Class Action Litigation
Goldberg Kohn’s Litigation Group has vast experience in class action cases, having defended well over 100 class action cases in federal and state court, including significant experience defending major corporations in class and collective action employment disputes. The firm's goal in defending class and collective action cases is to defeat class certification and minimize the client’s exposure to a far-ranging class’s damages claim. The firm's attorneys regularly advise employers on how to develop policies and structure transactions in compliance with the increasing number of employment laws and regulations to avoid class actions. Goldberg Kohn provides technical guidance on thorny wage and hour issues, plant closings, family and medical leave, severance programs, and employee disability issues.
- Defended a public company in a purported class action involving allegations of widespread race discrimination. After discovery the firm's attorneys avoided class certification and obtained a summary judgment for their client. The judgment was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defended a public company in a putative class action in federal court in New Jersey alleging systematic ERISA/pregnancy discrimination in the administration of its short term disability benefits for employees on maternity leave. The case settled favorably after class allegations were largely shown to be without merit.
- Defended a public company's financial services operations in California against class-wide allegations of wage and hour violations involving 600 current and former employees. Attorneys in the Labor & Employment Group interviewed more than 250 employees and conducted extensive legal research on the action issues and the merits, which enabled Goldberg Kohn to obtain a very favorable result for the client in mediation.
- Defended a public company client that was sued in the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois for alleged violations of the FLSA and related state laws by a plaintiff seeking to pursue a collective action and to give notice to a nationwide class numbering in the thousands. The case involved a complex legal and factual analysis of an esoteric FLSA exemption. After engaging in initial rounds of discovery, Goldberg Kohn was able to obtain a de minimis settlement before a motion to approve class notice was filed with the Court. This case was very important to the client because, along with several other issues, it involved whether thousands of former, current, and future route sales representatives (drivers) were exempt from the FLSA overtime requirements pursuant to the Motor Carrier Act. Goldberg Kohn attorneys not only assembled key factual evidence substantiating the exemption, but also demonstrated to the plaintiffs' counsel through relevant case law that national certification was highly unlikely given the differences in meal and rest break practices from driver to driver.
- Represented a public company in a FLSA collective action brought in the district court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of assistants to the route representative position (helpers). After initial discovery on the scope of the prospective class, Goldberg Kohn defeated the class plaintiffs’ motion for nationwide notice to certify a nationwide class of more than 200 helpers at 35 locations in over 20 states. Once limited to a local action only, only one additional helper opted into the action, and the case was settled for a minimal amount per helper, saving the client hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- In a New Jersey federal lawsuit Goldberg Kohn acted as lead counsel to a national finance company in defending against allegations that the lender was responsible for the unpaid wages and benefits of a class of employees of a bankrupt borrower. The firm's attorneys developed compelling evidence through depositions and other discovery, which led to their client being dismissed outright from the case without liability or the payment of any money.