Dana is of counsel in the Labor and Employment Department in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Ms. Howells focuses her practice on advising businesses on all aspects of employment relationships from pre-hire screening to terminations and reductions-in-force. Areas of concentration include ERISA and employee benefits, discrimination, wage and hour, contacts, severance, compensation, FMLA and mandated leaves, disability/reasonable accommodations, harassment/internal investigations, privacy and workplace violence prevention. In addition to advising employers on compliance and problem-solving, Ms. Howells has represented employers before administrative agencies, self-regulatory agencies, in jury and bench trials, and before state and federal appellate courts. Depending on the client’s goals, she has resolved many disputes through arbitration, mediation and negotiation.

Co-authored by Dana Howells and Jennifer Riley

In a previous post on Thorogood v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., a panel of the Seventh Circuit used the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. 1651(a), to halt a consumer class action brought in California that was essentially a copycat of an earlier case where the Seventh Circuit had denied class certification. Our previous

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc In Thorogood And Provides Comments On Class Action Abuses

Co-authored by Lorie Almon and Dana Howells

In the 24/7 healthcare industry, thirty-six hour workweeks comprised of three 12-hour shifts are popular with nurses – more free time, ability to pick up additional shifts, and less time spent commuting are some of the advantages. Different pay for different shifts – more desirable versus less desirable – is commonplace, and it

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Finds Shift Pay Flexibility Under Fair Labor Standards Act

Co-authored by Dana Howells and  Jennifer Riley

On November 8, 2010, the Ninth Circuit – in DeLodder v. Aerotek, Inc., Case No. 10-80178 (November 8, 2010)agreed to hear a discretionary appeal of the denial of a class certification order in overtime litigation involving 700-plus Aerotek recruiters. Plaintiffs seek unpaid overtime and California Labor Code penalties for missed

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit To Review Class Certification In Key Administrative Exemption Case

In the latest installment of a long running saga involving the stainless steel drums in Sears Kenmore clothes dryers,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit utilized the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. 1651(a) (link) to halt class action litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the North District of California, as well as future class actions involving the same parties, attorneys, and subject matter. The lucid 29-page opinion by Judge Posner – in Thorogood v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., Case No. 10-2407, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 22807, __ F.3d__(7th Cir. Nov. 2, 2010).  “Thorogood III” – highlights how class counsel’s use of far-reaching, burdensome discovery for settlement leverage justifies enjoining a second attempted class action. 

The latest decision was the third appeal to the Seventh Circuit. It contains important lessons for employment class actions, especially in the wage & hour context where plaintiffs’ counsel often file multiple class actions in different venues.

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Enjoins Copycat Class Action

In the latest installment of a long running saga involving the stainless steel drums in Sears Kenmore clothes dryers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit utilized the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. 1651(a) (link) to halt class action litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the North District of California, as well as future class actions

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Enjoins Copycat Class Action

ping_pong.jpgWhat happens when a wage and hour class action, removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of  2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. §§1332(d) and 1453 fails certification as a class action? What if after remand, the same plaintiffs revive the class claims in state court?  A growing number of  federal courts have concluded that if class certification is

Continue Reading Avoiding Endless Jurisdictional Ping Pong

Co-authored by Dana Howells and Brandon L. Spurlock

Like all federal courts, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has promulgated Local Rules  that have the force of law to the extent they do not contravene the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Local Rules need to be taken seriously, including Local Rule 23-3’s requirement that a

Continue Reading Local Rules “Rule” in Procedural Defeat for FLSA Class Action