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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, Hon. M. Patricia Smith, James M. Lemonedes, Jason C. Marsili, Kristen H. Albertson, Lisa "Lee" A. Schreter, Matthew W. Lampe, Michele R. Fisher, Molly A. Brooks, 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.


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


  • New York


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

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




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.

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.

Susan N. Eisenberg has more than 25 years 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 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. 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.

In addition to her litigation and counseling practice, for the past 10 years Susan has been an Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and 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.

Practice Areas

• Labor & Employment


• University of Miami School of Law, J.D.
• University of Michigan, B.S.

Bar Admissions

• Florida

Awards & Honors

• Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
• Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers,
• Founding Member, Wage and Hour Defense Institute (WHDI)
• The Best Lawyers in America 2016, Listed as “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law - Management in Miami
• The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2016
• South Florida Legal Guide Top Lawyers 2012-2015
• Chambers USA2004-2015,
• Chambers USA 2012, Women in Law Awards, Short List for Employment Lawyer of the Year
• Super Lawyers Magazine2012-2015
• Super Lawyers Magazine “Top 50 Women Lawyers” Florida, 2008, 2010-2011, 2013-2015
• Super Lawyers Magazine 2013, Listed in Florida as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers”
• Super Lawyers Magazine 2013, Listed in Florida as one of the “Top 100 Miami Lawyers”
• Daily Business Review 2014, Recognized as a Top 20 Women in Law Honoree in South Florida
• Florida Trend’s Legal Elite 2005,2007, 2010,2012-2013
• The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, 2012
• Certified Mediator, Florida Supreme Court
• American Arbitration Association, Arbitrator
• Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated

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. Judge Peck also is available to serve as an arbitrator, mediator and Special Master.

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 2011 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. 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.

George Hanson was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1988, George graduated with High Honors from Oberlin College with a B.A. in History. In 1992, George obtained his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. George is one of the region's leading commercial litigators and trial lawyers. George has been named "Best of the Bar" by the Kansas City Business Journal for eleven years and has also been elected a Missouri Super Lawyer every year since 2006. George has been named a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Plaintiffs and was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers® in America 2014 and 2015. Additionally, he was named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Kansas City, MO – Class Actions - Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year.” George is rated AV - the highest designation a lawyer can achieve from publisher Martindale Hubbell.

George is an experienced commercial litigator and trial attorney. George has successfully tried many cases to judges and juries in both state and federal court, and has extensive experience representing clients in arbitration. In addition to complex commercial litigation and trial work, George's practice currently focuses on the representation of employees in large wage and hour class and collective actions, including workers in the financial services, meat processing, pharmaceutical and call center industries. In the past fifteen years, George has been lead or co-lead counsel in more than 100 wage and hour actions filed in state and federal courts across the country. George is also a frequent speaker regarding trial practice and wage and hour matters nationwide, and served on the Senior Editorial Board of the ABA’s Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise, 3rd Edition.

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.

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 workplace-related matters, including employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, executive employment and compensation, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises. Mr. Fortney has a broad-based practice representing and counseling employers in employment and labor matters, including wage and hour matters, government enforcement agencies’ audits and regulatory matters, judicial proceedings, Equal Employment Opportunity requirements, federal contractor's affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining and union organizing, and workplace health and safety. Mr. Fortney is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; he co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Federal Legislative Development Committee; and, he is a frequent lecturer at professional conferences. Fortney & Scott, LLC has been both locally and nationally recognized as a leading management employment law firm in the prestigious Best Law Firms survey for 2011-2017 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Mr. Fortney’s wage and hour practice includes counseling clients with respect to policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the minimum wage and overtime obligations under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws, including the proper classification of positions as exempt or non-exempt, overtime practices for non-exempt employees, compensation practices for exempt employees, and time and record keeping procedures; conducting preventive compliance audits; and advising and representing clients facing audits by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Additionally, Mr. Fortney established and co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s nationally acclaimed annual wage and hour seminar in New York, and has been doing so since 2010.

Before co-founding the firm, Mr. Fortney previously served as the chief legal officer of the U. S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. during President George H. W. Bush Administration. As Acting Solicitor of Labor, he was responsible for enforcing over 140 laws regulating the nation's workplaces and managing an agency with 800 attorneys and support staff. He advised Secretaries of Labor Elizabeth Dole and Lynn Martin and the Department of Labor agencies on a broad range of legal, policy, legislative, regulatory, and enforcement issues. The major Department of Labor agencies Mr. Fortney represented included the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), among others.

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.’s, Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers. Mr. Fortney also has an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Fortney is a frequent lecturer and writer on employment-related topics, including appearances on CNN, CBS and Fox News. Mr. Fortney is the co-editor of a monthly newsletter, the Federal Employment Law Insider, Chapter Eight of The Family and Medical Leave Act (2006) published by BNA Books, co-author of the Military Leave Compliance Kit (2001), published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, and lead author of the Guide to Employee Leave (1997), published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont. Mr. Fortney received his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.