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Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance 2016


Speaker(s): Christopher A. Parlo, David S. Fortney, Ellen C. Kearns, George A. Hanson, Hon. Andrew J. Peck (Ret.), Hon. Kathleen A Roberts, James M. Lemonedes, Jason C. Marsili, Kristen H. Albertson, Lisa "Lee" A. Schreter, Matthew W. Lampe, Michele R. Fisher, Molly A. Brooks, Patricia Smith, Susan N. Eisenberg
Recorded on: Feb. 8, 2016
PLI Program #: 150295

Kristen H. Albertson has specialized in employment counseling and litigation, including class action litigation. She has served as in house employment and litigation counsel to two Fortune 100 corporations, including a multinational retailer and a food company. She has extensive experience with employment litigation, including wage and hour and discrimination single plaintiff, collective and class actions in federal and state courts throughout the country. She also has provided advice and counseling to employers on wide-ranging employee pay policies and practices, wage and hour and corporate ethics issues. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Corporate Ethics for Walmart Stores, Inc. In addition to her in house experience, Ms. Albertson has practiced employment law in private law firms, representing both large corporations and smaller employers. Ms. Albertson began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in Chicago, Illinois. She is active in the American Bar Association’s section of Labor and Employment Law and frequently lectures at national conferences on wage and hour issues, employment litigation and best practices.


Christopher A. Parlo represents and counsels management clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. As co-leader of the firm’s wage and hour litigation and counseling practice and its independent contractor team, Chris focuses on the defense of US federal and state wage and hour class and collective actions. He also defends employers in individual and complex employee litigation, employee benefits litigation, protection of trade secrets, and unfair competition matters.  Chris also appears as trial counsel in both jury and bench trial settings.

Chris has served as lead counsel in more than 80 wage and hour class and collective actions in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States, and has had a role in more than 100 such cases.

He opposes and has defeated efforts to certify classes and/or to send notice of the actions, and has experience in decertification of actions. He has successfully compelled individual named plaintiffs into arbitration, thereby defeating class status, and obtained summary judgment on individual named plaintiff claims and on claims of the class.

Chris has experience in determination of complicated class-based damages and limitation of class discovery. He helps clients avoid class discovery disputes, supervises paperless electronic discovery systems involving millions of documents, and litigates privilege issues. Chris has successfully mediated and settled dozens of actions, drafted numerous complicated settlement documents and settlement implementation processes, and supervised settlement administration in many multithousand-plaintiff actions.

Clients rely on Chris’s counsel on wage and hour compliance and audit issues, including maintenance and enhancement of white collar, outside sales, and other exemptions; defense of independent contractor and franchise models; development of proactive solutions to wage and hour problems; and review and redesign of compensation and expense reimbursement policies and programs. He provides advice and counsel in connection with client self-audits and US Department of Labor (DOL) and state wage and hour audits and investigations. Chris is a frequent speaker on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) issues, including how to avoid and defeat class and collective actions, and how to avoid—and if needed, litigate—independent contractor challenges. He has also participated with clients in presenting positions to the DOL to seek relief from and to change aspects of the FLSA, including through new opinion letters.

Chris also handles discrimination cases, including matters involving traditional and newly evolving employee claims against employers and corporate officers. He also represents employers in cases involving restrictive covenants and protection of employer trade secrets and confidential information, wrongful discharge, retaliation, breach of contract, and employment-related torts.

In the employee benefits context, Chris has handled major class action cases in both the nonbargaining and collective bargaining contexts. His experience includes complex litigation challenging employer plan design decisions, and individual claims of denial of benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, and benefits discrimination.

Also a seasoned trial lawyer, Chris has tried numerous bench and jury trials, and represents clients in administrative proceedings at the local, state, and federal levels.

AWARDS AND AFFILIATIONS

Recipient, M.H. Goldstein Memorial Prize, Labor Law

ADMISSIONS

  • New York

EDUCATION

State University of New York at Albany, 1985, B.A.

University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1988, J.D.

SECTORS

SERVICES

REGIONS


George Hanson is a partner at Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP in Kansas City, Missouri. George has earned a national reputation for prosecuting wage and hour cases on behalf of disenfranchised workers, protecting their right to “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” After a landmark trial where he delivered a victory for a class of meat-packing workers, a distinguished federal judge described George’s wage and hour experience as having “matchless depth.”

George has been named lead or co-lead attorney in more than 100 wage and hour actions filed in state and federal courts across the country and been appointed lead counsel in three Multidistrict Litigations (MDLs). He has appeared in 34 states, litigating matters involving overtime, minimum wage, work without pay, unreimbursed business expenses, donning and doffing, and independent contractor misclassification. George is passionate about leveling the playing field for workers and closing the gender wage gap. As a result of George’s work, employees have recovered more than $250 million in settlements and judgments in wage and hour cases.

George has been named among the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar,” is a Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer and is listed in Best Lawyers in America in three categories: commercial litigation, employment law, and mass torts/class actions. He has been honored by the National Law Journal as a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer “Trailblazer,” named a Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” for mass tort/class action litigation and both a “Local Litigation Star” and a “Labor and Employment Star” by Benchmark Plaintiffs.

George frequently presents on wage-and-hour law at seminars and continuing legal education programs across the country. George also has been a guest lecturer at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, the University of Kansas School of Law, and the Washington University School of Law. He is an author of multiple publications in wage-and-hour law and has served as a Senior Editor for the American Bar Association’s “Fair Labor Standards Act,” a leading treatise in the field.

 


Hon. Kathleen A. Roberts (Ret.) has been a full-time mediator, arbitrator, and special discovery master since 1995. She is highly regarded for her skillful facilitation, careful neutral evaluation, and persistence in resolving all types of disputes, and for her ability to manage complex arbitrations and provide well-reasoned awards.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • As a United States Magistrate Judge (SDNY) from 1985-1995, she adjudicated, supervised discovery, and settled hundreds of cases in all areas of federal litigation
  • Since joining JAMS, Judge Roberts has successfully mediated dozens of disputes in commercial, employment compensation and discrimination, securities, intellectual property, insurance coverage, environmental, and personal injury/product liability cases
  • Arbitrated dozens of complex commercial, employment, insurance, and other cases since 1995

Representative Matters

  • Mediation of a multi-million dollar class action against a major restaurant chain, asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Mediation of a breach of contract dispute between a national hospitality chain and accounting software consultants
  • Mediation of a number of sensitive gender discrimination claims brought by high level employees of major financial institutions
  • Mediation of a "multi-media" EPA enforcement action against a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, involving allegations under the Clean Water Act, RCRA, and EPCRA
  • Mediation of multiple related securities class actions asserting claims pertaining to the sale of limited partnerships by a major financial institution
  • Arbitration of several complex insurance coverage disputes pertaining to credit default insurance for automobiles and medical equipment
  • Arbitration, under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, of a dispute between a United States software manufacturer and its Taiwanese distributor, and a dispute between partners in numerous business ventures in Russia and the former Soviet Union
  • Appointed as a discovery master by federal and state courts to supervise discovery and review privileged documents in complex commercial, patent, and product liability cases, and as an election monitor for unions under court supervision

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the mediation panels for the United States District Courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, New York County; and Bankruptcy Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution, 1998-present
  • Frequent participant in bar association programs and continuing legal education programs on mediation and arbitration
  • Admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Member of the New York City Bar (Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee)

Background and Education

  • United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York, 1985-1995
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York, Criminal and Civil Divisions, 1979-1985
  • Law Clerk, Judge William C. Conner, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1977-1979
  • J.D., Yale Law School, Editor of the Yale Law Journal, 1977
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Massachusetts (Boston), 1971


Jason C. Marsili is a partner at Rosen Marsili Rapp LLP in Los Angeles.  His practice focuses on class and collective wage and hour litigation on behalf of both unrepresented and unionized employees involving violations of the FLSA and state law.  Additionally, Mr. Marsili handles individual matters concerning medical leaves, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination, as well as labor-management relations and executive compensation.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and teaches negotiation and mediation advocacy courses at USC School of Law.  Mr. Marsili is an active member of both the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Labor & Employment Law Section.  He currently serves as a Co-Chair of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee.  He also serves as an officer on the Executive Committee for the LACBA Labor & Employment Law Section and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Italian American Lawyers Association.


Matt Lampe represents employers throughout the country in class action and other complex litigation, including cases under the FLSA, ERISA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and numerous state discrimination, wrongful discharge, and other tort laws. He has extensive experience leading the defense of clients facing employment class actions across multiple jurisdictions. Matt also defends companies in EEOC, DOL, and other agency investigations alleging systemic discrimination or pay practice violations. In addition, he counsels clients across a broad spectrum of employment law and litigation avoidance topics.

Matt is co-chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He speaks frequently throughout the country on employment-related topics, including class action defense and wage and hour compliance and audit strategies. He is a contributing author to Labor & Employment N.Y. (LENY), the official blog of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, and a contributor to The Fair Labor Standards Act, Second Edition, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Matt was named one of the "Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" by HR Executive magazine and Lawdragon. In 2012, Matt was recognized as a "Client Service All-Star" by BTI Consulting Group, which commended him for "extraordinary dedication to client service during a time of increased pressure and client demands." He is a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a life member of the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and a member of the New York City Bar Association and the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.


Michele Fisher is a managing partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and the Chair of the Firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm.  She has dedicated her career to litigating wage and hour cases in an aggressive, creative, and strategic manner. She is one of the leaders of a practice group that has been described as a "powerhouse" for mass wage and hour litigation and arbitration.  Michele has the experience, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size.  She has handled several jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee rights and prides herself on the firm's reputation as a leader in national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. Michele has litigated hundreds of class and collective actions involving positions such as home health aides, loan officers, retail salespersons, oil and gas workers, assistant managers, field service engineers, call center representatives, exotic dancers, inside sales representatives, restaurant workers, insurance adjusters, property specialists, property managers, installers, service technicians, and road construction laborers.  Michele is active in several organizations. She is the Co-Chair and a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's Revenue and Partnership Development Committee, and a wage and hour track coordinator for the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual conference.  She has also served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee FLSA Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. She has been named to the Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, and Top 10 Wage and Hour Lawyers, and has been named a Lawyer of Distinction.  Michele volunteers as an attorney for a foster child through the Children's Law Center.

 

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MOLLY A. BROOKS is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP. She represents employees in class action wage and hour and discrimination cases. She has extensive experience litigating in federal and state courts as well as before arbitration panels.

Ms. Brooks is the Employee Vice-Chair and Associate Editor of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Newsletter. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Committee and is an active member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Ms. Brooks speaks regularly on wage and hour topics.


Mr. Fortney is a co-founder of Fortney & Scott, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm counseling and advising clients on the full spectrum of work-place related matters, including pay equity, employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, international dispute resolution and counseling matters, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises.  Fortney & Scott, LLC has been recognized, both locally and nationally, as a leading management employment law firm in the prestigious Best Law Firms survey for 2011-2019 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for Washington, D.C.

Mr. Fortney has a broad-based practice representing and counseling employers and executives in employment and labor matters, including equal employment opportunity requirements, wage and hour matters, federal contractor's affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining, workplace health and safety, and pension and welfare benefits. He brings experience from the public and private sectors in advising clients on these issues, and he frequently represents clients before the U.S. Department of Labor's agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Fortney previously served as the Deputy and Acting Solicitor of Labor (chief legal officer) at the U.S. Department of Labor where he represented all DOL agencies.  Mr. Fortney's also has experience in litigation as well as in designing and implementing Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures to help resolve employment claims in an efficient and fair manner.

Mr. Fortney has been widely recognized for his professional accomplishments, including being named one of the leading employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by the Chambers USA survey of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in all years from 2005 through present.  He was selected for inclusion in the 2009 through present editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Washington D.C.; Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers; and Super Lawyers.  Mr. Fortney also has an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.

David Fortney can be contacted by email (dfortney@fortneyscott.com) or telephone (+1.202.689.1200).  Additional information is available at www.fortneyscott.com.

 


Susan N. Eisenberg has more than 25 years of experience representing employers in all aspects of employment matters and is widely recognized as one of the leading employment law attorneys in Florida. Susan has extensive jury and non-jury trial experience involving sex, race, religion, age and disability harassment and discrimination issues. She also litigates non-compete and confidentiality issues as well as accessibility issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She regularly handles single plaintiff as well as class-action litigation. Susan is also widely known for her experience with wage and hour issues and is one of the authors of the premiere treatise titled The Fair Labor Standards Act.

Susan also advises clients on employment law compliance, discipline, terminations, reductions in force and wage and hour audits. She has extensive experience in conducting workplace investigations including those involving high level executives. She prepares workplace policies and procedure manuals, employment contracts, non-compete and confidentiality agreements and separation agreements. Susan also conducts informative and entertaining in-house training on employment issues.

Susan is Florida Bar Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law and has been a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers since 2007. Susan was recognized as one of the top 20 women lawyers in South Florida in 2014 and was recognized in 2019 as an Influential Business Woman by the South Florida Business Journal. Susan was also named 2020 Lawyer of the Year for Litigation, Labor & Employment Law by Best Lawyers in America.

Susan is the office managing partner of Cozen O'Connor's Miami offices and is the past co-chair of its Shareholder Nominating Committee. She currently sits on the Shareholder Compensation Committee. She is a frequent lecturer, author and bar association leader. She regularly writes and speaks on employment issues for the American Bar Association, Practicing Law Institute, and American Conference Institute. Susan is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, president of the Academy of Florida Management Attorneys, and founding member and president of the Wage and Hour Defense Institute. Susan is the current management co-chair of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Conference Planning Committee.

In addition to her litigation and counseling practice, for the past 15 years Susan has been an Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and is a Certified Mediator.

Susan earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Miami where she was a member of Law Review and president of the Moot Court Board. Before practicing law, Susan worked as a pharmacist and still holds her pharmacy license in Florida.


The Honorable Andrew J. Peck served for 23 years as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, including a term as Chief Magistrate Judge from 2004 to 2005. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Peck was in private practice for 17 years, focusing on commercial and entertainment litigation, including copyright and trademark matters, with extensive trial experience.

At DLA Piper, Judge Peck advises on innovative and efficient solutions to the challenges of information management, both within and outside the litigation context. He frequently speaks at conferences concerning eDiscovery issues. Since joining DLA Piper, Judge Peck has been retained to serve as special discovery counsel to clients and law firms, and to submit expert reports in state court cases. Judge Peck is ranked by Chambers as "Recognized Practitioner" for "Litigation: E-Discovery in USA- Nationwide."

Judge Peck also is available to serve as an arbitrator, mediator, Special Master, and ediscovery expert witness. In addition to serving directly through DLA Piper, Judge Peck is on the arbitration and mediation rosters of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), Federal Arbitration, Inc., National Arbitration and Mediation (NAM), and Resolute Systems, LLC. He also is on the International Trademark Association (INTA) Panel of Trademark Mediators.

Judge Peck is recognized internationally for bringing electronic discovery competency to the attention of both the judiciary and bar. Indeed, he is widely described as the first judge to tackle the subject of e-discovery head on, most notably in the influential 1995 decision Anti-Monopoly v. Hasbro, in which Judge Peck found that "it is black letter law that computerized data is discoverable if relevant." Also among his legacy rulings is the 2012 employment class action Monique Da Silva Moore, et. al. v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, the first judicial decision approving the use of technology-assisted review. By 2015, Judge Peck declared in Rio Tinto v. Valle that it was black-letter law that if the responding party wished to use TAR, courts would allow it. In March 2018, the New York Law Journal called Judge Peck "one of e-discovery's most influential figures."

Among the honors he has received, American Lawyer named him to its list of the Top 50 Innovators of the Last 50 Years as its Judicial E-Discovery Innovator.

 


Ellen Kearns is the office head and senior partner in the Boston office of Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete, LLP, a law firm specializing in labor and employment law.

Ellen is the Editor-in-Chief of the first, second and third editions of the ABA/BNA Treatise, The Fair Labor Standards Act. She also chairs the ABA Editorial Board for the Journal of Labor & Employment Law. 

Ellen has been recognized by Chambers USA Guide, Best Lawyers in America, American Registry, and Super Lawyers (Top 100 in Massachusetts, Top 50 Women in Massachusetts, Top 50 Women in New England). She is a frequent speaker on wage and hour law.

Ellen also serves as Chair of the Corporate Board of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Sponsored Ministries. She graduated from Boston College Law School and Regis College.


Lisa "Lee" A. Schreter is co-chair of the Wage and Hour Practice Group and former chair of Littler’s Board of Directors. Lee focuses on representing employers in complex class and collective actions involving discrimination, overtime and other wage-related claims and specializes in helping employers to develop forward-thinking compliance measures that reduce employment disputes.

Lee also specializes in representing management clients in negotiations with the U.S. Department Labor in national matters that involve such issues as the exempt status of employees and compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Lee represents and counsels clients in connection with many other labor and employment matters arising under federal and state laws such as The Equal Pay Act, The Service Contract Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state law wage and hour requirements.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Lee worked in human resources where she gained extensive experience in wage and hour issues, employee relations, salary and benefit administration and general employment matters.


Jim is a partner in the Litigation Department and the Chair of the Firm’s New York Employment Litigation Group, which addresses Fox clients’ labor and employment litigation needs in all federal and state courts and administrative tribunals, as well as arbitration hearings in New York. As former Senior Counsel/Trial Specialist for the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Office, Jim possesses a wealth of experience handling federal and state court litigations involving employment discrimination, civil rights claims, wage and hour matters and policy issues. He has served as lead counsel in more than 60 federal and state trials that have gone to verdict and has appeared in numerous administrative proceedings.