Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): plaintiff in United States

Altshuler Berzon

San Francisco-based firm Altshuler Berzon is highly regarded in the labor and employment disputes space, where it frequently represents plaintiffs at both trial and appellate levels as well as before arbitrators, administrative agencies and federal courts. The group is well versed in wage and hour claims, discrimination lawsuits, misclassification issues and collective and class actions. Key lawyers include James Finberg, Eve Cervantez, Eileen Goldsmith, Michael Rubin, Casey Pitts, Stacey Leyton and managing partner Barbara Chisholm.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Chisholm

Other key lawyers:

James Finberg; Eve Cervantez; Eileen Goldsmith; Michael Rubin; Casey Pitts; Stacey Leyton

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

The Washington DC-based team at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC continues to impress with its strong track record representing plaintiffs at trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts. The group houses strong capabilities in class, collective and single-plaintiff actions, while handling a busy caseload of employment disputes related to wage and hour claims, discrimination lawsuits, equal pay matters and issues arising from Title VII and the FLSA. The practice is headed by Joseph Sellers, who is recognized for being ‘a national expert in employment discrimination law’.  He has extensive experience in litigation before federal and state appellate courts, including the US Supreme Court. Kalpana Kotagal is well versed in lawsuits related to discrimination and sexual misconduct allegations as well as diversity and inclusion mandates. Christine Webber is also noted for her expertise in class and collective actions.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Sellers

Other key lawyers:

Christine Webber; Kalpana Kotagal


‘Cohen Milstein is unique given its focus on civil rights and employment law and focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.’

‘Kalpana Kotagal is not only a renowned civil rights advocate and attorney but also an organizer, a mother, and a brilliant and steadfast spirit. I have never worked with someone I believe in more and who is always about the work. She leads with dignity, passion and drives in everything she does and fights for those who need it most in order to win policy changes.

‘With her commitment to inclusion and her incredible work on the Inclusion Rider, Kalpana is going to go very far in her work and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of that journey.’

‘Joe Sellers is a national expert in employment discrimination law and I trust his counsel.’

‘The firm saw benefit in a disability rights case and put in intelligent, careful, and clever analysis and deliberations to bring the case to resolution through both litigation and mediation. Our case was complex and the firm’s representatives led us through strategy sessions and mediations with skilled guidance and insights.’

‘Joseph Sellers was an extraordinary leader when guiding our team of lawyers from several organizations. He was crucial to overseeing our overall litigation strategy as well as taking the lead in stating our case during mediation.’

‘Their focus on and commitment to social issues is exemplary.’

‘Kalpana Kotagal works tirelessly on all tasks. She is also a kind person and always pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

National Association of the Deaf

Work highlights

  • Assisted NAACP in the interest and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients with the judicial challenge to the Trump Administration’s plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Supreme Court blocked in June 2020.
  • Successfully represented hundreds of former flight traffic controllers in a 16-year-old age discrimination lawsuit, where the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration agreed to a $43.8m settlement.
  • Represented a class of more than 69,000 former and current female sales associates of Sterling Jewelers in a Title VII and Equal Pay Act class action against Sterling Jewelers Inc.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is an established plaintiff firm, often representing employees in matters relating to discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability. In addition, it handles wage issues and whistleblower actions. Leading the practice is Daniel Hutchinson, who focuses on litigation regarding complex class actions. Kelly Dermody, who specializes in civil rights and employment class and collective actions, and Anne Shaver, with experience in antitrust class actions, are also noted. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Hutchinson

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Dermody; Anne Shaver

Key clients

Plaintiff class of current and former female employees of Google Inc.

Danielle Seaman

Plaintiff class of female Associates and Vice Presidents who worked for Goldman Sachs.

1,100+ plaintiff class of female employees of KPMG

Employees of rail equipment companies Knorr-Bremse and Wabtac Railway

Franchise employees of McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Papa John’s, and Jimmy Johns sandwich shops.

Americans incarcerated and families

Plaintiff class of African-American employees of Kaiser Permanente

Omondi Nyong’o

Work highlights

  • Represented Danielle Seaman in class action lawsuit charging that Duke and UNC entered into an express, secret agreement not to hire certain medical facility faculty and staff that they each employed, reducing or eliminating competition for skilled medical labor.
  • Represented plaintiffs in gender discrimination class/collective action lawsuit alleging that KPMG illegally pays and promotes female Tax and Advisory professionals less than similar men.
  • Represented plaintiffs in an aggregate “no-poach” employee antitrust litigation against rail equipment companies Knorr-Bremse and Wabtec Railway Electronics.

Outten & Golden LLP

Outten & Golden LLP’s team extends across its offices in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC, where it deals with litigation in connection with leaves of absence, discrimination, harassment, whistleblower claims, and agreement disputes. New York-based Adam Klein acts as managing partner; he works alongside Molly Brooks, Cara Greene and Ossai Miazad in a range of labor and employment disputes.

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho is active in litigation, arbitration proceedings and class actions, where it handles cases alleging employee discrimination, wage and hour violations, and disability access claims. The team is based in Oakland and features litigation expert Linda Dardarian. Working alongside her is Laura Ho, with experience in class, collective and representative actions. Andrew Lee is further noted for his expertise in disability, discrimination and consumer class actions.

Other key lawyers:

Linda Dardarian; Laura Ho; Andrew Lee

Jones Walker LLP

Jones Walker LLP offers a full-service approach, which includes regularly acting for its clients in employee benefits litigation. The team is led by Sidney Lewis, an experienced litigator when it comes to federal and state employment claims. Furthermore, he also often consults and advises management personnel with respect to employment and labor laws. Joseph Lavigne has particular expertise in trade secret and non-compete issues, while Mary Spell is noted as a key contact for her work on employment-related disputes and compliance advice in connection with workplace issues. All named lawyers are based in New Orleans. 

Practice head(s):

Sidney Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Lavigne; Mary Spell; PJ Kee


Key clients

Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Crest Pumping Technologies, LLC

Total Safety

Acme Truck Line, Inc.

The Home Depot


Nichols Kaster

Nichols Kaster handles disputes in connection with employee rights and 401(k) benefit issues, including discrimination and harassment claims. The team features Minneapolis-based Rachhana Srey and San Francisco-based Matthew Helland, who have collective experience in wage and hour class and collective actions. James Kaster is also noted as a key contact in Minneapolis.

Other key lawyers:

Rachhana Srey; Matthew Helland; James Kaster