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Jessica Perry Describes the Latest Developments in Wage-and-Hour Litigation

​Orrick employment law partner Jessica Perry recently spoke to the Daily Journal about the latest trend in wage-and-hour litigation. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have been focusing on a reduced number of class actions, resulting in an increase in situations where several suits with similar claims are filed ...

Jessica R. Perry is the Co-Leader of the firm’s Litigation practices worldwide. As an employment partner, she represents industry leaders in tech, retail and financial services in their most significant class, collective, representative and multi-plaintiff actions under state and federal laws.

Jessica’s discrimination, harassment and retaliation practice focuses largely on representing employers facing claims of discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender, race, disability and age, and other protected categories. Jessica defended Kleiner Perkins inobtaining a complete defense verdict in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, the high-stakes gender discrimination and retaliation case, recognized as a 2016 ‘Top Verdict’ by the Daily Journal. Jessica is also defending several leading tech companies in putative class actions challenging pay and promotion systems as gender biased. As well, she frequently handles pay equity matters. 

Jessica leads a number of significant wage-and-hour class action matters, focusing on overtime, minimum wage, vacation and personal days, meal and rest break penalties, reporting time wages, expense reimbursements, waiting-time penalties, Private Attorney General Act penalties and work uniform violations. In addition, she also has experience advising companies in the emerging sharing and gig economy on strategic business decisions including the classification of those providing services.

Jessica has also successfully represented clients involved in investigations and audits by the Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and assists in the development of compensation policies and measures designed to reduce potential exposure.

Jessica is also an expert in generational workplace issues and frequently speaks on employment engagement in a multi-generational workforce.

  • Representative Clients:

    Discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims

    • AMD. Won a complete defense verdict at trial in Maghribi v. AMD, a high-profile case alleging that AMD’s president and chairman engaged in discrimination on the basis of race and religion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
    • Microsoft. Obtained summary judgment on claims of gender discrimination and harassment, disability discrimination and harassment, and retaliation brought by a senior female sales manager.
    • Apple. Obtained summary judgment and sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 on discrimination, harassment, Equal Pay Act and other tort claims.

    Wage-and-hour

    • Chico’s. Defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class action alleging off-the-clock and meal break violations.
    • Morgan Stanley. Defeated class and collective certification in multidistrict litigation alleging misclassification of financial advisors; obtained summary judgment and defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class action alleging compelled patronage in violation of California law and various Labor Code claims; defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of financial advisors, business expenses reimbursement practices, and sign on payment practices and certain non-solicit provisions.
    • Roche Laboratories. Obtained summary judgment and defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of pharmaceutical representatives.
    • Apple. Defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action alleging off-the-clock work by customer support agents; defeated class certification and won motion to deny certification in a wage-and-hour class action alleging rest break violations in retail stores.
    • Electronic Arts. Defended California class actions and Florida collective action challenging the exempt status of computer graphic artists and engineers.
    • Williams-Sonoma. Defended class certification in wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of retail managers; won dismissal of alleged class action challenging "on-call" shift scheduling.
    • Gap. Defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action alleging compelled patronage and wage deductions under New York law.
    • Old Navy. Defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of managers.
    • Banana Republic. Defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of managers.
    • Pottery Barn Kids. Defeated class certification in a wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of managers, meal and rest break violations, and waiting time penalties.
    • Gymboree. Defeated collective certification in FLSA case in Florida challenging the exempt status of managers; obtained summary judgment on the exempt status of a retail manager.

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