Firm News

Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys Update Definitive Guide to Litigating Wage & Hour Lawsuits

08/11/2014

NEW YORK (August 11, 2014) – Leading employment law firm Seyfarth Shaw has updated its definitive guide to the litigation of wage and hour lawsuits. Co-authored by three Seyfarth partners and edited by the chair of the firm’s national wage-hour practice, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation is an essential resource for practitioners. The unique treatise provides insight into litigation strategy through all phases of wage & hour lawsuits.

Among many other topics, the treatise’s authors examine how employers in multiple industries are targeted for wage-hour lawsuits and provides substantive procedural and practical considerations that determine the outcome of such actions in today’s courts. Principally designed to assist employment litigators and in-house counsel, the treatise also proves useful to senior management seeking to fend off wage-hour actions before they strike.

Authors Noah Finkel, Brett Bartlett and Andrew Paley, who practice in the firm’s Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles offices respectively, as well as Boston-based Richard Alfred, who is Chair of Seyfarth’s National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group, are each experienced wage and hour litigators who have handled numerous collective and class actions asserting violations under both state and federal law.

“Recently, we have seen an eruption of wage and hour appellate decisions bound to have a great impact on pending and future litigation,” said Alfred. “Our updated edition arrives at the perfect time for corporations looking for the most current insight and strategy on wage & hour litigation. New trial decisions have touched on class certification, the National Labor Relations Act and employee arbitration agreements in wage and hour lawsuits, among others. This handbook will delve into these new developments and offer practiced litigation advice to all employers navigating this complex space.”

Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation covers the complex rules surrounding all types of wage and hour lawsuits. These include claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, claims under state wage and hour laws, or hybrid cases involving both, as well as special issues involving government contractors. It provides readers guidance around: how to respond to a wage and hour complaint; what to consider when deciding whether to remove a case to federal court; how to assess the particular merits of a claim; whether to settle; how to oppose plaintiffs' motion to facilitate notice for conditional certification; what kinds of affirmative defenses are best; and how to tilt the odds in favor of the defense.

In its latest update, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation features discussions of recent decisions from appellate and trial courts and their effect on wage and hour litigation, emphasizing the following developments:

  • The continuing impact of Comcast Corporation. v. Behrend on certification of state law wage and hour cases under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Recent California appellate decisions in the class action context examining: the extent to which merits issues can or should be considered in the class action context; the use of sampling methodologies; and the proper standard to be applied in exempt status cases at class certification.  It should be noted that, after this Release went to press, the California Supreme Court addressed these issues and more in detail in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association.  This is a very important wage and hour decision and will be addressed in detail in the next Release.
  • The continuing trend of federal and state cases refusing to follow the NLRB’s decision in D.R. Horton which held that requiring employees to waive their right to litigate employment claims in class actions violated the National Labor Relations Act. 
  • The Sixth Circuit’s decision on whether arbitrability is an issue for the court or the arbitrator to decide when the arbitration agreement is silent on the question.
  • California appellate court decisions analyzing the circumstances in which employee arbitration agreements are unconscionable under California law.  It should be noted that, once again after this Release went to press, the California Supreme Court issued another important decision, this time addressing unconscionability in the context of employee arbitration agreements and refusing to follow D.R. Horton.  This important decision, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, will also be addressed in detail in the next Release.

The 2014 update to Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation is published by American Lawyer Media’s Law Journal Press.  It is available online at www.lawcatalog.com.

Author backgrounds:

Noah Finkel, Co-Chair of the firm’s National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group in Chicago, has represented companies in many collective or class action matters under the FLSA and state wage-and-hour laws. He regularly advises employers on compliance with the FLSA and state wage and hour laws, including performance of exempt status reviews and pay practice audits. Finkel also participated in drafting of public comments to the U.S. Department of Labor on its proposed regulatory changes to the FLSA’s white-collar exemptions on behalf of the Society for Human Resources Management and the Public Sector FLSA Coalition.

Brett Bartlett, Chair of Seyfarth’s Labor & Employment group in Atlanta and Co-Chair of the firm’s National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group, has defended a large number of class and collective actions brought by employees alleging entitlement to unpaid overtime and minimum wage across a broad span of industries. Bartlett provides preventative counseling and change management assistance to employers wishing to limit their exposure to investigation and litigation under the FLSA and the state laws that require employers to pay overtime and minimum wages to their employees.

Andrew Paley, Co-Chair of the firm’s National Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group and Chair of the firm’s California Wage & Hour Litigation Group, has litigated numerous class and collective actions for alleged wage and hour violations under both state and federal law for clients in the financial services, retail, hospitality, telecommunications, and insurance industries. Paley’s experience includes the defense of large nationwide collective actions and multi-district litigations. He also advises clients on conducting pre-litigation wage and hour audits.

About Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw has more than 800 attorneys and provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. With offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Washington, D.C., Seyfarth’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and reflect virtually every industry and segment of the economy. A recognized leader in delivering value and innovation for legal services, Seyfarth’s acclaimed SeyfarthLean client service model has earned numerous accolades from a variety of highly respected third parties, including industry associations, consulting firms and media. For more information, please visit www.seyfarth.com.  

Contacts:
Brian Kiefer
, Director of Public Relations
(312) 460-6401, bkiefer@seyfarth.com

Martin Grego, Public Relations Manager
(312) 460-6659, mgrego@seyfarth.com