Employment Class Action Defense



Today’s litigation landscape is dominated by nationwide employment class action activity spurred by aggressive plaintiffs’ attorneys, stricter government enforcement, difficult economic conditions, and targeted issues that may lend themselves well to class adjudication and potentially high damages exposure.

Given the explosion of employment class action litigation cases, employers today need the deep experience and cost-effective, creative, and winning strategies that Nixon Peabody’s Employment Class Action team can provide.

From the outset, our goal is to resolve cases and claims as quickly as possible, long before trial. We work collaboratively with our clients to assess their risk and develop a cost-effective winning strategy. Our in-depth knowledge of substantive employment law, combined with decades of experience litigating against the major plaintiffs’ firms in the country have resulted in an unparalleled record of pretrial wins. We have defeated numerous motions for class certification, won motions to dismiss and/or for summary judgment on the merits, and successfully leveraged creative procedural and substantive defenses to negotiate settlements covering tens of thousands of class members at steep discounts to our clients, often saving millions of dollars in potential damages.

Defense methodology

Once a class action is filed, our Employment Class Action team responds swiftly and aggressively. We have developed an effective, analytical framework to defend against putative class actions. Our methodology often includes conducting an early case assessment to evaluate the underlying merits of the case and potential procedural and substantive defenses, including well-developed strategies and tactics to defeat class certification. Our goal at all times is to determine the most cost effective approach to defending the action in order to achieve either net settlement or trial advantages, while remaining attentive to the client’s overall business objectives.

When a decision is made to defend the action, our first priority is to defeat certification of the proposed class by using various creative tactics, employing an aggressive approach to discovery on absent class members and a focused motion practice. We also work closely with renowned experts, such as statisticians and labor economists, in preparing an evidentiary record and expert report to defeat class certification. Our methodology has proven successful in significantly pairing down plaintiffs’ claims and/or destroying the “heart” of the case.

If the case proceeds to trial, we are uniquely qualified to deliver net trial advantages to our clients. Our Employment Class Action team has earned a national reputation for litigating cases aggressively, cost-effectively, and with considerable success for our clients. We have the knowledge and experience to work with company representatives and experts, developing their testimony and the presentation of the company’s story, to put forth the strongest possible defense at trial.

Deep class action defense experience

Members of our Employment Class Action team have litigated in every federal circuit, across numerous state jurisdictions, and before the U.S. Supreme Court. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing companies in a wide range of industries, including but not limited to health care, information technology, manufacturing, high-tech, and financial services, in both federal and state class actions and multi-jurisdictional litigation. Our Employment Class Action team has represented employers in class litigation in a wide range of employment claims including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and many other federal and state employment laws.

Be cautious with settlement releases

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | July 02, 2018

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes associate Laura Bacon wrote this contributed article on a California employment discrimination matter that offers important lessons for employers entering into settlement agreements.

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