People: Jennifer A. Riley, Partner

Photo of Jennifer A. Riley, Partner

Jennifer A. Riley

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5672
Fax: (312) 460-7642
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Ms. Riley is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  She is a member of the Firm’s Labor & Employment Department and a member of the Firm’s Complex Discrimination Litigation and Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Groups. 

Ms. Riley practices in the employment litigation area, with a particular emphasis on complex collective and class action proceedings.  She regularly represents companies facing class actions, collective actions, pattern or practice lawsuits, and systemic investigations, involving hundreds to thousands of putative class members.  Ms. Riley counsels and defends employers from a range of employment law theories, including claims of race, age, gender, and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and alleged wage and hour violations. 

Ms. Riley has extensive commercial litigation experience.  She has represented clients in a wide range of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country.  She has served as trial counsel in federal court bench trials, jury trials, and arbitration proceedings.  Ms. Riley has secured dismissal of complex and large-scale actions by defeating class or collective action certification, prevailing on summary judgment, and structuring and securing approval of complex and multi-party settlements and consent decrees.

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Ms. Riley practiced commercial litigation for several years at a Chicago-based Vault 50 firm.  In addition to her experience in private practice, prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Ms. Riley also worked as in-house counsel for a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical and medical device company.  As in-house counsel, Ms. Riley investigated, managed, and resolved a wide range of disputes in the commercial and employment areas, including single and multi-plaintiff discrimination, retaliation, and harassment cases. 

Ms. Riley graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1997 with a B.A. in Economics and Anthropology.  While pursuing her degree, she conducted field research at archaeological sites in Central America.  Following graduation, Ms. Riley attended the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and graduated with a J.D. in 2000.  While at Boalt, Ms. Riley participated in moot court, mock trial team, and was associate editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.

Ms. Riley is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  She is a member of the Firm’s Labor & Employment Department and a member of the Firm’s Complex Discrimination Litigation and Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Groups. 

Ms. Riley practices in the employment litigation area, with a particular emphasis on complex collective and class action proceedings.  She regularly represents companies facing class actions, collective actions, pattern or practice lawsuits, and systemic investigations, involving hundreds to thousands of putative class members.  Ms. Riley counsels and defends employers from a range of employment law theories, including claims of race, age, gender, and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and alleged wage and hour violations. 

Ms. Riley has extensive commercial litigation experience.  She has represented clients in a wide range of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country.  She has served as trial counsel in federal court bench trials, jury trials, and arbitration proceedings.  Ms. Riley has secured dismissal of complex and large-scale actions by defeating class or collective action certification, prevailing on summary judgment, and structuring and securing approval of complex and multi-party settlements and consent decrees.

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Ms. Riley practiced commercial litigation for several years at a Chicago-based Vault 50 firm.  In addition to her experience in private practice, prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Ms. Riley also worked as in-house counsel for a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical and medical device company.  As in-house counsel, Ms. Riley investigated, managed, and resolved a wide range of disputes in the commercial and employment areas, including single and multi-plaintiff discrimination, retaliation, and harassment cases. 

Ms. Riley graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1997 with a B.A. in Economics and Anthropology.  While pursuing her degree, she conducted field research at archaeological sites in Central America.  Following graduation, Ms. Riley attended the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and graduated with a J.D. in 2000.  While at Boalt, Ms. Riley participated in moot court, mock trial team, and was associate editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (2000)
    Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor LawAssociate Editor
  • B.A., Vanderbilt University (1997)
    magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western Districts of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Representative Engagements

Recent Published Opinions

  • Brunner, et al. v. Jimmy John’s, LLC, et al., No. 14-CV-05509, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5725 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 14, 2016) (ordering consolidation of overlapping nationwide collective actions for purposes of harmonizing notice proceedings)
  • McCaster, et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-8847, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40343 (N.D. Ill. March 24, 2015) (denying certification of Rule 23 class involving thousands of employees because employer identified a variety of legitimate reasons for non-payment of vacation benefits that defeated any showing of commonality or predominance)
  • Perry, et al. v. Randstad General Partner (US) LLC, No. 14-CV-11240, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61822 (E.D. Mich. May 12, 2015) (granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment holding plaintiff staffing consultants subject to administrative exemption and denying plaintiffs’ motion for conditional collective action certification)
  • Perry, et al. v. Randstad General Partner (US) LLC, No. 14-CV-11240, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138935 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 13, 2015) (denying plaintiffs’ motion for relief from judgment on the purported grounds of newly discovery evidence as immaterial to court’s summary judgment ruling)
  • Grosswiler, et al. v. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, No. 3:14 CV 1551, 2015 WL 4994304 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 19, 2015) (granting summary judgment and dismissing potential collective action asserting claims for unpaid overtime under the FLSA holding that, according to time records, plaintiffs routinely clocked in minutes before their shifts)
  • EEOC v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 15-CV-20561, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149897 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 3, 2015) (denying non-party claimants’ motion to intervene in purported pattern or practice action brought by the EEOC alleging disparate treatment age discrimination in hiring)
  • EEOC v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 15-CV-20561, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151741 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 9, 2015) (considering whether the ADEA authorizes the EEOC to pursue pattern or practice claims of intentional age discrimination on behalf of unnamed claimants)
  • Brunner, et al. v. Jimmy John’s, LLC, et al., No. 14-CV-05509, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110751 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 19, 2015) (granting motion to strike allegations against defendant classes, including allegations of a nationwide FLSA defendant “collective” and allegations of an Illinois-only IMWL franchisee defendant class, as facially deficient)
  • Watson v. Jimmy John’s, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-768, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88647 (S.D. Ohio July 8, 2015) (granting motion to transfer putative nationwide collective and statewide class action under the first-to-file rule)
  • Brunner, et al. v. Liautaud, et al., No. 14-CV-05509, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46018 (N.D. Ill. April 8, 2015) (granting motion to strike plaintiffs’ efforts to represent nationwide class of putative plaintiffs pursuing alleged violations of the IMWL finding IMWL devoid of any indication that the law can apply to workers outside of Illinois)
  • Schaefer, et al. v. Walker Bros., No. 10-CV-6366, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 177157 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 17, 2014) (granting summary judgment against class members on minimum wage claims finding that the duties performed by servers fall outside the DOL’s dual jobs regulation and qualify for the tip credit).
  • Brotherhood Of Maintenance Of Way Employes v. Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company, No. 2:13-CV-018, 20 F. Supp. 3d 686 (N.D. Ind. 2014) (granting motion to dismiss in part Union’s claims for racial discrimination and harassment under § 1981 and Title VII because Union lacked standing to pursue claims for economic and punitive damages). 
  • Lucas v. Vee Pak, Inc., No. 1:12-CV-09672, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, 2014 WL 4637193 (N.D. Ill. 2014) (granting in part motion to dismiss putative class action alleging racial discrimination against temporary workers because plaintiffs sought certification of an improper, fail safe class).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 13-3408, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6409 (6th Cir. Apr. 9, 2014) (affirming summary judgment in favor of Kaplan on plaintiff’s claims that “same type of background check that the EEOC itself uses” had a disparate impact on African American applicants).
  • EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.,No. 08-CV-00706-A, --- F. Supp. 2d ----, 2014 WL 916450 (W.D.N.Y. Mar. 10, 2014) (granting summary judgment in favor of Sterling on EEOC’s nationwide pattern or practice gender pay and promotion discrimination claims due to lack of nationwide pre-suit investigation).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 10-CV-02882, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64353 (N.D. Ohio May 6, 2013) (denying motion for reconsideration of order granting summary judgment because plaintiff failed to introduce reliable evidence of disparate impact).
  • Smith v. ERJ Dining LLC, et al., No. 11-CV-2061, 2013 WL 1286674 (N.D.Ill. Mar. 28, 2013) (dismissing putative class and collective action alleging violation of state and federal tip credit laws for lack of subject matter jurisdiction).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 10-CV-02882, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11722 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 28, 2013) (excluding evidence of disparate impact and granting summary judgment in favor of employer in nationwide pattern or practice lawsuit regarding use of credit history as hiring criterion).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 10-CV-02882, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54949 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 18, 2012) (finding EEOC’s own practices relevant to action brought against employer and compelling EEOC to produce information regarding its own use of employee background checks).
  • Boyd, et al. v. Alutiiq Global Solutions, LLC, No. 11-CV-00753, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88656 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 10, 2011) (denying plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification of FLSA collective action involving more than 5,000 employees).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 10-CV-02882, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50035 (N.D. Ohio May 10, 2011) (granting defendant’s motion to dismiss all claims based on alleged unlawful employment practices occurring more than 300 days before filing of EEOC charge).

Representative Cases

  • Flood, et al. v. Carlson Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 14-2740 (S.D.N.Y.) (ongoing representation in putative class and collective action involving current and former tipped workers at TGI Friday’s alleging various violations of state and federal tip credit and overtime laws)
  • EEOC v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 15-CV-20561 (S.D. Fla.) (ongoing representation in nationwide pattern-or-practice action regarding Seasons 52 restaurants alleging discrimination against applicants based on age)
  • Thompson, et al. v. Capstone Logistics, LLC, et al., No. 15-CV-2464 (S.D. Tex.) (ongoing representation in putative collective action regarding alleged failure to pay minimum wage and overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act) 
  • Legrand, et al. v. Intellicorp Records, Inc., No. 1:15-CV-02091 (N.D. Ohio) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act) 
  • Schartel v. OneSource Technology, LLC d/b/a Asurint, No. 1:15-CV-01434 (N.D. Ohio) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act)
  • Taylor, et al. v. Spherion Staffing, LLC, et al., No. 15-CV-2299 (N.D. Ohio) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act) 
  • Perry, et al. v. Randstad General Partner (US) LLP, No. 5:14-CV-11240-JCO (U.S. District Court/ Eastern District of Michigan) (ongoing representation in putative nationwide collective action involving alleged exempt misclassification).
  • Chilton, et al. v. Brighton Collectibles, Inc., No. 1:14-CV-047 (U.S. District Court/ Southern District of Ohio) (ongoing representation in multiple-plaintiff action alleging age discrimination in violation of state and federal laws).
  • Grosswiler, et al. v. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, No. 14-CV-1551 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Ohio) (ongoing representation in putative collective action alleging failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of federal law).
  • Henderson, et al. v. AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC d/b/a HR Plus, Case No. 3:14-CV-82-REP (U.S. District Court/ Eastern District of Virginia) (representation in putative class action alleging various violations of FCRA)
  • Westerman, et al. v. Capstone Logistics, LLC, et al., No. 3:14-CV-03452-P (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Texas) (representation in putative nationwide collective action alleging failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of federal law)
  • Lopez, et al. v. Shoreline Management & Development Corp., et al., No. 14-CV-6195 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class and collective action alleging independent contractor misclassification).
  • Miller v. First Advantage Background Services Corp., No. 1:14-CV-030907 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class action alleging various violations of FCRA)
  • Stephan Zouras, LLP v. American Registry, LLC, Case No.: 14-CV-943 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging unsolicited advertisements in violation of TCPA)
  • Avila v. NOW Health Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 14-CV-1551 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging that defendant conducted background checks without providing proper disclosures under the FCRA)
  • Law Offices Of Majdi Y. Hijazin, Ltd.  v. American Registry, LLC, Case No.: 14-CV-2314 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging various claims for unsolicited advertisements including violations of TCPA and Illinois consumer fraud act)
  • Kutzback v. LMS Intellibound LLC, et al., Case No.: 13-CV-2767 (U.S. District Court/ Western District of Tennessee) (ongoing representation in putative nationwide collective action alleging that defendants failed to pay minimum wage and overtime in violation of the FLSA)
  • Glen Ellen Pharmacy, et al. v. HealthWarehouse.com, Inc., No. 13-cv-3249 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class action alleging unsolicited advertisements in violation of the TCPA and Illinois consumer fraud act).
  • Cabrales v. LMS Intellibound, LLC, et al., Case No.: 13-CV-161 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Texas) (representation in putative nationwide collective action alleging that defendants failed to pay minimum wage and overtime in violation of the FLSA)
  • McCaster, et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., Case File No.: 13-CV-8847 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging that defendants failed to pay earned vacation pay in violation of Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act)
  • Phillips, et al. v. Mediacom Communications Corp., Case No.: 14-CV-1023 (U.S. District Court/ Central District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class and collective action alleging that defendant failed to pay minimum wage and overtime in violation of state and federal law)
  • Lucas, et al. v. Vee Pak, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-09672 (U.S. District Court / Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging failure to assign African American workers to staffing positions in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981).
  • Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., No. 13-CV-00018 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Indiana) (ongoing representation in putative class action alleging workplace discrimination and harassment).
  • Hunter, et al. v Jacobson Staffing Co., LLC, et al., No. 12-CV-3783 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class and collective action alleging various violations of federal and state wage payment laws).
  • Boyd, et al. v. Alutiiq Global Solutions, LLC, No. 11-CV-00753 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative collective action alleging FLSA and state law claims for unpaid overtime).
  • EEOC v. Big Lots Stores, Inc., No. 11-CV-02184 (U.S. District Court/ Western District of Arkansas) (representation in putative class action alleging sexual harassment in violation of federal law).
  • Smith v. ERJ Dining LLC, et al., No. 11-CV-2061 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class and collective action alleging violation of state and federal tip credit and overtime laws).
  • EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., No. 10-CV-02882 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Ohio) (representation in pattern or practice case alleging disparate impact discrimination in use of credit check information).
  • Boyle, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 08-CV-2875 (U.S. District Court/ Southern District of New York) (ongoing representation in class action alleging gender discrimination in pay and promotions).
  • Schaefer, et al. v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 10-CV-6366 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing representation in putative class and collective action alleging violation of FLSA and state tip credit laws).
  • EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 08-CV-706 (U.S. District Court/ Western District of New York) (ongoing representation in EEOC pattern or practice case alleging gender discrimination in pay and promotions).
  • Bamgbose, et al. v. Delta-T Group, Inc., No. 09-CV-667 (U.S. District Court/ Eastern District of Pennsylvania) (representation in collective action brought by healthcare workers alleging FLSA wage & hour violations).
  • Hardaway, et al. v. Employbridge of Dallas Inc., et al., No. 11-CV-3200 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class and collective action alleging violations of state and federal wage and overtime laws).
  • Craig, et al. v. Staffing Solutions Southeast, Inc. d/b/a Prologistix, No. 11-CV-3818 (U.S. District Court/ Northern District of Illinois) (representation in putative class and collective action alleging FLSA and state law wage & hour violations).
  • Stewart, et al. v. Prince Telecom, No. 10-CV-4881 (U.S. District Court/ Southern District of New York) (representation in putative collection action brought by cable installation technicians alleging violations of federal wage & hour laws).
  • Macedonia Church, et al. v. Fine Hotels, et al., No. 05-CV-00153 (U.S. District Court/ District of Connecticut) (representation in class action alleging racial discrimination and denial of accommodation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981).
  • Black, et al. v. Broadband Express, LLC, No. 10-CV-23266 (U.S. District Court/ Southern District of Florida) (representation in putative collection action brought by cable technicians alleging FLSA claims for unpaid overtime)

Presentations

  • Speaker, “EEOC Conciliation Efforts: Reviewability - Truth & Consequences for Employers in 2015 & Beyond,”  The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series (Dec. 4, 2015)    
  • Speaker, “Legal Risks Facing The Staffing Industry,” Randstad North America Legal Committee Meeting (Nov. 5, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Key Trends In EEOC Litigation,” Retail Industry Leaders Association Webinar (Aug. 19, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Assault and Battery: Emerging Issues in Employer-Employee Litigation in 2015,” The Knowledge  Congress Live Webcast Series (March 10, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Defending Title VII Litigation: Rethinking Strategies After Recent Employee-Friendly Federal Court Rulings,” Strafford Webinars, Strafford Publications, Inc. (June 18, 2014).
  • Speaker, “It’s Time to Re-Evaluate Workplace Arbitration,” Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, IMA Video Reference Library (May 8, 2014).
  • Speaker, “Arbitrating Class/Collective Action Cases: The Next Frontier in ADR?,” American Bar Association (ABA), ADR in Labor & Employment Law Midwinter Meeting (February 22, 2014). 
  • Speaker, “Wage and Hour Litigation and New Insurance Solutions,” Retail Law Conference, Phoenix, AZ, sponsored by Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) (October 2013)
  • Speaker, “Emerging Issues in Workplace Class Action Litigation,” The Knowledge Congress Webcast Series (June 2013).
  • Speaker, “Affordable Care Act:  What Employers Need To Know,” HR Affinity Day Workshop, Planned Parenthood National Conference, sponsored by Lexington Insurance Company (April 2013)
  • Speaker, “Workplace Class Actions & EEOC Litigation Trends for 2011,” Planned Parenthood National Conference, sponsored by Lexington Insurance Company (April 2011)
  • Speaker, “On the Cutting Edge of Workplace Class Actions,” EPLI Webinar for Zurich Insurance, (February 2011)
  • Speaker, “Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege and Controlling Discovery,” Corporate Counsel College, International Association of Defense Counsel (April 2010)
  • Speaker, “Dispute Resolution Clauses in Commercial Contracts,” Reinsurance Association of America, Re Contracts (June 2007)

Publications