Sam S. Shaulson represents financial services, pharmaceutical, entertainment, retail, and other clients in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), wage and hour class and collective litigation, and other complex litigation. With an emphasis on the financial services industry, he has represented industry trade organizations such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) in employment law issues of industrywide significance. Sam is co-leader of the labor and employment practice’s financial services team and a member of the firm’s Advisory Board.
In addition tounpaid overtime, minimum wage, and other wage and hour claims, Sam litigates sexual harassment, defamation, age, race, sex, national origin, and disability discrimination, and whistleblower claims. He also represents clients in contract, denial of employee benefits, and free speech violations.
Sam partners with clients in traditional labor matters under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA), and negotiates collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts. He has litigated more than 150 class and collective actions, including cases that involve Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the FLSA, state wage and hour laws, and common law negligence. He has appeared in state and US federal courts in civil and criminal divisions, as well as before various administrative agencies.
In the realm of preventive practice, Sam advises clients on executive compensation, bonus plans, employment policy issues, wage and hour issues, arbitration policies, employment testing, and reductions in force. He also helps clients avoid whistleblower, termination, and discrimination claims. He regularly trains employees and managers on how to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Sam has repeatedly served as a faculty member at the New York University workshop on employment law for federal judges. He also presented “Settlements in Wage and Hour Class/Collective Actions” and “Ethical Issues in Wage & Hour Litigation and Settlement” for the Practising Law Institute, and “Mediating Wage and Hour Class and Collective Actions” for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS) arbitrator and mediator training. He also facilitated the first annual “Program on Mediator Skills Training for ADR Neutrals” for the New York University Center for Labor and Employment Law.
Chambers USA listed Sam as one of the leading US lawyers for employment law from 2007 to 2016, a ranking based on client, peer, and industry professional views.
Law360 named Sam one of its “Most Valuable Players” for 2013 based on his critical litigation and first-of-their-kind matters. In 2014, Human Resource Executive magazine listed Sam as one of the “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys.”
Obtained Second Circuit decision that a waiver of the right to bring a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act is enforceable.
Represented the Mortgage Bankers Association before the DC Circuit and the US Supreme Court in challenging the Department of Labor's first-ever Administrative Interpretation concluding that loan originators cannot qualify for the administrative overtime exemption.
Represented the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in a landmark decision from New York's highest court, ruling that an employer can make adjustments for assistant compensation costs, errors, losses, marketing expenses, and other business costs as part of the calculation of commissions without violating the wage deduction law.
Defeated class certification for a major financial institution in an action claiming that financial advisors were denied overtime pay and their wages were subject to improper deductions.
Defeated nationwide collective action certification for a major financial institution in an action claiming that loan officers were denied overtime pay.
Defeated nationwide class certification for a major telecommunications company in one of the largest discrimination class actions ever brought, claiming that African-Americans were denied promotions into management, were subject to unequal pay, were subject to employment tests having a disparate impact, and were subject to race-based, subjective stereotyping.
Obtained dismissal of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower complaint alleging that one of the largest industrial companies unlawfully terminated him because he “blew the whistle” on various alleged fraudulent schemes.
Obtained summary judgment on claims that information technology professional was misclassified as overtime exempt, thereby mooting class and collective action claims.
Defeated class certification of claim that financial services sales representatives were required to work off-the-clock.
Obtained summary judgment in information technology overtime misclassification case where the court ruled that a reclassification of employees from exempt to nonexempt does not raise an issue of fact for trial or create an issue of fact on willfulness.
Defeated class and collective action certification in a case claiming that accountants were misclassified as overtime exempt.
Obtained dismissal of numerous class and collective actions based on arbitration agreement containing a class and collective action waiver.
Defeated nationwide collective action certification and class certification for a large retailer in an action claiming that store managers and assistant store managers were denied overtime pay.
Defeated wage and hour collective action certification for a large food services provider in an action claiming that assistant managers were misclassified as exempt from overtime.
Defeated nationwide class certification for a major US air carrier in an action testing the compatibility between the American Disabilities Act and Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Defeated a TRO and a preliminary injunction in an action seeking to enjoin a major computer company from releasing its latest enterprise backup and storage software advertised during the Superbowl.
Prosecuted more than 150 criminal defendants at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for crimes such as aggravated assault, gun possession, robbery, burglary, possession with intent to distribute, theft, and DWI.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1993, J.D., With Honors, Order of the Coif
Boston University, 1990, B.S.B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits
U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Awards and Affiliations
Band 1, Labor & Employment, New York, Chambers USA (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017)
Advisor, Restatement of Employment Law, American Law Institute
Leading Lawyer, Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (including collective actions) - Defense, The Legal 500 US (2013–2014, 2016–2018)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2007–2017)
Most Powerful Employment Attorneys, Human Resource Executive (2011–2015, 2017)
Named by Law360 as one of their "Most Valuable Players" for 2013 based on exemplary work on critical litigation and first-of-their-kind matters
Named, "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation–Labor and Employment by The Best Lawyers in America (2017)
Recognized, Employment Law – Management, New York; Labor Law – Management, New York; Litigation – Labor and Employment, New York, The Best Lawyers In America (2012, 2016–2019)
Recommended, Employment, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2008
Recognized, New York Super Lawyers (2009–2013)
Member, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
Member, Order of the Coif, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Class of 1990 Valedictorian & May Company Scholar, Boston University, School of Management