Adelaide Pagano


Adelaide Pagano is a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C. and a dedicated workers’ rights advocate. Adelaide represents employees in class action wage-and-hour cases, as well as in individual discrimination and retaliation cases. She is currently involved in a number of cases in which employees have been misclassified as independent contractors, including janitors for cleaning “franchise” companies, exotic dancers, and so-called “gig economy” workers for companies such as Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, and Amazon. She has also litigated numerous cases on behalf of tipped employees, including waiters, banquet servers, exotic dancers, and drivers.

Adelaide has obtained class certification and summary judgment on behalf of workers in state and federal courts and in arbitration. She served as class counsel alongside Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan in the federal court litigation in O’Connor v. Uber Technologies Inc., Civ. A. No. 13-3826-EMC (N.D. Cal.), where the court recently approved a $20 million settlement on behalf of roughly 15,000 Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts. Along with Attorney Harold Lichten, she won an important victory in a disability discrimination case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which helped clarify the law in this area. Adelaide has also worked on winning appellate briefs in the First and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018 and 2019, Adelaide was named a Rising Star by Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Prior to her work at the firm, Adelaide worked as an intern for the DC Employment Justice Center in Washington DC and for SEIU Local 32BJ (formerly Local 615) in Boston, where she assisted with arbitrations on behalf of cleaning workers. Before law school, Adelaide worked as a paralegal at a union-side labor law firm, in Washington, DC.

Important Cases:

Gannon v. City of Bos., 476 Mass. 786, 73 N.E.3d 748 (2017) (Supreme Judicial Court reversed summary judgment for the employer in disability discrimination case, clarifying the standard for “direct evidence” disability discrimination cases under Massachusetts law)

Waithaka v., Inc., No. CV 18-40150-TSH, 2019 WL 3938053, at *1 (D. Mass. Aug. 20, 2019) (denying Defendant’s Motion to Compel arbitration and finding that Plaintiffs were exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1)

Rittmann v., Inc., 383 F. Supp. 3d 1196 (W.D. Wash. 2019) (denying Defendant’s Motion to Compel arbitration and finding that Plaintiffs were exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1)

Da Costa v. Vanguard Cleaning Sys., Inc., Middlesex Civ. A. No. 15-04743, 2017 WL 4817349 (Mass. Super. Sept. 29, 2017) (Fishman, J.) (granting summary judgment to cleaning franchisees who alleged they were misclassified under Massachusetts and Connecticut law)

Marino v. Oznemoc Inc. dba Centerfolds, Suffolk Civ. A. No. 15-2326-D (Mass. Super. Jan. 6, 2017) (Wilkins, J.) (granting class certification to a class of exotic dancers on their claims under the Tips Law, Mass. Gen. L. c. 149 § 152A)

Khanal v. San Francisco Hilton, Inc., 681 F. App’x 624, 625 (9th Cir. 2017) (holding that banquet servers could bring claim for service charges not distributed to them, reversing order holding wage claims brought by union employees preempted by LMRA)

In the news

Exotic dancer sues Kappa Kabanna over job classification and pay | August, 2022


Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
Macalester College, BA in political science, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar and Court Admissions

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 2014

Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, First, Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits