Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation

Policy development, preventive advice, and management training on the following issues: Compliance with the overtime/exemption, child labor, and minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act; compliance with state wage and hour laws; compliance with federal and state family and medical leave laws; "independent contractor versus employee" issues. Also defense in litigation brought under these laws, including wage and hour class and collective action litigation.

The attorneys on Constangy’s Wage and Hour Compliance team have substantial expertise in all areas of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws, some having come to the firm from positions with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Wage and Hour team is ready to assist you in determining the "exempt" status of your employees; handling some of the more complex wage and hour issues of recent vintage, such as overtime recordkeeping for telecommuting employees and the exemption status of jobs that have become much less "discretionary" because of technology. Additionally, modern-day compliance with the overtime requirements for non-exempt employees paid under various incentive compensation arrangements is not a simple task, and Constangy’s Wage and Hour lawyers can carefully guide employers through these difficult compliance issues.

The Fair Labor Standards Act also provides a fertile field for class action litigation, and the Wage and Hour team has substantial experience in this area, having defended numerous class and collective actions brought under both federal and state wage and hour laws.  The wage and hour laws can be quite complex, and the plaintiffs’ employment bar has learned just how lucrative class and collective action litigation can be in this area of the law.  Such litigation is very unique, and requires defense counsel that are skilled and knowledgeable in this area of the law.

The attorneys on the Wage and Hour team have experience in the following industries:

  • Restaurant and food service
  • Health care
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

Our Wage and Hour team publishes a quarterly periodical, Wage Hour Report.

Wage and Hour Representative Matters

Defeated class certification effort in statewide wage and hour case involving allegations of off-clock work by chain retailer, and settled remaining claims of named plaintiffs on favorable terms. Convinced plaintiff's counsel to dismiss an FLSA collective action with prejudice after refuting liability with employer's payroll records.

Prevailed in obtaining court order compelling arbitration of FLSA collective action, and then settled claim of named plaintiff and obtained dismissal of collective action.

Disposed of class action wage and hour claims in arbitration proceeding by satisfying single named plaintiff's claim and moving for dismissal of case.

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Diverse History

Even in those early years of the 1940s, Frank’s partner was Mildred McClelland, one of a very few female attorneys practicing in Atlanta. Today, Constangy, Brooks & Smith has more than 130 attorneys in thirteen states, more than half of our associates are female, and women are leaders at the highest level of our firm through representation on the Executive Committee.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith has also been recognized for its efforts to foster a diverse legal workplace. 

  • The firm received the Exceptional Service Award presented by the Georgia Diversity Program of the State Bar of Georgia.
  • Constangy, Brooks & Smith maintains a Diversity Council comprised of attorneys from across its offices to address issues and promote diversity within the firm.

The firm prides itself in its inclusive environment that values and utilizes the contributions of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. The diversity of those who work for Constangy is one of its greatest strengths. Attorneys bring a variety of backgrounds to better serve a range of clients, which includes differences in geographical background, law schools, and career experience prior to practicing law, as well as religious affiliations and gender and ethnic backgrounds.

Commitment to Diversity

Constangy, Brooks & Smith recognizes that our clients and their employees, customers, and suppliers represent an ever-increasing multicultural and diverse society. Therefore, we believe that the recruitment, hiring, and retention of individuals with diverse backgrounds is integral to our providing the highest quality of legal services possible. Our commitment to diversity encompasses a broad spectrum of individual characteristics and experiences, including but not limited to race, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. We recognize the benefits of a diverse work environment on firm morale, productivity, and success and believe that such diversity attracts the talented and well-rounded types of people that make our firm thrive.

All of Constangy’s policies, practices and processes benefit from having access to a range of different perspectives. Constangy takes into account these differences in its organizational structure, performance appraisal methods, recruitment and selection, and career development opportunities. Our firm recognizes that diversity makes a broader, richer environment that produces more creative thinking and solutions.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the firm, from recruitment through employment and promotion, including training and work assignments, to provide equal opportunity at all times without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability, or other status protected by federal or applicable state law. The firm provides an environment where all members, associates, administrators, managers and staff employees abide by the requirements of this policy so that no one associated with Constangy, Brooks & Smith is discriminated against.

Diversity Council

Constangy’s Diversity Council is comprised of a cross-section of members and associates from a variety of the firm’s offices. The Council exists to address issues of diversity within the firm, as well as within the communities where our attorneys live and work. The Diversity Council drafts and proposes programming and policy that create supportive and productive environments for diverse attorneys within our ranks, provide outreach to law schools, community and professional organizations, and encourage a culture in which differing points of view will be sought, and diversity valued. The Council also produces a semi-annual newsletter, The Diversity Connection, that details the firm’s initiatives and highlights attorneys’ involvement in outside organizations that aim to foster diversity and personal development.

Networking Groups

Networking groups provide an opportunity for individuals with similar interests to come together and discuss issues and concerns relevant to members of these groups. Constangy recognizes that unique issues sometimes affect attorneys who are women or individuals of color. To that end, Constangy actively supports networking groups for women and attorneys of color within the firm. Each networking group has an “Executive Committee Liason,” who serves as the group’s advocate before the firm’s Executive Committee, ensuring that the issues and concerns of the group are brought to the attention of the Executive Committee, and subsequently addressed by the firm.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Constangy, Brooks & Smith believes that well-rounded individuals make better attorneys who provide better service to clients. Unlike most law firms, biographical sketches presented publicly on our firm website note attorneys’ personal interests and activities outside the law firm. We encourage attorneys to be active in their communities while we strive to provide a family-friendly workplace. Based on the needs of each office, the firm’s associates and members may have the opportunity for flex-time status that permits them to work less than a full-time schedule due to family or extraordinary personal reasons. The firm recognizes the external factors affecting its attorneys such as changes in the family structure, single parent families, dual-career couples, and other community pressures. The firm’s policy providing for flex-time work arrangements enables talented attorneys to more effectively manage their personal and professional lives.

Flexible work arrangements provide attorneys who are seeking work patterns, which integrate work and family roles more fully, with an opportunity to advance their careers with the firm. An associate working under flexible time status will have his or her budgeted billable hours reduced in a corresponding percentage; will have the non-billable matters such as participation in business development, bar activities and other non-billable matters reduced correspondingly; and will be eligible for a prorated amount of salary and the annual productivity bonus available to associates.

Leave Policies

The firm’s leave policies are structured with the focus on increasing recognition and nurturing a culture that is devoted to the value of diversity and empowerment as essential elements of the firm’s success. Constangy’s leave policies provide a balanced approach that ensures both the provision of quality service to our clients and the firm’s commitment to diversity in a manner that benefits both the attorneys and the firm’s environment. Among the many benefits that Constangy, Brooks & Smith provides to associates are paid vacation benefits accrued during the calendar year based on the years of completed service; annual personal days and sick leave; and paid bereavement leave.