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. 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.