Back on October 8, 2013, we highlighted three cases currently pending on the United States Supreme Court docket that employers will definitely want to follow. The cases address issues ranging from the proper interpretation of Sarbanes Oxley’s whistleblower provision to the breadth of Presidential NLRB appointment power, to what constitutes “changing clothes” under the FLSA. Although decisions have not yet come down, important developments have taken place in all three cases. Read More
Trish Higgins is an employment attorney with a California practice focused on complex employment litigation and counseling. Orrick’s Employment Law and Litigation group was recently named Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California by The Recorder, the premier source for legal news, in recognition of their significant wins on behalf of leading multinational companies on today’s most complex and challenging employment law matters.
Trish has extensive experience successfully defending class actions and individual employment claims, including claims of discrimination, wage-and-hour, sexual harassment, disability, retaliation and WARN Act claims. She has particular expertise representing companies in the financial services industry and counsels and trains employers on employment issues. Trish handles employment matters in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings.
Some of Trish’s recent notable representations include:
- In re Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Wage-and-Hour Litigation: In this multi-district litigation, Trish is defending nationwide FLSA claims challenging the exempt status of financial advisors.
- Bloemendaal v. Morgan Stanley: A class action asserting claims of “compelled patronage” based on application of an employee trading policy. Trish obtained summary judgment on federal preemption grounds.
- SEIU v. Medical Properties Trust: A representative WARN action based on a hospital’s change of ownership. Trish obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
- Mass v. Thomas Weisel Partners: A wage-and-hour class action asserting claims that banking analysts were misclassified as exempt. Trish obtained summary judgment.
- Drake v. Morgan Stanley: A wage-and-hour class action asserting misclassification and business expenses claims on behalf of financial advisors. Trish defeated class certification.
- California Assembly: Trish provides sexual harassment training for the Members and employees of the California Assembly.
Trish is a frequent lecturer and author on employment law issues, including defending class actions, preventing discrimination claims and sexual harassment prevention training.
In Moradi v. Marsh USA, Inc., the California Court of Appeal concluded that employees who are required to use their personal vehicles to travel to and from the office and make other work-related trips during the day are acting within in the scope of their employment when they are commuting to and from work. Read More
Orrick, on behalf of its client, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”), recently filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for writ of mandamus filed by Wells Fargo in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Wells Fargo requests vacatur of a federal district court’s order granting conditional certification of FLSA claims filed by home mortgage consultant plaintiffs seeking unpaid overtime. In its amicus brief, SIFMA argues that the court should reject the two-step certification standard applied by most district courts in FLSA actions and instead adopt a procedure that calls for meaningful certification review at the earliest feasible opportunity. Read More