People: Brett C. Bartlett, Partner

Photo of Brett C. Bartlett, Partner

Brett C. Bartlett

Partner

Atlanta
Direct: (404) 888-1875
Fax: (404) 892-7056
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Brett Bartlett is a partner in the Labor and Employment and Wage and Hour Litigation Departments of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  A Chambers-rated practitioner, Brett Bartlett is chair of Seyfarth Shaw's Labor & Employment Department in Atlanta, a member of the Department's National Steering Committee, and a leader of the firm's National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Bartlett, who is also one of three editors-in-chief of the definitive 912-page treatise on wage and hour litigation, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, devotes the majority of his practice to the defense of complex federal and state wage and hour cases. He also provides preventative counseling and change management assistance to employers wishing to limit their exposure to investigation and litigation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the state laws that require employers to pay overtime and minimum wages to their employees.

Mr. Bartlett represents employers across the United States in court litigation and administrative matters arising under federal and state wage and hour laws.  He has defended more than 100 class and collective actions brought by employees alleging entitlement to unpaid overtime and minimum wage in the staffing, transportation, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, newspaper, insurance, medical, pharmacy, retail, and real estate holding industries, among others.  Those actions have ranged from the most complex, brought as hybrid actions under state and federal law and involving thousands of employees, to the more basic, asserting individual claims for overtime under the FLSA.  Mr. Bartlett has also defended dozens of investigation and audits by state and federal wage and hour departments, ranging from single-day, single-location “on-sites” to years’ long, multi-state investigations involving the federal Wage and Hour Division, enforcement actions by the Secretary of Labor, negotiations with federal solicitors, and the engagement of agency representatives to testify or argue on his clients’ behalves.  Mr. Bartlett leverages a mutual respect between his teams and those of the enforcing agencies to secure the right result for our firm’s clients.  And of course Mr. Bartlett also provides preventative audits, counseling, and training to employers wishing to limit their exposure to those actions – and to state and federal administrative agency investigation. 

In addition, in recent years, Mr. Bartlett has helped employers in various industries to grapple with an increasing trend of Rule 23 class actions involving allegations that an employer breached an actual or implied contract by failing to pay commissions, service charges, and other types of compensation.  Faced with this attempt by the plaintiffs’ bar to make an end-run around federal and state wage and hour laws, Mr. Bartlett has assisted our clients to manage these pay-related conflicts that strike to the very core of a business’s operations and its ability to remain successful in a challenging economy.

Mr. Bartlett frequently speaks at seminars and conferences regarding employers’ compliance with wage and hour matters, contributes to such publications as the  Fair Labor Standards Act, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law (2002-2009), and has been quoted in several newspapers and professional journals.  He also is a member of the ABA/BNA Fair Labor Standards Legislative Committee.  Prior to beginning his management-side employment law practice, he chaired his law school’s moot court board, argued in the Wagner Labor & Employment Moot Court Competition, and was awarded the ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor & Employment Law.  In December 2011, Mr. Bartlett was named one of Georgia's top attorneys in the area of Labor and Employment in Georgia Trend magazine's "Legal Elite" 9th annual listing. 

Beyond the practice of law, Mr. Bartlett is an active member on the Board of Directors for the Metro-Atlanta March of Dimes.  The prevention of infant prematurity and mortality is a cause near and dear to his heart, and he devotes considerable attention to championing the March of Dimes’ good efforts locally and nationally.

Brett Bartlett is a partner in the Labor and Employment and Wage and Hour Litigation Departments of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  A Chambers-rated practitioner, Brett Bartlett is chair of Seyfarth Shaw's Labor & Employment Department in Atlanta, a member of the Department's National Steering Committee, and a leader of the firm's National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Bartlett, who is also one of three editors-in-chief of the definitive 912-page treatise on wage and hour litigation, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, devotes the majority of his practice to the defense of complex federal and state wage and hour cases. He also provides preventative counseling and change management assistance to employers wishing to limit their exposure to investigation and litigation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the state laws that require employers to pay overtime and minimum wages to their employees.

Mr. Bartlett represents employers across the United States in court litigation and administrative matters arising under federal and state wage and hour laws.  He has defended more than 100 class and collective actions brought by employees alleging entitlement to unpaid overtime and minimum wage in the staffing, transportation, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, newspaper, insurance, medical, pharmacy, retail, and real estate holding industries, among others.  Those actions have ranged from the most complex, brought as hybrid actions under state and federal law and involving thousands of employees, to the more basic, asserting individual claims for overtime under the FLSA.  Mr. Bartlett has also defended dozens of investigation and audits by state and federal wage and hour departments, ranging from single-day, single-location “on-sites” to years’ long, multi-state investigations involving the federal Wage and Hour Division, enforcement actions by the Secretary of Labor, negotiations with federal solicitors, and the engagement of agency representatives to testify or argue on his clients’ behalves.  Mr. Bartlett leverages a mutual respect between his teams and those of the enforcing agencies to secure the right result for our firm’s clients.  And of course Mr. Bartlett also provides preventative audits, counseling, and training to employers wishing to limit their exposure to those actions – and to state and federal administrative agency investigation. 

In addition, in recent years, Mr. Bartlett has helped employers in various industries to grapple with an increasing trend of Rule 23 class actions involving allegations that an employer breached an actual or implied contract by failing to pay commissions, service charges, and other types of compensation.  Faced with this attempt by the plaintiffs’ bar to make an end-run around federal and state wage and hour laws, Mr. Bartlett has assisted our clients to manage these pay-related conflicts that strike to the very core of a business’s operations and its ability to remain successful in a challenging economy.

Mr. Bartlett frequently speaks at seminars and conferences regarding employers’ compliance with wage and hour matters, contributes to such publications as the  Fair Labor Standards Act, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law (2002-2009), and has been quoted in several newspapers and professional journals.  He also is a member of the ABA/BNA Fair Labor Standards Legislative Committee.  Prior to beginning his management-side employment law practice, he chaired his law school’s moot court board, argued in the Wagner Labor & Employment Moot Court Competition, and was awarded the ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor & Employment Law.  In December 2011, Mr. Bartlett was named one of Georgia's top attorneys in the area of Labor and Employment in Georgia Trend magazine's "Legal Elite" 9th annual listing. 

Beyond the practice of law, Mr. Bartlett is an active member on the Board of Directors for the Metro-Atlanta March of Dimes.  The prevention of infant prematurity and mortality is a cause near and dear to his heart, and he devotes considerable attention to championing the March of Dimes’ good efforts locally and nationally.

Education

  • J.D., Mercer University School of Law (1999)
    Chair Person, Moot Court Board; Wagner Labor & Employment Moot Court Competition,
    Top-Ten Preliminary Round Oralist

  • B.A., Oberlin College (1994)

Admissions

  • Georgia
  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Labor & Employment Section, Federal Labor & Standards Legislative Committee)
  • State Bar of Georgia (Labor & Employment Section)

Representative Engagements

  • Baldridge et al. v. SBC Communications Inc. and Cingular Wireless LLC, 5:04CV071-J (N.D. Tex. 2005) (FLSA collective action involving claim of joint employment and that defendants misclassified first line managers in call center)
  • Adair, et al  v. Norment Security Group, Inc., et al., No.  04-CV-406 (M.D. Ala.) (FLSA collective action alleging pre- and post-shift work improperly excluded from overtime calculations).
  • Adepoju v. Wolters Kluwer, No. 1:11-cv-02052-AT (N.D. Ga. 2012) (putative FLSA collective action in which plaintiff claimed that pre-litigation back wage payment did not foreclose employees’ overtime claims).
  • Allen v. Cross Country Healthcare, Inc., No.  06-CV-80216 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (putative FLSA collective action alleging improper payment of hourly health care employees).
  • Armstead v. Lazer Spot, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-04319-CAP (N.D. Ga. 2012) (multi-plaintiff FLSA action challenging applicability of Motor Carrier Exemption to transportation industry drivers).
  • Barfield v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., et al., No.  05-CV-6319 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) (Putative FLSA collective action alleging improper payment of nurses’ assistants, nurses, and contract workers in the health care industry).
  • Bryant, et al. v. Lazer Spot, No. 1:12-cv-00925-WTL-MJD (S.D. Ind. 2012) (multi-plaintiff FLSA action challenging applicability of Motor Carrier Exemption to transportation industry drivers).
  • Chie, et al. v. Reed Elsevier, No. 3:11-cv-01784 (N.D. Cal. 2011) (hybrid class and collective wage and hour action in which employees alleged misclassification after receiving back wages and signing releases of overtime claims)
  • Coaxum v. Crothall Healthcare, Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01644-JFA (S.C. 2012) (putative collective action in which plaintiff alleged off-the-clock work)
  • Contreras v. Serco Inc.,No. CV10-04526-CAS-JEMx (C.D. Ca. 2010) (putative California class action asserting failure to provide meal and rest breaks and to properly pay overtime to parking meter attendants).
  • Cushman v. DeVry, Inc., No. 6:12-cv-1405-ORL-22-GJK (M.D. Fla. 2012) (putative FLSA collective action alleging failure to pay in compliance with fluctuating workweek pay alternative)
  • Davis v. Atlanta Pizza, LLC, No. 1:12-cv-0474 (N.D. Ga. 2012) (FLSA claim involving allegations of unrecorded time worked by hourly manager in pizza restaurant)
  • Eastman Kodak Co. (The) adv. Glewwe, 2006 WL 1455476; The Eastman Kodak adv. Luciano, 2006 WL 1455477; The Eastman Kodak Co. adv. LeTouzel, 2006 WL 1455478 (W.D.N.Y.). (prevailing on motions to dismiss putative nationwide state law wage payment and breach of contract class claims prior to any discovery or class certification in three companion cases).
  • Erb, et al. v. TruGreen Limited Partnership, et al., No. 2:11-cv-02638-PBT (E.D. Pa. 2011) (putative Pennsylvania class action asserting failure to pay overtime to lawn technicians)
  • Esperson v. TruGreen Limited Partnership, et al., No. 1:10-cv-03496 (N.D. Ga. 2010) (putative FLSA collective action alleging unpaid overtime and impermissible fluctuating workweek pay plan).
  • Francisco, et al. v. Aaron’s, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-00077-SPM-GRJ (N.D. Fla. 2012) (multi-plaintiff FLSA claims alleging employees worked off the clock and during meal breaks).
  • Friedlander v. The TJX Companies, Inc., No.  05-CV-80694 (S.D. Fla. 2005) (putative FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of store managers and assistant store managers).
  • Hall, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No.  06-CV-1428 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (putative FLSA collective action alleging improper overtime calculations for hourly insurance claims processors).
  • Holland v. Levy Restaurants, No. 1:10-cv-02992-CAP (N.D. Ga. 2010) (class action alleging employer impermissibly retained service charges paid for banquet servers’ services)
  • Howard, et al.  v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al.,, No.  06-CV-1639 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (putative FLSA collective action alleging improper overtime calculations for hourly insurance claims processors).
  • In Re Wachovia Securities, LLC Wage and Hour Litigation., MDL – 1807, No.  05-CV-1031 (C.D. Cal. 2006) (multidistrict litigation involving nearly 30 hybrid state law and federal class and collective actions alleging misclassification of securities brokers as exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements and improper deductions from compensation).
  • Jewell v. Aaron’s, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-02314-DCN (E.D. Oh. 2011) (putative FLSA collective action alleging unpaid overtime on behalf of all employees in employer’s retail stores).
  • Jones, et al.  v. Agilysys, Inc., No. CV 12 3516 DMR (N.D. Cal. 2012) (multi-state hybrid class and FLSA collective action asserting misclassification of consultants in technology industry)
  • Jordan et al. v. Reed Construction Data LLC et al., No. 1:10-cv-2756-JEC (N.D. Ga. 2010) (putative FLSA collective action filed by inside sales employees seeking allegedly unpaid overtime).
  • Kendrick v. AECOM Technology Corporation, No. 1:12-cv-1255-JDB-egb (W.D. Tenn. 2012) (class action claims to recover unpaid wages by employees who worked abroad in theater of war)
  • King v. Ion Media of Birmingham, Inc., No. 2:11-cv-00816-PWG (N.D. Ala. 2011) (FLSA action alleging media industry member misclassified as exempt station engineer employee).
  • Kunstmann v. Aaron Rents, Inc., No. 2:08-CV-1969-WMA (N.D. Ala. 2008) (putative FLSA collective action alleging that employer misclassified store managers as overtime-exempt).
  • Lamonte v. Crawford & Company, No. 1:10-cv-02658-JOF (N.D. Ga. 2010) (FLSA action asserting unpaid overtime arising from purported off-the-clock work).
  • Mainor, et al. v. Lazer Spot, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-971-CAP (N.D. Ga. 2012) (national FLSA collective action challenging applicability of Motor Carrier Exemption to drivers in the interstate transportation industry).
  • Mitial v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, et al., No. 9:11-cv-81172 (S.D. Fla. 2011) (putative FLSA collective action alleging failure to pay overtime to merchandisers in retail stores).
  • Myles-Thomas and White v. T.J. Maxx, No.  06-CV-01100 (W.D. Tenn. 2006) (FLSA collective action alleging improper payment of overtime to hourly retail employees).
  • Nascembeni v. Quayside Place Partners, LLP, et al., No. 09-cv-23322 (S.D. Fla. 2009) (putative FLSA collective action asserting failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to banquet servers).
  • Niland v. Delta Recycling Corp, No.  03-80259-CV-DMM, aff’d, 377 F.3d 1244 (11th Cir. 2004)  (putative FLSA collective action alleging improper payment of overtime to waste industry drivers).
  • Parra v. HEI, Inc., No. 10043375 (17th Jud. Cir. Fla. 2010) (Florida class action claiming banquet servers were entitled to retain service charges paid to hotels for banquet services)
  • Patrick v. Antica Posta Ristorante, Inc., No.  1:09-CV-0409-JEC (N.D. Ga. 2009) (collective action claim by servers of impermissible tip pooling under the FLSA)
  • Reed v. The TJX Companies, Inc., No.  04-CV-01247 (N.D. Ill. 2004) (hybrid state and FLSA class and collective action alleging improper calculation of overtime and state law meal and rest break law violations).
  • Rodriguez v. Sawyer Property Management of Florida, LLC, No.  07-CV-0160 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (putative FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of maintenance supervisor on multifamily real estate property).
  • Ruiz, et al. v. Serco, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-00394-BBC-SLC (W.D. Wisc. 2010) (putative FLSA collective action asserting that employer misclassified as exempt all employees performing support work for U.S. Armed Services).
  • Ruggles, et al. v. WellPoint, Inc., No. 1:08-CV-0201 LEK/RFT (N.D. N.Y. 2008) (putative FLSA collective action brought concurrently with class action claims under three states’ laws alleging that member of insurance industry misclassified registered nurses as exempt professionals).
  • Sharks, et al. v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., No.  06-CV-1582 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (putative FLSA collective action alleging improper payment of overtime to ticket agents).
  • Slaughter, et al.  v. CVS, No. 1:03-CV-01403 (FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of pharmacists as exempt employees).
  • Smith, et al. v. Aarons, Inc., No. 2:12-cv-551-FtM-29DNF (M.D. Fla. 2012) (putative FLSA collective action alleging that employees worked off the clock and during unpaid meal breaks).
  • Sylanski v. TruGreen Limited Partnership, et al., No. 2:11-cv-01760-PBT (E.D. Pa. 2011) (putative FLSA collective action alleging failure to pay overtime to lawn technicians).
  • Teoba v. TruGreen LandCare LLC, No. 6:10-cv-06132-CJS-JWF (W.D. N.Y. 2010) (putative hybrid FLSA collective and state law class action asserting the failure to pay immigrant workers in compliance with federal and state law).
  • Trezvant, et al.  v. Fidelity Employer Services Corp., et al., No.  05-CV-10673 (D. Mass. 2005) (FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of analysts in the financial services industry as exempt employees).
  • Viera, et al. v. First Union, et al., No. 01-CV-33 (W.D. Tex. 2000) (FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of financial services employees as exempt employees).
  • Washington v. Carter’s Retail, Inc.,No. 3:10-cv-01136-TJC-TEM (M.D. Fla. 2010) (putative FLSA collective action asserting failure to pay retail store employees minimum wage and overtime; also asserting FMLA claims).

Presentations

  • “Class & Collective Action Update:  Continued Trends & Means To Avoid Or Manage A Continuing Risk”  (2012)
  • “Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age” (2012)
  • “Drafting the Blueprint:  Modeling An Effective & Efficient Defense to Collective and Class Actions” (2012)
  • “Fighting to Win:  Deconstructing Conditional & Class Certification”  (2012)
  • “Winning the Case: The End Game” (2012)
  • “Training Presentation to Real Estate / Multi-Family Property Firm Community Managers and Directors Regarding Wage-Hour Matters” (2007)
  • “Seyfarth Shaw Compliance Boot Camp for the HR Professional” (2005, 2007)
  • “Training Presentation to Major Financial Services Institution’s Compensation Department” (2004)
  • “Labor and Employment Law Update,” CLE, Atlanta, GA (2004)
  • “Lorman Educational Seminars,” throughout Georgia (2000-2003)
  • “Employers’ Duties & Problems,” CLE, Macon, GA (2001, 2002)

Honors

  • Named to BTI Client Service All-Stars (2014)