Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has one of the country’s premier wage and hour litigation defense practices. We have lawyers who focus on federal and state wage and hour litigation, Department of Labor investigations, internal audits and strategic counseling. We have defended nearly 250 wage and hour collective and class actions over the past 15 years against many of the most prominent plaintiff-side firms. We understand their methods and have incorporated this understanding into our defense strategies and suggested preventive practices. Our ability to offer clients comprehensive service is built on our extensive experience handling class litigation at every stage, including trial and appeal. We have an established record of achieving excellent results that are both cost-effective and consistent with the business needs of our clients.
Our class and collective action experience includes claims regarding:
- employee classification
- meal periods and rest breaks
- “off-the-clock” work
- wage payment issues
- payment and distribution of tips
- independent contractor versus employee status
- preliminary and postliminary activities
- compensability of time under collective bargaining agreements.
We have developed a broad range of innovative strategies to attack wage and hour class and collective actions, including—
Use of Experts - We were among the first to use expert analyses of electronic data and scientific surveys to develop class and merits evidence.
Use of Class Member Testimony - We have refined methods for obtaining high-quality class member testimony.
Limiting Discovery - We have succeeded in limiting discovery in some instances to a subset of class members, so that the company can present its “best case” while reducing class litigation costs.
Strategic Use of Summary Judgment - We have used early summary judgment when available for ending class litigation early or exposing disparate factual issues that preclude class treatment.
Trial and Appeal - We are one of only a few firms with meaningful wage and hour class action trial experience.
Department of Labor Investigations
The Department of Labor conducts investigations into matters that are also the subject of private litigation. The firm has successfully resolved matters before the Department of Labor involving the Fair Labor Standards Act and has represented employers in virtually every sector of the economy, with work forces as large as 100,000 or more employees nationwide.