Defending Wage and Hour Class Actions: Defeating Certification and Winning Decertification

Leveraging Lessons From Dukes, Comcast, and Duran to Challenge Evidence on Liability and Damages

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will help counsel for employers build on the momentum of Dukes and Comcast to successfully challenge the certification of wage and hour class actions, including strategies for demonstrating a lack of commonality and predominance among the putative class.


Wage and hour class actions are one of the most significant workplace liability risks for employers. Settling or losing a wage and hour action can be expensive--in 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a state court ruling ordering Walmart to pay $187 million to current and former employees for unpaid work time and attorney fees.

Dukes, Comcast and other recent employer-friendly decisions require plaintiffs to meet more stringent standards to obtain certification, but courts continue to grapple with the issues presented at this early and critical stage of litigation. Further, the willingness of SCOTUS to uphold employer-friendly arbitration agreements in the class context, as shown in Epic Systems and Lamps Plus, presents other options to analyze.

The California Supreme Court recently gave employers additional ammunition in Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass’n by suggesting that misclassification actions may be particularly challenging to litigate on a class-wide basis. The decision criticized many elements of the trial court's certification of the misclassification action at issue.

Counsel for employers must do more than cite these cases to defeat certification. They must be able to parse the strategies and arguments from the rulings and shape them into a coherent and multi-pronged plan for defeating certification.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment law attorneys discusses the critical lessons of Dukes, Comcast, Duran and other cases to help defense counsel defeat motions for certification or win decertification. The panel will discuss novel theories for challenging certification, tips for refuting statistical sampling evidence, and strategies for winning decertification.



  1. Review and synthesis of Dukes, Comcast, Duran and their progeny
  2. Challenging plaintiffs' liability and damages evidence supporting certification
  3. Refuting statistical sampling evidence offered to support liability
  4. Exploiting distinctions among class members that impact both liability and damages
  5. Monitoring case manageability for opportunities to seek decertification


The panel will review these and other noteworthy issues:

  • How can defense counsel make the most of expert witness testimony at certification?
  • What are the highest priority merits issues for defendants at the certification stage?
  • What evidence will refute an allegation of a standard policy or practice that violates wage and hour laws?


Chang, Andrew
Andrew L. Chang

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Chang focuses on individual, mass tort and class actions involving automotive, pharmaceutical, medical device and...  |  Read More

Harrison, Ashley
Ashley N. Harrison

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Ms. Harrison’s practice focuses on representing businesses nationally in commercial disputes and employment...  |  Read More

Martucci, William
William C. Martucci

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Martucci practices exclusively on behalf of management in connection with national employment litigation and policy...  |  Read More

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