The EEOC Year-End Countdown blog will be your one-stop source for critical information regarding the EEOC’s litigation and investigative strategy and ways for employers to protect themselves in this high-alert time. The EEOC files more lawsuits in the last eight weeks of its fiscal year (July 1 – Sept. 30) than any other period. Seyfarth Shaw expects that the EEOC will set another record in 2012, filing more suits during the next several weeks than the rest of the year combined. The EEOC Year-End Countdown blog will ensure you remain up to speed on the government’s most recent tactics and inform employers of the battle-tested ways to address the Commission’s alarmingly aggressive agenda.
Gerald Maatman, Jr. is a partner in the Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group in Seyfarth Shaw’s Chicago office. Mr. Maatman has a primary emphasis in his practice on defending employers sued in employment-related class actions and EEOC pattern and practice lawsuits brought in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Mr. Maatman also pioneered the process of conducting employment practices audits to assist employers in structuring effective and practical personnel policies and protocols. These audits are designed to minimize the incidence of employment-related class action litigation and to maximize management discretion and workplace productivity. Mr. Maatman’s work in this area has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.
Christopher J. DeGroff
Christopher J. DeGroff is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department in the Firm’s Chicago office, with a practice largely focused on multi-plaintiff and class/collective actions. Mr. DeGroff’s class action experience spans the scope of employment law theories. Mr. DeGroff also has extensive experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation. Mr. DeGroff has developed innovative strategies for addressing wide-ranging governmental requests for information and has handled complex regional and national EEOC investigations, typially resulting in no action being taken against our clients at all. When the EEOC has resorted to litigation, Mr. DeGroff has been instrumental in defending our clients against these often high-profile systemic cases, working with any number of class action teams to achieve efficient and effective case resolution. Mr. DeGroff’s class experience also includes a significant understanding of emerging electronic discovery issues, and has conducted speeches and published articles on electronic discovery and other high-technology issues.
Rebecca Bjork is of counsel in the Labor and Employment Department in the Washington D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Ms. Bjork has represented companies in products liability, consumer, and employment class action litigation in the pharmaceutical, automotive, transportation, and food and beverage industries. Ms. Bjork has particular experience in multidistrict litigation proceedings, including petitioning the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to establish such proceedings and appoint a specific federal court to oversee them, transferring newly-filed state court cases to them through removal and remand opposition briefing, and managing pretrial activities in the transferee court. Ms. Bjork also has litigation experience in several areas of class action defense, including discovery, class certification, summary judgment, and fairness hearing briefing.
Alex S. Drummond
Alex S. Drummond is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department in the Atlanta office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. His practice includes the representation of management in employment litigation matters before state and federal courts, at trial and appellate levels, as well as federal and state agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Mr. Drummond also counsels clients on a wide variety of employment matters, including disability accommodation, family and medical leave under federal and state laws, workplace investigations, training, background checks, pre-hire testing, performance assessment and discipline, workforce reductions-in-force, whistleblower claims, defamation, handbooks and policies review, and terminations.
Dana Howells is of counsel in the Labor and Employment Department in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Ms. Howells focuses her practice on advising businesses on all aspects of employment relationships from pre-hire screening to terminations and reductions-in-force. Areas of concentration include ERISA and employee benefits, discrimination, wage and hour, contacts, severance, compensation, FMLA and mandated leaves, disability/reasonable accommodations, harassment/internal investigations, privacy and workplace violence prevention. In addition to advising employers on compliance and problem-solving, Ms. Howells has represented employers before administrative agencies, self-regulatory agencies, in jury and bench trials, and before state and federal appellate courts. Depending on the client’s goals, she has resolved many disputes through arbitration, mediation and negotiation.
Lynn A. Kappelman
Lynn A. Kappelman is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office practicing in the area of labor and employment litigation, including issues arising under ADEA, Title VII, ERISA, ADA, and all other state and governmental laws affecting employers. She has successfully litigated many trials to verdict, negotiated hundreds of cases to settlement, briefed and argued appeals to the First, Second and Third Circuits and state appellate courts. Ms. Kappelman handles complex discrimination litigation including class action gender discrimination, race discrimination and gender equity cases, as well as EEOC pattern and practice charges.
Daniel B. Klein
Daniel Klein is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office. Mr. Klein’s practice includes the representation of management in employment and non-competition litigation matters before state and federal courts, at trial and appellate levels, as well as federal and state agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities. As a member of the firm’s Complex Discrimination Litigation Practice Group, Mr. Klein has defended employers in a variety of complex discrimination cases, including multi-plaintiff discrimination lawsuits, EEOC pattern and practice cases, and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Mr. Klein also has defended employers against the full spectrum of cases involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, defamation, and wage and hour violations, as well as representing employers in non-competition and contract disputes.
Laura J. Maechtlen
Laura J. Maechtlen is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Ms. Maechtlen’s practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of wage and hour class and collective actions arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code and/or the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ms. Maechtlen’s practice also focuses on employment litigation of discrimination and harassment cases brought as multi-plaintiff and class actions under federal and state statutory laws. Ms. Maechtlen also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.
Jennifer Riley is an associate in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. She is a member of the Firm’s Labor & Employment Department. Ms. Riley practices in the employment litigation area, with a particular emphasis on complex collective and class action proceedings. She has represented clients in a wide range of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country. Her extensive litigation experience includes serving as trial counsel in federal court bench and jury trials, as well as in arbitration proceedings.
David B. Ross
David B. Ross specializes in defending companies in class action and complex employment litigation matters, including EEOC pattern and practice lawsuits. He has been lead counsel or co-counsel on numerous matters in a wide range of industries, including financial services, insurance, consumer retail, hospitality, media, utilities and education. With a graduate degree and background in economics and statistics, Mr. Ross has a particular expertise in the application of these disciplines in complex employment cases and has taken a lead role in the Firm in this area. Mr. Ross has also represented companies in virtually ever area of labor and employee law, with extensive experience in traditional labor law and arbitration, securities-related employment matters before FINRA and the NYSE, and in litigation of claims arising under EEO statutes, ADEA, ADA, FLSA, USSERA, OSHA, WARN and state statutes governing individual employment rights and benefits.