Employment Litigation

In 2014, the Department of Labor reported employment litigation had risen 400% over the previous two decades. Given continued evolution of federal and state discrimination laws and a laser focus on wage and hour practices, this upward trend—and the need to prepare and defend employers—will continue.

Key Contacts

Matthew M. Durham Partner Salt Lake City, UT
Overview

We have one of the largest labor and employment practices serving public and private employers in the Pacific Northwest and adjacent western U.S. region. We’re business-minded litigators and counselors who share a common purpose to proactively prevent disputes or, when necessary,  vigorously defend against them. 

Our Services

  • Class and collective actions
  • Single plaintiff suits
  • Arbitration, mediation and appeals
  • Wage and hour class actions
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Harassment
  • Claims related to reductions in force
  • FMLA, ADA allegations
  • Breach of employment contracts
  • Multi-jurisdictional disputes
  • Collective bargaining disputes
  • ERISA litigation
  • Non-competes, non-disclosure obligations
  • Representation before state and federal agencies

Litigation Prevention & Quick Resolution

It goes without saying, employment litigation can be a costly distraction. We place significant focus on assuring your practices, policies and training programs are optimized to achieve compliance with Department of Labor and NLRB laws and regulations. When disputes arise, we mobilize quickly to gather the facts and resolve the case efficiently through dispositive motion, mediation, arbitration or settlement. 

Defense at Trial

Whether you face a multi-state class action or an individual plaintiff, when disputes go to court we have an experienced team of trial attorneys at the ready. We’re focused on minimizing business disruption and disposing of the case efficiently and effectively. That involves conducting a thorough early case assessment, investigating the facts, collecting documents, tapping experts if needed and presenting a clear defense to judges and juries.  Knowing how onerous it can be to produce and retain documents, we draw upon our understanding of your business and employ a practical mindset to right-size that effort.  We launch an aggressive strategy from the start to encourage disposition or settlement while being thoroughly ready for trial. 

Class Action Leaders

We’ve handled numerous class action cases in recent years, many involving wage and hour or discrimination claims.  We’ll work tirelessly to challenge class certification, testimony of plaintiffs’ experts and the overall basis for the suit.  We’ve served as national coordinating counsel and regional counsel for multi-venue and multi-party class action cases, employing a deep bench with extensive motion, trial, appeal and alternative dispute resolution experience. At every step, we communicate extensively with you, providing detailed budgeting and case updates.

 


Matters
  • Represented a multinational biomedical technology company in a case alleging breach of contract, breach of the duty of loyalty and intentional interference. The intentional interference claim resulted in a favorable outcome on summary judgment, while the remaining claims were tried to a jury, which determined there was no breach of the duty of loyalty and awarded a substantially lower figure in damages.
  • Represented a manufacturer of investment cast structural components in a case involving threats of violence in the workplace, in which a former employee alleged violations of Oregon’s disability law and the FMLA. The case resulted in a favorable precedent-setting decision.  
  • Represented a multinational shoe and apparel manufacturer in obtaining a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and business tort litigation against a direct competitor and three former employees.
  • Represented a health care system in a series of related lawsuits, labor arbitrations and injunctive proceedings to defend the employer’s program of mandatory vaccination against influenza, resulting in repeated rejections of motions for injunctive relief and successes in arbitration.
  • Successfully defended a private religion-based higher education institution against an adjunct professor applicant’s agency complaint of religious discrimination when the institution refused employment because the applicant did not share the institution’s religious beliefs.
  • Represented a manufacturer of consumer knives and multi-tools in defending against allegations of FMLA violations and wrongful discharge, achieving a favorable outcome on summary judgment.
  • Represented a multinational shoe and apparel manufacturer and its wholly owned European subsidiary in connection with alleged discrimination claims, resulting in a successful motion for dismissal.
  • Represented a sustainable energy producer in a wage and hour class action, which was dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Represented an online retail marketplace in connection with an age discrimination claim and obtained full dismissal of the charge.
  • Represented a hospital in a claim of race discrimination, resulting in dismissal on summary judgment.
  • Represented an international technology company in a race and age discrimination case, which resulted in a dismissal.
  • Represented a regional not-for-profit health care system in the successful defense of a motion for temporary restraining order brought by a former employee seeking to prevent a policy change.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for a multinational shoe and apparel manufacturer in a whistleblower retaliation case where the plaintiff sought more than $27M in damages.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for a multinational biomedical technology company in a non-compete/non-solicitation case involving the hiring of a senior executive and a regional sales team. 
  • Represented a public university specializing in dentistry, medicine and nursing in both a labor union grievance and a class action complaint alleging failures to make correct contributions to a retirement fund.We achieved a successful resolution to both actions.
  • Represented a multistate senior living company in a nationwide wage and hour class and collective action and FLSA retaliation case, which resulted in a favorable settlement before class certification.
  • Represented a health insurance provider in the Pacific Northwest against allegations of race and disability discrimination and claims under the FMLA. All claims were dismissed.
  • Represented a nationwide automotive dealership in a complaint alleging Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower and retaliation claims. All claims were dismissed.
  • Represented a chain retailer specializing in mobile electronic products in a matter alleging multiple wrongful termination claims and a Washington EEOC charge, which resulted in agency dismissals or minimal nuisance-value resolutions.
  • Represented a chain of roadside convenience stores in a lawsuit alleging FMLA violations and sexual harassment.We obtained favorable terms after the dismissal of much of the case on summary judgment.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an oil exploration and development company defending against an alleged breach of contract after the termination of a consulting contract.
  • Represented an online retail marketplace in an alleged sexual harassment claim and obtained a favorable outcome on summary judgment.
  • Represented a local energy utility provider against whistleblower retaliation claims, earning a complete defense verdict.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for an international banking and financial service provider in connection with alleged age discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation claims brought by a former employee.  
  • Represented a blood glucose monitoring systems manufacturer in connection with claims of gender and age discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. The case was dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Represented a large construction company in connection with an alleged interference claim brought by a former senior-level manager, achieving a favorable outcome on summary judgment.
  • Represented a local hospital against a suit filed by a doctor whose privileges had been revoked. All claims were dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Represented an independent telephone company in connection with allegations of a breach in an oral contract. All claims were dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Represented an early childhood care and education service provider against a breach of contract claim, which was dismissed in arbitration.
  • Secured summary judgment for a regional not-for-profit health care provider in a gender, race and national origin discrimination action.
  • Secured summary judgment for a major utility provider in an ERISA claim involving chronic fatigue syndrome.
Team
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