Altshuler Berzon LLP advocates for workers’ rights in litigation before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, and arbitrators. Our practice includes enforcing federal, state, and local laws concerning civil rights, as well as litigating wage-and-hour disputes, misclassification cases, breaches of contract, invasions of worker privacy, and other employment protections on behalf of individual workers and of groups of workers in both collective and class actions. We also represent academics and other professionals in employment disputes, including litigation over tenure rights, arbitration agreements, non-compete clauses, and all other aspects of employment contracts, and we negotiate severance agreements. Additionally, we draft, and provide analysis and advice on, minimum and living wage, wage theft, employer-provided health care, and other laws expanding workers’ rights.
- Series of California class actions on behalf of low-wage fast-food workers against McDonald’s and several of its franchisees, asserting joint-employer and other theories of liability, including one settlement on behalf of 39,000 California crew members at corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurants for $26 million plus extensive injunctive relief, and another settlement on behalf of crew members at a Bay area franchise against the owners of that franchise and McDonald’s for injunctive relief plus 100% of the backpay, interest, and liquidated damages that would have been recoverable by the certified class at trial.
- Defending against numerous constitutional challenges to the right of home care and child care workers to choose union representation.
- Successfully defended on appeal a $55 million California minimum wage judgment on behalf of a class of hundreds of Wal-Mart truck drivers.
- California state law class actions on behalf of restaurant crew members employed by corporate-owned and franchisee-owned McDonald’s fast food outlets, alleging numerous violations of California employment law and seeking to prove McDonald’s corporate liability on joint employer and other theories.
- A Title VII action alleging that a former employee was terminated when his employer learned he is a transgender man.
- A $22.7 million class action settlement on behalf of low-wage immigrant warehouse workers in California’s Inland Empire who contend that Walmart, its warehouse operator, and their labor services contractors are joint employers liable for state and federal wage-and-hour violations, including for imposing unlawful group piece rate scheme, wage fraud, and wrongful mass retaliatory termination.
- Representation of unions and low-wage workers as intervenors or amici in successful defense of Seattle $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance and New York wage board order increasing fast food worker minimum hourly wage to $15, and in challenge to Missouri law preempting efforts by St. Louis and Kansas City to increase local minimum wages.
- Multiple challenges in the federal courts and before the National Labor Relations Board to mandatory employment arbitration agreements prohibiting class collective actions and representative actions, as a violation of the right to engage in concerted protected activity guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.
- Consolidated Ninth Circuit appeals, followed by a California Supreme Court decision, on certification from the Ninth Circuit, adopting a worker-friendly construction of California’s seating law requiring employers to provide workstation seating to a wide range of employees, resulting in the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of a grant of class certification in one appeal and reversal of class certification denials in the other two.
A more extensive description of our victories on behalf of workers can be found on our Firm Resume.