Wage & Hour Class Actions

Practice Area

Wage & Hour Class Actions

Wage and hour class action lawsuits have grown dramatically in number over the last couple of decades. From a 400% growth in the filing of federal wage and hour cases since 2000, to the advent of wage and hour “bounty hunter” statutes in California, multi-plaintiff wage and hour lawsuits now represent the single most significant threat to employers across the United States. Recent wage and hour verdicts have resulted in adverse outcomes to employers resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and attorneys’ fees.

Why The Nation's Most Successful Companies Choose Lewis Brisbois
We bring exceptional talent, experience and litigation skills to bear on each case we handle and at a cost much lower than our competitors. At Lewis Brisbois, we believe the value in representation lies in the quality of the lawyer. We are what you need in a crisis: truly great lawyers.

Our Wage and Hour Class Action Practice comprises a dedicated group of highly-specialized attorneys to address and service the needs of employers across the country who find themselves on the receiving end of a wage and hour class action. Over the last few years, our practice group has defended hundreds of wage and hour class, collective, and representative actions across numerous federal and state jurisdictions, potentially involving hundreds of thousands of class members.

Our wage and hour attorneys have been recognized locally and nationally as leaders in their field, and practice in the forefront of wage and hour litigation. They regularly represent employers in a full spectrum of high-exposure matters involving cutting-edge wage and hour issues, including:

  • Representative actions for penalties under the California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA);
  • Overtime class actions;
  • Meal and Rest Period class actions;
  • Payroll Stub Penalty class actions;
  • Challenges to facially neutral time-punch rounding policies;
  • Suitable seating for retail-style employees;
  • Enforceability of employer arbitration agreements with class and representative action waivers;
  • Failure to reimburse for business expenses, such as mileage, cellphones, and uniforms;
  • Unpaid vacation time claims;
  • “Off-the-clock” work and compensable hours worked;
  • Misclassification of employment status involving exempt employees and independent contractors;
  • Miscalculation of regular rate of pay for overtime involving premium pay, shift differentials, commissions, non-discretionary bonuses, and holiday pay;
  • "Mixed claims" involving wage and hour violations in addition to claims such as discrimination or harassment.

We are among the most active litigation firms in the State of California, which imparts us with tremendous insight on how to achieve the optimal outcome for our clients. The Employment and Labor Practice Group has extensive experience in defending all facets of employment lawsuits, including class actions, with a very competitive rate structure.

While our team counsels, teaches and trains management to prevent litigation and reduce clients' exposure to liability, sometimes employment litigation is inevitable. In those instances, due to the sensitive and volatile nature of employment actions, our attorneys formulate early and aggressive strategies to resolve matters. When early resolution is impossible, impractical, or undesirable, we bring cases to trial. Every year, our Employment and Labor Practice Group defends hundreds of employers at trial, in arbitration, and at administrative hearings.

From Local Start Ups to Multinational Corporations
California remains one of the largest economies in the world and, as a first generation California law firm, we have worked with many of our clients since their inception. As one of the largest litigation firms in the United States, and the largest California-based law firm, our partners have experience with California, national, and international companies, as well as the laws that affect them. We know how to work with you.

How are we different?
In defending wage and hour class action lawsuits, we customize our defense to the particular goals and objectives of our clients. Our lawyers will meet with you to learn your corporate philosophy and tailor a litigation plan that meets your specific needs. We apply the following principles to defense of these actions.

First, we thoroughly investigate the factual underpinning of the class claims, including interviewing select putative class members and analyzing all relevant policies and payroll and time records, or a representative sample of these records.

Second, the class claims are analyzed, and we promptly report any preliminary conclusions concerning the potential liability and worst-case exposure, which may exist under the class theories. We firmly believe that it is our role to be zealous advocates in the courtroom, while providing our clients with the most objective and honest advice early on in the litigation as to potential liability so the client can make an informed decision regarding future litigation strategies. We truly believe in the counselor’s role and that managing your expectations in a collaborative relationship is key to navigating the pitfalls of wage and hour law.

Third, at an early stage, we closely scrutinize and challenge the basis for certification of the putative class as alleged in the lawsuit. We have been consistently successful in defeating class certification motions and/or settling on very favorable terms based on an aggressive attack on the class certification standards. Should the matter proceed to trial, we work with you to get the best possible result through trial and appeal.

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