C.) (successfully represented manufacturer in case alleging FMLA retaliation and interference claims).
Select Noncompete and Trade Secrets Litigation
  • Applied Thermoplastic Resources, LLC v. Pirkle and Texcom Materials, Inc., 4-12-cv-00139-HLM (N.D. Ga.) (successfully represent plastics recycling company against former employee in case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud, conversion, tortious interference with contracts and other business tort claims).  
  • U.S. Physiatry, LLC v. Blom, No. 302013000974 (American Arbitration Association) (successfully represent physiatry services provider in case alleging breach of noncompetition agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets against defendant).
  • Randstad Professionals US, LP, et al. v. Curate Partners, et al., SUCV 2014-03170 (Superior Ct. for Suffolk County, MA) (successfully represent staffing services provider in lawsuit against former executives in case alleging breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with contractual relations and other claims under Massachusetts law).  
  • Fulton Paper Co. v. Joseph Parr, et al., Civil Action File No. 09-1-2269-28 (Cobb County Superior Court) (successfully represented individual sales representatives in defeating Motion for Temporary Restraining Order seeking to enjoin sales representatives from soliciting former customers and competing with former employer).  
  • Buckeye Int’l, Inc. v. Unisource Worldwide, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 1:07-CV-02910-JTC & 1:07-cv-02578-JTC (N.D. Ga.) (successfully transferred restrictive covenant and non-competition case from federal court in Missouri to Georgia, which resulted in voluntary dismissal of case by plaintiff).
Select Counseling, Compliance and Government Investigations Engagements
  • Successfully represented staffing services provider in U.S. Department of Labor Wage-Hour Division investigation of FLSA misclassification claims alleged by former supervisors.  Employer emerged from investigation without any adverse findings or payment to complaining parties.  
  • Successfully represented employer in Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry investigation into alleged meal and rest period violations.  
  • Led labor and employment due diligence team in connection with staffing services provider’s $100 million acquisition of outplacement firm.  
  • Managed and coordinated 6-month, 30-location California wage-hour audit on behalf of client.  
  • Manage and conduct workplace investigations on behalf of clients in a wide variety of industries.  Past investigations have involved allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, employee theft, wage-hour violations, alleged workplace safety and health (OSHA) violations and assault.  
  • Develop and assist clients with implementation of arbitration programs for resolving employment-related disputes.  
  • Advise clients on responses to workplace emergencies such as threats of workplace violence and pandemic planning.  
  • Draft, revise and implement restrictive covenant agreements (i.e., non-compete agreements) for employers.

 

Publications

  • Co-Author, “What to Expect From OSHA in a President-Elect Trump Administration,” One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 18, 2016)
  • Chapter Author, “Chapter 5 - The Order on the Motion for Conditional Certification,” Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, ALM Law Journal Press (2012). Definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation.
  • “Commissions Accomplished: Court Rules Class of Commissioned Cable Technicians Not Entitled to Time-and-a-Half Overtime Pay,” Seyfarth Shaw LLP Blog Post
  • “Two Stones, One Bird: Employer’s Simultaneous Motions For Summary Judgment and Decertification Pay Off in Arkansas,” Seyfarth Shaw LLP Blog Post
  • “Burger Chain Flips Plaintiffs' Attempt for National Conditional Certification,” Seyfarth Shaw LLP Blog Post
  • “Defending the Mixed-Motive Retaliation Case,” ALI ABA Practical Litigator (March, 2006)
  • Authored chapter on workplace safety for Georgia Human Resources Manual, A Guide to Georgia and Federal Employment Laws and Regulations (American Chamber of Commerce 2006)
 

Accolades

  • Recognized by Chambers USA, 2013-2015
  • Selected as a Georgia “Rising Star” in Labor & Employment byLaw & Politics and Atlanta Magazine (2007-2009)