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  • Education
    • J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 1999, Journal of College & University Law, Symposium Editor
    • B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1996
  • Court Admissions
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Jim Swartz partners with employers to address employment-related problems ranging from the day-to-day questions faced by employers in an increasingly regulated workplace, to high-stakes class and collective lawsuits. He has represented clients in:
  • Discrimination cases under state and federal law (age, race/color, gender, pregnancy, national origin, religion, and disability claims)
  • Retaliation claims
  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Wage-and-hour disputes under federal and state laws
  • Restrictive covenant and employee raiding cases
  • Public accommodations cases

A significant portion of Jim’s practice consists of defending companies in alleged Rule 23 class actions under state wage-and-hour laws as well as collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, he advises clients on a host of day-to-day employment matters such as wage-and-hour compliance, contracts, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, pay and promotion issues, and handbooks. Jim also assists employers with workplace investigations of misconduct and audits of EEO and wage-and-hour practices.

Selected Class and/or Collective Action Employment Cases 2005-Present

  • Represented retail chain in alleged nationwide collective action with alleged Rule 23 classes under state wage-and-hour laws in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California, and Michigan alleging that employer’s “bag check” policy violated state and federal wage laws with respect to hundreds of thousands of non-exempt employees. Argued against and defeated plaintiffs’ motion for significant spoliation sanctions related to the preservation of digital video footage, and shortly thereafter resolved the case on terms favorable to retail chain.
  • Obtained summary judgment for retail client in alleged nationwide collective action and Rule 23 class action under New York Labor Law brought by former employees alleging misclassification due to alleged violation of “salary basis” rule. Obtained affirmance of summary judgment victory on matter of first impression in Second Circuit.  Following argument, Second Circuit held that the regulations requiring a reasonable relationship between additional compensation and guaranteed compensation did not apply to highly compensated employees.
  • Represented specialty pharmacy services company in alleged nationwide collective action brought by current and former sales representatives alleging misclassification under the FLSA. Obtained transfer of case to more favorable jurisdiction, then obtained dismissal with prejudice on favorable terms on behalf of client.
  • Co-counsel with Nancy Rafuse; represented nationwide retail client in series of FLSA collective and class actions around the country challenging the exempt status of assistant store managers.  Obtained favorable consolidated result for client.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for retailer in alleged nationwide FLSA collective action brought by employees alleging off-the-clock violations.  Settlement followed depositions of named plaintiff and opt-in plaintiffs which solidified record for opposition to plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification and resulted in withdrawal of one of the leading opt-in plaintiffs.
  • Co-counsel with Nancy Rafuse; obtained decertification of FLSA collective action of employees (as well as summary judgment on most of plaintiffs’ claims) on behalf of nationwide retail client in an action brought by hourly employees claiming they were owed for uncompensated time worked (i.e., “off-the-clock” claims).
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal with prejudice for national retailer before certification of alleged nationwide FLSA collective action brought by employees who claimed that they were misclassified as exempt professional employees; plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their claims following argument on retailer’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal with prejudice in exchange for paying plaintiff’s filing fee in alleged collective action brought by professional employee alleging FLSA misclassification.  Result was obtained by aggressive pre-discovery discussions with plaintiff’s counsel demonstrating prior successful results on similar issues.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of retailer in alleged nationwide collective action and Rule 23 class action under NY Labor Law brought by former store manager alleging misclassification.  Resolution achieved before class or collective actions could be certified.
  • Represented national restaurant chain in multi-plaintiff lawsuit alleging race discrimination and sexual harassment; deposed six parties on whose behalf EEOC sued; negotiated and drafted Consent Decree.
  • Co-counsel representing specialty payments provider in FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of sales representatives and failure to pay employees minimum wage and overtime.
  • Representing national retailer in nationwide collective action alleging misclassification of loss prevention managers.
  • Representing oil and gas pipeline construction staffing group in alleged nationwide collective and class action alleging misclassification of field workers.

Selected Cases and Engagements
  • Represented national consumer products company in race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, obtaining judgment as a matter of law during trial.
  • Counseled high net-worth client through reclassification of domestic staff.
  • Represented national retail chain in discrimination and retaliation lawsuits in the Southeast, successfully resolving or obtaining dismissal of each case.
  • Represented national credit reporting agency against lawsuits filed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act by consumers in the Southeast; obtained dismissal or favorable settlement in all instances
  • Represented retail mortgage lender in lawsuit alleging tortious interference with competing lender’s employment agreements.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of national laundry/uniform service company in age and race discrimination action.
  • Obtained dismissal and award of costs on behalf of a national specialty chemical manufacturer in age discrimination lawsuit.
  • Represented national restaurant chain in public accommodations lawsuit brought by more than twenty plaintiffs, including the NAACP.
  • Representing national health system in individual and multi-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, and contractual employment claims in state and federal courts in Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • Regularly advises clients on compliance with wage-and-hour laws (Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage laws), including classification of employees and implementation of appropriate pay practices.
  • Frequently drafts employment agreements, including related restrictive covenants (non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disclosures agreements), and separation agreements.
  • Advises clients on EEO laws (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act).

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