Category Archives: Attorneys

Jeremy Abay

Jeremy E. Abay, a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C., represents whistleblowers, workers, consumers, and other plaintiffs in high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts.  His practice covers healthcare fraud (qui tam), wage litigation, and consumer fraud. He has obtained multimillion-dollar settlements for taxpayers, misclassified workers, and victims of consumer fraud.

 Mr. Abay has served as lead counsel in several groundbreaking cases alleging the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. In fact, he served as trial counsel in the first worker misclassification case against a gig-economy company to reach a federal jury trial. By obtaining precedential appellate court opinions, Mr. Abay has helped reshape the law towards protecting low wage workers.

Mr. Abay has also pioneered False Claims Act liability based on Medicare and Medicaid secondary payer violations. He brought the first qui tam case to successfully argue that an auto insurer could be liable under the False Claims Act for causing Medicare and Medicaid to pay claims before no-fault insurance. After the government declined to intervene, Mr. Abay reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the auto insurer.

Mr. Abay has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Rising Star in Class Action Litigation by Super Lawyers. He is also a member of The Legal Intelligencer’s Young Lawyer Editorial Board. As a member of New Jersey’s District IV Ethics Committee, Mr. Abay is also responsible for investigating and prosecuting attorney ethics violations in Camden County. 

 Mr. Abay is also an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, where he teaches Whistleblower Advocacy and Deposition Advocacy. He has also guest lectured in the business torts seminar. Before his legal career, Mr. Abay worked at Johnson & Johnson and Barclay’s Capital, where he gained unique insight into corporate compliance programs.

 Mr. Abay earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law as a merit-based scholarship recipient. During law school, he served as research assistant to former Associate Dean Adam Scales, analyzing emerging trends in tort theory and insurance law. He received the Don F. D’Aqui Esquire Memorial Award at graduation for achieving the highest average in and displaying the greatest aptitude for tort law.

SAMPLE CASEWORK

Razak v. Uber Techs., Inc., 951 F.3d 137 (3d Cir. 2020) (ongoing representation of UberBLACK drivers for wage violations, leading to the first circuit court ruling that gig-economy drivers could be employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act).

Schofield v. Delilah’s Den of Philadelphia, Inc., No. 01-15-0003-4601 (AAA) (successfully argued for class treatment in arbitration, resulting in a $2 million settlement with a nightclub accused of misclassifying dancers as independent contractors).

Moon v. Breathless, 868 F.3d 209 (3d Cir. 2017) (successfully argued that an arbitration clause in an independent contractor agreement did not cover statutory wage claims).

United States ex rel. Negron v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., No. 14-577 (D.N.J.) (represented the whistleblower in the first case to impose FCA liability on an auto insurer for causing healthcare providers to bill Medicare and Medicaid as the primary payer, leading to a $2.4 million settlement).

United States ex rel. Joseph Perri v. Novartis Pharms. Corp., No. 15-6547 (D.N.J.) (represented former account director in whistleblower retaliation lawsuit claiming that pharmaceutical manufacturer had offered illegal discounts to PBMs to induce Medicare business).

United States ex rel. Mbabazi v. Walgreen Co.No. 19-219 (E.D. Pa.) (represented whistleblowers in qui tam action against a retail pharmacy that systematically billed Pennsylvania Medicaid without first investigating and utilizing other available insurance coverages).

United States ex rel. Jersey Strong Pediatrics, LLC v. Wanaque Convalescent Ctr., No. 14-6651, (D.N.J.) (represented whistleblower in qui tam action alleging that a skilled nursing facility systematically violated Medicaid regulations, resulting in a successful settlement).

Ashesh Shah, et al. v. New Jersey Transit Corp., et al., No. SOM-L-000135-23 (N.J. Superior Court) (ongoing representation of putative class action involving residents and businesses whose property was destroyed by flooding caused by a disabled NJ Transit train during Hurricane Ida).

Lopez-Negron v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., No. A-3590-17T2 (N.J. App. Div. 2019) (represented class of policyholders in first class action to allege that an auto insurer acted in bad faith by requiring the use of Medicare and Medicaid benefits before no-fault benefits, leading to a $3.7 million settlement).

In re: Taxicab Medallion Loan Case Management Program, (Phila. Cnty. C.C.P.) (after lenders called in hundreds of loans secured by taxi medallions, helped to persuade the court to create a diversion program, leading to the cancellation of over $6.5 million in disputed debt).

IntelliSystem, LLC v. McHenry, No. 19-1359 (E.D. Pa.) (After defeating RICO claims against a lawyer and medical device distributor, obtained an award of attorney’s fees and costs).

PUBLICATIONS

Unmasking the Power of the Anti-Fraud Injunction Statute, THE CHAMPION MAGAZINE, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2024).

Cigna’s Spin on High Court Ruling Ends with $172 Million Settlement, TURNING SQUARE CORNERS, Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section (Winter 2024).

Simon Says Protect My Reputation: Understanding Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Right To Reputation, PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY, Vol. XCIV, No. 2 (2023).

Let the Record Reflect, There Are No ‘Usual Stipulations’, LEGAL INTELLIGENCER (Feb. 22 2023).

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Reputation Rights and Grand Juries, PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS, 2023 WHITE COLLAR SEMINAR (Nov. 2023, upcoming).

The False Claims Act and Dealing with Whistleblowers, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, LEVIN COLLEGE OF LAW (Aug. 2022).

The False Claims Act and Dealing with Whistleblowers, SETON HALL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, U.S. HEALTHCARE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM (June 2022).

Uber & Lyft: Where Are We Going, PENNSYLVANIA BAR INSTITUTE (Dec. 2017).

EDUCATION

Rutgers School of Law – Camden, J.D., 2013
Rutgers University – New Brunswick, B.A., 2009

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Member, State Bar of New Jersey, 2013
Member, State Bar of Pennsylvania, 2013
Member, State Bar of New York, 2019

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the District of New Jersey, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Samuel Davis

Samuel Davis is committed to holding powerful government and corporate actors accountable. He represents workers, students, and other individuals in civil rights and employment matters in state and federal court.

Prior to joining LLR, Samuel was a Liman Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, where he investigated racially biased policing in K-12 schools and litigated civil rights cases across the state, including as part of the successful team in Peltier v. Charter Day School at the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining the ACLU, Samuel was a law clerk for Associate Justice Anita Earls on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

As a student at Yale Law School, Samuel was a student attorney in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic and a co-director of the Rebellious Lawyering conference. During his summers, he interned for a federal public defender and for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where he worked on voting rights and criminal justice matters.

Samuel was the lead author of the ACLU’s report, “The Consequences of Cops in North Carolina Schools.” He is also the author of two forthcoming law review articles that will be published in 2024, one addressing the antidemocratic consequences of the Supreme Court’s treatment of school districts, and the other analyzing the principles of democratic equality and popular sovereignty in the North Carolina Constitution. He currently resides with his family in Jamaica Plain.

Education

Yale Law School, J.D.
Duke University, B.A. in International Comparative Studies and Political Science, magna cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

Member, State Bar of North Carolina, 2021
Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 2023

Admitted to practice before the Middle District of North Carolina and the Western District of North Carolina

Jack Bartholet

Jack Bartholet is a passionate civil rights and labor attorney with a zeal for legal advocacy and a deep-rooted commitment to justice. He represents a diverse array of clients in state and federal courts and is involved in a number of complex class and collective actions on behalf of workers suing large, multinational corporations.

During law school, Jack externed for the Hon. Morgan Christen on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and wrote for OnLabor, a leading labor law blog. He also wrote an unpublished book on the history and meaning of the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution for academic credit. Jack spent his summers working for the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, where he worked closely with the Civil Rights Prosecution, Policy, and Criminal Appellate units to develop policies and advance cases safeguarding civil liberties, as well as for a respected social and economic justice-oriented firm, where he worked on substantial and complex appellate litigation and labor arbitrations.

Prior to law school, Jack taught English and U.S. History at a large, public high school in Massachusetts. There, he was deeply involved with his local teachers’ union and was elected to serve on the statewide Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association. Prior to that, Jack served as the Executive President of the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Student Advisory Council, Executive President of Johns Hopkins University’s student government, and editor-in-chief of the university’s student newspaper.

EDUCATION

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2023
Johns Hopkins University, B.A. in Political Science, with honors, 2016

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 2023

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

Bradley Manewith

Bradley Manewith is a partner with Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C.  Brad has focused his career on representing workers who have been mistreated by their employers. He has extensive experience litigating and negotiating wage and hour claims on behalf of classes of employees. Brad also regularly represents individuals with issues related to unpaid commissions and other compensation, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and workplace discrimination.

Brad has represented employees in wide variety of industries, including delivery drivers, restaurant workers, food manufacturers, and exotic dancers. He has obtained class certification and summary judgment on behalf of his clients, and he has been involved in multiple successful landmark appellate cases. Brad has recovered millions of dollars for the workers he has represented.

Brad is recognized by his peers and opponents as a highly knowledgeable and effective employment law litigator. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” for employment litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers since 2019, and was recognized as a “Rising Star”  from 2013 until 2018.  He has also been named “Leading Lawyer.”  Brad currently serves as a member of the Executive Board for the Illinois Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association.

Prior to joining Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., Brad was a partner at a Chicago-based plaintiff employment law firm.

Education

University of Illinois, College of Law, J.D., cum laude
University of Illinois, B.A. in political science; B.A. in History

Bar and court admissions

Member, State Bar of Illinois, 2003
Member of the Trial Bar for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2013

Admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of Illinois.

Matthew Carrieri

Matt is an employee- and union-side labor and employment lawyer who represents workers in wage and hour litigation, independent contractor misclassification actions, discrimination claims, and labor disputes. Matt has represented ride share and delivery drivers, construction laborers, grocery store workers, exotic dancers, and tech workers in class and individual actions against major corporations and other employers.

Prior to joining Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., Matt practiced litigation and employment law at a major international law firm.

During law school, Matt was a research assistant at Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program, where he worked on the Clean Slate for Worker Power project, and a regular contributor to OnLabor.org. He also represented refugee claimants in Massachusetts and at the Texas-Mexico border as a student attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and served as Co-Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
New York University, M.A. Near Eastern Studies
McGill University, B.A. Middle East Studies, Dean’s Honor List; First Class Honors

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 2019

Member, Law Society of Ontario, 2023

Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeal for the First Circuit

Krysten Connon

Krysten Connon is an experienced and dedicated attorney. She represents workers in disputes against their employers and primarily concentrates her practice on wage and hour class and collective actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws. Krysten has represented workers from a variety of backgrounds and in various industries, including cable and satellite installers, delivery drivers, and nurses.

Krysten graduated summa cum laude from the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland. Following law school, Krysten served as a federal judicial law clerk before joining the commercial litigation department of a national law firm, where she represented clients in complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters. Krysten also worked as a Staff Attorney at Women Against Abuse, where she litigated cases originating as domestic violence matters. Prior to joining Lichten & Liss-Riordan, Krysten worked as an attorney in the employment rights group of a plaintiff-side class action law firm.

Additionally, Krysten co-authored the 2015 Oxford University Press book, Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism, which presents the results of extensive interviews with abortion providers around the intersections of law, policy, and anti-abortion violence. She regularly volunteers her time and expertise on issues related to reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Krysten was named a Pennsylvania Rising Star in 2020 and 2021 by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers. .

EDUCATION

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, JD, summa cum laude, 2012
University of Maryland – College Park, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2009

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Member, State Bar of New Jersey, 2013
Member, State Bar of Pennsylvania, 2013

Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Sarah Schalman-Bergen

Biography

Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen is a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C., who has dedicated her career to creating systemic change for workers and individuals who are not being treated fairly. She has secured numerous significant settlements for the workers she represents, totaling well over $100 million.

While representing workers in all types of industries, Sarah has successfully challenged unlawful business practices involving last-mile logistics companies, cable installation companies, home health aide companies, meat and poultry plants, landscaping companies, in white collar jobs, and in the government. This litigation has resulted both in payment of back wages and in practice changes by the companies.

Sarah also represents clients in antitrust cases involving labor markets. For example, she has prosecuted challenges to “no poach” agreements that allegedly suppressed employees’ wages, and she has defended clients against antitrust claims brought to impede their rights to organize for better working conditions. Sarah also represented the City of Philadelphia against a major bank for allegedly discriminatory practices, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Sarah works in partnership and routinely co-counsels with public interest law firms to lend expertise to their mission in litigation. She has served as volunteer of counsel to the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania for more than a decade, litigating discrimination and HIV-confidentiality cases. Sarah was honored for this work as an “Unsung Hero” by the Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania’s daily law journal.

Sarah conducts her practice according to the highest ethical standards, and has received high judicial praise, including being described as “ethical, talented, and motivated to help hard working men and women” and “some of the finest legal representation in the nation.”

Sarah routinely speaks at conferences on issues relating to workers’ rights. She currently serves on Cornell’s ILR-Hotel School CIHLER Advisory Board, and is a Board Member of the Keystone Research Center. Sarah was named a 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, after being named as a Rising Star in every year over the prior decade. In 2021, she was named in Best Lawyers in America. In 2015, she was honored as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer.

Prior to joining the Firm, Sarah was a partner at a plaintiff-side class action law firm, where she served as co-chair of the firm’s employment rights practice group. She has also practiced in the litigation department at a large Philadelphia firm, where she represented clients in a variety of industries in complex commercial litigation. Sarah received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and her B.A. summa cum laude from Tufts University.

PROMINENT JUDGMENTS AND SETTLEMENTS

Hickman v. TL Transportation, LLC, Amazon.com, et al., No. 2:17-cv-01038-GAM; 317 F. Supp. 3d 890; 318 F. Supp. 3d 718 (E.D. Pa. 2020) ($1.8m settlement on behalf of Delivery Associates in wage claim against third party company of Amazon; favorable opinions on liability, personal jurisdiction, individual liability, and conditional certification)

Merino v. Wells Fargo & Co., 2:16-cv-07840-ES-MAH (D.N.J. 2020) (co-lead counsel in $35 million wage and hour settlement on behalf of personal bankers)

Holbert v. Waste Management, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-02649-CMR (E.D. Pa. 2019) (lead counsel in $14.7 million FLSA nationwide settlement on behalf of 31,000 waste collectors)

Nicks v. Koch Meat Co., Inc., No. 16-cv-6446; 2016 WL 6277489; 260 F. Supp. 3d 942; 265 F. Supp. 3d 841 (N.D. Ill. 2019) ($1,832,000 settlement on behalf of chicken catchers in wage claim against national integrated poultry processor; favorable opinions on jurisdiction, corporate entity structure, certification)

City of Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., 2:17-cv-02203-AB, 2018 WL 424451 (E.D. Pa. 2019) (represented City of Philadelphia in Fair Housing Act litigation resolved for $10 million and injunctive relief for sustainable housing-related programs to promote and preserve homeownership for low- and moderate-income residents.)

Smith v. Allegheny Technologies, Inc., 754 Fed. Appx. 136 (3d Cir. 2018) (allegations by temporary workers hired to cross picket line and work in steel plant during lockout of union workers were sufficient to state claim for travel time compensation under Pennsylvania law)

Beckett v. Aetna, Inc., 2:17-cv-03864 (E.D. Pa. 2018) (Co-lead counsel with AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and Legal Action Center in $17 million settlement for the largest HIV confidentiality breach in U.S. on behalf of 12,000 class members)

The Broadway League v. Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc., Internat’l Brotherhood of Teamsters Theatrical Drivers and Helpers Local 817, et al., No. 1:17-cv-9515 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) (defended casting directors and union in antitrust action challenging lawfulness of organizing activity)

Smith v. Milton Hershey School, No. 11-7391, 2012 WL 1966125 (E.D. Pa. 2012) ($730,000 and injunctive relief settlement on behalf of 13 year old student alleged to have been refused enrollment in school because of his HIV status)

Canal Side Care Manor, LLC v. Pa. H.R.C., 30 A.3d 568 (Commw. Ct. 2011) (affirming $55,000 trial award on behalf of HIV positive woman denied housing at personal care home)

TIAA-CREF v. Bernardo, 683 F. Supp. 2d 344 (E.D. Pa. 2010) (summary judgment in declaratory judgment action to award retirement benefits to domestic partner of deceased doctor)

EDUCATION

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2007
Tufts University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2001

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Member, Bar of Pennsylvania, 2007

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, District of Colorado, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, Northern District of New York, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Indiana, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan, Western District of Tennessee, Southern and Eastern District of Texas, District of Nebraska; and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Olena Savytska

Olena Savytska is a dedicated and persistent client advocate and combines her experience in civil litigation and direct services in her work, approaching every case as a puzzle, and using her language skills to connect with clients. Olena began her work in the wage and hour field during a summer at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she represented dry cleaning and restaurant workers. Olena has worked at Lichten and Liss-Riordan since graduating from Columbia law School law, and has focused her practice on worker misclassification class and collective actions under state and federal law.

Olena has significant experience with collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. She has obtained collective action certification in dozens of cases around the country on behalf of employees in a variety of industries, including healthcare consultants, exotic dancers, cable technicians and delivery drivers, and has helped parlay these decisions into successful settlements.
In recent years, Olena has worked on dozens of cases involving delivery drivers, and has helped achieve decisions that have developed the caselaw on misclassification, improper deductions, and business expenses, both under Massachusetts and Illinois law, as well as the scope of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act as it applies to over-the-road drivers.

Olena is fluent in Spanish and Russian.

Professional Awards and Honors

Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star 2020-2024

REPRESENTATIVE CASES AND DECISIONS

Muniz v. RXO Last Mile, Inc., 2023 WL 5353749, at *8 (D. Mass. Aug. 21, 2023) (summary judgment granted for delivery drivers under Massachusetts’ “ABC” test).

Tsybikov v. Dovgal, No. 19 C 3334, 2023 WL 4029823, at *2 (N.D. Ill. June 15, 2023) (summary judgment granted for more than 700 over-the-road delivery drivers alleging misclassification claims under the IWPCA)

Branson v. All. Coal, LLC, 2021 WL 1550571, at *1 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 20, 2021) (conditional certification granted for a collective of approximately 1,800 mine workers)

Braniff v. HCTec Partners, LLC, f/k/a HCTec, LLC, No. 3:17-cv-00496 (M.D. Tenn.) (final approval granted for $4,500,000 settlement on behalf of approximately 2,271 Consultants)

Arrington, et al. v. Optimum Healthcare IT, LLC, No. 17-cv-03950-RBS (E.D. Pa.) (final approval granted for $4,900,000 settlement on behalf of approximately 2,200 Consultants)

Oshikoya v. Leidos Health, LLC, No. 1:17-cv-3237 (S.D. Ind.) (final approval granted for $6,100,000 settlement on behalf of approximately 1,090 Consultants)

Kiley v. MedFirst Consulting Healthcare Staffing, LLC, 297 F. Supp. 3d 1260 (N.D. Ala. 2018) (conditional certification granted for nationwide collective of over 900 healthcare consultants)

Education

Columbia Law School, J.D.
Boston College, BA in Political Science and Economics, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 2015

Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts

Harold L. Lichten

Biography

Harold Lichten is a founding partner of the firm and has been practicing labor and employment law for over 40 years. His practice now focuses on employment related class actions and individual litigation involving the misclassification of employees as independent contractors; failure to pay wages and overtime; discrimination; and wrongful termination. Since the beginning of his career as a legal services lawyer fighting for the rights of low-income workers, Mr. Lichten has been deeply committed to the field of civil rights and equal employment opportunity. He has been lead or co-counsel in landmark employment discrimination, wage and hour, and independent contractor misclassification cases throughout the United States. He has successfully argued appeals before the Supreme Court’s of Maine, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and New Jersey, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the First, Third, Seventh, Sixth, Eleventh and Ninth Circuits. In 2003 and 2015 he was named a Massachusetts Lawyer of the Year for his work in challenging the discriminatory hiring practices of police and fire departments within the state. Bradley v City of Lynn et al 443 F. Supp. 2d 145 (D. Mass); Smith v City of Boston 144 F. Supp. 3d 177 (D. Mass. 2015).

In 2017, his case Gannon vs City of Boston 476 Mass. 786  (2017), established that employers could not discriminate against disabled workers, unless they could prove the worker posed a significant risk of harm to themselves or others. In 2015, in the landmark case of Hargrove vs  Sleepy`s , he successfully argued for the adoption of the strict ABC test in New Jersey for determining independent contractor misclassification, and later succeeded in having the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, reverse the denial of class certification in that same case.  947 F3d 467 (2020).

In a series of cases, before the US Courts of Appeal for the Seventh, Third, First and Ninth Circuits, he successfully defended state wage act claims, against arguments that they were preempted by federal law, or subject to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. Bedoya v. Am. Eagle Express Inc., 914 F.3d 812, 815 (3d Cir. 2019), Waithaka v. Amazon.com, Inc., 966 F.3d 10 (1st Cir. 2020).

Mr. Lichten and his firm, are currently actively involved in litigating cases across the country, on behalf of delivery drivers, cable and satellite TV installers, salespersons, and marketers improperly classified as independent contractors, and thereby denied wages and overtime. They are also litigating cases involving chain stores and service stations which have improperly classified their store managers as exempt from overtime.

Mr. Lichten currently splits his time between New England and South Carolina and actively litigates cases  across the United States.

Major Cases

Pace v. City of Lynn, Case No. 11-01360, slip op. (Essex Super. Ct., June 6, 2014) (whistleblower case involving city employee with a multi-million dollar verdict won for plaintiff)

Martins, et al. v. 3PD, Inc., 2013 WL 1320454 (D. Mass 2013) (won class certification and summary judgment that appliance delivery drivers were employees, not independent contractors)

Sam Hargrove, et al. v. Sleepy’s, et al., Case Nos. 12-2541/12-2542 (3rd Cir. 2013) (won reversal and remand of decision finding New Jersey truck drivers to be independent contractors, not employees of Sleepy’s)

Scantland, et al. v. Jeffry Knight, Inc., et al., 721 F.3d 1308 (11th Cir. 2013) (reversing trial court ruling that cable installers were properly classified as independent contractors)

Lopez, et al. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 463 Mass. 696 (2012) (Supreme Court of Massachusetts reversed lower court decision and held that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be held liable under state discrimination law for constructing discriminatory promotional exams)

In The News

Mr. Lichten was named a 2003 and 2015 Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Boston police lieutenant exam discriminated against minorities, judge says
The Boston Globe | July, 2017

Judge rules Boston police exam discriminated against minorities
The Boston Globe | November, 2015

Court suspends probation officer demotions
The Boston Globe | August, 2015

MCAD ruling supports black Worcester officers passed over for promotion
Telegram & Gazette | July, 2015

NJ’s Definition of ‘Employee’ Revives Sleepy’s Class Suit
New Jersey Law Journal | May, 2015

Fired official wins suit vs. city
The Boston Globe | June, 2014

Black police officials sue city
The Boston Globe | February, 2012

Police hit with bias decision; Two officers may be due ‘millions’
Worcester Telegram | November, 2011

Endo Sales Reps Win Conditional Cert. For OT Suit
Law 360 | June, 2011

Sebring men sue MasTec for OT pay
Tampa Bay Online | June, 2010

Contractors cry foul over benefit-excluding system
St. Petersburg Times | December, 2009

Independent contractor decision has lawyers wary
Mass Lawyers Weekly | December, 2008

Judge says firefighter tests biased and unfair
The Boston Globe | August, 2006

Organized labor of love
The Boston Globe | February, 2005

Education

New York University School of Law, J.D., 1977
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1974

Professional Affiliations

Member, National Employment Lawyers Association
Member, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee

Bar and Court Admissions

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, since 1987

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, U.S. District Court of Maine, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits.

Practice Areas

Labor unions, wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination, employment discrimination

Shannon Liss-Riordan

Biography

Shannon Liss-Riordan is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top plaintiffs’ class action employment lawyers. She has reshaped industries through her pioneering successes representing tipped workers, employees misclassified as independent contractors, and low wage workers who have been denied overtime, minimum wage, and other wage protections. Best Lawyers in America has called her “the reigning plaintiffs’ champion” (2013) and has said she is “probably the best known wage class action lawyer on the plaintiff side in this area, if not the entire country” (2015). Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly described her on its “Power List” (2009) as a “Tenacious class-action plaintiffs’ lawyer [who] strikes fear in big-firm employment attorneys throughout Boston with her multi-million-dollar victories on behalf of strippers, waiters, skycaps and other non-exempt employees.” Politico named her to its guide to the “Top 50 thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016”.  San Francisco Magazine has said that “Liss-Riordan has achieved a kind of celebrity unseen in the legal world since Ralph Nader sued General Motors.”

For more than 20 years, Ms. Liss-Riordan has brought and won groundbreaking lawsuits that have shaped the law protecting workers in the food service, cleaning, adult entertainment, trucking, and other industries. A decade ago, she pioneered litigation representing workers in a number of cases against “gig economy” companies that save on labor costs by misclassifying employees as independent contractors. She represents employees nationally, at the trial court and appellate levels, including seven landmark victories at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Some of her most notable cases include victories against Starbucks, FedEx, and American Airlines. Fifteen years ago, she began the legal strategy of filing mass arbitrations against employers who use arbitration agreements to protect themselves from class actions. The Boston Globe has profiled her work twice as a “legal champion” fighting for the rights of low wage workers, and she has also been profiled in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, and the LA Times.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College, Ms. Liss-Riordan co-founded Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. in 2009. Previously she was a partner at a plaintiff-side employment and union law firm in Boston where she worked for more than 10 years after clerking for a federal court judge for two years following law school. In 2019, Ms. Liss-Riordan ran for the U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts. In 2022, she ran to be Massachusetts Attorney General, a campaign in which she was endorsed by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and many other elected officials and labor unions.

Profiles

Trailblazing Women In Labor Law – Shannon Liss-Riordan
Law360 | March, 2022

Worker Rights Atty Blazes Trail With Whole Foods, Uber Cases
Law360 | July, 2020

Labor Litigator
Harvard Magazine | March – April, 2017

Uber’s Worst Nightmare
San Francisco Magazine | May, 2016

Meet the attorney suing Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and a dozen California tech firms
LA Times | January, 2016

Meet “Sledgehammer Shannon,” the Lawyer Who Is Uber’s Worst Nightmare
Mother Jones | December, 2015

Meet the Boston Lawyer Who’s Putting Uber on Trial
Wall Street Journal | November, 2015

‘Sledgehammer Shannon:’ The attorney taking on Uber and others in the sharing economy
Bizwomen | September, 2015

What Strippers Can Teach Uber
Medium | April, 2015

Lawyer fights for low-wage workers’ rights
Boston Globe | December, 2012

Skycaps and waiters find a legal champion
Boston Globe | April, 2008

Recognitions

America’s Top 200 Lawyers, Forbes (2024) (one of 5 plaintiffs’ employment attorneys)

Top Women of Law, Circle of Excellence, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2021)

Employee Attorney of the Year (national), Benchmark Litigation (2020)

Robert Morris, Sr. Award for Courage in Litigation, American Board of Trial Advocates, Massachusetts Chapter (2020)

“Top 50 thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics”, Politico (2016)

Top Women of Law, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2014)

Best Lawyers in America (each year since 2008)

Massachusetts Super Lawyers (each year since 2005)

Lawyer of the Year, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2002)

Major Appellate Rulings

Patel v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 489 Mass. 356 (2022) (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that franchisees may be employees for purposes of the Wage Act, overturning district court decision that held federal law to preempt Massachusetts law)

Lohnn v. International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM), C.A. No. 21-cv-6379 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2022), motion to stay denied, No. 22-32 (2d Cir. Feb. 8, 2022) (ordering the unsealing of documents in age discrimination case that IBM attempted to keep hidden through arbitration confidentiality agreement, including highly incriminating emails in which executives disparaged older workers as “dinobabies” and plotted how to make them “an extinct species”)

Lawson v. GrubHub, No. 18-15386 (9th Cir. 2021) (reinstating case challenging GrubHub’s misclassification of drivers in first and only case to date to go to trial against “gig economy” company)

Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, 10 Cal.5th 944 (2021) (California Supreme Court decided that landmark Dynamex ABC test applies retroactively); 986 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2021), 923 F.3d 575 (9th Cir. 2019) (in a now 14-year-old case, holding that landmark Dynamex decision applies to misclassification claims against “cleaning franchisor”and applies to top-tier company in multi-tier “fissured employment” scheme; providing guidance on strength of ABC test for employment misclassification; and reinstating wage claims on behalf of janitors who challenged paying for their jobs and other wage violations)

Medina v. Equilon Enterprises, Inc., 68 Cal.App.5th 868 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021) (Court of Appeal reversed summary judgment for Shell, holding that it could be liable for wage violations committed by intermediary entity)

Rittmann v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2020 WL 4814142 (9th Cir. 2020) (in nationwide case challenging driver misclassification, affirming denial of motion to compel arbitration, holding Amazon drivers to be exempt from Federal Arbitration Act under transportation worker exemption)

Waithaka v. Amazon.com, Inc., 966 F.3d 10 (1st Cir. 2020) (in Massachusetts case challenging driver misclassification, affirming denial of motion to compel arbitration, holding Amazon drivers to be exempt from Federal Arbitration Act under transportation worker exemption, as well as state law)

O’Grady v. Merchant Exchange Productions, Inc., 41 Cal.App.5th 771 (2019) (holding that mandatory service charges may be gratuities under Calforrnia Labor Code)

Haitayan v. 7-Eleven, Inc., No. 18-55462, (9th Cir. 2019) (reinstating wage claims against 7-Eleven and reversing district court’s denial of injunction for plaintiffs and potential class members facing choice of pursuing wage claims or keeping their jobs)

Maplebear dba Instacart v. Busick, 26 Cal.App.5th 394 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) (rejecting attempt to vacate arbitrator award certifying wage class action on behalf of Instacart drivers)

Khanal v. San Francisco Hilton, Inc., No. 15-15493 (9th Cir. 2017) (banquet employees could bring claim for service charges not distributed to them, reversing order holding wage claims brought by union employees preempted by LMRA)

Williams v. Jani–King, 837 F.3d 314 (3d Cir. 2016) (affirming class certification in case challenging cleaning workers’ classification as independent contractor “franchisees” under Pennsylvania law)

Marzuq v. Cadete Enterprises, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21301 (1st Cir. 2015) (Dunkin Donuts general managers could be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay by proving management was not their primary duty, distinguishing 1982 Burger King precedent, which had held fast food managers to be overtime-exempt)

Travers v. Flight Systems & Services, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21671 (1st Cir. 2015) (affirming jury verdict in favor of skycap who was terminated in retaliation for leading class action wage complaint challenging policy affecting skycaps’ tips and reinstating claim for front pay)

Depianti v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, 465 Mass. 607 (2013) (Supreme Judicial Court held that national cleaning company could be liable for misclassifying cleaning workers, notwithstanding that contracts were with intermediary companies)

Taylor v. Eastern Connection, 465 Mass. 191 (2013) (Supreme Judicial Court held that Massachusetts law could apply to work performed outside of the state, due to choice-of-law provision in workers’ contracts)

Sample trial victories

Nnebe v. Daus, No. 06-cv-4991-RJS (S.D. N.Y. Nov. 16, 2023) (test case trial for 10 plaintiff New York taxi drivers in certified class action who suffered due process violations based on not being able to challenge their license suspension due to an arrest)

Ordono v. Marriott International, Inc., No. CGC-16-550454 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Apr. 2023) ($9 million verdict awarded to class of hotel waitstaff, in the first case to go to trial in California challenging employer’s failure to pay employees the total proceeds of “service charges”, which court held that reasonable customers believed were gratuities)

Lawson v. GrubHub, No. 15-cv-05128-JSC (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2023) (in the first trial ever addressing whether a gig worker was misclassified as an independent contractor, court held that GrubHub driver should have been classified as an employee)

Norrell v. Spring Valley Country Club (Mass. Super. 2017) (class action jury verdict for waitstaff)

Travers v. Flight Systems & Services (D. Mass. 2014) (close to $1 million jury verdict in favor of skycap who was terminated in retaliation for bringing wage complaint about policy affecting skycaps’ tips)

DiFiore v. American Airlines (D. Mass. 2008) (jury verdict in favor of skycaps, finding that airline violated state tips law and interfered with skycaps’ relationship with passengers by charging $2 per bag and not allowing skycaps to keep the proceeds of the charge; verdict led to airline dropping charge nationwide) (damages award reversed on federal preemption grounds)

Benoit v. The Federalist, Inc. (Mass. Super. 2007) (class action jury verdict in favor of waitstaff who did not receive total proceeds of service charges added to function bills)

Bradley v. City of Lynn, 443 F.Supp.2d 145 (D.Mass. 2006) (class action verdict finding state civil service exam had disparate impact on minorities, resulting in statewide hiring of more than 60 minority firefighters and police officers)

Calcagno v. High Country Investor, Inc. d/b/a Hilltop Steakhouse (Mass. Super. 2006) (class action jury verdict finding management illegally skimmed servers’ gratuities)

Sprague v. United Airlines, Inc., 2002 WL 1803733 (D. Mass 2002) (judgment of $1.1 million in a discrimination case brought by deaf airline mechanic who had been denied employment based on disability)

Dahill v. Boston Police Department, 434 Mass. 233 (2001) (Supreme Judicial Court decided that Massachusetts law would diverge from federal law in prohibiting discrimination against individuals with correctable disabilities, resulting in hiring of hearing-impaired police officer candidate and jury verdict of nearly $1 million)

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., 1996
Harvard College, A.B., 1990

Bar and Court Admissions

Member, State Bar of Massachusetts, 1999
Member, State Bar of New York, 1999
Member, State Bar of California, 2016

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit.