W. John Lee focuses his practice on complex employment litigation, representing employers in class and collective actions across the United States involving allegations of race and gender discrimination, wage and hour claims, as well as challenges to employer background check practices. He also litigates claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts, as well as state law whistleblower actions, in courts and before the US Department of Labor (DOL).
John has litigated in many jurisdictions, defending clients in a wide variety of single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination and harassment suits, as well as trade secret and unfair competition cases. Before the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), he defends clients against charges of systemic issues such as pattern or practice claims and the use of background checks.
In addition to litigating, John counsels clients on diversity initiatives, pay equity issues including comprehensive internal statistical and policy audits, and day-to-day employment issues.
A data-driven lawyer with a background in information technology, John works with statisticians and other experts to analyze large data sets in discrimination class actions and wage and hour matters. He has developed best practices for ediscovery and forensic analysis of electronic data, and he also trains other lawyers and lectures at local law school classes on these topics.
With a strong commitment to diversity and pro bono work, John serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group and the Education Law Center. He also has worked extensively with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and represented a prisoner through a jury trial on a Section 1983 civil rights action.
John is the hiring partner for the Philadelphia office and chairs the Philadelphia office Recruiting Committee.
Temple University, Beasley School of Law, 2007, J.D., cum laude
University of Virginia, 2000, B.A.
Awards and Affiliations
Best of the Bar, Employment Litigation, Philadelphia Business Journal (2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Recommended, Labor and employment - Labor and employment litigation disputes (including collective actions) - defense; Labor and employment - Workplace and employment counseling, The Legal 500 US (2017)