- strategic use of discovery and dispositive motions
- persuasive use of statistical data
- cost-efficient strategies for producing electronically stored information
- effective deployment of consulting and testifying experts.
We also represent clients with respect to compliance with a variety of workplace statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), and state and local employment statutes, among others.
Weil represented Forest Laboratories, LLC and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (together, Forest), in a massive putative gender class and collective action brought on behalf of eleven former sales representatives, Barrett, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al. Forest, now known as Allergan and a subsidiary of Actavis plc, is a global pharmaceutical company. Plaintiffs are represented by leading class counsel, Sanford Heisler Kimpel, which has had prior success in bringing class claims of gender discrimination against pharmaceutical companies, including a $250 million gender discrimination verdict several years ago against pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. After having successfully narrowed the scope of the case through a motion to dismiss and/or strike, which resulted in the dismissal of several individual claims and a significant narrowing of the putative Title VII class period (a rare achievement at the pleadings stage), Weil scored another significant victory in July 2015 when Judge Abrams denied Plaintiffs’ motion for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations for potential collective action members’ claims under the Equal Pay Act (EPA). The full denial of this motion significantly limited the size of the putative EPA collective as well as the potential damages arising from the EPA collective action claim. Weil also successfully battled Plaintiffs in various discovery disputes, including Plaintiffs’ motion seeking to compel Forest to produce the names of the putative class members, which the court denied in its entirety. This litigation matter is a bellwether case due to, among other reasons, the more nuanced gender claims it alleges including family responsibility discrimination, “sex plus” discrimination, “sex stereotyping,” pregnancy-related issues, and compensation disparities based on neutral pay practices.
Along with co-counsel at Seyfarth Shaw, Weil represents Sterling in a private AAA class arbitration, Jock v. Sterling, in which a putative class of female Sterling sales employees have claimed sex discrimination in pay and promotions under the Equal Pay Act, Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The plaintiffs are represented by the same law firm handling the landmark Dukes v. Wal-Mart class action. In February 2015, Weil obtained a favorable class certification ruling for Sterling in which the arbitrator denied class certification of Claimants’ Title VII intentional discrimination claims, and rejected claims that our client operated under a general policy of discrimination against female store employees in pay and promotion. The arbitrator further denied class certification for an award of class-wide monetary relief, meaning that Claimants must pursue any monetary damages individually, rather than as a class. Furthermore, the arbitrator denied Claimants’ request for certification of an opt-out class on their Equal Pay Act claims. The case is widely recognized as the largest private Title VII class action in the country.
Weil also represents Sterling in a separate matter commenced by the EEOC that alleges many of the same allegations as in Jock. In 2008, the EEOC issued a determination finding that Sterling subjected female employees working at its retail stores to a pattern or practice of sex discrimination by paying women less than men doing the same work, and denying women the same chance for promotion into salaried jobs. Later that year, the EEOC filed its own lawsuit against Sterling in federal court in Buffalo, NY, alleging a pattern or practice of gender discrimination in its pay and promotion decisions. The EEOC case seeks principally equitable remedies requiring the company to implement programmatic relief including the imposition and monitoring of programs and policies to eradicate the alleged discrimination. Weil secured a major victory by obtaining a complete dismissal on the basis that the EEOC had failed to produce any evidence demonstrating that it had complied with its Title VII pre-suit obligation of conducting a nationwide investigation of Sterling’s employment practices. This decision was subsequently overturned by the Second Circuit, and Weil continues to litigate this matter.
- We represented Merrill Lynch in a high-profile nationwide class action alleging that African-American financial advisors were discriminated against in every aspect of their employment.
- We also secured a victory in a case alleging discrimination in a “stay bonus” program adopted in connection with Merrill’s merger with Bank of America.
The firm has a reputation for handling large class and mass action litigation.
Legal 500 US
Weil’s Employment Litigation practice is “particularly noted for its handling of class and collective actions”.