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Managing Wage & Hour Risks 2013

 
Author(s): Michele R. Fisher, David S. Fortney, Robert P. Davis
Practice Area: Employment, Litigation
Published: Feb 2013
ISBN: 9781402419416
PLI Item #: 41643
CHB Spine #: H904

Michele R. Fisher is a partner at Nichols Kaster whose practice is primarily dedicated to national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. She has represented over a hundred thousand employees seeking to recover overtime pay, minimum wages and commission payments. She has successfully handled numerous jury trials and arbitrations. She is a member of the firm’s management committee and the chair of its Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm. Michele is a regular speaker at local and national conferences, routinely acts as an author and editor for wage and hour publications, and is active in several organizations. 

Michele is the co-chair and a faculty member of the Practising Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Co-Chair of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee. She has also served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee’s Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. 

Michele has been named to the Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, and is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, the Top 10 Wage and Hour Trial Lawyers, and a Lawyer of Distinction. Michele provides pro bono representation for the Children’s Law Center.


Bob Davis is widely acknowledged as one of the nation's leading legal authorities and litigators working across a broad spectrum of employment and ERISA issues. According to Chambers USA (2011), Bob is "immensely highly regarded," and Chambers USA (2010) described him as "a top flight litigator who is always looking around corners for his clients." Chambers USA (2007) also characterized Bob as a "'terrific lawyer' [who is] highly respected for his ERISA practice."

Chambers USA notes, too, that Bob is "definitely a key player in the labor and employment field," and that "as well as being recognized for his employee benefits expertise, Bob . . . focuses on wage and hour compliance and litigation. . . Clients describe him as a 'big-picture lawyer' who 'communicates an intelligent game plan.'"

He handles trial and appellate ERISA litigation and represents plans, fiduciaries, plan sponsors, and service providers in ERISA investigations and litigation. His victories in the ERISA area include denial of class certification on employer stock claims; interlocutory appeal and vacatur of class certification of ERISA fiduciary claims in a 100,000+ persons class action; successful defense at trial, resulting in a defense judgment affirmed on appeal, of one of the first major "stock drop" cases; winning summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, on all of the substantial claims in a major LMRA § 301/ERISA class action; dismissal of a stock drop case complaint with prejudice against plaintiffs; and successful defense of several national-level ERISA investigations by the US Department of Labor.

Bob has been responsible for over 100 Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour cases, including collective action and class action certification and decertification issues, enforcement of arbitration agreements when class claims are involved, and notice and discovery in class cases. His most recent victory was a jury verdict for a large financial services company, after five weeks of trial, in what we believe is the largest FLSA exempt status case ever tried to a defense verdict. Bob's other victories for employers include a precedent-setting appellate decision on the salary basis test under the FLSA, successful coordination of 28 statewide FLSA and wage and hour cases through the Judicial Panel for Multi-District Litigation, and defeat of class certification in several cases. Bob also has devised innovative structures for negotiated settlements.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown as a Partner in 1991, Bob served as the Solicitor of Labor for the US Department of Labor (1989-1991) and as Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of Transportation (1983-1985). Previously he served in senior positions in the US Department of Justice.

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD, magna cum laude, 1980. Editor, Georgetown Law Journal
  • Syracuse University, MPA, 1973.
  • Boston University, MA, 1972.
  • Brown University, AB, 1971.
     


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.