Overview

Employment litigation is different from other types of commercial disputes. An employment lawsuit can disrupt your work environment and damage your reputation with your employees, your customers and the public. It’s also one of the few types of litigation in which the motives of your leaders and managers – and often your company’s overall culture – are at issue.

The last two decades have seen a significant rise in the number of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions filed against employers. Plaintiffs’ attorneys and government agencies have significant interest in these forms of action in employment cases and have brought to the process a vigor and resourcefulness that makes defending them increasingly expensive for employers.

Our litigation team can defend you vigorously – in the courts and before government agencies – when doing so is consistent with your internal business objections. But as valued business partners, we recognize that an early resolution is often more desirable and we have a proven track record of evaluating and using alternative methods of dispute resolution to achieve those favored results. Equally as important, we can help you find solutions to issues in your workplace that may keep you out of court altogether. In addition to providing advice and counsel on difficult employment decisions to evaluate and minimize risk, we have a bank of management- and employee-training programs that are available at fixed fees to help make sure your programs are compliant with applicable laws and regulations – minimizing risk and avoiding litigation before it happens.

What Sets Us Apart

What we don’t do is offer a pre-packaged solution. We view you as a partner, not just our client – we get to know your organization and tailor our approaches to align with your business needs, your company culture, and the particulars of your case.

Constangy’s litigation practice has more than 100 attorneys covering a broad geographical area who regularly work across office lines to assemble teams tailored to achieving superior results. Our depth and experience allows us to efficiently handle the full range of litigation issues – from routine charges of discrimination to highly complex class action lawsuits. Our attorneys come to the firm with backgrounds at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other governmental entities, judicial clerkships, and private practice from firms of all sizes.

We bring to the defense of complex, multi-plaintiff lawsuits an unparalleled depth of experience and sensitivity to workplace issues gleaned from representing employers exclusively for more than 70 years. Our particular strengths in defending these types of cases includes:

  • Containing the impact of high-profile, multi-plaintiff litigation
  • Designing and implementing creative defense strategies to defeat the class aspects of the case
  • Incorporating key defense experts (statisticians, labor market economists, industrial psychologists, selection tool validation experts) into the defense plan
  • Exploring suitable means for resolving complex cases on terms acceptable to our clients through the use of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, as well as early Rule 68 offers of judgment and other creative litigation strategies
  • Planning and operating within a litigation budget

 What We Do

We regularly defend claims brought by the government and private litigants throughout the United States under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII); the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA); the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN); the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA); the Equal Pay Act (EPA); and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), as well as their state  and local law counterparts.  In addition, the last five to ten years have seen an increasing number of state laws that extend employee protections beyond their federal counterpart or in areas in which there is no federal law.  Constangy attorneys are well-versed on these state law nuances, as well.

Constangy offers policy development, employee relations, employee and management training, defense of administrative charges, and litigation defense, in all areas of the employment relationship, including:

  • Business ethics/employee conflict-of-interest issues
  • Equal employment opportunity
  • Protected class discrimination
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Workers’ compensation retaliation
  • Harassment based on protected class, including sexual harassment
  • Family and medical leave
  • Disability accommodations
  • Religious accommodations
  • Covenants not to compete
  • Unfair trade practices
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Employment agreements
  • All areas of pay practices, including minimum wage, overtime, and child labor compliance
  • Severance agreements and exit packages
  • Recordkeeping

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

Constangy clients have come to expect summary judgment wins and jury verdicts for the cases its attorneys take to a decision on the merits.  We have simply too many to list.  But the following are a sample of some of the precedent-setting and particularly significant wins Constangy has achieved recently:

  • Obtained unanimous victory before the United States Supreme Court on extremely significant case involving the citizenship of our client for purposes of securing federal jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship
  • In case involving potential exposure of $20 million to our clients (and more than $300 million to the industry as a whole), obtained preliminary injunction against the United States Department of Labor and ultimately summary judgment against labor union on behalf of trade association and twenty of its members nationwide, successfully challenging a rule issued by the United States Department of Labor relating to agricultural workers.  Summary judgment decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Defeated class certification on many occasions, including in multi-million-dollar class actions under federal and state wage and hour laws involving allegations of off-the-clock work, falsification of time records by management, exempt misclassifications, and meal and rest breaks.
  • Defeated collective action status in a multi-million dollar collective action under Fair Labor Standards Act; then settled the case with two named plaintiffs for nuisance amount.
  • Obtained summary judgment on all issues in an Equal Pay Act and Title VII wage discrimination case that was filed as nationwide class action.  
  • Obtained summary judgment in multi-million dollar RICO class action, which was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Managed three large cases involving a major U.S. employer: (1) FLSA case (29 plaintiffs); (2) Another FLSA case (50 named plaintiffs and notice to be issued to over 500); (3) ADEA case with 15 named plaintiffs and seeking nationwide collective notice.
  • Handled litigation on behalf of big-box and specialty retailers throughout the country dealing with multi-plaintiff and class litigation.
  • Obtained precedent-setting summary judgment in FLSA case holding that cable installers were exempt from overtime provisions.
  • Obtained affirmation from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in precedent-setting case involving the application of a mixed motive analysis in an Employee Polygraph Protection Act case, invalidating a United States Department of Labor regulation as contrary to the meaning of the statute.
  • Obtained precedent-setting bench trial verdict in FLSA case pertaining to the definition of “farm” as it pertains to agricultural exemption.
  • Obtained early dismissal of large Fair Credit Reporting Act class action.

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