Prior Case News

  • Firm Obtains $1.19 Million Verdict in Disability Discrimination Trial
    October 14, 2015
    Following a four-week trial in Kern County, a jury awarded a client of Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, a blind physical therapist, $1.19 million in lost wages and emotional distress damages. The case settled while the jury was deciding the amount of punitive damages to award. The client was represented by David Lowe and Erin Pulaski.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Represents Ellen Pao in Landmark Gender Discrimination Case
    March 2015
    Alan Exelrod and Michelle Lee represented Ellen Pao in her landmark discrimination case against one of the leading venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. The case received global media attention and raised important issues relating to the absence of women in the venture capital and tech industries.

  • Firm Obtains $4 Million Dollar Judgment Following Retaliation and Defamation Trial
    March 12, 2015
    Following a two-week trial in Sacramento, a jury found Defendant Diocese of Sacramento liable for retaliating against and defaming Plaintiff Christopher Cerbone.  The jury awarded $900,000 in damages for emotional distress and harm to reputation, and found that the Diocese acted with malice. After arguments concerning punitive damages, the Diocese agreed to pay a $4 million judgment. Mr. Cerbone was represented by David Lowe, Erin Pulaski and co-counsel Tyler Clark.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of Class Action Settlement For $1.69 Million In Case Against Weight Watchers
    December 16, 2014
    On December 16, 2014, the court in Connolly, et al. v. Weight Watchers North America, Inc. (Northern District of California) granted final approval to a class action settlement under which Weight Watchers agreed to pay $1,687,500 million to settle all claims in a case on behalf of Leaders, Receptionists, and employees who performed hourly paid location coordinate work for Weight Watchers in California during the class period. The class is represented by Steve Zieff, John Mullan and Michelle Lee.

  • Refinery Workers File Class Action for Unpaid Wages.
    September 10, 2014
    On September 10, 2014, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe filed a class action lawsuit accusing Timec Company, Inc. dba Transfield Services of failing to pay basic minimum wages to workers who work as general laborers on refinery maintenance crews. The proposed class includes thousands of current or former Timec Field Employees working in oil and gas refineries throughout the state of California. More information about the case can be found here: Vierra v. Timec. Plaintiffs are represented by John Mullan, Steve Zieff and Erin Pulaski.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Represents Whitney Wolfe in Suit Against Tinder
    June 30, 2014
    On June 30, 2014, Ms. Wolfe filed a lawsuit against the hugely popular mobile dating app, accusing Tinder’s top executives of engaging in sex discrimination and harassment, and of retaliating against her when she complained about their conduct. Ms. Wolfe is represented by David Lowe and John Mullan. For more information, please see the Press Release or Complaint.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of $2.88 Million Class Action Settlement in Case Against TIN, Inc.
    December 12, 2013
    On December 12, 2013, the court in Vaca v. Tin, Inc. (Northern District of California) granted final approval to a class action settlement in a case on behalf of Corrugators and other employees employed in a plant operated by TIN, Inc. dba Temple-Inland, Inc. in the state of California at any time between January 26, 2008 and July 3, 2013. Defendant agreed to pay up to $2,875,000 to settle the case.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Beats Back Kleiner Perkins Appeal in Ellen Pao Case.
    June 26, 2013
    Alan Exelrod represents Ellen Pao in her discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, LLC ("KPCB"). In July 2012, the court denied Defendant’s motion to compel Ms. Pao’s claims to arbitration. That decision was appealed by Defendant. In a significant victory for Ellen Pao, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe defeated the Defendant’s appeal when, on June 26, 2013, the California Court of Appeal upheld the superior court’s denial of the Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration.

  • Firm Finalizes 108 Individual Settlements in Wage & Hour Action
    June 21, 2013
    On June 21, 2013, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, along with co-counsel Robert Nelson, finalized 108 individual settlements for employees who alleged that their former employer had failed to pay them for all hours worked.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Represents Football Coach in Action Against Diocese of Sacramento
    February 21, 2013
    David Lowe and co-counsel Tyler Clark have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging that a teacher and head football coach at a Catholic high school was fired for reporting sexual abuse and hazing on the football team. The school is owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.

  • Firm Files Class Action Against EcoLab, Inc. on Behalf of "Service Specialists" Nationwide
    June 11, 2012
    On June 11, 2012, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, along with co-counsel, filed a class action complaint in the San Francisco Northern District against EcoLab, Inc. ("EcoLab"), alleging failure to pay basic overtime wages to commercial pest elimination workers nationwide. We are working intensively with the affected "Service Specialists" to bring the case to a successful resolution. Please call today to find out how you can help, or for more information about the case: (415) 434-9800. Plaintiffs are represented by David Lowe, John Mullan, Michelle Lee and co-counsel.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Files Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit On Behalf of Ellen Pao
    May 10, 2012
    On May 10, 2012, the firm filed a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, LLC ("KPCB") on behalf of former KPCB partner, Ellen Pao. The case has attracted significant media attention, including articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Jose Mercury and Vanity Fair.

  • Firm Files Class Action On Behalf of "Trip Leaders" Employed by Adventures Rolling Cross-Country, Inc.
    February 17, 2012
    On February 17, 2012, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe and co-counsel Bryan Schwartz Law filed a class action complaint in the Marin County Superior Court against Adventures Rolling Cross-Country, Inc., alleging failure to pay basic minimum wages to workers who work chaperoning kids on expensive trips abroad and domestically. We are looking forward to working with the affected "Trip Leaders" to bring the case to a successful resolution. More information about the case is available here: Adventures Rolling Cross-Country.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Files Class Action on Behalf of Employees of Upscale Health Club Equinox Fitness
    June 16, 2011
    On June 16, 2011, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe filed a class action complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Equinox Fitness (an upscale, full-service health club), alleging failure to pay overtime to its Membership Sales Advisors. On March 4, 2013, the Court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification, and on June 20, 2013 the Court denied Equinox's motion to decertify the class. We are looking forward to working with the affected Membership Sales Advisors to bring the case to a successful resolution. Please call today to find out how you can help, or for more information about the case: (415) 434-9800.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of Class Action Settlement for $6.2 Million
    May 23, 2011
    On May 23, 2011, the Court signed an order granting final approval to the settlement negotiated by the parties, under which Weight Watchers paid $6.2 million to settle all claims in the case on behalf of a class of Leaders, Receptionists, and employees who performed hourly-paid Location Coordinator work for Weight Watchers in the State of California at any time during the period from September 17, 2005 through January 8, 2011.

  • Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff Obtains $9.75 Million Settlement On Behalf of Drivers Employed by Delivery Business
    February 28, 2011
    The firm obtained a $9.75 million settlement on behalf of drivers employed by a delivery business in a case alleging failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, and failure to reimburse for reasonable business expenses. A media article about the case can be found here: Key to Victory – Jigsaw Damages

  • Court Grants Final Approval of Class Action Settlement for $1.477 Million
    December 17, 2010
    The Northern District of California granted final approval to a $1.477 million class action settlement to settle the overtime pay claims and related claims of 52 Salon Managers who worked for Ulta Salons. More information about the case is available here: Ulta.

  • Final Approval Granted in Class Action Settlement for $5 Million
    October 29, 2010
    The Santa Clara Superior Court granted final approval to a $5 million class action settlement on behalf of technical writers employed by Sun Microsystems. More information about the case is available here: Sun Microsystems.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of Settlement in Class Action Against Flextronics America LLC
    October 7, 2010
    The Alameda Superior Court granted final approval to a $1.33 million class action settlement to settle the overtime pay claims and related claims of 41 Area Team Leaders (or Territory Managers) employed by Flextronics America LLC (formerly Solectron). More information about the case is available here: Flextronics.

  • Final Approval Granted in Class Action Settlement for $8 Million
    August 23, 2010
    The United States District Court for the District of Oregon granted final approval to an $8 million class action settlement on behalf of Personal Lines Claims Representatives who worked for Farmers Insurance Exchange in various class positions nationwide. The $8 million settlement compensates the plaintiffs for their unpaid overtime. More information about the case is available here: Farmers.

  • Firm Obtains Final Approval of Settlement on Behalf of 775 Former Employees of Spansion
    June 4, 2010
    The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware granted final approval to a class action settlement of federal and California WARN Act claims on behalf of approximately 775 former employees of Spansion, one of the world's leading semiconductor companies. The settlement provided for the establishment of approximately $8.6 million in allowed claims in Spansion's bankruptcy case. More information about the case is available here: Spansion.

  • Firm Obtains Final Approval of $2.15 Million Class Action Settlement On Behalf of Canvassers and Field Managers at Fund for Public Interest Research
    May 15, 2009
    The Northern District of California granted final approval to a $2.15 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against Fund for Public Interest Research, Inc.  Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe filed Rich Prentice, et al. v. The Fund for Public Interest Research, Inc., on December 19, 2006, on behalf of Canvassers and Field Managers who were forced to work unpaid training days and more than 40 hours per week without overtime compensation. The $2.15 million settlement compensates the plaintiffs for their unpaid training days, overtime and related claims.

  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe Wins $105 Million Judgment in Class Action Trial Against Starbucks
    March 20, 2008
    David Lowe served as lead trial counsel in a class action in which Mr. Lowe and co-counsel won a $105 million judgment against coffee mega-chain Starbucks, along with an injunction mandating changed employment practices, on behalf of baristas whose tips were pooled with supervisors’ compensation in violation of state law. The pair went to trial in San Diego after A. Eric Aguilera of Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera in Costa Mesa and Coronado solo practitioner Terry J. Chapko certified a class consisting of 125,000 current and former employees who worked as baristas in California since October 2000. The trial court found that Starbucks violated California Labor Code section 351, which prohibits an employer and its agents from collecting any part of gratuity left for an employee by a patron.

    Media articles about the case are available here: Tipping Point: In a hand-slap to Starbucks, a judge says the coffee house supervisors can’t dip into baristas’ gratuity jars, Big Suits: Chau v. Starbucks.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of $65 Million Class Action Settlement in Case Against International Business Machine Corp.
    July 12, 2007
    The Northern District Court granted final approval to a $65 million settlement in a federal class action lawsuit against International Business Machines Corp.  Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff, along with co-counsel, filed Rosenburg v. IBM, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District in January 2006 on behalf of approximately 32,000 IBM Technical Services Professionals and Information Technology Specialists who were forced to work more than 40 hours per week and on weekends without overtime compensation. The $65 million settlement compensates the plaintiffs for their unpaid overtime and related claims. The Recorder reported on the settlement: Lawyer Has 65 Million Reasons to Be Grateful

  • David Lowe Challenges the Legality of Unfair Arbitration Provisions
    May 30, 2007
    David Lowe received media attention for his challenge to the legality of an arbitration agreement at issue in a disability discrimination action against Dynatech Corp. An article by the San Francisco Daily Journal can be found here: Critics Question Contracts That Shift Job Disputes Out of State

  • Final Approval Granted in $3 Million Class Action Settlement in Case Against NorthPoint Communications, Inc.
    June 1, 2007
    The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to a $3 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against NorthPoint Communications, Inc. In Gan v. Schoenmann (In Re: NorthPoint Communications, Inc.), the plaintiffs alleged that NorthPoint Communications Inc. violated the Workers Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act ("WARN Act") by failing to give 60-day notice before a mass layoff in March 2001. The $3 million payment from the bankruptcy estate compensates the plaintiffs for the missed 60-day notice.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of $6.2 Million Class Action Settlement On Behalf of Employees of SBC Communications
    January 13, 2006
    The Los Angeles Superior Court granted final approval to a class action settlement in Dudley v. SBC Communications. The settlement provided for more than $6.2 million in monetary damages for current and former SBC Communications employees who plaintiffs allege were subject to illegal leave policies. The settlement also provided for paid days off for certain current employees and required SBC Communications to take corrective action with regards to its California Family Rights Act and Family Medical Leave Act policies.

  • Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff Wins $1.62 Million Verdict in Retaliation and Harassment Trial Against Rent-A-Center
    August 5, 2005
    In Astor v. Rent-a-Center, a Sacramento jury awarded Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff’s client, Marc Astor, $1,619,204 in damages on his retaliation and harassment claims. The award included $1 million in punitive damages.

  • Court Grants Final Approval of $24 Million Class Action Settlement in Misclassification Case Against Computer Sciences Corporation
    July 15, 2005
    The Central District of California granted final approval to a class action settlement in Giannetto v. Computer Sciences Corporation. The settlement provided for $24 million in monetary damages for current and former Computer Sciences Corporation technical employees who plaintiffs allege were unlawfully classified as exempt in order to deprive them of overtime pay.

  • Defendant Pays Over $200 Million in One of Largest Overtime Cases In U.S. Jurisprudential History
    March 28, 2005
    After more than eight years of hard-fought litigation, approximately $114.2 million in back pay and interest checks were mailed to those members of the Bell v. Farmers Insurance Exchange class of Personal Lines Claims Representatives who worked for Farmers in class positions in California at some time between October 1, 1993 and the date of trial in this case (June 26, 2001) and submitted approved claims. A second distribution to these class members in the amount of $10 million was mailed on June 30, 2005. On June 6, 2005, approximately $27.5 million was mailed to those members of the Bell v. Farmers Insurance Exchange settlement class of Personal Lines Claims Representatives to settle all claims for post-June 26, 2001 (i.e., post-trial) overtime, as well as potential claims for additional wage and hour law violations from September 2000 to August 31, 2004. With attorneys' fees, costs and interest, Farmers were required to pay over $200 million to resolve the case, which remains among the largest overtime judgments or settlement, if not the largest, in U.S. jurisprudential history. Steve Zieff was awarded the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award for his work on this landmark case: California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards for 2001.

    Additional media articles about the case can be found here: $210M Deal Settles OT Class Action For Adjusters, Court Oks Landmark Overtime Award, Auto Club Claims Adjusters File Lawsuit Over Overtime, Massive Awards in Overtime Lawsuit, White Collar Employees Winning Overtime Redress

  • Firm’s Client, Ex-Oracle VP, Wins $2.7 Million Jury Verdict in Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation Case
    August 18, 2000
    A San Francisco jury ruled that Oracle wrongfully fired Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff client Sandy Baratta – a former VP with the company – because she was five months pregnant and she blew the whistle on co-workers who illegally ripped off parts of a German software program. The jury awarded Ms. Baratta $2.7 million – about $2 million in canceled stock options, $300,000 in lost wages and $200,000 for emotional distress. The case was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: Ex-Oracle VP Wins $.7 Million Suit

  • Jury Awards $1.2 Million to Former Employee of Aetna Inc. in Wrongful Termination Case
    December 30, 1999
    A unanimous San Francisco Superior Court jury has ordered Aetna Inc. to pay $1.2 million to Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff client Anita Walia, a former employee who was fired after she refused to sign a noncompete agreement. The jury awarded $180,000 in compensatory damages and $1,080,000 in punitive damages. A media article about the case can be found here: AETNA Hit for Noncompete Agreements

  • Snap-On Tools Agrees to Pay $8.4 Million in Class Action Settlement
    September 1999
    Defendant Snap-On Tools agreed to pay $8.4 million to settle a class action alleging failure to comply with various wage and hour laws. Each current or former employee who worked during the class period received an amount based on his or her job and time with the company. About 100 employees received more than $25,000 and as much as $50,000. A media article about the case can be found here: Workers Must Know the Laws That Protect Them on the Job