Class and Collective Actions

Blank Rome’s employment litigation attorneys have substantial experience representing employers in class and collective action matters. We understand the potential impact such claims can have on employers and their businesses, and we counsel clients on effective methods to address such claims, including working with clients to identify opportunities to narrow the claims or putative class representatives, including through early dismissals, and through an understanding of the class/collective action rules and procedures, to identify individual issues to help demonstrate that the action should not proceed as a class or collective action. Our attorneys are trial lawyers who regularly represent employers in employment-related class and collective action matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States.

What We Do

We routinely defend employers against a variety of class and collective action lawsuits, including:

  • FLSA and wage and hour class and collective actions
  • Title VII race discrimination class actions
  • ADEA and parallel state collective and class actions
  • Title VII gender discrimination class actions
  • ECOA and other class actions involving charges of discrimination

What Makes Our Practice Different

We place an emphasis on early case assessment to help employers identify opportunities to minimize exposure and the costs of litigation, including for example, early dismissals of some or all of the claims, referral to arbitration, and prompt education of the court that actions are not appropriate for certification as class or collective action matter. If necessary, we effectively utilize discovery, technology and expert witnesses to help demonstrate that individual issues preclude certification, while always maintaining a focus on effective trial strategies should a trial of one or more claims become necessary. Quite simply, while relying on our significant class/collective action knowledge and experience as a foundation, we bring a fresh, out of the box, perspective to each matter to help us identify the best and most appropriate strategy to defend against that specific claim. Significantly, while developing strategy, we work directly with our clients to identify a budget for each stage of the matter to maximize alignment between management of the litigation strategy and our clients’ overall business objectives.

Representative Engagements

  • Nationwide FLSA “off the clock” collective action.
  • Independent contractor misclassification class/collective action.
  • ADEA collective action for lost business opportunity.
  • FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of mid-level managers as exempt “executives”.
  • FLSA collective action alleging failure to pay overtime.
  • California wage and hour class action alleging meal and rest period violations
  • California wage and hour class action alleging failure to reimburse for business expenses and alleged unlawful deductions.

Representative Successes

  • Defeated class certification in matter involving claims of company-wide gender discrimination for U.S. operations of global company and subsequently obtained summary judgment in individual cases filed by named plaintiffs.
  • Defeated collective action certification in matter involving age discrimination claims against global gas and energy solutions provider, and subsequently obtained summary judgment on each of the individual cases filed by named plaintiffs.
  • Convinced EEOC to dismiss individual and class claims in matter involving claims of race discrimination against national building services company.
  • Defeated class certification in a California wage and hour action against a large tour company, and successfully resolved the claims of the named plaintiffs.
  • Achieved favorable settlement of FLSA collective action against a national logistics company with over 11,000 facilities.
  • Achieved favorable settlement of ADEA collective action against a major telephone and internet data services provider brought by the EEOC.
  • Achieved favorable settlement of numerous separate collective and class wage and hour actions against a large financial institution.