Wage and Hour

Venable's Labor and Employment Group possesses decades of collective experience defending employers in large-scale collective and class action lawsuits that challenge compensation practices under federal, state, and local laws. We leverage our talent and experience to help our clients meet the unique challenges presented by wage and hour class actions.

With extensive experience defending cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and its state counterparts, our wage and hour lawyers are well equipped to manage class and collective actions across the country. Understanding that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to defending against a wage and hour class action, we work with clients to seize the initiative from the outset of the case and determine the best strategies to pursue based on the issues and facts presented.

We are adept at attacking certification whenever appropriate, including early-phase conditional certification. Not only have we defeated motions to certify classes, but we have successfully decertified previously certified classes, dramatically reducing our clients' potential costs. We have also enforced arbitration provisions, which is often a less costly alternative to court litigation.

Should a client choose litigation, Venable has been extremely successful at having putative class wage and hour claims dismissed before discovery on motion, and after discovery on summary judgment. When our early case assessments lead our clients to explore settlement, we structure creative settlements of complex class claims that receive court approval while minimizing the economic impact on our clients. On the rare occasion where it's required, our team of experienced trial lawyers is prepared to try class action cases across the country.


  • Defending a merchandise supplier in a class action involving employee claims of unpaid overtime, misclassification, unreimbursed expenses, and missed meal and rest periods in. To date, our attorneys have persuaded plaintiffs to abandon half of their claims
  • Defending a healthcare system in a wage and hour class action lawsuit brought by approximately 300 hourly workers claiming unpaid wages related to meal breaks and off-the-clock work in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, Kings County
  • Led defense in recently resolved wage and hour collective action against a fast-food franchisee involving approximately 1,600 potential plaintiffs across four different states. Obtained dismissal of a large portion of the opt-in plaintiffs by enforcing previously executed arbitration and class action waiver agreements. After substantial discovery and two mediation sessions, negotiated a global settlement agreement under which all claims were dismissed
  • Obtained full dismissal with prejudice of wage and hour collective action claims asserted under California's Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) at pleadings stage based on defects in plaintiff's pre-suit notice.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a New York-based restaurant group facing unpaid overtime and deficient record-keeping collective claims under the FLSA and class claims under the New York Labor Law in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Negotiated dismissal of parallel audit and penalties issued by the New York State Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards. Gonzalez v. Efthia Rest. Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46958 (S.D.N.Y. March 17, 2020)
  • Obtained summary judgment in a certified wage and hour class action for a large construction management firm, where a class of employees sought payment of prevailing wage rates claimed to be third-party beneficiaries under the client's project labor agreement. Venable's victory ensured our client avoided nearly two more years of litigation and a jury trial against other defendants.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement agreement on behalf of a commercial printing company in a class action where class members alleged failure to pay complete wages and failure to provide reasonable accommodation due to disabilities.
  • Defended a prestigious medical college in a putative collective action brought by employees alleging unpaid wages under the FLSA and New York Labor Law. Successfully negotiated narrow collective definition and collective notice resulting in extremely weak response to collective notice and nominal settlement.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement agreement for a nationwide media company in a PAGA wage and hour class action for failure to pay overtime wages, and failure to pay wages when due.
  • Obtained dismissal of a maritime class action under FLSA where employees sought overtime wages, by successfully arguing that the class members were "seaman" exempt from overtime premiums under FLSA.
  • Defended a New York-based chain of bakeries against a class action lawsuit brought by delivery employees, retail workers, and other employees seeking damages for allegedly failing to pay the employees FLSA minimum wage or New York State minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, retaining their tips, and other violations. Successfully negotiated a favorable class-wide settlement.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a casino in a wage-and-hour class action with more than 800 class members filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Defended 40 commercial production companies in a series of wage and hour class actions. The actions were successfully resolved on terms favorable to the production companies
  • Obtained dismissal for an employer on a majority of claims for unpaid overtime wages under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law based on a statute of limitations defense despite plaintiffs' claim that the statute was tolled under class action judicial tolling during employee’s prior collective action litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Dismissal was affirmed by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Adedje v. Westat, Inc., 214 Md. App. 1, 75 A.3d 401 (2013)
  • Obtained complete denial of class certification under the FLSA in United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The Court's decision refined the analysis for conditional certification and established governing authority cited regularly by the Maryland federal courts. Syrja v. Westat, Inc., 756 F. Supp. 2d 682 (D. Md. 2010)
  • Obtained dismissal on the pleadings for a transportation company on a majority of claims in a class action under the FLSA. The court adopted the defendant's definition of "commercial motor vehicle" for purposes of the motor carrier exemption under the FLSA and agreed that the class members failed to state a claim for overtime wages, minimum wages, gratuities, and deductions from wages. Avery v. Chariots for Hire, 748 F. Supp. 2d 492 (D. Md. 2010)
  • Defended a large New York-based construction firm and its officers against collective and class action allegations of unpaid overtime and prevailing wages. During the conditional certification stage, successfully moved the Court to substantially narrow the class of potential plaintiffs and delete portions of the lead plaintiff's proposed class action notice. Shortly after the Court's decision, negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of the defendants

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