Satenberg Named a Leading Labor and Employment Lawyer

California's Top Labor and Employment Lawyers for 2016
– Daily Journal
The Daily Journal has named Manatt's Andrew Satenberg, a partner in the firm's employment and labor practice, to its 2016 “Top Labor & Employment” list, which profiles California’s leading legal talent in the field. The list was published in a special supplement on July 20, 2016.
 
In this special issue, the Daily Journal honors California lawyers who have handled the most cutting-edge employment and labor cases over the past year. The honorees are “brilliant, strategic and, most of all, agile, as they navigate a fast-moving and ever-changing legal landscape.”
 
In its profile of Satenberg, the Daily Journal highlights his recent success for fast food chain Del Taco, for which he defeated class certification on key issues in a wage and hour potential class action filed by Del Taco’s current and former general managers. The plaintiff claimed that the managers were misclassified as exempt employees, and they were instead entitled to overtime and meal and rest break premiums.
 
“First, we narrowed the scope of the class,” said Satenberg, by using arbitration agreements the current managers had signed to eliminate them as potential plaintiffs. Former managers, who worked for Del Taco before arbitration agreements were added to standard employment contracts, remained. “We cut the class from 400 to fewer than 75,” he said, “cutting our client’s potential liability by more than 75 percent.”
 
When Satenberg didn’t have access to the former managers to conduct discovery, he used more creative arguments to convince a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge that the claims could not be adjudicated on a class basis, because individualized determinations would be needed for each class member. A judge or jury could therefore not make an informed ruling on liability or damages. The judge agreed on March 4, 2016.